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My Final Word on LLD Press

Shego - Facepalm

It’s disconcerting sometimes to realize how many people read this blog.  There’s a strange kind of power online … the power to spread information, to get help for those who need it, to challenge unacceptable behavior, and so on.

When I stir something up online, I feel obligated to follow up.  I raked Library of the Living Dead over the coals at the start of the week based on their editor’s announcement. When their story changed, I felt like I should share that new information with the same people who saw the initial post.

It just seems like the right thing to do.  It’s only fair to get the corrected info out there, and this blog reaches a lot more people than the LLD forums.  Except that things kept changing…

This is my final update, and if things change again, I don’t care.  I’m done with these guys.  So for clarity, here’s everything I know.

1.  LLD canceled their LGBT zombie anthology.  The editor posted an announcement saying, “It is with deep regret that I must inform you that the publisher has pulled the plug on this anthology. It seems that homophobia had reared its ugly head..NOT from the publisher, but with some authors that are contributers to the publisher.”  (This announcement has now been deleted, but is cached here.)

2. I and a few others posted about this.  In my case, I was quite pissed off at the idea of letting bigots kill a cool project, and didn’t hold that back.  Dr. Pus, who owns the publisher, posted his explanation.  “I was the one who gave the go ahead for the Anthology. But with all the things that are going on in my life right now I didn’t think it all the way through. I became afraid I would upset people by publishing the book. That’s the reason in a nutshell.”  Full post here.

3. People were still unhappy.  Dr. Pus returned to offer a third explanation here. “The reason I pulled the LBGT Anthology was NOT from complaints from the straight community, it was from complaints from the LBGT community. They were upset that an Anthology written by straight authors could cast a bad light on the gay community … Some of the complaints from my LBGT authors were ‘gays will be displayed in a bad light’, ‘This is a gimmick’, ‘No good can come from straight people writing about gays.’”

4. This morning, I found another announcement on my LJ from Dr. Pus. “I plan on green lighting the GLBT Anthology. My Editor, who you’ve drag through the mud, will be in charge of it. We will accept both gay and staight authors for the Anthology. I trust my Editor. He will present the best of the submissions. No homophobic or slanerous stories will be in the Anthology.  If you plan on boycotting the Anthology, be my guest. I am doing this for my support of the gay community. It’s a shame that you have an axe to grind againt the ‘Library of Horror Press’. You are only hurting the authors, not me as the publisher.”  Full post here

So it looks like we’ve come full circle.  Lovely.

FWIW, I never called for any boycott.  I still think an LGBT zombie anthology sounds like an awesome idea, if handled well.  If you want to contribute a story or buy the book, great!  If not, I can understand that too.  Me, I’m done.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Comments

( 86 comments — Leave a comment )
squirrel_monkey
Feb. 13th, 2010 02:46 pm (UTC)
Somewhat off-topic, but people seriously need to review the meaning of the word 'boycott'. It gets thrown around so much that I think many forget what a boycott is.
jimhines
Feb. 13th, 2010 02:48 pm (UTC)
While we're at it, can we get people to review "censorship" too?
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ginmar
Feb. 13th, 2010 02:58 pm (UTC)
"Who you've drag through the mud....You're only hurting the authors."

Jeez. He needs some cheese to go with that whine.
bookishdragon
Feb. 14th, 2010 03:30 am (UTC)
and a proofreader.....
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celestineangel
Feb. 13th, 2010 03:36 pm (UTC)
Wow. WHUT. No, really, WHUT.

Because this makes no sense and makes both the owner of the company and the editor seem incredibly unprofessional. I mean, "no homophobic or slanerous [did he mean slanderous, which really doesn't seem to fit anyway?] stories will be in the Anthology" should have been part of the submissions guidelines for the anthology from the very beginning. And why the capital A for "anthology"?

And if the publisher has no history of publishing hateful works, and if the editor and owner both of such sterling reputations for being nice people and friends to all, then what on Earth would make their authors (house authors, it sounds like?) believe these two would allow hateful or ignorant or "gimmicky" works in the anthology?

The whole think simply reeks of unprofessionalism from start to finish.
jimhines
Feb. 13th, 2010 05:33 pm (UTC)
I don't know. And at this point, I think I'm done trying to understand. The whole thing is confusing to me, but I'm glad they're going forth with the project. What effect this whole mess will have on the success of that project, I have no idea...
allaboutm_e
Feb. 13th, 2010 03:51 pm (UTC)
Sorry that this is not really in keeping with the tone of the post, but OMG, Shego lurve!
jimhines
Feb. 13th, 2010 05:23 pm (UTC)
S'okay -- I've spent way too much time and energy on this. Off-topic is good! :-)
(no subject) - mtlawson - Feb. 13th, 2010 08:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
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sartorias
Feb. 13th, 2010 03:58 pm (UTC)
I wish it much success--then everybody wins. (except bigots.)
jimhines
Feb. 13th, 2010 06:24 pm (UTC)
I want to be in a space where I can say the same, but I'm not there quite yet. At the moment I'm too annoyed by the whole mess.

The annoyance should pass, and I suspect in a day or so I'll be able to wish them all success too.
stormsdotter
Feb. 13th, 2010 04:14 pm (UTC)
There's just one thing that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Why does everyone insist upon relegating everything to "gay" and "straight"? Why is it always black and white!?

I'm bisexual. I present as straight, becuase I happen to prefer men. I want to write stories about all kinds of people, gay and straight alike. I would be offended if I were denied a contract because I have a domestic partnership with a member of the opposite sex.

If men can write convincing female characters, and women can write convincing male characters, why is it impossible to think that straight folks can write convincing gay characters?
sixteenbynine
Feb. 13th, 2010 04:22 pm (UTC)
Motion seconded.

A couple of books back, I provided a major character who had come out of the closet (before the events in the book started). Nobody of all the dozens of people (gay and straight) who read the book and commented to me about it even so much as mentioned that particular element. By that token, I felt I had done the right thing. It was, simply, a part of the story.
(no subject) - celestineangel - Feb. 13th, 2010 04:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
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mroctober
Feb. 13th, 2010 04:39 pm (UTC)
Of course, the other thing to consider is how many top-notch writers will the press get with their pay scale.
(Anonymous)
Feb. 14th, 2010 05:20 am (UTC)
A quick check on Duotrope reveals that LLD's rates are in line with countless small-press operations
No need to disparage the publisher for paying @ the same rate as a big chunk of the market.

--Linker
lotuseyes
Feb. 13th, 2010 04:44 pm (UTC)
Ahh...I would have bought this before this all came out, but now I'm not so sure. I feel rather insulted that the owner/editor would even imply that only the LGBT community should write LGBT. Even assuming one or more of their LGBT authors went to them and voiced their concerns, isn't it the owner/editors' job to reassure them they will make sure things are handled evenly?

It sounded like a cop-out excuse and doesn't make their LGBT authors look too swell. Not to mention, I've read straight authors who have written LGBT really well and I'm not just talking about yaoi authors from Japan. With the sheer amount of m/m, f/f and every thing in between fiction out there--how can they even make that claim? I thought that we moved beyond that old slur that erotica writers write about sex so much because their horny all the time--its like saying that only gay men should portray gay men and only straight men should portray straight men in TV/movies. Considering that Neil Patrick Harris is one of the most convincing straight men in his movies and TV show, I don't see how that flies.

I'm just going in my corner of the universe that ignores people like this. and damn a LGBT zombie anthology was sounding so cool...
rosefox
Feb. 13th, 2010 06:04 pm (UTC)
Clearly you missed the Lambda Awards rules change last year. Only self-identified LGBT authors are now permitted to have their works considered for a Lammie. This is, apparently, to protect us from straight women who write gay men better than gay men do.

Through this, I have confirmed that I don't like this sort of affirmative action any better when I would ostensibly benefit from it.
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phoenixfirewolf
Feb. 13th, 2010 05:07 pm (UTC)
Interesting... very interesting. Thank you for sharing.
time_shark
Feb. 13th, 2010 05:21 pm (UTC)
Looks like a case of entirely self-generated drama to me, with maybe the key operating phase being "I didn’t think it all the way through."
jimhines
Feb. 13th, 2010 05:26 pm (UTC)
I get that feeling too. I don't know that it was intentional drama (i.e., I don't believe they were trying to stir up publicity), but yeah. Clear communication from day one would have avoided at least 90% of the drama.
(no subject) - time_shark - Feb. 13th, 2010 05:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
socchan
Feb. 13th, 2010 05:23 pm (UTC)
Hmm. On the one hand, this whole mess has left a bad taste in my mouth. On the other hand, I do want to show support of the idea itself, in hopes of getting more anthologies like it in the future someday, etc.

All in all, I think I've got more reason to go ahead and buy a copy/possibly flesh out and submit that one idea that's been floating in the back of my mind (see here for RL inspiration) than I do to completely ignore it, though it will likely be more in spite of the publisher's choices than because of them.

Edited at 2010-02-13 05:30 pm (UTC)
jimhines
Feb. 13th, 2010 05:30 pm (UTC)
Completely understood. I liked the idea from day one, and I think we need more projects like this. On the other hand, I've lost most of my faith in the publisher. It leaves me feeling torn...
unwoman
Feb. 13th, 2010 06:01 pm (UTC)
What a reactionary, overdramatic response to you from Dr Pus. Amateurs.
jimhines
Feb. 13th, 2010 08:08 pm (UTC)
I think that's part of the problem, actually. This isn't a professional publisher. This is a one-man shop that feels more like a hobby. One he takes very seriously, but still a hobby. As such, the reaction isn't going to be professional because ... well, they're not, and maybe they're not trying to be.

I'm speculating, and I don't mean any of this to be condescending. But I do think that if you're not treating it like a business, but rather a passionate hobby, then you're more likely to take criticism very personally.

Don't know if that makes sense or not. Just kind of thinking out loud...
(no subject) - unwoman - Feb. 13th, 2010 08:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - stargatedragon - Feb. 13th, 2010 08:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
mtlawson
Feb. 13th, 2010 08:20 pm (UTC)
Jim, never underestimate the power of the pen. Or at least yours, in this case. ;-)

Seriously, this demonstrates how social networking can be used as an advocate for positive change. The key is positive -as opposed to negative- change; too many people can get sucked into simple name calling and whatnot, preventing any real advancement of the issues. Everyone who reads your LJ knows you prefer a civil ship, and that's important. People know that if they can present a rational argument they'll be listened to, and your mind is definitely not closed.

Amazing how that works as a force for positive change!

angelabenedetti
Feb. 14th, 2010 12:07 am (UTC)
I always love how calling someone on their anti-whatever crap is so often framed as "having an axe to grind," like it has to be personal. It's inconceivable to these people that someone who doesn't know them, had no opinion of them before, didn't care one way or the other about them, might be disapproving of this one thing they said or did. It's impossible that their words or actions, in and of themselves, have made people angry. No, it has to be some sort of personal vendetta.

These are people who won't learn from the experience. If it's just someone's personal slam against them, then nothing they did had anything to do with it and they can't imagine they have anything to learn. And that's sad.

Angie
catvalente
Feb. 14th, 2010 12:39 am (UTC)
Well done.

And after you linked to me I got almost 100 new friends-of. You have the powah.
jimhines
Feb. 14th, 2010 12:46 am (UTC)
Holy crap! I remember when I started this thing and was excited just to get my first 20 or so "friends". (I'm also surprised I had that many people who weren't already reading your blog. Silly people...)

But I must remember that with great power comes great responsibility. Power corrupts, and absolute power--

Aw, heck with it. I'm gonna go invade Canada!
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linkspam_mod
Feb. 19th, 2010 12:46 am (UTC)
Your post was added to a linkspam round-up.
laughingrat
Feb. 19th, 2010 04:12 am (UTC)
It's kind of wacky, how he disingenuously whines that people, OMGZ, just mysteriously "have an axe to grind" against his press. Er, no; they liked the press fine until he pulled some homophobic nonsense. Actions have consequences, d00d.
( 86 comments — Leave a comment )

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