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Interesting update on the William Sanders/Helix mess from a while back. A number of authors (it looks like fifteen) have chosen to make their Helix-published work available at Transcriptase. Some have removed their work from Helix, while others have chosen to let it remain (for a variety of reasons, including obligation, Sanders' refusal to remove the stories -- which he is within his rights to do, or because they still love the magazine). The author statements are also worth reading.

Reaction to this mess has been interesting. The blogosphere has been pretty strong in its condemnation. In another area, I've watched discussion begin with "What's the big deal" and devolve into people making slut/ho jokes. And in Sanders' newsgroup, I've seen accusations that the only people getting worked up over this are wannabe losers trying to make themselves feel important. To that last accusation, I think it's worth noting some of the names involved in Transcriptase, including Eugie Foster, Jennifer Pelland, Beth Bernobich, and Janis Ian, among others. The author statements are worth reading as well, and I think it's important to note the range of reactions.

Would write more, but I've got a book deadline in 24 hours.

ETA: First paragraph edited to try to reduce my own biases. Thanks, shsilver.


Aug. 1st, 2008 03:09 am (UTC)
As a former website maintainer myself, I can appreciate that trying to extort money out of the writers by saying that it's incredibly hard to remove files is darn silly. A web dude or dudette who insists that it's going to take a ton of time to remove files is being disingenuous with a blogosphere that comprises a lot of people who know better.
Aug. 1st, 2008 11:27 am (UTC)
I think a lot depends on how the web site is maintained. I'm most emphatically *NOT* a web professional, but what I've gathered is that the work involved could range from a few simple mouse clicks to a fair amount of hunting and manual recoding of HTML, depending on what software is being used. As I have no clue what Melanie uses for the Helix site, I have no way to guess what time or work might be involved. I'm skeptical that it requires an hour per story, but I couldn't say for certain.


Jim C. Hines


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