line up the links and bring the firing squad

Standard

Marsomething Kaye (who I’ve never heard of before except in the context of “what a racist fuck”) has stepped up toe defend Save the Whites: A Thoroughly Non-Racist Book. Keep in mind that Martin Kaye thinks HP Lovecraft is awesome.

Weird Tales seldom prints SF, but this story is a compelling view of a world that didn’t listen to the warnings of ecologists, and a world that has developed a reverse racism: blacks dominating and detesting not just whites, but latinos and albinos, the few that still survive of the latter are hunted down and slaughtered.

He’ll publish the first chapter in WT’s next issue. Considering that even if you set aside the offensiveness the book’s still shit, what more needs to be said of either Weird Tales or Kaye?

Brent Weeks, who writes some barely-readable, forgettable dribble featuring cover art that looks like recolored Assassin’s Creed boxes, made a whiny tweet to the tune of “how dare mere mortals–like, readers!–complain ebooks are overpriced?”

What stuns me is that it takes him more than two years to churn out such barely-readable dribble. Mr Weeks, most hacks of your caliber need just one year per novel, if that. Step up your game! You’re writing dreck that’s barely a step above tie-in fiction, dude, not creating great art through blood and tears (unless the tears are for the knowledge you’ll never be anything more than mediocre). You should be grateful anyone’d even pay $4 for one of those things. I can direct anyone curious to pirated copies of his books, by the way.

I was hoping critics and writers in litfic were less entitled and testerical than the ones in genre. J Robert Lennon, whoever he is, decided to prove me wrong.

Second, have a little humility about your opinion. Even if you don’t like the writer you’re reviewing, not even a little bit, acknowledge, at least to yourself, that some people do, and that this fact is not meaningless. In your review, let your reader know what it is other people like about this writer. If you disagree, say so, in a non-condescending manner. The goal is to explain and persuade, not to hurt. Though I thought Ben Marcus’s last novel was largely unsuccessful, I understood why some people might like it. Marcus is well-regarded and has clear strengths — he does things in his work that I can’t, and many people I respect, respect him. Thus, I respect him too. The first half of my review acknowledged and characterized that respect before I presented my case.

What is this claptrap? Nobody owes anyone shit, boyo. He did however link to a wonderfully entertaining review (while whining of course that it’s too mean).

Ohlin’s language betrays an appalling lack of register — language that limps onto the page proudly indifferent to pitch or vigor. Mitch’s “heart sang” and then Mitch’s “heart sank”; poor Mitch “felt his heart cracking like ice cubes in warm water.” Annie “had touched Grace’s heart” but had also “gotten under her skin.” Grace feels “marooned on her own private island” and then “her nerves were singing.” In just 13 pages you will be asked to endure eyes “fluttering,” then “shining,” then “fluttering” again. Mitch’s girlfriend is “brilliantly smart” — imagine for a second the special brand of languor required to connect those two terms — and also blows her nose “goose-honkingly hard.” Ohlin’s preferred simile is some variation of the lazy “like a child,” and she has a baffling fondness for the most worthless word in English: “weird.”