Thursday, May 17, 2012

We Will Only Pass This Way Once...

If you've got sharp eyes and pay attnetion to details, you will notice that there's a story in the 'published' section of this blog that is not on my web page. "Death on the American Family Farm" was sold to Undead Press's anthology Book of the Dead, one of several presses run by Anthony Giangregorio. Anthony has been at the center of some controversy recently, and I think it's time I weighed in on this.

The critics, including Brian Keene, Nick Mamatas, and several people who Anthony has bought stories from, are right. Undead press and Anthony Giangregorio are ignorant, unethical publishers that I wouldn't to go near if they offered ten cents a word.

Ultimately, this is my own damn fault. I was just starting out, I was looking for a sale to boost my ego, so I sent a story off to a penny-a-word publication. And I got in. And that was the beginning of my trouble.

Giangregorio called me. On the phone. Helpful hint to gentle readers; if you have Brooklyn accent, people will already thing you're a used-car salesman. Trying to hustle them by asking if they have any other stories is a big put-off. So when he asked, I said I didn't. Which was a lie, but I felt like I was getting hustled. Which, it turned out, I was.

The Book of the Dead was published, and immediately came under attack. In those days, I hung out at the Shocklines forum, where a lot of horror professionals (and a few schmucks) talk shop. John Skipp, co-edtor of the seminal 80's Book of the Dead objected to Undead Press's use of his title. Like a real pro, Giangregorio got defensive, pointing out that you cannot copyright a title, and was really rude to the person he claimed the anthology was an homage to (See Nick Mamatas' documentation of this on his blog.

A few days later, it came to light that Giangregorio had used characters from the Dawn of the Dead, which is an enormous copyright no-no, and also completely frikking stupid.

I don't think that the illustrious Mr.Giangregorio messed with my story, but by the time I had one in my hands, I was already too embarassed to read it. I have a single copy, and it's not even in my personal collection of my work. I won't give him a blessed dime. It seems like he's getting worse, no longer content to merely suck, he's inserting bestiality and bad grammar into stories he's bought. See Brain Keene's blog for this sack of crap.

Be smart. Know your publisher, and if somethig smells fishy, it probably is. The reek of something like this is very hard to wash off, even if everyone else has forgotten about it.

Now, let's never talk about this again.

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