Mercedes Lackey: "The Last Straw"

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Matt Roberds

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Feb 11, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/11/97
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Hello, readers of alt.pagan!

My name is Matt Roberds. I have known Mercedes Lackey for about a
year, and her husband Larry for about two years. Since Mercedes
does not have direct Internet access, she has asked me to post
the following message here. In a nutshell, the message is about
people who have twisted the content of some of her books, so much
so that there is now an (US) Federal Bureau of Investigation
involvement with this situation. Read the message from her,
below, for more information.

If you wish to write Mercedes concerning this post, you can contact
her via postal mail:

Mercedes Lackey
P.O. Box 8309
Tulsa, OK 74101 USA

Please do not email me (Matt Roberds) directly. I have no way
of forwarding email to Mercedes other than in hard copy.

Thank you!

Matt Roberds
mrob...@cyberramp.net

Message from Mercedes Lackey follows:
-------------------------------------

Here's the deal. Most of the people who are going to read this are
nice people. Some are nice people who are a little flaky, but that's
cool. Some are nice people who are a LOT flaky, but that's cool, too.
But some are not nice people, and they have real problems. A few of
these are dangerous, and want to manipulate and hurt other people,
including us. We just learned something recently that just happened
to be---

THE LAST STRAW

Mercedes Lackey

This is going to offend some people. These are the people who most
need to read this. This definitely has needed to be said for a long
time. We're writers. We write fiction, which is, by definition, NOT
FACT. Creative and entertaining lies, if you will, but still not
truth by any kind of stretch of the imagination. So, we've written
over 40 books, of which a grand total of three are dark fantasy that
involve the occult, "real" psychic powers, and nonstandard religions.
So what attracts so much trouble and so many lunatics you'd think it
was a "Free beer and come as your favorite psychosis party" in
downtown L.A.? You've got it. The "Diana Tregarde Investigations."

Take, for instance, the undeniable fact that I haven't written (and
at this point, don't intend to write) any more of them. Why? THEY
DON'T SELL. The numbers are there in black and white. DT books are
consistently and vastly outsold by every other type of fantasy we
write. Now some people would decide that there was an Evil Force out
there preventing the sale of their glorious books and determine to
thwart that force and PROVE how wonderful the "unpopular" books are,
but hey, call me nutty, but I believe that people are trying to tell
you something when they don't buy a book, and that is, THEY DON'T
WANT THEM! Why should we write something people don't want? If every
hardcore Diana Tregarde fan bought fifty copies of each book, I could
afford to maybe buy a new VCR with the royalties. There are plenty of
other people who are already writing books people don't want, and
doing it in bigger numbers than we can! Just take a look at the
remainder- racks!

But, oh, the rumors! Conspiracy theories that would make Oliver Stone
burst into tears of envy! Someone periodically starts a rumor that
the publisher is "suppressing" the books---the fact is, that like me,
they want to publish books that are going to compete with our more
popular series. Another is that they have been published, but a
fundamentalist group bought them all so no one else could read them,
ignoring the fact that if anyone bought an entire print-run of
anything, it would be on the New York Times bestseller list! Or my
favorite two rumors, that appeared IN THE SAME WEEK, one that Larry
was a fundamentalist who was preventing me from writing them, and a
rumor that Larry was an evil pagan who was preventing me from writing
them! Then there are the letters taking me to task for not following
the letter-writer's own particular brand of politically correct
neopaganism. THESE BOOKS ARE ENTERTAINMENT ONLY, PEOPLE! I'M NOT
RUNNING A RECRUITMENT BUREAU, HERE! And if YOU want a book featuring
YOUR favorite brand of religion, YOU go out and write and try to sell
one, and good luck and don't let the door hit you on the way out!

They were written at the time when horror was outselling everything
else, and hey, I wrote them to make money. We've got a mortgage to
pay. I suppose by some people's standards that is a heinous crime,
but I'm sorry for offending your delicate little sensibilities.
Actually, no I'm not. Get a life, get a grip, and grow a spine; you
all ought to know by now that we don't do PC. Then there are the
people who insist that the Guardians are real. Hey, if there really
were Guardians, you'd see panicky skinheads buying up the Rogaine
supply like the KKK at a white sale. There'd be no such thing as a
crooked televangelist, when they'd have real demons popping in on
their shows to tell them where they were REALLY going.

"But Guardians must be real," comes the cry, "How could you make
something like that up?" Oh for crying out loud, an "occult police
force" is one of the oldest gizmos in horror fiction! The Nine
Unknown Men, the Hunting Lodges, the White Lodges, Dr. Orient, Agatha
Christie's Harley Quinn, to name a few; there's been more good and bad
books involving occult "police" than there have been books about
vampires! That's FICTION, people! Do you really, truly, think that
if there WERE an "occult police force" they'd have let those kids in
Florida kill their mother and drink her blood, that they'd let kiddie-
porn and snuff-film makers continue to operate, or that they WOULDN'T
make it their business to track down and dispose of serial killers?
What're these guys supposedly doing, punishing junk-bond dealers?

The thing is, on one level I can sympathize with people who would
really like to believe that Guardians are real. The world is a scary
place, and more and more scary things are happening in it, things that
really look as if there was a single evil hand behind it all. Hey, I
wish there were Guardians! I also wish for peace, prosperity and an
end to war. There's about an equal chance for either.

But now we get a little more into the shallow end of the reality pool,
because some of these people claim that the Guardians are this big,
cohesive group watching over everything. As far as that goes, in MY
books, the Guardians aren't even organized! They're about as cohesive
a group as a herd of grasshoppers! The closest thing to
"organization" they have is when two of them run into each other at
the Karaoke Club and find out they both want to sing "Poisoning
Pigeons in the Park." There's NO group meetings, NO politics, no
nothing---yet these same people have invented an entire complex
hierarchy for them, complete with lodge meetings, secret handshakes,
and decoder rings! Cripes! They aren't even reading the books,
they're just reading what THEY want to see into the books!

It gets stranger. A whole lot stranger. We aren't even in the
reality pool, anymore, we're out in the crabgrass around it. There
are people claiming to BE Guardians---and people who claim they would
be Guardians if only some Evil Force wasn't keeping them from finding
their own little Yoda and having their occult powers activated. Okay,
I can even sympathize with this one, because I've been there too.
When your life is in the crapper, you can't get a job that doesn't
involve a paper hat and a nametag, and you think that if you dropped
off the planet no one would miss you for weeks, it's comforting to
believe that all your misfortunes can be blamed on an Evil Occult
Force.

I had myself talked into that one for a while, but at one critical
point I had what the Twelve Step groups call "a moment of clarity,"
when someone else who had bought into the delusion began coming up
with things I knew just weren't true and I realized that the world is
what it is, and it doesn't take an evil force to make it that way---
and that I was doing a better job of keeping myself unemployed than
any Evil Occult Force could. That's when I forced myself to admit
that I had the best chance of making my life better if I just got a
good suit from Goodwill instead of wearing costumes, pounded the
pavement looking for work instead of waiting for a Dream Job to be
given to me, and put more and smarter effort into realistic goals,
like learning computer programming instead of spending all my time
staring at a candle and trying to contact my Personal Psychic Trainer.

That's when I also realized that I really liked making up the stories,
so I didn't give them up, I just stopped telling myself they were
real. And I started writing them down, which was a lot more fun when
other people started to read them and told me how good they were.
But guys, people who tell you that they are Guardians never made that
jette back to coolsville (To quote Dennis Miller). They're still in a
wobbling pirouette that's taking them straight into the orchestra pit.

And here we go right off the end of the bell curve, because the same
lunatics who say that they are Guardians are bound and determined that
I am a Guardian! Jeez Louise, if I had occult powers, would I be
sitting here writing my ass off for a living? Heck no, I'd be out in
Vegas in the VIP suite with half a dozen semi-naked chorus boys
feeding me caviar, that's where I'd be! I'd be cruising the Bahamas
on the way to my own tropical island. I'd have a mansion and fifty
servants, and the biggest aviary outside of a zoo, that's what I'd
have, and I'd have more semi-naked chorus boys to do all the cage-
cleaning and feeding for me! Meanwhile Larry would be winning Le Mans
and Sebring in his unbreakable Lotus (a real occult miracle), and on
the side he'd be having one-man shows at the Guggenheim and his
personal Ford Indygo would be winning the Pebble Beach Concours
d'Elegance. Oh, and he'd also take a few hours off to do some hawking
with his Ornate Hawk-Eagle, taking the prizes for high- catch of the
day, of course. I'd write for fun, when I felt like it, and not every
day, eight hours a day, seven days a week.

Have we got that straight, all you cosmic cupcakes? Do you think if I
had occult powers I wouldn't have KNOWN those freaks in Oklahoma City
were going to blow up a building with a day-care center full of kids
in it practically in my own back yard and have DONE something before
it happened? Do you think if I had occult powers I wouldn't have
warned my friends in Los Angeles to be somewhere else when the
Northridge Quake busted loose? Or warned my parrot-breeder friends in
Florida to get their setups into concrete blockhouses long before
Hurricane Andrew came through? For crying out loud, wouldn't I have
KNOWN Larry's studio was going to have a fire, that our rearmost room
was going to flood, that his car was going to have a wreck, and that
our garage was going to get hit with a tornado???? Wouldn't I have
DONE something to avoid these things? And just because those things
all happened, that DOESN'T mean that I have these cosmic powers and I
either LET them happen or MADE them happen because I am evil! Shoot,
if you're looking for someone with Major Occult Powers, try someone
like Dick Clark---filthy rich, no scandals, and he looks HOW old? Or
Paul McCartney, who hasn't aged a day since 1972. The guy that
invented Pet Rocks---geez, how many of us did he sucker into buying a
road-rock in a cardboard box? Had to have been occult powers. Or---
it has to be the way the world works.

Reality check time, people, here's a whole ROLL of quarters, there's
the clue machine, GO BUY SOME. And people, why would someone who
belonged to a super-secret high-risk occult-society with amazing
powers at her beck and call be stupid enough to draw the attention of
all the Bad Guys by WRITING ABOUT IT? "Hello? Is anyone paying
attention? Oh, no---well, let me just run up a GREAT BIG SIGN that
says 'Guardian here! Come and get me!'" Just what was that supposed
to accomplish? Was I supposed to be looking for other Guardians? But
if I BELONGED ALREADY to this so-called "Inner Circle" why would I be
looking for them? Was I supposed to be recruiting new Guardians?
Guys, that gag is straight out of THE LAST STARFIGHTER. Yeah, that's
a good idea, Gunga Din; let's just raise our profile a lot higher for
the Bad Guys to shoot at, and meanwhile, we'll sort through all the
mail from every guy who ever wanted to levitate and shoot lightning
bolts "Just like in the comic books." Hey, we'll find a LOT of
potential Guardians that way!

Now at this point, if you've somehow been sucked into a group like
I've described, and you've raised these objections, your Fearless
Leader the Great Cranko is saying, "Well of course she'd say THAT, she
wouldn't want to blow her cover"---like it wouldn't already have been
blown higher than a palm tree at Bikini Atoll---but just how many of
those "of course she'd say that"s are you going to accept before your
logic circuit kicks in?

Oh, it gets better! Not only am I a Guardian, but I'm supposedly the
source of (or involved in) political corruption among the Guardians.
The Old Order has gone bad and is trying to suppress the Young Turks
(you know, if I tried to write that plot, my editors would reject it
as being too trite). I helped organize some whoop-de-ding spell-
casting session to "burn out" all of those who wouldn't follow and
obey us. And it's time to destroy the Old Order to make way for the
New, Pure of Heart, Full of---well, it rhymes with "hit." Follow and
obey ME? I can't even get plumbers to finish fixing my pipes on time!
Where the hell did this paranoid delusion come from? If there are any
of you out there who have bought into THIS particular schizoid
fantasy, I have some real harsh words for you. PERSONAL
RESPONSIBILITY.

You are responsible for your OWN thoughts, actions, and attitudes,
dudes and dudettes. Somebody else may preach these things, but YOU
are the one responsible for hanging your logic out to dry, putting
your brain on "record" and forgetting that you're supposed to think as
well as believe. And if your "coven leader" is feeding you this line
of garbage---when you READ that this is the last thing we would
believe in, you SEE and HEAR that our books are preaching compassion
and not trashin', and you can find out with no trouble whatsoever the
amount of charity work we do---WHO DOES LOGIC SAY IS THE REAL BAD GUY?

Whose ACTIONS are consistent with someone who does the right thing as
well as talking about it? Who goes out and tries to help, instead of
blaming some poor fantasy writers for "oppressing him?" And kids, when
he tells you that you are all going to have to destroy the old order
to make way for the new---think REAL HARD for a minute. Those same
words have been spoken by other people who got their followers to go
out and do horrible things FOR them. People like Thomas Mitzger,
Charles Manson and Jim Jones---people who worked up hysteria and
paranoia among THEIR followers then sat back with folded hands while
real blood flowed, and said, "but I am innocent, I haven't done
anything!"

Okay, so maybe all these guys want to do is have you all hold hands
in a circle and try and give me a headache. Hey, knock yourselves
out, have a good time, and don't drive home intoxicated afterwards.
But maybe they want to manipulate you into doing something very bad
in the real world. I've got news for you, kids. IF THEY DO, YOU ARE
STILL RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN ACTIONS. YOU will go down; maybe
embarrassment, maybe to jail---maybe to Death Row. Why? Because YOU
handed over your brain and conscience to a would-be tin-pot dictator
who gets his jollies out of manipulating people he thinks are weak-
willed and suggestible suckers.

And right now some of you are saying "oh that couldn't possibly happen
among fans!" (or pagans, or whatevers). Guess again. It not only
can, it already has. Within my own very limited circle of
acquaintances, I PERSONALLY have VERIFIED with mundane sources---one
man ennobled in the SCA who took on a contract-killing and is
currently in prison for it, one man in fan circles who was convicted
of child molestation and went to jail for it and died there, one man
in RenFaire, sf-convention and pagan circles who was caught and
convicted of multiple torture-murders, one man in fan and SCA circles
who was caught and convicted of setting pipe-bombs in public
buildings. That's just among people I knew.

I'm not the only author who's had their fiction distorted like this,
and it makes all of us want to track the creeps responsible down and
pound them into the ground like tent pegs. But WE are adult,
compassionate, responsible (there's that word again) human beings, and
we know that would be wrong. So we sit in our offices and get death-
threats and wonder which one of these loons is going to be THE one---
and if this time someone is going to get hurt. It might be the psycho
himself, or it might be one of his followers who decides to show up.
Maybe Aleister Junior will egg one of his followers into buying a
Saturday Night Special and go blaze away at a book signing. Most of
us writers are only partly worried about ourselves---because maybe
what happens is an innocent fourteen-year-old flings herself into the
line of fire, or is just standing there getting a book signed, and
becomes a statistic. How the hell do you think we'd feel about THAT?

I can tell you that there are at least some writers---or the people
left behind (if it was the writer who got toasted)---who wouldn't sit
in their offices and wring their hands afterwards. They'd track down
the creep responsible, and for half an hour forget they were adult,
compassionate, responsible human beings and turn him into a thin layer
of red gel on the concrete. It would be wrong, but that's what they'd
do.

Want to make a judgement call on good and evil? Anyone who would be
the instigator of something like that is hardly on the side of the
angels. Anyone who causes that sort of disaster is propagating the
real evil in the world, not some poor hacks writing thrillers to pay
the mortgage.

So before your local wizard who claims to be a Guardian or one of the
Nine Unknown, or the leader of a Hunting Lodge gets you into anything
deeper than some joyful, joyfilled celebrations of life, compassion,
and all that is right and good in the world---maybe you'd better draw
his attention to that paragraph about the thin layer of red gel.
Because sometimes, boys and girls, what you think is a striped worm
turns out to be the tail of a tiger and no magic is required.

-----------------------------------
End of message from Mercedes Lackey

Al Billings

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Feb 11, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/11/97
to

Well, at least Lackey won't be libeling anyone's faith in any upcoming
books as she has done in her previous ones.

--
====================================================================
Magic Code: MHE/MPA S++ W++ N++ PNO++ Dr+ A a+ C G QH++>+++ 666+ y
Al Billings http://www.hermetic.com/
demi...@hermetic.com http://www.memoria.com/
mi...@memoria.com Iconoclast, Net.God, Geek
====================================================================

Ray Cochener

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Feb 11, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/11/97
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Dragonmama wrote:
>
> x-no-archive: yes
>
> Dear Ms. Lackey,
>
> I am so sorry you found it necessary to write and publish your letter.
> The whole thing is so silly. Do these people not recognize the word,
> "Fiction" ?
>
> I loved the Tregarde stories. You write very well, and tell a "ripping
> good yarn", and it is nice to see fiction that presents a Witch as a good
> person. I thought the vampire boyfriend a bit much, but what the hey,
> it's your universe between those covers. How could any thinking human
> possibly think you are telling about a real hidden organization of
> psycho-magical cops? I know young people are desperate for something
> to believe in, *but*.
>
> I've been reading your output since MZB started buying it for her
> anthologies, and have enjoyed every word, often repeatedly. You are
> very, very good at what you do. Please accept my heartfelt thanks for
> many hours of pleasurable reading, and much discussion with my SO. I hope
> you live forever and never stop writing, frankly.
>
> Try to ignore the strange folk who try to make your books into a twisted
> reality. Just keep writing. I, for one, need a Lackey *fiction* fix!

Please, more of the Serra series... I've read them all, and need
more!

Jim Kajpust

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Feb 12, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/12/97
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mrob...@cyberramp.net (Matt Roberds) wrote:

> :Hello, readers of alt.pagan!

> :My name is Matt Roberds. I have known Mercedes Lackey for about a
> :year, and her husband Larry for about two years. Since Mercedes
> :does not have direct Internet access, she has asked me to post
> :the following message here.

yeah -- right.........


Starr RavenHeart

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Feb 12, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/12/97
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On Wed, 12 Feb 1997 01:06:32 GMT, kaj...@tardis.svsu.edu (Jim
Kajpust) wrote:

>mrob...@cyberramp.net (Matt Roberds) wrote:
>> :Hello, readers of alt.pagan!


>> :My name is Matt Roberds. I have known Mercedes Lackey for about a
>> :year, and her husband Larry for about two years. Since Mercedes
>> :does not have direct Internet access, she has asked me to post
>> :the following message here.

>yeah -- right.........
>

Thank you! I'm glad SOMEONE said it!


Renee Rosen

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Feb 13, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/13/97
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Starr RavenHeart (st...@why.net) wrote:
: On Wed, 12 Feb 1997 01:06:32 GMT, kaj...@tardis.svsu.edu (Jim
: Kajpust) wrote:

: >mrob...@cyberramp.net (Matt Roberds) wrote:
: >> :Hello, readers of alt.pagan!


: >> :My name is Matt Roberds. I have known Mercedes Lackey for about a
: >> :year, and her husband Larry for about two years. Since Mercedes
: >> :does not have direct Internet access, she has asked me to post
: >> :the following message here.

: >yeah -- right.........
: >

: Thank you! I'm glad SOMEONE said it!

Personally, I don't care if it's the real Lackey or not--whoever wrote
that had some *sensible* things to say about responsibility and not
getting too absorbed in fantasy, something that I've noticed a few in the
community don't want to hear but really ought to. (The same could be said
of *any* community that involves a lot of imagination, BTW.)
--'--,-{@ --,--'-{@ --'--,-{@
Renee Rosen "Das Leben beginnt
lil...@cjnetworks.com und das Leben endet.
Goddess in Training Die Energie geht weiter,
Astrud and Astrudel on irc wohin man sich auch wendet."
http://www.cjnetworks.com/~lilitu --Nina Hagen
@}-,--'-- @}-'--,-- @}-,--'--

Matt Roberds

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Feb 14, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/14/97
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In article <5doos4$v$1...@newshost.cyberramp.net>, mrob...@cyberramp.net
blathered on about...
>Hello, readers of alt.pagan!

Hello, again, everyone!

This is to provide a response to some of the messages that have
followed from my first posting. This is just me, Matt Roberds,
writing...no direct words from Mercedes in this post.

No, this was not a troll. Yes, Mercedes really did ask me to post
that message, to alt.books.m-lackey and to alt.pagan. Of course, at
this point, you just have my word for it, and I understand the
skepticism. Mercedes tells me that in the next few days, another
friend of hers will put the same message up on her friend's WWW site.
When that happens I will post the URL here, as a somewhat
"independent confirmation" of what I posted.

The tone of the message was always meant to be a "rant". Mercedes
referred to it as a rant when she talked to me about it. This may
not convince anyone, but here is how she originally gave it to me
on disk:

Volume in drive A has no label
Directory of A:\

PRANT ASC 53,120 02-08-97 5:06p
RANT ASC 54,528 02-08-97 5:10p
2 file(s) 107,648 bytes
1,349,632 bytes free

(The files are larger than what got posted because .asc turned out
to be a word processor format with control codes, etc.)

The message was, as some have noted, directed at a specific group
of people. _Not_ all the readers of ML's books, and _not_ even
all the readers of this newsgroup, but those people who taken some
of Mercedes' books to such extremes that they send her death threats.

Captain Fluffy (in alt.books.m-lackey) noted that Tal Greywolf usually
acts as Mercedes' "semi-official" presence on the newsgroup. I asked
Mercedes about this, and she concurs. However, she told me that (as
Fluffy surmised) she thought that giving it to me to post would get
it out in circulation quicker. A post from Tal may be forthcoming;
I do not know.

I hope this makes some things clearer. If you have questions for me,
please post or email. If you have questions for Mercedes, please
use the postal mail address given in the original post. (If you no
longer have this, email me and I'll send the address to you.)

Thank you.

Matt Roberds
mrob...@cyberramp.net

Ray Cochener

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Feb 14, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/14/97
to

Renee Rosen wrote:
>
> Starr RavenHeart (st...@why.net) wrote:
> : On Wed, 12 Feb 1997 01:06:32 GMT, kaj...@tardis.svsu.edu (Jim
> : Kajpust) wrote:
>
> : >mrob...@cyberramp.net (Matt Roberds) wrote:
> : >> :Hello, readers of alt.pagan!

> : >> :My name is Matt Roberds. I have known Mercedes Lackey for about a
> : >> :year, and her husband Larry for about two years. Since Mercedes
> : >> :does not have direct Internet access, she has asked me to post
> : >> :the following message here.
> : >yeah -- right.........
> : >
>
> : Thank you! I'm glad SOMEONE said it!
>
> Personally, I don't care if it's the real Lackey or not--whoever wrote
> that had some *sensible* things to say about responsibility and not
> getting too absorbed in fantasy, something that I've noticed a few in the
> community don't want to hear but really ought to. (The same could be said
> of *any* community that involves a lot of imagination, BTW.)

Actually, it could be a greater danger to our community,
especially amongst those who are adept at magick. The more more flexible
reality feels, the easier to get lost in delusion...

care...@aol.com

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Feb 16, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/16/97
to

I for one am sorry that there will be no more Di Tregarde books. I have enjoyed them immensely as have my "family" . I say "family" because for a while I took in foster children and Ms. Lackey's work often helped me find a fictional way of letting the kids know that what had happened wasn't their fault. It also provided interesting conversation. My herd enjoyed meeting her at Waldenbooks in Towson a few years back. I am very sorry that some people without a life have chosen to mess up hers.

Duff

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Feb 16, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/16/97
to

DR>x-no-archive: yes

DR>Dear Ms. Lackey,

DR>I am so sorry you found it necessary to write and publish your letter.
DR>The whole thing is so silly. Do these people not recognize the word,
DR>"Fiction" ?

DR>I loved the Tregarde stories. You write very well, and tell a "ripping
DR>good yarn", and it is nice to see fiction that presents a Witch as a good
DR>person. I thought the vampire boyfriend a bit much, but what the hey,
DR>it's your universe between those covers. How could any thinking human
DR>possibly think you are telling about a real hidden organization of
DR>psycho-magical cops? I know young people are desperate for something
DR>to believe in, *but*.

Diana Tregarde, Guardian and DARN good character. Ya gotta love her!


DR>Try to ignore the strange folk who try to make your books into a twisted
DR>reality. Just keep writing. I, for one, need a Lackey *fiction* fix!

And hear, hear for all the Valdemar and related books ass well.

Mercedes Lackey is one of the brest writers todays. Her works are
consistant, non-contradictory, well developed, and just darn good
reading.

ciao4now
-duff
mdu...@ggbbs.com

Nicole Shields

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Feb 16, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/16/97
to

> Mercedes Lackey is a hack writer who is barely able to spin her thoughs.
> Appropriate for little girls in love with magical horses but that's about
> it. Try a real author with some skill like John Barnes, Orson Scott Card
> (on occasion), or Alexander Jablokov.

Interestingly enough, you only suggested male writers.
And of course little girls are a market to be scoffed at. Real literature
isnt for little girls.

Kerry Delf

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Feb 16, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/16/97
to Nicole Shields

[posted with cc to Nicole Shields]

Yes, he only mentioned male writers. Much as I hate to say it, there's a
reason for this: there just aren't that many good female SF writers. In
fantasy writing there's a few more of them, but SF has a great dearth of
GOOD women writers. Where are the Heinleins? the Dicks (no pun intended)?
the Harlan Ellisons? the William Gibsons? the Samuel Delany's (who /is/ a
bit unusual in that he's a black gay male SF writer)? the Asimovs? and
yes, the Orson-Scott-Card-when-he's-not-going-off-on-his-Mormon-trip's?

Margaret Atwood's futuristic vision in _The Handmaid's Tale_ was
chillingly realistic, frighteningly possible, well-written. Joanna Russ
is eminently readable, providing an SF version of the Radical (separatist)
Feminist vision. Jean Stewart's _Isis_ series is a fun read -- lesbian
sci-fi! whee! Ursula K. LeGuin is not only fun, she's prolific. James
Tiptree, Jr. (yes, she was a woman) presented an interesting take on life
and gender, and wrote some excellent short stories. Octavia Butler,
Marion Zimmer Bradley, Andre Norton, Leigh Brackett... but how many others
are there, really?

Good writers, good SF writers, are rare, regardless of gender. And women
are a distinctive minority among SF writers -- so any gender-neutral
listing of good SF writers is bound to be heavily male-dominated.

Were that it were not so...but thus it is. The answer is not to insinuate
that those who list male writers as being good are sexists; the answer is
not to buy a female writer's crap over a male writer's masterpiece, in
order to support women writers. The answer, perhaps, is just to encourage
your female friends who write to try SF writing, if they enjoy reading it.
The answer, perhaps, is to buy new the books by women writers you've heard
are good, then recommend them to your friends -- and maybe even write an
encouraging letter of thanks to the author. The answer, perhaps, is to
write to the editor of that SF story-zine that just published a great
story by Jane Doe, letting the editor know that you enjoyed the story, and
you appreciate hir willingness to publish female writers. There are a lot
of partial solutions, I think -- but those solutions must consist of
/constructive/ decisions and actions, not destructive ones.


-K.Delf


-----------=Kerry Delf=-------------=<k...@jersey.uoregon.edu>=-----------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
"I fear sometimes that I have the ambition of a genius, the eye and ear
of a genius, and the talent of a chimneysweep. I go down into the filthy
world, I come up black, I scatter the ashes and cinders of my research
onto white papers, but what have I got? Paper with black marks all over
it." --Orson Scott Card's fictional Honore de Balzac
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
EMAILING RESPONSES TO MY USENET POSTS CONSTITUTES PERMISSION TO POST THEM
-------------------------------------------------------------------------


Kerry Delf

unread,
Feb 16, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/16/97
to Bode of Bode Hall

[posted with cc to Skyler]


On 17 Feb 1997, Bode of Bode Hall wrote:

> [...] Or if your taste runs to magical (and magickal) interaction with a
> modern or science-fiction setting (as much of Lackey's work does), try
> Emma Bull, or even Gael Baudino. Even Will Shetterly's juvenile
> fiction entertained me more. (that's fiction for young people, not
> fiction written childishly. :) [...]

Hell, try Terry Pratchett -- tops 'em all, AND he's funny... :)

And if you're into Paganism-intersecting-with-Science-Fiction, David
Brin's Earthclan serieseseses (damn, it's late...what IS the plural for
series? is it just "series"?) are VERY Setian, in an obscure sort of way.

Al Billings

unread,
Feb 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/17/97
to

Mercedes Lackey is a hack writer who is barely able to spin her thoughs.
Appropriate for little girls in love with magical horses but that's about
it. Try a real author with some skill like John Barnes, Orson Scott Card
(on occasion), or Alexander Jablokov.

When was the last time Lackey was nominated for (let alone received) any
award for her writing?

Bode of Bode Hall

unread,
Feb 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/17/97
to

With eyes, mi...@speakeasy.org (Al Billings) gibbered:

> Mercedes Lackey is a hack writer who is barely able to spin her thoughs.
>Appropriate for little girls in love with magical horses but that's about

As much as I sympathize with _any_ writer who develops a cult
following whose worship extends into the criminal, I can't help
wondering about the worldview of people who take soap-opera horror
fiction as Gospel Truth. *nods to Lovecraft junkies*

It's been _years_ since I've seen anyone call him- or herself a
Speaker for the Dead... :)

>it. Try a real author with some skill like John Barnes, Orson Scott Card
>(on occasion), or Alexander Jablokov.

Or if your taste runs to magical (and magickal) interaction with a


modern or science-fiction setting (as much of Lackey's work does), try
Emma Bull, or even Gael Baudino. Even Will Shetterly's juvenile
fiction entertained me more. (that's fiction for young people, not
fiction written childishly. :)

Mercedes Lackey sits in my head in company of Piers Anthony, Anne
McCaffrey (well, after 1980 anyway, I like her older stuff) and
Katherine Kurtz (whom I like more by a long shot.) Three writers
also noted for recent collaboration with Ms. Lackey, I might add.

My favorite novel of late: _Focault's Pendulum_ by Umberto Eco.
I shan't give away the story, but Ms. Lackey's letter reminded me of it.

> When was the last time Lackey was nominated for (let alone received) any
>award for her writing?

Hmph! Awards not make one great. Jack Chalker's won a Hugo or three,
I think... and George Alec Effinger not a one. (but it's an honor
just to be nominated, y'know...)

I'll stop before I'm ushered off to rec.arts.books.cheesy-scifi...

-skyler


--
Bode of Bode Hall sky...@panix.com
"...so what, so I scare myself; it's all right because I tell myself it's
all in my mind; so I let the poison go, because I always know
it'll be there for me..." -Black Crowes

Al Billings

unread,
Feb 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/17/97
to

Kerry Delf (k...@jersey.uoregon.edu) wrote:
:
: [posted with cc to Nicole Shields]

:
:
: On Sun, 16 Feb 1997, Nicole Shields wrote:
:
: > > Mercedes Lackey is a hack writer who is barely able to spin her thoughs.

: > > Appropriate for little girls in love with magical horses but that's about
: > > it. Try a real author with some skill like John Barnes, Orson Scott Card

: > > (on occasion), or Alexander Jablokov.
: >
: > Interestingly enough, you only suggested male writers.

: > And of course little girls are a market to be scoffed at. Real literature
: > isnt for little girls.
:
: Yes, he only mentioned male writers. Much as I hate to say it, there's a
: reason for this: there just aren't that many good female SF writers.

Well, I didn't answer the original post complaining because I felt it was
a needless quibble. I didn't realize that when naming writers who are
excellent off of the top of one's head, one had to aim for gender balance.
Do I need a required ethnic balance as well?

A good science fiction writer? How about Linda Nagata? One of my favorite
writers. Author of the Bohr Maker, Tech Heaven, and Deception Well. If you
prefer fantasy, there is always Diana Paxson, who also happens to be a
great pagan who has devoted her life to helping others.

None of them are hacks who solely do it for the cash and who use tried
and true predictable plots or who cannot even keep details of their own
characters straight between novels.

Mikel

unread,
Feb 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/17/97
to Kerry Delf

Kerry Delf wrote:
>
> [posted with cc to Skyler]
>
> On 17 Feb 1997, Bode of Bode Hall wrote:
>
> > [...] Or if your taste runs to magical (and magickal) interaction with a

> > modern or science-fiction setting (as much of Lackey's work does), try
> > Emma Bull, or even Gael Baudino. Even Will Shetterly's juvenile
> > fiction entertained me more. (that's fiction for young people, not
> > fiction written childishly. :) [...]
>
> Hell, try Terry Pratchett -- tops 'em all, AND he's funny... :)
>
> And if you're into Paganism-intersecting-with-Science-Fiction, David
> Brin's Earthclan serieseseses (damn, it's late...what IS the plural for
> series? is it just "series"?) are VERY Setian, in an obscure

yeah it's just series...;D
--

Merry part,
Mikel
============================================
Sooner or later you'll find out exactly what
you are; not what you want to be...
============================================

Mikel

unread,
Feb 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/17/97
to Kerry Delf

[Snip]

Anne McCaffery is rather good. The Dath of Sleep is by far one ofthe
best books I've read.

> Good writers, good SF writers, are rare, regardless of gender. And women
> are a distinctive minority among SF writers -- so any gender-neutral
> listing of good SF writers is bound to be heavily male-dominated.
>
> Were that it were not so...but thus it is. The answer is not to insinuate
> that those who list male writers as being good are sexists; the answer is
> not to buy a female writer's crap over a male writer's masterpiece, in
> order to support women writers. The answer, perhaps, is just to encourage
> your female friends who write to try SF writing, if they enjoy reading it.
> The answer, perhaps, is to buy new the books by women writers you've heard
> are good, then recommend them to your friends -- and maybe even write an
> encouraging letter of thanks to the author. The answer, perhaps, is to
> write to the editor of that SF story-zine that just published a great
> story by Jane Doe, letting the editor know that you enjoyed the story, and
> you appreciate hir willingness to publish female writers. There are a lot
> of partial solutions, I think -- but those solutions must consist of
> /constructive/ decisions and actions, not destructive ones.
>

> -K.Delf
>
> -----------=Kerry Delf=-------------=<k...@jersey.uoregon.edu>=-----------
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> "I fear sometimes that I have the ambition of a genius, the eye and ear
> of a genius, and the talent of a chimneysweep. I go down into the filthy
> world, I come up black, I scatter the ashes and cinders of my research
> onto white papers, but what have I got? Paper with black marks all over
> it." --Orson Scott Card's fictional Honore de Balzac
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> EMAILING RESPONSES TO MY USENET POSTS CONSTITUTES PERMISSION TO POST THEM
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------

--

Nicole Shields

unread,
Feb 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/17/97
to

>
> > > Mercedes Lackey is a hack writer who is barely able to spin her thoughs.
> > > Appropriate for little girls in love with magical horses but that's about
> > > it. Try a real author with some skill like John Barnes, Orson Scott Card
> > > (on occasion), or Alexander Jablokov.
> >
> > Interestingly enough, you only suggested male writers.
> > And of course little girls are a market to be scoffed at. Real literature
> > isnt for little girls.
>
> not to buy a female writer's crap over a male writer's masterpiece, in
> order to support women writers.

But why is whats written for young girls considered to be crap? Are youn
girls somehow mentally deficient and anything they like MUST be crap and
fluff?
You know, Tolkien's books were supposed to be great and everything, but
quite frankly, i found them to be incredibly boring I didnt have the
patience to read through them. Except the Hobbit. That one was good. This is
from someone who read Les Miserables when she was 10.
My point isnt that women should be read, my point is why are books aimed
at female readers, especially young ones, dismissed as fluff? Why is
calling something girlish the ultimate insult?

Daniel B. Holzman

unread,
Feb 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/17/97
to

In article <Pine.SUN.3.91.970216...@sophia.smith.edu>,

Nicole Shields <nshi...@sophia.smith.edu> wrote:
>
>> Mercedes Lackey is a hack writer who is barely able to spin her thoughs.
>> Appropriate for little girls in love with magical horses but that's about
>> it. Try a real author with some skill like John Barnes, Orson Scott Card
>> (on occasion), or Alexander Jablokov.
>
>Interestingly enough, you only suggested male writers.
>And of course little girls are a market to be scoffed at. Real literature
>isnt for little girls.

CJ Cherryh, Patricia Wrede, Emma Bull. Happy?


--
Daniel B. Holzman -- Love does not subtract, it multiplies. -- All acts of love
and pleasure are Her rituals. -- An it Harm none, do what you Will. -- They
took my name and stole my heritage, but they didn't get my goat. -- The
word is all of us. -- Remember the Twelth Commandment and keep it Wholly.

Daniel B. Holzman

unread,
Feb 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/17/97
to

In article <Pine.SOL.3.95.970216...@jersey.uoregon.edu>,

Kerry Delf <k...@jersey.uoregon.edu> wrote:
>
>Yes, he only mentioned male writers. Much as I hate to say it, there's a
>reason for this: there just aren't that many good female SF writers. In
>fantasy writing there's a few more of them, but SF has a great dearth of
>GOOD women writers. Where are the Heinleins? the Dicks (no pun intended)?
>the Harlan Ellisons? the William Gibsons? the Samuel Delany's (who /is/ a
>bit unusual in that he's a black gay male SF writer)? the Asimovs? and
>yes, the Orson-Scott-Card-when-he's-not-going-off-on-his-Mormon-trip's?

Geez... where are the /male/ Heinleins? He was kind of unique. But the
women you ask about are out there.

>Margaret Atwood's futuristic vision in _The Handmaid's Tale_ was
>chillingly realistic, frighteningly possible, well-written. Joanna Russ
>is eminently readable, providing an SF version of the Radical (separatist)
>Feminist vision. Jean Stewart's _Isis_ series is a fun read -- lesbian
>sci-fi! whee! Ursula K. LeGuin is not only fun, she's prolific. James
>Tiptree, Jr. (yes, she was a woman) presented an interesting take on life
>and gender, and wrote some excellent short stories. Octavia Butler,
>Marion Zimmer Bradley, Andre Norton, Leigh Brackett... but how many others
>are there, really?

You list a number of unparallelled male authors, then list a number of
unparallelled female authors, and ask where they are?

You missed, by the way, CJ Cherryh, Patricia Wrede, Emma Bull, Diana
Paxson...

>Good writers, good SF writers, are rare, regardless of gender. And women
>are a distinctive minority among SF writers -- so any gender-neutral
>listing of good SF writers is bound to be heavily male-dominated.

Heavily male dominated, perhaps. But not exclusively male-populated.

Kerry Delf

unread,
Feb 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/17/97
to Nicole Shields

[posted with cc to Nicole]


On Mon, 17 Feb 1997, Nicole Shields wrote:

((Al Billings, I think, wrote...))


> > > > Mercedes Lackey is a hack writer who is barely able to spin her
> > > > thoughs. Appropriate for little girls in love with magical horses
> > > > but that's about it. Try a real author with some skill like John
> > > > Barnes, Orson Scott Card (on occasion), or Alexander Jablokov.
>

> But why is whats written for young girls considered to be crap? Are youn
> girls somehow mentally deficient and anything they like MUST be crap and

> fluff? [...] My point isnt that women should be read, my point is why


> are books aimed at female readers, especially young ones, dismissed as
> fluff? Why is calling something girlish the ultimate insult?

I can't speak for Billings, but my take on it is that books written for
young girls aren't necessarily crap, they just aren't aimed at adult
readers. And to be perfectly honest, yes: most books aimed at young
girls /are/ fluff, and many of them are crap. Then again, that could be
said (though perhaps not as strongly) about books aimed at any audience...

Nicole, the "insult" is not aimed at the readers (young girls), it's aimed
at the writers and the books. If you'd ever seen one of the Barbie books
my niece loves to read, you'd understand why. :)

Many books written for young girls are /great/ books -- for young readers.
Believe me, I've tried to go back and read some of the stuff I loved when
I was seven, and most of it is crap -- when looked at from an adult
perspective. That doesn't mean it's crap from a child's perspective. And
/some/ of it is still fun to read as an adult ('though that might be due
to the fact that most of the stuff I read as a young girl wasn't /aimed/
at young girls).

I'm having a hard time getting my point across in words, here, but I hope
you'll be able to sift through the junk and understand what I'm driving
at. <smile>

Kerry Delf

unread,
Feb 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/17/97
to Daniel B. Holzman

[posted with cc to Holzman, with snip of most of post]


On 17 Feb 1997, Daniel B. Holzman wrote:

> Kerry Delf <k...@jersey.uoregon.edu> wrote:
>
> >Good writers, good SF writers, are rare, regardless of gender. And women
> >are a distinctive minority among SF writers -- so any gender-neutral
> >listing of good SF writers is bound to be heavily male-dominated.
>
> Heavily male dominated, perhaps. But not exclusively male-populated.

Correct. But heavily male-dominated, nevertheless. Therefore, in a
listing of only THREE writers, it is not necessarily indicative of sexism
on the part of the poster when three male writers (and no female writers)
are listed. Had the listing been of, say, the top 100 SF writers of all
time, it might be another story... :)


> Daniel B. Holzman

Nicole Shields

unread,
Feb 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/17/97
to

>
> Nicole, the "insult" is not aimed at the readers (young girls), it's aimed
> at the writers and the books. If you'd ever seen one of the Barbie books
> my niece loves to read, you'd understand why. :)

The books were insulted, and the insult was that they were for girls who
like horses. Its like "you throw like a girl" or whatever. The books were
insulted by being called girlish.

Nicole Shields

unread,
Feb 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/17/97
to

>
> CJ Cherryh, Patricia Wrede, Emma Bull. Happy?

thrilled!
*blows a kiss*

Bounty Hunter

unread,
Feb 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/18/97
to

On Mon, 17 Feb 1997 09:34:47 -0500, Mikel <vi...@ibm.net> wrote:

>[Snip]
>
>Anne McCaffery is rather good. The Dath of Sleep is by far one ofthe
>best books I've read.
>

>> Good writers, good SF writers, are rare, regardless of gender. And women
>> are a distinctive minority among SF writers -- so any gender-neutral
>> listing of good SF writers is bound to be heavily male-dominated.

Are we talking just SF or fantasy too??? Holly Lisle is a fantastic
fantasy writer who has a wonderful way of showing craft/old religions
in her stories.
Required reading if anyone asks me (Which I know they didn't....)

Hunter

R Brzustowicz

unread,
Feb 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/18/97
to

In article <5e93f8$5...@eve.speakeasy.org>,

Al Billings <mi...@speakeasy.org> wrote:
>
> A good science fiction writer? How about Linda Nagata? One of my favorite
>writers. Author of the Bohr Maker, Tech Heaven, and Deception Well. If you
>prefer fantasy, there is always Diana Paxson, who also happens to be a
>great pagan who has devoted her life to helping others.

And there are always earlier writers -- like the late Margaret St Clair
(who also wrote as Idris Seabright).

R Brzustowicz (b...@u.washington.edu)

Ravan Asteris

unread,
Feb 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/19/97
to

Ummm, Delf,

Heinlein's "Starship Troopers" was written as a juvenile book, I believe.
So were a large number of his other better works. And I find Orson Scott
Card to be a dry, boring read. The same with the others - I'd rather read
a programming manual (can you say dry???) than them. At least I might
learn something out of the programming book.

Fiction is mind candy, some types of fiction have more air or sawdust in
it than others. This is true regardless of the genre involved. I, for
one, don't read fiction primarily for deep, spiritual significance - I
read it because it tells me an enjoyable tale. If it has spiritual
implications as well, fine. But the story comes first.

Ravan
--
"Don't let the bytes bug you"

Communications "decency" protest: This legislation is a fucking
abortion of justice, passed by cocksuckers interested only in pandering
to the twisted, perverse desires of the religious right for control over
discussions of tits, cocks, cunts and other "non-approved" subjects.
*Round 1 Won! Preliminary injunction issued. Next Stop: Supreme Court*

Siobhan Burke

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Feb 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/19/97
to


Daniel B. Holzman <hol...@tezcat.com> wrote in article
<5ea9lp$f...@xochi.tezcat.com>...
> You missed, by the way, CJ Cherryh, Patricia Wrede, Emma Bull, Diana
> Paxson...

And Melissa Scott, Joan D. Vinge, Vonda McIntyre, Janet Kagan, Tanith Lee
. . :)

Siobhan


--
Rule # 2: Never fight fair when you're fighting for your life.

siobha...@worldnet.att.net
Siobhan M. Burke

Lady Flayme

unread,
Feb 21, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/21/97
to

<posted with cc to Nicole and btw -- Hi!! How's the eastern half of the
state going?>


In article <Pine.SUN.3.91.970217...@sophia.smith.edu>,
Nicole Shields <nshi...@sophia.smith.edu> wrote:

Worse yet, I don't know about anyone else, butthe implication that young
girls are inherently silly and "fluff" is enough of an insult for me.
Maybe it's that feminist crap they're teaching me in school, I dunno.

--Poppy

Nicole Shields

unread,
Feb 21, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/21/97
to

> <posted with cc to Nicole and btw -- Hi!! How's the eastern half of the
> state going?>
actually, Im in the western half of the state, but Im great!

> > The books were insulted, and the insult was that they were for girls who
> > like horses. Its like "you throw like a girl" or whatever. The books were
> > insulted by being called girlish.
>
> Worse yet, I don't know about anyone else, butthe implication that young
> girls are inherently silly and "fluff" is enough of an insult for me.
> Maybe it's that feminist crap they're teaching me in school, I dunno.

Must be. ;>

Kerry Delf

unread,
Feb 22, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/22/97
to Nicole Shields, Poppy Casper

[posted with cc's to Nicole and Poppy]


On Fri, 21 Feb 1997, Nicole Shields wrote:

> > <posted with cc to Nicole and btw -- Hi!! How's the eastern half of the
> > state going?>
> actually, Im in the western half of the state, but Im great!

And hey, Poppy -- how's the eastern half of the /country/ going? You
never paged me when you were back here over winter break, BTW... <shaking
finger and saying "tsk, tsk">


> > > The books were insulted, and the insult was that they were for girls who
> > > like horses. Its like "you throw like a girl" or whatever. The books were
> > > insulted by being called girlish.
> >
> > Worse yet, I don't know about anyone else, butthe implication that young
> > girls are inherently silly and "fluff" is enough of an insult for me.
> > Maybe it's that feminist crap they're teaching me in school, I dunno.
>
> Must be. ;>

Yep, I guess we must now automatonishly /think/ about such things, due to
the indoctrination of our respective Feminist Studies programs... <sigh>
What is the world coming to? ;)

Okay, I'll be serious now -- while I agree that the implication that
"young girls are inherently silly and 'fluff'" is insulting and incorrect,
I must still point out my objection to the idea that the original
"offending" poster (Al Billings) was being sexist. My take is that much
of the writing aimed at young girls /is/ fluffy and stupid -- and that
which is not is frequently inappropriate for intelligent, educated,
experienced adults. Books for kids are just that -- books for kids.
Mercedes Lackey's books are not primarily aimed at kids, and Billings's
opinion was that her books read like they're appropriate for young girls,
not adults. This doesn't mean he thinks young girls are worthless, it
means he thinks Lackey's writing is crap from an adult perspective.

Correct me if I'm wrong, please, Mr. Billings.

Bode of Bode Hall

unread,
Feb 22, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/22/97
to

With eyes, po...@bu.edu (Lady Flayme) gibbered:

>> > Nicole, the "insult" is not aimed at the readers (young girls), it's aimed
>> > at the writers and the books. If you'd ever seen one of the Barbie books
>> > my niece loves to read, you'd understand why. :)
>>

>> The books were insulted, and the insult was that they were for girls who
>> like horses. Its like "you throw like a girl" or whatever. The books were
>> insulted by being called girlish.

*shrug* it sounded to me like a shorthand for "these books are only
fit for those children who are looking to graduate from My Little Pony
(tm) to a Real Unicorn." The fact that girls make up the vast
majority of these, however much we can blame cultural conditioning and
patriarchy for _that_, could lead one to generalize, just a bit.

>Worse yet, I don't know about anyone else, butthe implication that young
>girls are inherently silly and "fluff" is enough of an insult for me.
>Maybe it's that feminist crap they're teaching me in school, I dunno.

I don't recall reading anything about all girls being silly. Just
that Mercedes Lackey's books are fit only for silly girls. Unsilly
girls, I presume, aren't her market.

I assume silly _boys_ like them too, albeit in smaller numbers.
(Silly boys tend to read whatever Boris is painting covers for these
days. *giggle*)

Al Billings

unread,
Feb 22, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/22/97
to

Kerry Delf (k...@jersey.uoregon.edu) wrote:

: Okay, I'll be serious now -- while I agree that the implication that
: "young girls are inherently silly and 'fluff'" is insulting and incorrect,


: I must still point out my objection to the idea that the original
: "offending" poster (Al Billings) was being sexist. My take is that much
: of the writing aimed at young girls /is/ fluffy and stupid -- and that
: which is not is frequently inappropriate for intelligent, educated,
: experienced adults. Books for kids are just that -- books for kids.

: Mercedes Lackey's books are not primarily aimed at kids, and Billings's


: opinion was that her books read like they're appropriate for young girls,
: not adults. This doesn't mean he thinks young girls are worthless, it
: means he thinks Lackey's writing is crap from an adult perspective.
:
: Correct me if I'm wrong, please, Mr. Billings.

You are correct. I wasn't making some sexist comment. I WAS commenting on
the worthless pap that Mercedes Lackey and her followers call wonderful
writing.

Lady Flayme

unread,
Feb 27, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/27/97
to

In article <5en11c$3...@panix3.panix.com>, sky...@panix.com (Bode of Bode
Hall) wrote:

>> > Nicole, the "insult" is not aimed at the readers (young girls), it's aimed
>> > at the writers and the books. If you'd ever seen one of the Barbie books
>> > my niece loves to read, you'd understand why. :)
>>
>> The books were insulted, and the insult was that they were for girls who
>> like horses. Its like "you throw like a girl" or whatever. The books were
>> insulted by being called girlish.
>
> *shrug* it sounded to me like a shorthand for "these books are only
> fit for those children who are looking to graduate from My Little Pony
> (tm) to a Real Unicorn." The fact that girls make up the vast
> majority of these, however much we can blame cultural conditioning and
> patriarchy for _that_, could lead one to generalize, just a bit.

*shrug* That may be the intent, but the fact still stands that to express
the point that the books are written for "children who are looking to
graduate..." our society _still_ uses words and phrases like "girlish,"
which omits and invalidates the many girls out there who never did the
unicorn thing or who never cared much aboutthe My Little Pony thing, and
also leaves out the boys and men who actually like unicorns.

> >Worse yet, I don't know about anyone else, butthe implication that young
> >girls are inherently silly and "fluff" is enough of an insult for me.
> >Maybe it's that feminist crap they're teaching me in school, I dunno.
>
> I don't recall reading anything about all girls being silly. Just
> that Mercedes Lackey's books are fit only for silly girls. Unsilly
> girls, I presume, aren't her market.

*lifts an eyebrow* Hrm... maybe I should stop reading her books then,
lest I be marked as a silly girl...

> I assume silly _boys_ like them too, albeit in smaller numbers.
> (Silly boys tend to read whatever Boris is painting covers for these
> days. *giggle*)

From what I can tell, yes, silly boys do like them, as do some unsilly boys.

--Poppy

Lady Flayme

unread,
Feb 27, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/27/97
to

In article <Pine.SUN.3.91.970221...@sophia.smith.edu>,
Nicole Shields <nshi...@sophia.smith.edu> wrote:

> > <posted with cc to Nicole and btw -- Hi!! How's the eastern half of the
> > state going?>
> actually, Im in the western half of the state, but Im great!
>

Whoops.... I knew I had a problem with left and right, but you'd think I
had east and west down by now, huh? :)

Lady Flayme

unread,
Feb 27, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/27/97
to

<cc'd to Kerry>

In article <Pine.SOL.3.95.970222...@jersey.uoregon.edu>,
Kerry Delf <k...@jersey.uoregon.edu> wrote:

> [posted with cc's to Nicole and Poppy]

> > > <posted with cc to Nicole and btw -- Hi!! How's the eastern half of the


> > > state going?>
> > actually, Im in the western half of the state, but Im great!
>

> And hey, Poppy -- how's the eastern half of the /country/ going? You
> never paged me when you were back here over winter break, BTW... <shaking
> finger and saying "tsk, tsk">
>

*blushes* Whoops, sorry chief... I had my best friend fly out to visit for
a week, and she got stuck for two due to the rain... spent so much time
trying to entertain her, I didn't get much done that I wanted to.
But next time you're in Boston, feel free to look me up. Or something. :)

<snip>


>
> Yep, I guess we must now automatonishly /think/ about such things, due to
> the indoctrination of our respective Feminist Studies programs... <sigh>
> What is the world coming to? ;)

Armageddon, eventually. Or so they tell us. I think they're just paranoid,
myself.

> Okay, I'll be serious now -- while I agree that the implication that


> "young girls are inherently silly and 'fluff'" is insulting and incorrect,
> I must still point out my objection to the idea that the original
> "offending" poster (Al Billings) was being sexist. My take is that much
> of the writing aimed at young girls /is/ fluffy and stupid -- and that
> which is not is frequently inappropriate for intelligent, educated,
> experienced adults. Books for kids are just that -- books for kids.

> Mercedes Lackey's books are not primarily aimed at kids, and Billings's
> opinion was that her books read like they're appropriate for young girls,
> not adults. This doesn't mean he thinks young girls are worthless, it
> means he thinks Lackey's writing is crap from an adult perspective.
>
> Correct me if I'm wrong, please, Mr. Billings.
>

Hrm... yes, please do.... now I'm curious, not only because of the
feminist stuff they're teaching me, but because I really, really like
Misty Lackey's writing.

--Poppy

k80th...@gmail.com

unread,
Feb 12, 2014, 4:20:59 PM2/12/14
to
On Monday, February 17, 1997 2:00:00 AM UTC-6, Nicole Shields wrote:
> >
> > > > Mercedes Lackey is a hack writer who is barely able to spin her thoughs.
> > > > Appropriate for little girls in love with magical horses but that's about
> > > > it. Try a real author with some skill like John Barnes, Orson Scott Card
> > > > (on occasion), or Alexander Jablokov.
> > >
> > > Interestingly enough, you only suggested male writers.
> > > And of course little girls are a market to be scoffed at. Real literature
> > > isnt for little girls.
> >
> > not to buy a female writer's crap over a male writer's masterpiece, in
> > order to support women writers.
>
> But why is whats written for young girls considered to be crap? Are youn
> girls somehow mentally deficient and anything they like MUST be crap and
> fluff?
> You know, Tolkien's books were supposed to be great and everything, but
> quite frankly, i found them to be incredibly boring I didnt have the
> patience to read through them. Except the Hobbit. That one was good. This is
> from someone who read Les Miserables when she was 10.
> My point isnt that women should be read, my point is why are books aimed
> at female readers, especially young ones, dismissed as fluff? Why is
> calling something girlish the ultimate insult?

Because girls generally are taught to be superficial, vain and idiotic. That is the "proper" place for a woman. Stuff written(by adults)for young girls is generally considered tripe because generally it IS tripe. Plot line for 90% of "Young Ladies'" fiction: Girl Young is raised by apathetic and cynical adults. Apathetic and cynical adults value "X" sibling of Girl Young as being of greater value than Girl Young. "X" sibling is essentially a worthless human being, Girl Young is innocent and pure as the driven snow.(complete with liberal use of cliches throughout) Girl Young dreams of Prince Charming, and of being a "good wife" for Prince Charming. Girl Young tries in vain to compete with "X" sibling for her parents' attentions, until Prince Charming notices her lowly self and through her association with him, elevates her status in the minds and hearts of her family and community who all finally notice that Girl Young is superior in some way to them all.

Few authors of young ladies' fiction write about how Girl Young cuts ties to home, strikes out on her own, meets a pretty boy(or girl)to love, and essentially conquers the world. But this is what all successful men are supposed to do.

"Fluff" is the crap you read on the toilet to ease your bowel movement, and young ladies' fiction tends to fit that bill perfectly.
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