Keith R.A. DeCandido (kradical) wrote,
Keith R.A. DeCandido

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terri_osborne tells it like it is

terri_osborne posted rant in her blog about the whole "real writer"/"real book" nonsense, but it was a locked post. With her permission, I reprint it here for all to see. The only thing I will add is a hearty "WHAT SHE SAID."

Quoth Terri:

The old "S.C.E. aren't 'real' books because they weren't published in paperback first" dumbassitude came up on another board. I had posted this rant in addition to my response, but I decided better of it and moved it over here. I need to get this off my chest in a place where people who may hold this very prejudice can see it.

Can we please finally acknowledge that S.C.E. is not considered a "real" series because it wasn't originally published in "real book" paperback form? That seems to be the consistent reasoning that comes up. As was asked, what might have happened had it been published in paperback form to begin with? Personally, I tend to lean toward the "what might have happened had S.C.E. been published a couple of years later when Kindle happened and when iPhones finally got eBook reader apps" scenario.

For me, this is right up there with the only "real" Trek writers being the people with their names on full-length novels. If S.C.E. doesn't count as a "real" series, then do the folks who got their start in S.C.E. but haven't done a full-length Trek novel yet count as "real" Trek writers?

Statements like this are ridiculously discriminatory, especially to those of us who've busted our asses writing tie-in and still get the "call us when you've written a real novel" crap from people.

Hell, I got that same attitude from my own co-workers when I told them I'd sold my first novel, then said it was a tie-in. They were all "cool!" until they found out it was a tie-in, then it was, "Oh," with that attitude. And these are professional geeks. I even got that crap from someone who proudly announces he owns a Darth Maul lightsaber and dressed up as Darth Vader for Halloween last year. Seriously.

I apologize for the rant, but this is just stupid.

On second thought, no, I don't apologize for the rant. This just tells me that my work is still being discriminated against even though it's published in "real book" format, which suggests there's more to this bias than the format of the story's publication. I've been on the receiving end of quite enough of that discrimination from some editors I've tried to work with, thanks.

Ugh. Still presses my buttons. Is a short story writer and less of a "real" writer than a novelist? Is Laurell K. Hamilton any less a "real" writer because of the Trek novel in her bibliography, even though she's a NYT bestseller?

This whole "tie-ins are somehow less than original novels" prejudice really has to end. I've done more worldbuilding for some of my Trek stories than I have for Realms. Hell, I built the entire world of Tahal-Isut for "Eighteen Minutes" because the episode's writers couldn't even be arsed to name the frigging planet. And all I had to work with developing Drema IV was what Melinda Snodgrass needed for her script of "Pen Pals". Those two stories took exponentially more worldbuilding than anything for Realms. Yet, somehow, people will consider Realms to be "real", and the Trek stuff not.

Is a novel set in contemporary America more "real" than a Trek novel? I mean, your universe is set up for you and you've got all of your settings in existence. I've heard the same argument used for why tie-in novels aren't "real," and it's just as stupid.

It's bigotry, pure and simple, and I'm tired of it. I'm no more or less a "real" writer than Laurell K. Hamilton. And if anyone wants to challenge me on that, you're more than welcome to take it up with me to my face. I'll warn you, though, if your definition of "writer" means writing in your own universe? You need a new definition of what a writer really is, because you're already working from a faulty premise. Go ahead, go to the dictionary and look up "writer." I'll wait......
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