I’ve been particularly fond of David Mack, a novelist most known for his works in the Star Trek extended universe, since his excellent Destiny trilogy from 2008. (Making the Borg not only compelling antagonists, but dealing with them in a manner suiting the Trek ethos, can be a challenge.) Last August, when a reader of his complained about a lesbian relationship he introduced in the Vanguard novel series, between the Vulcan T’Prynn and the Klingon spy Lurqal, his wholehearted defense of diversity made it to io9.
We shouldn’t be surprised, then, that Mack was criticized in this–in introducing the relationship, in defensing the relationship–by one Amanda S. Green, a fan writer on the Puppies slate at the Hugos. Mack looks at her attempted critique over at his blog, and reveals much that is lacking. She literally did not know what she was talking about, even choosing not to actually read the books wherein the backstory Green claimed that did not exist was developed at length. This, Mack concludes at the end, has obvious implications.
My novel provides exactly that great backstory she claims is necessary to sell such a story arc. But she doesn’t know that, because she didn’t read the book she was in such a hurry to write off as a violation of canon — all so she could score some cheap rhetorical points against an “SJW” author.
I wish to reiterate that a perusal of her rather limited bibliography suggests she has never written or edited professional media tie-in fiction. Consequently, she might be unaware that not only must tie-in story outlines and manuscripts be vetted and approved by their editors, they must also pass muster with the licensor who controls the copyright on the intellectual property. If my work for Star Trek had been deemed by its licensor to be in conflict with canon, it would not have been approved for publication.
Now, all this might seem to some folks like a lot of noise for very little signal. But I think it’s important to remember that as a nominee in the Best Fan Writer category, Ms. Green was offered the opportunity to submit self-selected examples of her work for the Hugo Voter Packet, to demonstrate which of her writings from 2014 show her to be worthy of taking home a Hugo award. That she chose to include the post I dissected above — an unresearched, factually deficient essay in which she lacks the basic courtesy even to name me as the author of the piece she tries (and fails) to deconstruct, never mind link to it so that readers can review the original materials and arrive at informed conclusions with regard to her arguments — speaks volumes.
Should anyone be surprised at this stage by the Puppies’ unwitting foolishness?