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More Maloney

I have this dead horse and his name is Geoff:

Dear Ben

Thanks for the publicity you have given me on your blog. I appreciate it. But to get back to my point.Your fiction is so much better than anything else you write. Your blog is crap. Your critiques of the AAs are crap. I mean if the AAs are so bad why spend all that time writing about them. Ignore them. Write your stories. They're good. Don't waste your time.

cheers

Geoff


Is anyone else detecting a similarity from Australian authors when they talk about me?

Some days, I wonder if I'll ever run out of sarcasm when dealing with Maloney (and Battersby and the others who appear here and there--there's more than a few in private). Truly I do. I think: will I have to hire someone to write blog posts for me? That'd be cool. I wonder if I could print my own money to pay them?

Anyhow, I let the Battersby comment slide by because I'm prepared to wear what it is people say about me and awards for the moment. I know what it looks like. There's nothing I can do about that, so I'll just take it, and try and be good natured about it. Which is why I over looked the hint of bloc voting conspiracy in Battersby's post, and the fact that he called me childish. I even chuckled at the comment left by K.A. Beford that referenced Martin Lewis' (ninebelow) review of his and Maxine McArthur's novels in the NY Review of Science Fiction some time last year. Bedford seems to be implying that my original review of the short fiction in the Aurealis Awards was being taken as an international representation of the scene--and in doing so, misses a whole collection of reviews that are, on the whole, negative about the work being produced from here. Perhaps the truth is that both those books were just shit, but who knows--Lewis seems to have reasonable taste, though. But if we for a moment look at this and the complaints that we've seen me link through this blog (brilliant flash fiction being overlooked, for example)... if we for a moment take these complaints as an indication that there is bad fiction clogging up the arteries here, then perhaps wouldn't it be worth giving it a serious, introspective look at the culture of silence bred around critical thought in their peers that has encouraged an anti-intellectualism where the work that doesn't make you think and writing that is stylistically free and simple and with structures that mimics everything that they remember from their childhood, is allowed to flourish? Perhaps the truth is there are bad reviews and feelings of frustration on part of the authors because the work being produced isn't very good and no matter how you all bitch at me for saying that, other people are going to continue to write that if they think it, and one day, you will all have to start dealing with that.

Not me, though. Everyone says nice things about my fiction. Even the people who hate me.

Comments

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(Deleted comment)
benpeek
Apr. 5th, 2007 02:24 pm (UTC)
come on, man, i'm gonna make you famous. for year's to come you'll be known as the artist who did the Ben-Head ;)

everyone should say what they think.
(Deleted comment)
benpeek
Apr. 5th, 2007 02:30 pm (UTC)
it's much safer to say what they think ;)
(Deleted comment)
benpeek
Apr. 5th, 2007 02:24 pm (UTC)
would you like a semi naked lady trophy?
(Deleted comment)
benpeek
Apr. 6th, 2007 12:36 am (UTC)
now where would be the sense in that?
cassiphone
Apr. 5th, 2007 10:34 pm (UTC)
Have you read 26 lies/1 truth? I think you'd like it. It's *sort of* fiction, but mainly it's in his blog voice...
(Deleted comment)
benpeek
Apr. 6th, 2007 12:35 am (UTC)
you lie! :P
(Deleted comment)
benpeek
Apr. 6th, 2007 03:21 am (UTC)
what? where?! don't let him near me!
(Anonymous)
Apr. 5th, 2007 05:04 pm (UTC)
Nada
No offense directed toward Ben but this means nada to me.

Who gives a fuck whether someone wants to win or not to win an award?

Evidently too many.

---factory farmer
benpeek
Apr. 5th, 2007 09:34 pm (UTC)
Re: Nada
hey, man, no offense taken. i don't give a shit either--but i guess the reason for this whole thing on both sides is that some people do. to each their own.
deborahlive
Apr. 5th, 2007 09:22 pm (UTC)
Being a Libra, I seized your moment and published the Blog All Dressed Up Like Fiction book (to widespread critical acclaim and healthy sales, in case any of you hattahs was wondering)...

I know! Let's get everyone we know to nominate it for a Nebula!!
benpeek
Apr. 5th, 2007 09:41 pm (UTC)
ohmygod--nebula rigging! that's a whole different kind of con!
cassiphone
Apr. 5th, 2007 10:35 pm (UTC)
You've gone international!
benpeek
Apr. 5th, 2007 10:44 pm (UTC)
you know, i'm half tempted to rise to the challenge. to rig an international award--now that'd be something to have pride in.
deborahlive
Apr. 6th, 2007 04:04 am (UTC)
You do have friends in low places, you know.

;)

benpeek
Apr. 6th, 2007 04:43 am (UTC)
yeah, but imagine if it worked--you'd be stuck with a nebula!
kazzibee
Apr. 6th, 2007 05:43 am (UTC)
i hate you AND i think your fiction sucks!

bahahahahaha!



kazzibee may or may not have read any ben peek fiction

benpeek
Apr. 6th, 2007 10:21 am (UTC)
kazzibee may or may not have read any ben peek fiction

haha.

i have a feeling you're not alone.
strangedave
Apr. 10th, 2007 07:23 am (UTC)
As it happens, I also think your fiction is much better than your review and commentary. If people keep telling you that, there may be something to consider there.

Which is frustrating, as I very much share your view that we need more critical thought about work in this country, and I'm glad you are doing it, and the recent trend for writers and editors to defensively respond to every negative review is particularly frustrating. Curmudgeonly and acerbic George Turner did a lot during his lifetime - its a pity we don't have his like today. I find it genuinely annoying that I share your viewpoint on the value of criticism, but your own just doesn't do it for me.

Its not just defensiveness, or at least I hope there is more to my reaction - for example I now think your criticisms of Margos work in the Aurealis were quite valid criticism (which seems to be the big talking point that divides people), but I found the attempt to extend the same analysis to other Aurealis works a bit defensive and somewhat clumsy and it kind of spoilt the review as a whole for me. Ah well - people have tastes in criticism as well as fiction, and for the moment your fiction suits my taste quite often, but the hit rate on your criticism and commentary is somewhat lower.

FWIW, I think you do sometimes come across as just a bit too precious in your interactions with the SF community - a case in point, I wouldn't be surprised if you were the only person in the entire community who thought Lees reference to bloc voting were intended as referring to you or your work. Its often really not at all about you - we have other people to hate as well, you know.
benpeek
Apr. 10th, 2007 07:38 am (UTC)
you know, considering i have written only three pieces of criticism, and two of them--the ones i've got the infamy for--were written in a short space to hit a deadline. it makes them rougher. but, look what happened with rosaleen's, which was released after the awards: no one paid attention. so i figure you have to move quick for those.

but,outside that, it has never been my intent to be a critic, it's just that i think the criticism is needed, and i'm capable of it. the intent has always been to do it at the start and get things moving--which, hey, to a degree, it has. but if you don't enjoy it as a piece of writing, that's fine--there is, as you say, a total taste element to it, and no one suggests that you should like it or not, much like the fiction is for some people and not others (i know at least one person who likes the non-fiction over the fiction, for example). but if it gets people talking and reading and writing about what they read and not being silent, then hey, it does what's purpose is.

but i do appreciate the attempt to come round to it--or to dislike it based off taste.

on a final note, as for lee, this was his comment i responded too:

"If his participation in a set-up designed only to hand out the warm and fuzzies is a sign of his growing maturity, then all the better."

seems pretty clear to me, but i'm not hassled if other people see otherwise. like i said, i'm happy to wear the comments about awards at the moment. there's very little else i can do.
benpeek
Apr. 10th, 2007 07:41 am (UTC)
wow. that's one messy paragraph.
strangedave
Apr. 10th, 2007 07:39 am (UTC)
Just wanted to say that I didn't mean to imply that I think if many people think your criticism and review isn't so great, that means you are wrong and you should stop or anything silly like that.
More that if many people are having the same reaction, they might be reacting to the same thing and you should consider why the work gets that reaction, and whether thats the reaction you want. Maybe we all see the same weakness, but maybe you just have a minority taste in criticism, or maybe most of the critics have their heads up their arses.
(Anonymous)
Apr. 16th, 2007 08:20 am (UTC)
Ben

Once again thanks for the publicity. You mentioned:

"a whole collection of reviews that are, on the whole, negative about the work being produced from here."

Could you post some of the links to those reviews? I've read the ASif ones, so no need to link those, but I'd be interested in seeing the others.

cheers

Geoff
benpeek
Apr. 16th, 2007 09:13 am (UTC)
no, geoff. you want to find them, you do the work.
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