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March 20th, 2005

In my previous post, I linked an entry in Scot Snow's livejournal. That entry has since been changed, and you can see the newly altered facts, but I'm going to explain it, since there might be some confusion for anyone following the link.

This won't be friendly.

I don't know Snow outside his reputation, but it's a nasty one.* The short of it is that he has lied about his publications and reputation for years, and built a presence and supposed real reputation with people upon these lies in the local speculative fiction scene. If you're wondering what that reputation is, then I quote from the Swancon 2001 website:

Scot Snow is best known for his television scripts and short stories. He has had over 100 stories published in magazines as various as The Australasian Post, Penthouse, Westerly , London Magazine and online. He has worked on scripts for Doctor Who, The Twilight Zone, Star Trek and others. Currently he is working on scripts for the BBC, the Australian produced science fiction drama Farscape, the new American horror series Night Visions and as a script-doctor for feature films. He also writes a regular column, "Buried Gems", for The Rhizome Factor.

Which sounds like bullshit. It sounds like a lot of bullshit, in fact, because the most casual online search will reveal that Snow has been published in the fanzine the Rhizome Factor, the Australian small press magazines, Borderlands and Fables and Reflections, and the small press comedy anthology AustrAlien Absurdities, edited by Chuck McKenzie and Tansy Rayner Roberts. None of these are high profile projects in the way that Penthouse and Westerly are, and you would think that, since he has published over a hundred short stories, that some of these would appear in a search, and that he would clock up more than six search pages on google. If you need a comparison for this, use me. I'm nobody on the local scene, but I've published about thirty short stories, a column on PopMatters.com, some reviews, and bits of other pieces, and a casual google search reveals 35 pages for me.

Common sense would suggest Snow, being a bigger name, would have a higher profile, don't you think?

The fact that Snow lies about his accomplishments gives me the shits. I won't lie. It pisses me off greatly. In fact, it pisses me off to such an extent that even though I am not directly involved in this, that I don't know Snow, that I have never suffered at the hands of his rampaging ego... well, I am writing this post. I am writing it because I fucking work for my writing. Despite all the wank that goes when I say this, it's my art. It's important to me. I bleed for it. Ask any writer and he/she will tell you that it's fucking hard work to get published. Reputations are gained through talent, through persistence, through craft, through luck, through all the hard miles you have to walk it.

They are not gained through lies.

Lies piss me off. If I wanted to lie about what I do, I'd work in a bank and tell people I loved them.

Returning to Scot Snow, however. It appears that the recent years of continual lying and not being dragged out into the parking lot and beaten with a stick because of it has left him feeling like he should lie some more. Well, why not? If your bullshit isn't stinking yet, you might as well continue. To that extent, Snow started spinning some wild fantasies. Fine things with no credibility and which I linked previously, but which have now been removed from his blog, and which I will repeat here to the best of my memory. If you don't believe me (and please, double check) the facts of these lies can be easily double checked with people who read the same entry as me. If you thik they might be true, they can be disproved by the editors who went to Snow's blog and informed him that he was, in fact, full of shit.

The first of these lies begins with Snow receiving a rejection from Ticonderoga Online. Yes, the same place I've currently got a bit of fiction, but that is neither here nor there. According to Snow, he sent them a story, and they rejected it, because they did not realise his genius. Well, fair enough. It's the natural response. Of course, in a fit of anger, Snow then writes,

ticonderoga online asked for then bounced a story. Wow. My first rejection in ... years.

Not my best ever story mind, but you know, not actually bad. Apparently it wasn't "disturbing" or "weird" enough, which is fine (I thought they wanted "loopy" as that's what they asked for and that's what I sent). Interestingly, the fact that I was having a piss-take of those bad, old, very clunky English lit writers who would occasionally try their hand at writing fantasy -- badly -- failed to pass with the editors.

I worked bloody hard to get that clumsiness in there, not to mention the occassionally inappropriate changes in tone. To no avail. Oh well.

I remember when Harlan Ellison wrote "The Toad Prince or, Sex Queen of the Martian Pleasure Domes" he was excoriated for regressing to the bad old days of pulp sci-fi and writing something so puerile and ... bad. The editor flatout failed to appreciate the intent (it's a great story BTW; very funny).

Let this be a lesson: be a smart ass and editors won't appreciate it. They really really won't. Twenty years of honing your craft, perfecting your art won't mean spit if they think you're just writing badly.

Lucky for me ARGOSY went bugfuck for the story and knew exactly what I was attempting right from the git-go.

The very large cheque they're sending won't hurt my feelings at all.


It's still here. Snow hasn't taken it down, but I've copied it to my livejournal in case he decides to do this. I should have copied the earlier post, but despite my thoughts to do so, I honestly didn't think I'd come back tonight and write this. I figured, fuck it. It'll be all over and done with. But no. Snow is currently claiming that he has been lied too, that he's the victim, that he's a poor little twenty year professional who has suddenly been caught in a hoax.

That's bullshit.

I'm not a twenty year professional, but I reckon you'd have to be a fucking retard to get conned in this manner.

But that's okay, because Snow isn't a retard. He's a perfectly normal guy, and I'm calling bullshit on his claims of being conned.

Here's why.

That post of Snow's is bullshit for a couple of reasons. Firstly, Argosy is closed to submissions. Check the site. It's right there. Secondly, it's unheard of for editors to reply within a day or night or whatever unrealistic short time it takes for them, on a cold submission. (By this, I mean that the editor did not contact the author and request for a story.) If you are on good terms with an editor and they ask for your work and you have one of those reputations that have been made by years of high profile work and awards and a nice little readership, then I suspect your replies are quicker than that of a cold submission. That's fair enough. Now ask yourself, who is Scot Snow?

However, after this obvious bout of lying, Snow decided that it could get better. Why not, huh? The mound of bullshit should be so high you could dive off it. To help this, Snow reveals that he has sold a story to Andy Cox's well respected magazine Crimewave and three to Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. You would think that Snow would be happy with these little publication lies, but he doesn't know how to work a good lie, which is keep it small and keep it real, so he adds a few more. Indeed, he adds a nice list of publications which number about ten or so, all of them apparently sold in the last three months. I've forgotten them now, but if anyone has the list, please send it to me and I'll post them up. At any rate, Snow feels pretty good. He writes that soon he will near his goal of selling twenty five short stories to professionals in a year.

Why the fuck not, huh?

The crown on this tower of bullshit is that he has sold a novel to Hard Case Crime. Some people reading might not be familiar with the American publishing line that focuses on hard boiled noir crime novels, but that will change soon. After all, that will be where Stephen King's new novel the Colorado Kid will be printed.

Now, while I can only assume it's not technically impossible to sell a novel to Hard Case Crime (they have an email for queries) I imagine that it is virtually impossible to sell it to them from a query letter with a six line proposal and 2, 500 sample.**

In fact, I know it's impossible.

You see, earlier in the day, the three editors in charge of Hard Case Crime, Argosy, and Crimewave went to Scot Snow's livejournal and informed him that this was not the case. They had no stories of his. They had never seen his work. They had no idea who he was. They most certainly did not buy a novel off a 2, 500 writing sample, and would never indeed do so. They were quite professional about it, and suggested that he might be the victim of a hoax, but that if he was just having a bit of fun, then they were not happy.

Which is about the time I linked Snow's livejournal. Because I think it's important that liars be dragged out into the street and strung up for everyone to see. It could, indeed, be that Snow is simply an unfortunate man, and that someone spent a lot of time preparing this elaborate hoax on the twenty year professional, which is what Snow would like you to believe. I, however, am calling that bullshit. Fucking bullshit. I'm saying it right here in public, on my nice public blog, for the nice public people to see, and since I assume that Snow will eventually be past to read this and rant, then, well, you've only got one choice, Snow, and that's to prove your entire self proclaimed one hundred publications, your work on TV, your work with scripts, everything you have done in your last twenty years. Prove it and prove it with hard copies. Nothing short of that will be believed.

You prove it and you prove it publicly and I'll post here that I was wrong. Everyone reading this will be able to see that I'm a loser and you'll have your very tarnished reputation back, suddenly shiny. My reputation will take a bit of a beating, but since I don't have one worth feeding to malnourished children, it'll survive. It's a virus like that.

Lastly, it could be that some of you think this is unfair. I don't care. I work hard with my art. I've worked hard for the last ten fucking years and the lies of Snow piss me off. It's like a sleazy car salesman has taken up residence in my front yard, and has offered a quick fix of lies to anyone who comes to the door. Worship me, he says, for I am nothing by soggy paper made into a author, and the guy behind there is nothing but shit, and new writers and people are drawn to it, where they are then ripped off and given bad advice.

I respect what I do. I respect the authors who do it, even if I don't like their work. I don't respect this.

EDIT:

The masses speak. They bring information. They bring it identically. Here is Scot Snow's supposed publication list:

BOOKS:

Too Long To Die, Hard Case Crime (forthcoming).
Dead In The Pond, Five Star Press (forthcoming).
A Twist Of The Knife: Selected Crime Stories IACW Press,(forthcoming).

STORIES:

"A Small Dark Love", Borderlands Magazine (Available Now!)
"A Piece of Cake", Australian Women's Weekly (forthcoming).
"Old Dirt", Woman's Day, (forthcoming) (This is a sequel to "Rumour Mill" which they published a couple of years ago).
"Like a Thief in the Night", Dime: A Futures Mystery Magazine Anthology (forthcoming) (This is also the story which won the 2004 Slesar Award).***
"Sticky Fingers", Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, (forthcoming).
"Don't Look Now", Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, (forthcoming).
"Straight Shooter", Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, (forthcoming).
"The Hitter", Crimewave (forthcoming).
"Just Desserts", Argosy (forthcoming).
"Intimate Relations", Indy Men's Magazine, (forthcoming).

And here and the replies from the editors of Hard Case Press, Argosy and Crimewave. Please note, if the editors wish me to remove their comments, this will be done at their request. Please use the email.

One.

Mr. Snow,

I was just contacted by a journalist asking for more information about our forthcoming publication of your book -- and as you surely know (unless someone is playing a terrible joke on you), this was the first I had ever heard of your book.

I'm sorry if this comes across as humorless on my part (I assume you were probably just playing a joke on your friends who read your blog, not attempting to carry out some sort of actual fraud), but for the record, we have not bought, and will not be publishing, your book. We have never bought a book based on a six-line outline and the first 2,500 words. No contract from us is in your inbox.

Apologies for spoiling what was probably intended as some harmless birthday fun, but we cannot allow false statements like this to stand uncorrected.

Sincerely,
Charles Ardai
Editor, Hard Case Crime

Two.

Dear Mr. Snow -

It's possible I have overlooked something, but I can't seem to locate the story you mention, nor my acceptance letter, which makes me concerned for several reasons - not the least of which is the number of people who saw your post and have written to ask if we're open to submissions. For the record, we're open to query letters only, as we've stocked up with enough material for the rest of the year. Can you please clarify? But if you'd like to send a query letter, feel free. We HAVE bought from unsolicited submissions - just be aware that it's a rare thing.

James A. Owen
Argosy Quarterly

Three.

I was contacted by someone asking for info about the upcoming CRIMEWAVE containing Scot Snow's story 'The Hitter'. We don't have such a story awaiting publication, nor is it currently under consideration. Like my colleague's above, I feel I might've walked into some sort of prank. If so, fine, but otherwise...

Andy Cox
Crimewave

FURTHER EDITS: In the comments here and elsewhere, people have be able to prove Snow's previous claims of appearing in Woman's Weekly or Woman's Day or whatever it is, and in Westerly. This does not, in any way, account for his supposed career. As yet, I have not heard from Scot Snow.




* By this, I mean if he's a nice guy, I don't care.

** Originally, I thought he sold it from a six paragraph proposal, but apparently not. I quote him here:

The amazing thing is I sold it from a query letter, with only a six line outline and the first 2500 words! Apparently they're familiar with my work and have full confidence in my ability to bag this 50,000 word baby.


*** See comments for link to awards, where Snow is simply listed.