Word sadly came today of the passing of author Ann C. Crispin, science fiction writer and defender of writers everywhere through her collaboration with her friend and fellow writer Victoria Strauss, via the Writer Beware blogs here and here, and their website. It was only two short days ago I learned of her battle with cancer. If you’re a writer, or have any aspirations of writing, the best thing you could do for yourself is acquaint yourself with their work. These two have brought to light so many shady publishers, agents, and writing scams, the value to the writing community is incalculable. In so doing, to no one’s surprise I’m sure, they riled the slimeballs who try to prey on the newest, most naive members of the writing community, going so far as to take the battles to court.
Patrick Nielsen Hayden this morning tweeted out an impassioned defense of their work as a tribute to Ms. Crispin, which I have transcribed here, with permission from him and Victoria:
Most reports I’ve seen about the death of Ann Crispin describe Writer Beware (which she co-founded) as a group formed to ‘protect writers’ or something along those lines. Writer Beware is actually more specific than that. It exists to expose the scams on the fringes of publishing. Dodgy pay-for-play self-publishing schemes. Phony agents who actually make their money by funneling authors to vanity presses. A lot of good writers have been swindled by operators like this, wasting not just money, but lifespan. Ann was, and Victoria Strauss is, a hero for taking on the task of keeping track of this sort of crap, and educating a generation of writers in how to spot it.
And a final note. Writer Beware’s enemies periodically accuse it of being opposed to self-publishing. This is BS. What WB is against is fraud.
I can’t even imagine what a debt I owe them. Rest in peace, dear lady.
I just thought you should all know.