In June 2009, I real-time reviewed Allyson Bird’s collection BULL-RUNNING FOR GIRLS here: https://nullimmortalis.wordpress.com/2010/08/15/bull-running-for-girls-by-allyson-bird/
Later, this collection won the BFS Award for best Collection for the year of its publication.
Without again going into the rights and wrongs, much controversy followed. Much harm was done to that controversy’s various participants’ well-being as well as to certain aspects of the horror genre. It later spilled over into other controversies. It still goes on today.
Last week, the Prism section of the British Fantasy Society Journal published a very negative review of Allyson Bird’s new collection ‘Wine and Rank Poison’. Fair enough. I haven’t read ‘WARP’, so I can’t comment on the substance of the review.
However, I was aghast to learn today that the by-line of that review is the recorded pseudonym of the editor of the ‘Prism’ section of the BFS Journal where that ‘WARP’ review appears. But, furthermore (you couldn’t make this up!), it is claimed that the pseudonym was used by someone else (i.e. not that editor of Prism) to write the review.
My strong view is that attempting this apparent subterfuge was a serious error of judgement and puts the whole ‘WARP’ review in question – especially knowing, as the writer of that review must have done, of the bitter and damaging controversy attached to Allyson’s earlier collection.
Over ten years, with Nemonymous, I facilitated author-agreed methods of late-labelling for by-lines of works of fiction.
In contrast, Prism’s above method of presenting a hopefully unbiased review of a book with a pseudonymous by-line of the publication’s editor – a review that was so expressed it was bound to wound its author and publisher – frankly beggars belief. And now – up to the point in time of my writing this blog (19 Jan, 7.15 pm GMT) – attempts have apparently been made ostensibly to muddy the waters by publicly saying it was not written by the recorded owner of the pseudonymous by-line…
I am both aghast and confused.