So, this guy was at it again with his vendetta against SF author John Scalzi, and -
Wait a minute.
Putting out an over-obvious parody of a soon-to-be-released Scalzi novel on Amazon in a weak effort to tweak his nose (or whatever Castalia House was trying to accomplish) is one thing, but resorting to some of the crap mentioned below is precisely the reason why VD has gotten his entirely deserved reputation as an thoroughly unsavory, egomaniacal pain in the ass who's always glad to go the extra unwanted step in proving it. A few examples from File 770, below:
Well, THIS is a revolting development…
I was browsing on Amazon half an hour ago and noticed that The Corroding Empire showed up in the mentions for the book I was looking at – so I clicked and took a look. I opened the preview and felt my red pen twitching at the very first line of the narrative, which is never a good sign. I not only did not proceed to purchase the book, but left a one-star review explaining why:
The confused tenses in the very first sentence of the narrative (visible in the preview) tell me there’s no need to read more. It’s obvious to me that the editor/publisher spent more time and effort in ripping off the cover than he did getting the text right.A few minutes later, I was given a compelling reason to edit the review. I suspect it will be of interest to others…
EDIT: How fascinating. Mere minutes after leaving the above review, I received a phone call from someone identifying himself as a Castalia House representative. That individual then proceeded to threaten to publicize my private information and stated that he was recording the telephone call – neither of which I had consented to.Specifically, the caller read off a street address (which I did not confirm to be mine or not) and had obviously obtained my phone number, claiming Amazon had provided the data because I was a Castalia House customer. (Not true in any sense. Amazon doesn’t give ebook buyers any such information, and I hadn’t made the purchase.) That’s not the way to win friends and influence people, Teddy.No kidding.
Buyer, beware! Stay FAR away from this company!
A little bit later, he explains further about the fallout from the really fun dealings he had with this minion of VD's:
I notified Amazon very soon after receiving the call. Considering that the caller claimed to be with Castalia House (distributed on Amazon) and represented himself as having received my contact information from Amazon (a blatant falsehood) as a result of a purchase (which I did not make), it seemed to me that Amazon would want to be made aware of the incident.
If I’d known at the time that Beale had given the caller his approval, I would have included that nugget as well. As it stands, I added a comment under my review with that info, as well as replying to Amazon Customer Service’s “how’d we do?” email with the update and a link to the page.
The Amazon agent I spoke with sounded properly appalled by the incident, and I made it plain to her that I did not hold her or Amazon responsible for an instant. (I’ve worked in customer service; I know how important it is to distinguish between frustration at the situation and anger at the person helping you.) I know Amazon doesn’t pass along such customer-specific detail to ebook sellers even when a purchase takes place, but the fact that someone CLAIMED they had goes to… is it defamation when it involves a business rather than a person? Definitely not good, potentially actionable, and since Amazon’s got all the power in the relationship with VD/CH, as well as an army of lawyers around the globe, they may as well be the ones to look into it further.
So let me get this straight, now: this was over a "parody" that - as far as I can tell - was a poorly written, transparent attempt to blunt sales of Scalzi's The Collapsing Empire prior to its release. Or something. And now VD is having people harassing reviewers on the phone over this crap.
This is something an alleged fucking adult does? His ego is just that thin? And, furthermore, he's conned other alleged adults (his Dread Ilk come off as being just as terminally cartoony fanboy as their name suggests) into doing it for him?
Oh, but there are other examples as well. From rochrist:
I made the mistake of making a snarking comment in one of the fake reviews. The fellow immediately tracked me down in RL. He assures me though that it will be Vox himself I hear from. He is just a dutiful minion.
A dutiful sucker is more like it, since these little third-party threats always make it easy for the ringleader to claim innocence while his minion takes the fall.
Look, everybody knows that SF fandom has been historical rife with feuds. Tons of them, in fact. But this is an entirely new weapons-grade load of bullshit that misses one very important point: fiction, still being an art form above all else regardless of the genre it might fall into, is always going to result in criticism. Fair criticism, petty or inaccurate criticism, but criticism all the same. It's entirely inevitable. And if your reaction to such criticism about a work that wasn't intended as serious in the first place is to get a group of your dopey little "friends" (again, the word "sucker" comes to mind as being more accurate, as does "sycophant") to harass online critics is indicative of the fact that you have a very, very serious problem in dealing with the adult world.
Then again, VD has always assumed that he's a genius and that his supposed enemies are all far, far lesser men than he.
And you remember the old joke about what happens when you assume, right...?