Award-Winning Editor of Clarkesworld Magazine, Forever Magazine, The Best Science Fiction of the Year, and More

Attracting the Crazies

Looks like I’ve attracted some attention from a couple of crazies. It started with a letter in my PO Box in which I was put on notice. The only way to save my soul is to stop selling all those evil horror novels. After all, they glorify all that Satan stands for and pollute people’s minds with sick and depraved ideas. It went on like this for three hand-written pages. I now regret having thrown it out.

The second and most recent was an anonymous email. It seems that someone (who reads this blog)is convinced that my business is merely some sort of conspiracy to undermine another (much more popular) online indy bookseller. Proof of the conspiracy covered things like: my linking to my store in my post signature on X’s forum, selling books for less money than X, having some of the same customers, and, my favorite, having a second job. Wow, I really hope this was someone’s attempt at humor gone wrong.



Clarkesworld Bestsellers for the Week Ending Feb. 5, 2006




  1. Wow, that blows man. Must mean you’re doing a good job.

    • At least it’s nothing like the junk I used to get at my old job. These I can laugh about. I really hope they weren’t serious, but I’m fairly certain they were. Only took me a little over 5 years to get some crank letters. Not too bad. 🙂

  2. Anonymous


    Welcome to my world… ;>)


    • Re: Crazies

      Oh he mentioned you… apparently you signing up with me to do inscriptions was further proof of the conspiracy. 🙂

  3. Ooo. Anonymous people are soooo scary.

  4. Yeah god forbid there is competition on teh online bookseller market. Hell Maybe we should send email to Barnes and Nobel and Amazon and ask those meanies to stop selling books too.

    Fucking tool. Who ever sent that is a fucking tool.

    • Truth be told, I wouldn’t be surprised if he did write to Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Oh, to be able to go through Amazon’s crank file…

  5. Good god, how stupid.

  6. Will your conspiracy accept volunteers for the cause? After all, if you have some Cat Piss Man bitching about the fact that you’re bothering to make sure that your business succeeds, you must be doing something right, and I want to be on the winning side.

    • 🙂 I’ll be switching my logo over to a little eye in the pyramid shortly.

      Heh… if I work this right I can start “The Clarkesworld Conspiracy” ad campaign.


      • And he’ll probably switch over to recreating the The Prisoner crossover that dare not speak its name: “Uhhhh, like, Number One is full of Number Two. Huh huh huh huh.”

        • The more I think of this, the funnier it becomes. I should let the crank file dictate more of my advertising trends. Maybe even start using quotes from his mail in the ads.

          • Why not? If anything, it’ll show him that The Conspiracy lives on, and he’ll keep giving you great ad copy.

  7. Hmmm, remind me not to stand too close to you at boskone. You know, just in case.

  8. eh, i’m surprised it took this long.
    (also! i won’t be at boskone, but i should be at the hwa new england get together on saturday night, of you’re going to it.)

    • Don’t have a scheduled of what’s happening there, but if it’s at the same hotel I should be able to pop in for a little while.

      • it’s going to be at a restaurant around the corner from the con.
        but i’ll probably be spotted around the hotel a few times, too.
        (i doubt you’ll be able to miss the beard.)

  9. And here I thought your store was just a conspiracy to make me spend even more money on books, what with that evil new releases RSS feed constantly tempting me.

    If there is a conspiracy to undermine that other indy bookseller (assuming you’re referring to the one I assume you’re referring to), it’s obviously not working, because he’s getting just as much of my money as ever. As is that other one and that other one and that UK one.

    • Oddly enough the RSS feed is something he missed. Maybe the horror books are from Satan guy will take up the charge again my obscene use of technology. After all, you did call it evil.

      As for the conspiracy, definitely not working, but then, he only stumbled upon the fake conspiracy, the one meant to distract him from the One True Conspiracy.

      • Anonymous

        Dude, I told you not to tell anyone about that yet.


        • Oh yeah!

          <fnord>There’s nothing to see here folks. Nothing is happening. Mr. Keene is not involved.</fnord>

  10. Gah, these people! I’ve been lucky so far, I’ve only gotten a couple of emails from loonies.

    • I’ve been relatively lucky as well. It’s only recently that they’ve targeted me and after nearly six years, I can’t complain.


  11. Anonymous


    It’s that other job Neil. It just makes people crazy. Good luck!


    • Anonymous

      Re: attracting…

      And every now and then it drives me crazy too! I guess I should just be more understanding. 🙂

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