Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Requires Only That You Hate

I wrote quite a glowing review on Benjanun Sriduangkaew's novella Scale-Bright last week. Maybe if I had paid a bit closer attention to my twitter feed I would have noticed something was up but the whole controversy surrounding Sriduangkaew at the moment didn't actually hit me until last night. Not that I don't like Scale-Bright all of a sudden, my opinion of it is unchanged, but it does seem a bit less likely her career as a writer is going to take off now.

I've been aware of the Requires Only That You Hate blog for years. I read a few posts years ago and then abandoned the blog because the sheer anger on display there drowned out the message, which was frequently to point out sexism and racisim in speculative fiction and the blogsphere. Some of it is nothing short of foaming-at-the-mouth ranting and I'm not really interested in reading that kind of stuff. She has stepped on quite a few  toes over the years. It would appear Sriduangkaew had a few online activities apart form the blog that were even more hurtful to people. I can't be bothered to sort through how much of it is actually true but she has admitted to quite a lot of it.

It saddens me to see this happen. I must admit I have a hard time reconciling these two parts of her online persona. Sriduangkaew must have known her online activities were something of a bomb under her career. She probably also understood that she had crossed a few boundaries where one should stay well clear of. She is paying the price for it professionally and personally now. Sriduangkaew has offered an apology. I very much doubt that will be enough for those she harmed but it is where you start I suppose. Not that everybody whose books I review here in this blog are perfect little angels but this stuff makes me feel a lot more hesitant to recommend her work. It's a very sad affair indeed, for everybody involved.


  1. So what exactly happened I'm confused... All I know about that blog is that she hated on my favorite author R. Scott Bakker. What did she do that has made her quit? Is she also an author?

    1. She has in the past couple of years sold a bunch of well received short stories yes. Scale-Bright was her longest work to date I think. She's been active in the blogsphere and online communities for a lot longer though. It's a very long story and I am not completely convinced all of it is true but this post seems to do a decent job at rounding up recent events.

  2. I am not exactly sure where I stand here, but I guess we can call this karma. I read a couple of posts on Requires Hate but stopped almost immediately in following it, it was nothing of interest for me and too much bitterness and rage for my liking. Then I saw a post about the blogger behind it being pointed as an author and I thought of Sriduangkaew. Well, it seems that all this worked as a boomerang, you can hardly start a career as a speculative fiction writer after you threw so much dirt around that community of authors. After all, things have a way of turning around.
    As for me, I read "Scale-Bright" and several of her short stories and enjoyed them all. I didn't review "Scale-Bright" yet, I think I'll do it nonetheless. You are absolutely right, not all the writers I read are saints, but I need to detach my opinion of the books from the considerations of that particular blog. I stopped reading that for a reason.

  3. I've read a couple things of hers, including Scale Bright, and quite enjoyed them. And now I find out out she is supposedly Requires Hate. I hadn't even heard of RH until this happened. I'm going to have to seriously think about if I'll ever read anything by Sriduangkaew again or not.