It’s a Hater’s World

My first encounter with haters

Once upon a time, a very handsome author published his debut novel, and then waited. And waited. And waited. And-

Ah! Finally. A hater! His first hater. A milestone in the career of every artist, he had heard. And he was anxious to leave the milestone behind.

This particular hater was a lady that sent an email outraged by the fact that the author dedicated his novel to a certain iconic young eco-activist. You surely think this particular lady was your average climate-denialist, but far from it. That’s what so interesting about haters: they come to you, hard and loud, from the most unexpected angle, totally unpredictable. Here is that email (anonymized, of course, and corrected for typos):

Well, such a closed mind I didn’t expect. Your website doesn’t give any element of talkback. Sci-fi is about having an open mind to the
possibilities. I fear your mind is closed. Please do not cite poor Greta Thunberg as your hero. If she is, you are sadly lacking in sense. She suffers from a disability in which she cannot judge shades of grey. I feel sad for her. I shall not go into detail about my reasons here, as undoubtedly you will have no inclination to listen. Therefore, I feel sad for you too. Take care.

– Hater #1 

Never argue with a hater, the handsome author had heard such advice before, and he promptly followed it. Also, this wasn’t that bad, he thought. Okay, he didn’t agree with her – at all! – but her hate seemed to come from a warm place after all, didn’t it?

And then, he waited more. And waited. And waited. And-

Oh, shit! (The handsome author used a more colorful expression, but there might be children watching.)

Remember what I said before about haters coming from the most unexpected angles?!

Yeah, listen up!

The handsome writer was one fateful morning browsing the Facebook comments of his ads, liking and replying to grateful comments, helping with downloads, ignoring religious lunatics, the usual. When he stumbled upon the following comment (again, anonymized, and typo-corrected):

I love this so far, my one problem though is the aliens being referred to as ‘she’.

The whole argument that you have is “well we have to call them something to not objectify them.”

Ok, so… there’s this thing people have now called Preferred Pronouns. You could have simply used They/Them… like any Non-Binary person. It kinda ruined my suspension of disbelief to be honest. Otherwise, I really enjoyed the story up to that point.

– Hater #2

The handsome writer had had no more than two or three cups of coffee at such early hours of the day, and without enough caffeine running through his veins, he swiftly felt into the trap.

Thanks! And re: genre-speak, this is the sort of discussion to be avoided, as Prof. Miyagi says, “don’t open that can of worms” 🙂

– Handsome Author

The reply was almost immediate.

The trap was closing…

No, it’s actually not. Read anything by Nora Jemisin and you’ll see the LGBTQ+ community in her writings. Hell, even Dan Simmons had non binary and transgender characters in his writings from the 80’s (Illium). There’s really no excuse to exclude us Queer People, ESPECIALLY IN SCI-FI!!!

It’s getting to a point where older people like you trying to write Sci-fi that is future-based are just pretending that people like me and other millennials don’t exist & won’t shape the future.

I was hoping you’d be open to this perspective, but I guess I won’t be able to finish listening to your story if you aren’t pro LGBTQ+

Next time maybe be more open to discuss instead of dismiss.

– Hater #2

Oh, Yes. Now she had the handsome-and-certainly-not-old author’s attention! He knew at once that this was dangerous territory.

He took a gulp of extra-strong coffee to clear his mind, and considered what to do.

Never argue with a hater, the words flashed through his mind. Never feed the troll



Handsome, yes.

Smart, not so much.

Please, don’t put words in my mouth. I am not against you, nor anybody. I just write stories. 🙂

I don’t care for discussions on the Internet either, please respect that.

– Handsome Author

And… The spider leaped out out of nowhere, and devoured the hapless handsome author whole!

You can’t discuss in good faith? Okay, I’ll leave you alone and go write my goodreads review. Have a great day. 🙂

– Hater #2

Uh oh. Nah, the naive handsome author thought. She wouldn’t do that, right? And she even left a smile emoji!

Don’t worry, handsome author.

Besides, she surely knows how crucial reviews are for authors. Nobody plays with the other’s food…

She surely knows…

Review on

*  <- this is the number of stars in the review

The author is homophobic, and it shows in his writings. There is a scene where the professor is describing asexual aliens, and refers to them as ‘she’. The audience asks why the aliens are not referred to as ‘he’? This was a perfect opportunity for the author to use They/Them’ pronouns for these non-binary aliens. Instead we get a lame excuse from the professor “Let’s not open that can of worms.”

It really ruins the suspension of disbelief in the story, It’s supposed to be a future setting studying history and this society hasn’t even heard of They/Them pronouns? You want to just sweep an entire community under the rug? Trust me, no matter how far in the future it gets, there WILL be queer people!

My other issue is there is a lot of incest in the book… like okay you can’t open the LGBTQ+ can of worms, but you’re okay with opening the Incest can of worms? Really?

Don’t waste your time on this book/series, there are MUCH better sci-fi novels out there.

– Hater #2

The handsome author couldn’t believe it. She actually did it!

He was devastated.

The novel was LGBTQ+ friendly, and there is no incest whatsoever.

Did she even read the book?

What is all this nonsense?!

It gets better (not)!

Hater #2 actually went out of her way to create a new account in! And then she peppered the handsome author’s books (even the future ones that were still in the writing!) with this pearl of one-star review.

What the f*** had just happened?!

And then, it finally hit him like a fist deep in the groin: he had just met his first REAL hater. Hater #1 was just an upset lady. Angry, yes, but ultimately harmless.

But this was – wow! – not fun!

The handsome author (very naively) thought such people are not really real, that they belonged in cliched action movies starring as smirking, moustache-twirling villains.

But the handsome author had finally met a person so filled with hatred that would gloat imagining the harm and – if she got lucky – the destruction of the handsome author’s career before it even took off.

Not fun!

To end this story with a sweeter taste in the mouth, a few months later the website where hater #2 had inserted her loving pearls, ran an anti-hater algorithm that cleaned up many author pages of these type of one-star hate-spam.

Yeah,  I’m not the only one. Go figure.

Imagine if I was actually famous, like say, J. K. Rowling! But no, come on, how could anyone hate the author that brought the love of literature to an entire generation of world-wide young readers? No literature nobel-prize winner in the history of the world has even come close to smelling her achievement! Come one, nobody would dare cancelling her, right?


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