Haters gonna hate

This afternoon, the following comment popped up in the “awaiting moderation” queue:

I read your magazine. It stinks. Seriously. The paucity of content is appalling. The excerpts above [in the latest issue] exemplify this. I asked a couple of editors I am associated with about you and this ragtag project. They just laughed. Get some real writers who know a little about constructing a story properly.

I was a little taken aback by this. Kaleidotrope has by now published nearly a dozen issues, and while the feedback hasn’t always been 100% positive, I haven’t had many people tell me that it stinks. I’ve had submissions from rude, potentially unstable writers, and I’ve had spam, but I think this may be the zine’s first genuine comment troll.

So I wrote back:

I’m sorry you feel that way. I suspect “paucity” isn’t quite the word you’re looking for here — it refers, typically, to a smallness or lack in quantity, not quality — and I naturally question anyone who leads with insults, only to build to nothing more substantial than “and some other people I know agree, too!” But I’m at least happy to know that my “ragtag project” has provided your “couple of editors” with a merry chuckle. While I’m sorry you won’t be reading Kaleidotrope again, I appreciate your candor (however nonconstructive) and thank you for providing me with some laughter of my own.

I can’t say I’m entirely surprised that my e-mail bounced back. If “Paul Davies” — presumably not this Paul Davies — actually exists, his comments lend me to suspect he’s the sort to employ a long list of fake addresses.

Look, obviously I don’t like it, but I’ll accept negative feedback when it’s warranted. I hope my contributors — who I think know quite a lot about constructing a story properly, actually — will do the same. But if it’s nothing more than an anonymous screed about how what we’re doing stinks, what makes you think we’re actually going to care?

Be Sociable, Share!