Continued Fallout for Undead Press
The fallout from the very public feud between first-time writer Mandy DeGeit and Anthony Giangregorio of Undead Press (first covered here yesterday) continues today, with professional writers weighing in on the controversy. Neil Gaiman tweeted DeGeit’s original post, bringing thousands of readers to her blog, and now Adam-Troy Castro, Alyn Day, Richard Salter, Nick Mamatas and others have written about their own experiences.
Here’s Adam-Troy Castro, from his blog:
There’s recently been a flurry of posts about Undead Press, a small publishing house that a) doesn’t pay, b) allegedly humiliates its authors by inserting gratuitous rape scenes into their stories, without asking those authors if they want those rape scenes to be there, and c) has apparently published and continues to advertise a sequel to George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, showing an absolute lack of respect for copyright or concern for the legal consequences… what I really want to address is that Dawn of the Dead sequel, an act of supreme arrogance… What Giangregorio has done is specifically, and deliberately, hijack the name of a better work and superior work to his sequel; he is specifically saying, “This is a sequel to Dawn of the Dead.” Which he has no right to do.
Alyn Day, another Undead Press contributor, relates how her story was also rewritten and retitled without permission.
My story was no longer my story. It had been butchered. I sat in my livingroom with one of the 6 copies I had purchased, flipping through the pages, eager to see my words in print… only they weren’t my words. It wasn’t even my TITLE. Parts of my story had been cut out, names and details had been changed, things I was never made aware of and had never agreed to… I bit my tongue and kept silent about my interactions with Anthony Giangregorio and Undead Press/Open Casket… I’m sorry for that, because the very same thing happened to a friend of mine just recently. Mandy DeGeit had a story published in Undead Press’s Cavalcade of Terror, which was similarly mistreated. I learned my lesson about being quiet.
Richard Salter explains why he recently pulled his shared world anthology, World’s Collider, from the same press:
This small press is a one-man show, run by Anthony Giangregorio. He also runs Living Dead Press and Undead Press… A few months ago I pulled World’s Collider from Open Casket Press’s roster. The straw that broke the camel’s back was a dreadful and misogynist book blurb for Women of the Living Dead. I called Tony out on it, said I didn’t trust him with World’s Collider (in an e-mail I agonized over for hours). His response, “Whatever”, and then he defriended me.
And finally Nick Mamatas, in a blog today titled Anthony Giangregorio — beware, for real!, shares a rather disturbing Facebook screencap from late yesterday, also featuring Alyn Day:
Alyn Day also came forward to describe a story she had placed with Giangregorio being substantially rewritten and retitled without her permission… And apparently, Giangregorio is upset enough about these revelations to invite himself over to Day’s house…. Is there a way to read this as something other than a threat against Day — especially as Giangregorio had previously told DeGeit that he would only communicate through lawyers? I tend to think not. Please spread the word.
The fact that this fellow was willing and able to do and say the things he’s done thus far indicates the disturbing possibility that his disconnection from common reality might go beyond simple arrogance.
Now that he’s been called out, and shamed, on a virtually national stage I have to wonder how he’ll react.
I really hope that this is not the prelude to something even uglier.
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I’m betting he’ll come up with a pseudonym to publish under and continue his exploits. You don’t go into small press publishing for the money or the glory, so what does he get out of it? The chance to dominate and humiliate others with impunity and without their consent. He likes that enough, he’s not going to stop just because his name is mud.
Come now. Didn’t we already go over this back when we were discussing epic fantasy? Anyone who has read the epic works of Martin or Bakker knows that there are no gratuitous rape scenes. Can you even think of a major work of literature that would not be improved by one? The addition of zombies have significantly improved Jane Austen no end, imagine how much better Pride and Prejudice would be if Mr. Darcy was not only a zombie killer, but a serial rapist! And, perhaps, a kleptomaniac.
Mr. Giangregorio is guilty of nothing more than moving the genre forward.
This guy, Giangregorio, needs counseling folks.—-boot to ear counseling with a little baseball bat catching therapy Conan style. It might improve his judgement a bit.
I don’t see how this guy can’t be sued. At best he is incompetent and at worst he is a little worm hiding behind a contract. This is how the guy gets off. Someone post a picture of him so that every convention he goes to he is shunned.
Unfortunately, stories like this are not all that uncommon in the world of small press publishing. Check out this sordid little tale that I blogged on SFReader.com.
And to update the story, the same publisher has removed my story from the ebook version of the Showdown at Midnight anthology, I guess so he won’t have to pay me any royalties. Obviously a breach of contract, but evidently contracts mean nothing to him.
If you want to read about more pleasant things, like the Flash Gordon serial, The Avengers movie, and other things, check out my own blog.
That’s a hell of a story, John Whalen. Sorry to hear that your novel was canceled. I hope you find another home for it!
Thanks, John. “Vampire Siege at Rio Muerto” will soon find its way to print.I’ve got a couple of options I’m considering. In the meantime, to celebrate Memorial Day weekend I am posting on my blog the story that was yanked from the “Showdown at Midnight” anthology. “Samurai Blade,” is being posted in three installments over the holiday weekend. This is the first Mordecai Slate to appear online and for free. All seven Slate tales have been published in print anthos, so this will give online readers a taste of what these stories are all about. And it’s free! Hope you all will check it out. Thanks.
Excellent — Thanks John!
[…] collect royalties on Romero’s intellectual property.) You can learn more here. And here is a list of other writers who have reported bad practices by this […]
[…] to collect royalties on Romero’s intellectual property.) You can learn more here. And here is a list of other writers who have reported bad practices by this […]