Tag Archives: twitter

J. K. Rowling joins Twitter

J. K. Rowling

J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling has joined Twitter, signing up for a verified account with the social networking and micro-blogging platform.

The British author joins other science fiction and fantasy writers such as Kevin J. Anderson, Brandon Sanderson and William Gibson, who all use Twitter to various degrees. William Gibson has become a prolific Twitterer over the past six months.

Rowling has only made three posts on the service so far, writing:

“I am told that people have been twittering on my behalf, so I thought a brief visit was in order just to prevent any more confusion!

However, I should flag up now that although I could twitter endlessly, I’m afraid you won’t be hearing from me very often … as pen and paper is my priority at the moment.”

The author is not following anyone on Twitter, although more than 60,000 Twitterers are already watching her every move.

Rowling is known to currently be working on several books after her completion of the seven book Harry Potter series, including a ‘political fairy tale’ for children and another book for adults.

William Gibson is a prolific Twitterer

William Gibson

William Gibson

Science fiction author William Gibson has emerged as a prolific user of the Twitter social network platform, publishing some 2,149 updates since he first started using the service in early April this year.

“My poor old blog’s just sitting here while I write this book” the author wrote on his Google Blogger blog in late July. However, he added, directing fans to his Twitter page, @GreatDismal, “I really do find micro-blogging congenial (not to mention collegial) and most of what I was doing here, before, was exactly that.”

Gibson is best-known for his 1980’s Sprawl trilogy, consisting of the Neuromancer, Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive books, in which he is credited with coining the term “cyberspace” and helping to birth the cyberpunk genre. However he has continued to publish other science fiction works over the years, and is currently working on a new book, entitled Zero History.

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Dune twitterers ridicule Kevin J. Anderson

WindsofDunecover

Several people critical of Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert’s new Dune books have started to lampoon Anderson using the Twitter social networking tool.

Not everyone is happy about the way the author and Brian Herbert, son of the original author of Dune, Frank Herbert, have re-worked the series which many believe to be the greatest science fiction masterpiece ever written. Anderson maintains a Twitter account — @thekja — through which he posts updates about his life and his work.

“Would FH have accepted his McDune crap as canon? Probably not.”, wrote one of Anderson’s followers on Twitter recently. The follower, whose real name appears to be Ronald Craig but who tweets as @thekjanonfan (apparently meaning not a fan), also runs a website, the Hairy Ticks of Dune Blog.

The blog contains a variety of posts accusing Anderson of poor quality writing, and critics of his work on Amazon of being unfairly biased towards the new Dune books. Craig writes about the latest Dune book, Winds of Dune:

“The Winds of Dune … showing even more than its predecessor why Frank Herbert chose not to write about those interim “gaps” between his books … and, again, just how little Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert understand the fictional universe they are playing in.”

Another Twitter critic, @realdune, who brands himself the “Ghost of Frank”, has also recently started targerting Anderson on Twitter. “He left it unexplored for a reason, hack,” he said to Anderson this week on Twitter. “In 10 books, you have added NOTHING to the Dune saga.”

Anderson seems aware of the taunts. In a response to one Twitter post from another poster, he contended that many fans and reviewers didn’t think he was flogging a dead horse. “Frank Herbert left 15,000 years of history to explore,” he wrote.

And in another, he posts what he says is a correction for “a couple of fringe Dune fans”, saying The Dune Encyclopedia, a 1984 collection of essays written as a companion to the original series, was never accepted as canon by Frank Herbert.

There is also a protest group on Facebook. Dubbed the ‘Orthodox Herbertarians’, the group describes itself like this:

“This is a group for all of those that enjoy classic Dune, and do not accept the novels of Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson as Dune. Orthodox Herbertarians Unite!!!”

However, the Kevin J. Anderson fan groups on Facebook have far more members.

Some other people on Twitter, aren’t so critical of Anderson. A number of fans are using the platform to interact with the author in a positive way. “Congrats to @TheKJA for publishing his 100th novel. Absolutely amazing. The hardest working man in SF,” writes one.

Commentary
There is no doubt that Brian Herbert and Anderson’s decision to continue the Dune series after Frank Herbert’s death has angered many fans of the great series, and will continue to do so.

Personally, I don’t think the new books live up the original series — and how could they? Frank Herbert’s masterpiece is universally hailed as being a contender for the best piece of science fiction literature of all time. As a Dune fan myself, I also feel Brian Herbert and Anderson should have left the series alone.

However, this doesn’t mean fans of the original series should lower themselves or insult Anderson — who after all has devoted his life to writing science fiction — in a petty way. If we lose respect towards the authors who make up such an important part of our lives through their work, we’ll lose respect for ourselves as readers. And the authors don’t deserve such behaviour.

By all means, satirise Anderson if you feel you must, heavily critique his work and hold his quality to account. But do it in a way that shows you respect his courage for making the attempt to keep Herbert’s great vision alive. Give the guy some cred.

The ultimate course of critical action is also completely open to everyone. Simply write a better book yourself!