What do you do if your troll husband gets banned from a forum for being an obnoxious dick? Well, most people might ask their husbands what has gotten into them. Why would they put so much effort to alienate people that they would get kicked out of a forum that they’ve spent years on?
But if you’re Angie Gallant and you run a site dedicated to smearing other people, you respond by putting up a fake review of the book written by the person who was the target of your husband’s trolling. In Crazy Land, this apparently makes sense.
Angie Gallant, aka The Unamommer managed to summon enough bile to write a multi-page trashing of my little fantasy book I had written. Let me emphasize this, she chose to target me specifically because of her husband’s obsession. I had done nothing to her (or her husband for that matter). To this day, I have no idea how I became the focus of their family’s obsession. Since 2010, she’s only had time to crap on 3 books (including mine) so the choice of going after me was no coincidence. Her husband got banned, she decided to blame the victim of her husband’s relentless trolling and spew forth her venom in a review that was presented as objective to the unwary.
One could almost respect her misdirected bile if it weren’t so petty, small and nasty. While one could argue the strengths and weaknesses of the book all day, I will say this: Her venom is mostly directed at the grammar in the book and a political subtext that only exists in her imagination. Mind you, this is a book that was edited and published by Del Rey and had the same editors as Game of Thrones. Anyone, including myself, can pick out bits and pieces of the book to ridicule but the same can be said for pretty much any book. She doesn’t really target the story or the characters very much. One hopes she hasn’t read Huckleberry Finn or we’d need to get her a fainting couch.
While it’s pointless to discuss the subjective merits of my book, I think it’s safe to say that the average reader would probably find her criticisms much more enlightening if they knew that they were written in response to her husband’s banning from a popular gaming forum.
To illustrate some of the absurdities of her “review” let me point out a few lines from it to give you a taste.
Yes, he wants to build a border fence to keep the dark people and mutants out, and if that doesn’t work, he wants to burn the magical bridge.
If you’re bat shit insane enough, I suppose anything can be read into everything. In the book, there is no fence. There are no mutants. The people she represents as “dark people” are actually very light gray. I suppose you could call the bridge “magical” in the sense that the bridge has enchantments on it to make it more robust.
So how does her interpretation match with the actual book? You have a continent that has been split into two. On the West side are the Kingdoms of Men and on the East side you have light-gray skinned beings called the Fallen. Think of them essentially as Orcs from that well known white supremacist series called Lord of the Rings.
Now, you might wonder, how did she somehow imagine this story as some sort of illegal immigration allegory? That brings us back as to why her husband (and later her) got banned. There are right wingers. There are left wingers. And then we have…well I don’t know how to describe them. But to them, everything is seen through the eyes of politics.
To give you an idea, our olive-skinned hero is described as a “minority”. I kid you not. On a fantasy world we now have identity politics. Here’s a quote:
There’s also the Handsome Knight Who Is Secretly A Titan and the Token Member Of The Minority With Special Powers…[emphasis mine]
A “Token Member Of The..” Now, I want to point out here that we have someone who’s lampooning my book because of my grammar while At The Same Time Is Capitalizing Every Word In A Sentence. I could go into some detail that most of her grammatical trashing has to do with the inner monologues of characters who speak in their own distinct ways but that would be too easy.
Let’s imagine a book where the good guys have built a fortress, let’s call it Minas Tirith. The fortress is built to keep an eye out for any hint that the bad guys, long defeated, might come back. A normal person would probably not think twice about that. But if you’re a left-wing moonbat you might write:
There’s even a point where one character, the lord of a white person keep built on the non-white people continent, has thoughts on how he would like to resolve the matter. [emphasis mine]
That’s an actual quote. The evil white people are stealing land from who? The native Elementians? What?
You see, in her mind, the land is divided based on skin color. We have white people and “non-white” people (even though the Fallen are actually lighter than most of the Kingdoms of Men in Elemental and in fact some of the Kingdoms of Men are very dark skinned but that wouldn’t fit her narrative). She probably realized at some point that crapping on the book for sentence structure of the inner monologues of different characters was too ridiculous to swallow and thus had to insert some bizarre racist/bigot subtext in order to justify her screed.
What’s funny is that I’ve seen her and her friends talk about how it’s not cool to go after people in “real life”. Apparently, that rule didn’t apply to me. I mean, I deserve to be hated because, I…because…um, I don’t share her political views I guess (I’m one of those evil libertarian types – look out or I’ll advocate that the government not do anything to you!). Therefore, I deserved to be trolled on a video game site and when her husband got banned for it (not at my request mind you, I had nothing to do with his banning) she decided to try to strike at me in a way that would hit home.
So why do I bring this up now? Because, ironically, 3 years later I still hear bullshit from people who hear I wrote a “racist” book. My fun little fantasy book, was twisted by her and her ilk into being something it’s not. I had years and years of notes and concepts for the book in question. It is a world and a story that I’ve long wanted to share and it has nothing to do with politics or race.
While I suspect she’s incapable of any degree of empathy, can you imagine how exciting it would be to have a book you’ve dreamed of writing be published by Random House only to have someone orchestrate a trashing of it because their husband got banned from a forum after they, for reasons no one understands why, trolled you for months? It’s not like I did something to these people.
In my career I’ve dealt with a lot of criticism. Some justified, some not. This was a case where someone went out of their way to target me in the hopes of harming me well outside some forum discussion. And guess what? It worked. Congratulations. Her and her friends managed to get my book review score down to 3 stars. I have no idea what score my book would have “naturally” got. But a half dozen 1-star reviews, led by her husband and with followers from her blog certainly ensured we’d never find out. At various times, I considered organizing a counter to it. With millions of people to reach out to, it would be relatively easy to get a couple hundred positive reviews. But I decided not to. Whatever score it got, trolls and all, is what it got. I won’t even link to it here to emphasize I’m not trying to encourage reviewing it (it’s irrelevant now, 3 years on, nobody cares anymore about the book itself).
Anyone who’s played any of the Elemental games knows there’s no political overtones to them. You could criticize it for not innovating on the classic fantasy tropes (Trogs and Urxen being various types of Orcs for instance) but sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
What amazes me, is that someone who is supposedly a functional adult, a parent even would take the banning of their husband’s as an opportunity to put time and energy into trying to harm someone who had done nothing to her or her husband. In hindsight, I should have vigorously responded to her disgusting, obnoxious and petty review. You can’t let this crap stand or else it’ll take on a life of its own. It’s not a mistake I’ll be repeating.