The nastiness of the shaft jobs Random House’s e-imprints have been trying to foist on naive authors has gained the notice of the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA), and they’ve fired a warning shot across the publisher’s bow. They’ve basically announced that they’ll be treating Hydra and Alibi as vanity presses and outlaw shops, which is only appropriate. Of interest, however, is this little section:
The contracts of these imprints mean that SFWA will now be watching Random House very closely. If the egregious features of Hydra and Alibi’s contracts begin to make their way into the contracts of Random House’s other imprints, particularly Del Rey and Spectra, we will be required to act, up to and including delisting Random House as a whole as a qualifying market for SFWA.
Your move, Random House. And thank you, SFWA. I wonder if the Mystery Writers of America might consider doing the same; right now, Random is on the MWA’s approved list for all imprints. It’s one thing to write about fraud and robbery — it’s another thing to condone it. I’m not a member of MWA at this point (although joining has been an ambition of mine for years) — I don’t qualify yet, so there’s really no reason for them to care about my opinion. All the same, it seems like a reasonable step for them to take.