April 15, 2006

Writing, perceptions and consequences

I was actually going to write about something completely different today but I came across this thing yesterday and it has been bothering/nagging me since then. So I decided to blog about this instead :p

I wrote about Dan Simmons’ April message a few days ago. Yesterday I went over to Dan Simmons’ site for some reason and was surprised to discover that the April message was gone. The folder that the message was in is intact but his whole news folder simply shows a directory listing instead of the default page. (You can find a copy of the original message here if you’ve not read it and have no idea what I’m talking about :p) I was curious as to what had happened. Was this enemy action by somebody who did not like the message? Or did Dan take it down himself because of all the negative response to the message? What had been the original intention of the message in the first place? Was it an April Fool’s joke gone wrong or was he serious? Being the kind of cat that curiosity certainly would enjoy killing, I went over to Dan Simmons’ forums.

Now bear in mind that Dan’s site was not defaced in any way. The new folder itself was there as well as some other subfolders under it but the April message (as well as all other messages by Dan it seems) were missing. However, on the forums, the opinion seemed to strongly suggest that this was some nefarious deed by the "jihadists" (as one forum user called them) and not many seem to think that Dan Simmons himself might have pulled it. Granted, I don’t know enough about Dan Simmons to make a guess and these people probably do seem to know him best but given the circumstances, I do wish that people wouldn’t be so prone to jump to conclusions. But that’s people for you :p

I really have no idea what happened and I hate to make sweeping assumptions without knowing all the facts. So I will just file this under interesting and weird :p If anybody learns what did happen, do let me know 🙂 Incidentally, David Brin has a comment about the Dan Simmons message on his own blog and while I haven’t read them yet, I hear that the reader comments are interesting …

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Posted by Fahim at 7:32 am  |  No Comments