Dear Geek Gurus,

My favorite author’s latest works have been very difficult to read. They are too long and too repetitive; it’s like he got so successful they decided to stop editing him entirely. It is getting very frustrating for me to read his books and have the same phrases repeated over and over—not to mention the same plots. My dilemma is: do I tell him? Of course, I could stop reading the books, but I am very invested in the worlds he has created, and I don’t want to do that. Not that I think a fan letter to an author would change anything, but what I guess I’m asking is, should I send something that might make him feel bad just to make myself feel better, when I know it won’t actually make a difference?


Honor Bound


Dear Honor Bound,

Firstly, I feel your pain. The list of authors that got so big they stopped being edited is so very long. And then, there you are, painfully reading through Book 6 because damn it, you just want to know how it ends. But isn’t this the same plot from Book 2?

“Okay. How do we blow it up? There’s always a way to do that.”

Secondly, I find your want to use the postal system quaint. I mean, who even knows how to find a stamp anymore?

But it could work! No, we cannot condone mailing flaming bags of poo, no matter how appropriate that may be in this situation – also, it may kill George R. R. Martin and then we’ll never f’ing know how the series ends. But a letter may very well be your solution.

Try some politeness, use your best handwriting, and know it’s really like mailing a letter to Santa. And you are ten-years-old and just doing it for your kid sister who still believes. Mail that letter. Put down the flaming poo. And then go get a new hobby. Or write some fan fiction. It worked for Fifty Shades of Grey.


A is absolutely right. Write a letter as if you are a child. I recommend using one of those pens that have multiple colors of ink to choose from. Utilize them all. Or go all out and write the letter in crayon. Draw a picture of how sad you are for not being able to learn new words because he keeps reusing the same phrases. And whilst you do that, also write a letter to the REAL culprit: the editor. ‘Tis the editor who isn’t doing his/her job. Heck, it’s even possible that the editor is explicitly telling said author to write the same work over (and over) again. You just know that her or she is busy swimming in cash à la Scrooge McDuck, money brought in by the original good ideas the author had, and thus doesn’t have time to, you know, actually edit.

Also, how often do editors get fan mail? Maybe it might actually get read. Have a thesaurus handy, so you can use a multitude of words as you eviscerate and excoriate their editorial abilities. In fact, you could write a series of letters, each adding new and inventive ways of telling them to do their job. This also allows you to fully vent your frustration in an adult manner without fear of going on a watch list on some kind.

The fanfic idea has potential as well. You could highlight the annoyances you have with the current state of the series, and then, when the fanfic inevitably becomes the next big thing in Hollywood and you start swimming in your own vault o’ money, you can easily get the author’s attention and have a frank discussion about how he should really try to change things up.

Or just buy out his publishing company and establish yourself as his new editor. That would work, too.


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