Blocked: When You Make a Hugo-Award Winning Author Upset on Twitter


Screen capture from twitter

Yesterday, I wrote and posted a book review of SF/F author N.K. Jemisin’s Hugo award-winning novel The Fifth Season, both here on my blog and on Amazon (considering Goodreads as well).


Screenshot from twitter

I then posted links of my review on twitter and in a private writer’s group on Facebook. As you can see by the accompanying screenshot, I included Ms. Jemisin’s twitter “handle” in the body of my message in case she might want to read the review (and what author doesn’t want to read reviews of their books?).

As an aside, before someone mentions it, I suppose I could be accused of “trolling” Jemisin…except I wasn’t. All I did was put @nkjemisin into the body of my tweet which also contained a link to my review of her novel. If I had put her handle as the very first word in the tweet, it would have gone straight to her and it would not have appeared in my twitter feed. I didn’t do that. I wasn’t exclusively “aiming” my tweet at her, though I certainly wouldn’t have minded if she saw it and read the review. I suppose she could have taken it the wrong way.

Now to continue:

I popped over to her twitter account just for the heck of it and gave it a brief read. I don’t recall the specific content. I was just curious.

This morning, I decided to post another tweet referencing my review. I do this several times in twitter since folks might miss it the first time or two. I decided to include Jemisin’s twitter name once more, and out of curiosity, visited her twitter account again. Lo and behold, I was blocked. What the heck? What happened in the last 22 hours or so?

Maybe she read my review and didn’t like it. I’ve noticed on Amazon that 19% of the reviews for the novel are three stars and under (that makes 81% of the reviews four and five stars, which is nothing to complain about), but that’s pretty minor. Not everyone is going to love your book, no matter who you are or how well you’ve crafted your novel.

Of course, I mentioned sexuality and gender identity in my review, since Jemisin made a point of including those topics in her novel. Maybe she didn’t like what I said (read my review for specifics).

Then it occurred to me that maybe she did what I did. Maybe she got curious about who I was and took a look at my twitter account. I suppose it’s possible, given that we’re different human beings with differing perspectives, that she took exception to my opinions.

I decided to find out. Oh yes, I may be blocked when I’m logged into twitter, but when I log out or use a different web browser where I am not logged in, Jemisin’s twitter account is perfectly visible.

Below, I’m posting side-by-side screen captures of my tweets and Jemisin’s for comparison. I took exactly seven screenshots of each of our twitter feeds and put them together into a single, very long image. I did not edit out any content. This is a continuous view for the last two days of what we each tweeted/retweeted without any additions or omissions.


Compilation of screenshots from twitter

Whew. Yes, that’s a lot of content, and as you can see, we both have differing political and social opinions. But is that enough to actually block someone? I never addressed her directly on twitter, just included her twitter handle in a tweet with a link to my review (and if she spent the effort to read my twitter feed and read my review, I guess I should be honored since she’s a three-time Hugo winner and I’m just a guy).

Then I saw this:


Screenshots from twitter

Wow! Okay, I have no idea if she means me in her tweet or not, but if you look at the time index (both screenshots were taken within minutes of one another), you’ll see that my initial review appears 22 hours ago and her comment 17 hours ago, five hours later. That would have given her time to read the review and respond with the above-referenced tweet. She mentions wanting to “cut motherfuckers” plural, so perhaps I wasn’t the only one to upset her (or again, it has nothing to do with me…maybe).

I noticed that 20 people responded to that particular tweet and decided to see what some of them said. Maybe it would provide some illumination…or not.


Screenshot from twitter

Gee, I hope Robbie Q. Telfer was being metaphorical when he justified her desire to “cut motherfuckers.”

Anyway, if Jemisin checked my twitter feed, and if she found my comments odious enough to block me, I can still say that no matter what my opinions may be, I have never wished to “cut” anyone (even metaphorically), nor called anyone a “motherfucker,” though I’ve had some pretty grim thoughts about the child sexual abusers I call out in social media.

So what does all this mean? Probably not a damn thing. Ms. Jemisin will never again have to be burdened with my tweets, and as long as I am not logged into twitter, I won’t see hers. Of course, she’s a human being, which means she has feelings, can be offended, can become angry, and all that stuff. Interestingly enough, I follow a number of people and news sources, not all of them lining up with my personal social and political beliefs. I find that I can learn more from people and organizations I disagree with rather than simply tuning into my own Echo chamber.

I hope she enjoyed her Snickers, hanging paintings, playing video games, and feels better by now.


Hilarious snickers meme

23 thoughts on “Blocked: When You Make a Hugo-Award Winning Author Upset on Twitter

    • Actually, in reading her Hugo award acceptance speech, I’d say more vulnerable than repulsive. My guess is that she’s felt like a target as a person and an author based on race for so long that she tends to perceive any criticism as an attack.

      However, that is a guess.

      I wrote about toxic fear in relation to social media before, and this may be an example of that. Another guess is that no matter how much success she achieves (and winning the Hugo Award for best novel three years running is a lot of success), she’ll never feel safe, so her reaction will be fight or flight. I guess blocking someone on twitter is “flight,” though her comment about wanting to “cut some motherfuckers” can definitely be interpreted as fight (not that she would actually do such a thing – it was just the words she chose to express her emotions).

      Liked by 1 person

  1. As you know, I don’t get much into sci-fi/fantasy novels or the authors or their drama. I just want to respond to this one thing (quote): …. I included Ms. Jemisin’s twitter “handle” in the body of my message in case she might want to read the review (and what author doesn’t want to read reviews of their books?).

    I’ve heard a lot of people in movies and theater don’t read reviews.

    I personally thought the way you described the beginning of the first book sounded like she is groundbreaking… or, you know, different. I don’t think everyone has to dish out five stars or even four for something to be interesting. I, yesterday, read reviews for the book version of a movie I thought was very good. Some people really didn’t like reading the book, and I can understand why (for them) from their write-ups.

    It sounds like Jemisin’s story would be better in book form, though. I have a question. Do you see any reason it would be more helpful to figuring out her metaphors, etc., to have a print version over hearing it in audio form? Like… do spellings matter to that end, or that kind of thing?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hadn’t thought about an audio version. She does make up some of her terminology, but given this is happening in the far future, it’ makes sense. I don’t see why you couldn’t pick up the symbolism/metaphors from an audio book, although being a visual person, I prefer text. Oh, I found out that as of last August, TNT was planning to develop this novel as a television series. I don’t know how far they’ve gotten since then.


      • I, just a few minutes ago, saw the TNT series news as I was reading the tweets. Things could be developed more in a series than in a movie.

        Thanks for your answer on the subject of an audio version of the book.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Quoting you again: Gee, I hope Robbie Q. Telfer was being metaphorical when he justified her desire to “cut motherfuckers.”

    [So do I. I have no context for him.]

    Anyway, if Jemisin checked my twitter feed, and if she found my comments odious enough to block me, I can still say that no matter what my opinions may be, I have never wished to “cut” anyone (even metaphorically), nor called anyone a “motherfucker,” though I’ve had some pretty grim thoughts …

    It does sound extreme and harsh, but it’s sort of a “saying” — the aspect about cutting (sort of analogous to all the gun talk [which moves into ideation and action] in other circles) — and I’d bet you’ve seen Bruce Willis embrace the “motherfucker” thing.

    I can’t lift/copy her full tweet, but if anyone bothers to read it — and is savvy to current pop culture — it can be seen that she is checking herself. She says the problem is herself and that she needs to take a break or get off of twitter. And says she needs to eat a Snickers. LOOK UP Snickers commercials.

    I also don’t know what you’re worked up about on more of your topics. I’d point out, for one thing, that your apparent (or imagined) nemesis (I say this tongue-in-cheek), here, DID in fact call out against a pedophile (and apologists); THAT IS R. Kelly. Maybe you need to be not so convinced you’re right all the time?


    • So I’m curious whether implying she’s anti-Semitic and other things you wanted us to see as supposed contrasts between yourself and her still holds up for you. And if I were going to do something like what you’re doing I’d say I hope your first commenter isn’t really as much like the “Hebrew Israelites” (or “black Muslims” according to one of the Catholic moms) [those men are neither] as he seems (following your lead).


  3. What is evident is that she was angry at someone for expressing support for a pedophile (in our common parlance), while you wanted it to be perceived that she is among those who “only care about adult victims” and not children; this could work if someone doesn’t know about R. Kelly (or if someone does know but also is in his favor on such matters). What is additionally evident is that you have a thing about anti-Semitism [while I think you have said some anti-Semitic things at other times, but that’s another topic]. The fact there is a sect using the word Hebrew and the label Israel or Israelites, on the surface, appears that she’s open to a negative evaluation.

    But if you took the time, her receptivity to the person who said something derogatory is not in regard to a group that is actually Jews (or even Muslims as the hyper-reactive mom with the students reported while also slinging charges of fake news against others). I can’t say Jemison is different from you for cussing. (And I can identify with her expletive that could be said is in the category of cursing on the topic of recent news in the realm of child abuse). I can’t say she’s different from you for including gross or disturbing topics in her fiction either — while I haven’t read anything by her and only know there might be something bothersome from your having said so.


    • Marleen, I put those tweets side-by-side for a two day period as an example, but they have absolutely nothing to do with one another. My content wasn’t posted in relation with Jemisin at all, nor to hers have anything to do with me (with the possible exception of her “cut” comment). I think you’re overanalyzing those twitter feeds.


      • I DO know that those aren’t responses to each other from one column to the other (and I do think you’re taking the one item way personally besides seriously). Yet you put them up, not I.


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