I read the new JD Robb book, Echoes in Death, (review coming soon), and it made me think of fansite I joined years ago, indeath.net. So I went back on it since I was bored and I regret it so much.
I forgot how much the users on there kiss Roberts' ass. Which by all rights shouldn't surprise me because, hey, it's a fansite for her, but still. I was looking at a few threads and they completely jump down the throat of anyone who dares to say anything negative about Roberts' writing. While still being all nice and polite about it. If it's someone pointing out a naming inconsistency or chronological inconsistency they're usually fine but the second you question why a character did this or that, they flip out. Not screaming or raging but, as I said, just putting you down as much as they can while still being polite. Like Umbridge from Harry Potter.
I don't know why I was surprised to find the website to be a huge circle jerk after being on it for years. Isn't that the point of fansites anyway? I stopped being a fan of Roberts a few years ago so I guess the rose-tinted glasses came off and I could see the site for real.
The website also gave me a negative view of Roberts herself due to her view on fanfiction. I knew she didn't like fanfiction of her works before I joined because when you upload fic on fanfiction.net, at the top it says "these authors have asked us to not to allow fic of their works" and Roberts is on that list. Indeath.net had a fanfiction section anyway. But this week I found that Roberts basically issued a takedown notice in 2014 (shows how long I haven't been paying attention) to indeath saying that she no longer had time to monitor indeath's fanfiction section and there had too many fanfics that offended her so she wanted the site no longer allow fic at all. Of course they said okay. That notice from Roberts really reminded me of Ye Olde Fandom days when authors threatened to sue fanfic writers (many of whom were minors) because the authors got all twisted up over people daring to write something different from their canon. As if fanfiction insinuated their canon was not enough and that was allegedly some huge insult. That's why you see "disclaimers" on old fic on ff.net or livejournal. I guess Roberts is still in that mindframe. Whatever.
But what grinds my gears THE MOST is a post from one of the admins a bit prior to the takedown was a reminder of the guidelines. I'd never seen the guidelines before as I had zero interest in writing fic for the In Death series so I only just saw it for the first time this week and this part:
"It means that, for example, Roarke isn't gay. Now, don't be horrified....nobody has ever written a "Roarke is Gay" fan fic, and I hope to never see one."
Is so goddamn infuriating. Like holy frigging f*ck. "Horrified"? "Hope to never see one."? That sentence goes way beyond "canon is the holy bible, don't you dare have any imagination" and goes straight (haha, *not*) into "I'm a huge flaming homophobe." This person didn't even use this language to chastise fics where the main characters are raped. It really reinforces the fact that Roberts' characters are all white or straight. Maybe once in a blue moon you'll get a supprting character who is not white. Or in the case of the In Death universe, you might get a suspect or victim who is queer. None of the main or supporting characters in ID are queer. And in this day and age I have zero patience for stories with little to no diversity. Haven't got the time, haven't the patience. Especially when I myself am queer and am goddamned tired of white straight stories. Roberts will never get a penny from me. And it doesn't need saying I won't be going back to indeath.net.