Hi Everyone! I'd just like to make my position on here absolutely clear as I've seen the previous post with an image of my Amazon review and Kieren's response. I've never seen this response and I've no idea how to see this! I can't see it in my Amazon account at all - but I'd like to state that I don't have a 'personal agenda' with anybody. What would be the point in that? Let me explain my situation and how I was unfortunate enough to have communication with this guy. Sorry for the long ramble - I want to make sure I get all my points over.
I bought Kieren's book 'A Compendium of ZX Spectrum Games' a while back when I was first starting my jump into the Retro community properly. I basically went through a phase of buying anything that had the word 'Spectrum' in the title! Anyway, the book turned up and the first thing that struck me was the state it turned up in. It looked second hand, as you can see by my image on the review. I also spotted that the print quality was very poor with every image having lines through them - again this is visible in my Amazon review photos. But with this being a Speccy book and myself being a Speccy fan I hastily, and stupidly, gave it a quick flick through and left a 4 star review. I think I was probably trying to support the community and anyone creating retro Spectrum related stuff. This was silly of me to review it without really reading it THOROUGHLY, but that is my mistake. To be fair to Kieren, the layout of the book is quite nice, with the alphabetised content - although those alphabet pages sure do waste a lot of space that could have been filled with content instead.
When I actually did sit down to read it properly I was shocked at the spelling grammar mistakes throughout. It's not even just once - it's all over the place. This started to annoy me because if you're publishing a book for people to spend their hard earned cash on, surely you'd run it through a spellchecker, right? As I read on I also became convinced that some of the games in the book hadn't even been played by the author at all as some of the reviews seem so generic and formulaic. Anyway, I thought it might just be me having a bad night so I left if a week or so and then read it again. It was at this point that I became really quite annoyed. I took off my Spectrum rose tinted glasses and saw this book for what it is - poorly printing, poor condition, poor spelling, poor grammar and generally a poor decision on my behalf to purchase the book.
To check it wasn't just me, I gave it to my 14 year old son with the simple request - "Read this and tell me what you think". Putting aside his initial comments of the state of the book and print quality, after about 10-15 minutes, he looked up at me, held the book out and exclaimed "Who wrote this? It's a mess!". At this point I felt verified that it wasn't just me and decided to change my review so that other people wouldn't waste their money on this. I believe, and Amazon agree after speaking to them, that this is my right - to express an accurate review based on how I feel about the product. So I changed my review to a 1 star 'Avoid' review and thought no more of it.
A short while afterwards, I spotted all of the kerfuffle on Facebook about a bunch of fallings out with some guy who was going around upsetting people. My initial thought was to just be glad I wasn't involved in all of it because it sounded like really nasty stuff. After seeing one post mentioning the name Kieren Hawken, I realised that this was the same guy who had written the book I'd reviewed. Still - I was glad to be out of all of that and that was that - or so I thought...
However, on March 24th I Tweeted out a message from Henrique Olifiers about the first batch of accelerated Spectrum Nexts going out for shipment. I then received a response from the @RetroLaird account which had nothing to do with my Tweet but referenced my Amazon review(!)
First of all, this is weird because it's nothing to do with my Tweet. He's venting at me about my review. Second of all, he's stalked me down to Twitter from my Amazon account to put this grievance up against me! I mean, what the hell???
So my initial reaction to this was shock, followed by anger, followed by hilarity which I tried to play off in my Quote Tweet - with me being honoured that he thinks I'm important enough to troll and a witty comment about name calling. If he classes me in the same trolling camp as @Octav1us, @Mr.T, Chris Wilkins etc then surely I've 'made it'!😂
His response to this was the following:
Now correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe anybody deserves to be trolled. If you don't agree with somebody, just stop following them. If you don't like a bad review of a shoddily put together book, just leave it and move on. The shock news is that if you produce something, no matter what it is, there is somebody that will not like it. You just have to accept that and leave it - not stalk them down to Twitter and start commenting about it. This, to me, is totally unacceptable behaviour. You can probably see all the Twitter stuff from where it started here: https://twitter.com/SpectrumNez/status/1242506435508015118?s=20. I can't because he's blocked me now.
I have found a home for Kieren's book and I hope the recipient will provide a fair and honest review on Amazon about it. Maybe they'll like it and give it 5 stars to balance out my review and all will be right with the universe again? 🤷♂️
Anyway - that's my piece. If you made it this far, thanks for your tenacity! This is the first real piece of negativity I've experienced since diving into the Retro scene. I've generally found most people so far to be absolutely excellent people,very friendly, welcoming and all on the same wavelength of enjoying Retro computers and games and I'm truly grateful to be allowed to be just a very small part of it. To meet all those 'rock star' programmers at the Revival events put on by @Mr.T is literally a dream come true for me and I couldn't be happier. It's a shame that this kind of negativity and poison exists but I'm going to take the advice I was given on Twitter, which is: Block, Forget, Move On.
Peace out brothers and sisters! ❤