Well, at least, I’m big enough to have had my work plagiarized by someone ostensibly from Ghana. The Grin Without A Cat blog reports the receipt of a strange submission for an anthology of fantasy stories by Filipino authors:
Specifically, someone sent in a pseudo-submission with this intro:
From: samuel ansah asare
Date: Thu, Apr 9, 2009 at 6:44 PM
Subject: SUBMISSION OF MY 7500 WORDS OF SHORT STORIES.
NAME :MR. SAMUEL ERNEST ANSAH ASARE,
TELEPHONE NUMBERS: +233(0)242517475, +233(0)267307499
NOTE :PLEASE IF I WIN FOR MY 7500WORDS OF MY SPECULATIVE SHORT STORIES, KINDLY USE MY REAL NAME MR.ERNEST ASARE IN MAKING WESTERN UNION TO SEND MY CASH OF PRIZE OF MONEY TO ME. MY GHANAIAN NATIONAL VOTER ID CARD IS MISSING SO DO NOT USE SAMUEL AS A WESTERN UNION TO ME IN GHANA.
But what made this doubly-interesting was when– on a whim– I googled the first line of the first story and what came out was Eugene Fisher’s Husbandry in Strange Horizons. The others were Nira and I by Shweta Narayan, The Spider in You by Sean E. Markey, and Turning the Apples by Tina Connolly.
So, there we have it. My first plagiarization. (Also, the first misspelling of my name in attribution of published work. This will almost certainly happen again.) This brings to my mind Neal Stephenson’s remarks upon learning that text from his novel Cryptonomicon was being used by spammers:
e-mail filters learn from their mistakes. When the Cryptonomicon spam was sent out, it must have generated an immune response in the world’s spam filtering systems, inoculating them against my literary style. So this could actually cause my writing to disappear from the Internet.
If this blog–or worse, Strange Horizons–should suddenly go dark, blame the Ghanan fiction spammers.