No Apology In Sight

While the evidence contrary to Jane Henderson’s claims against Melissa Marr’s books continue to pour in, Ms Henderson has said that she concedes there are so many similar covers, but will continue her fight to refute her opinion that Marr’s work “resembles”, and therefore is a “knock-off” of Laurell K Hamilton’s work, and she has no intention of apologizing for her opinion or her remarks.

Her words:

There ARE more and more monotone/monochrome-ish covers that are blurry-ish, shadow-ish that seem to evoke mystery AND/OR fantasy. When they have women’s body parts or whole women I believe they are also implying that there will be sexual innuendo, women as lust objects and/or women-in-danger aspects. Perhaps, though, this is an overdone trend at this point. It might be getting to the point where the information conveyed by the images has less meaning…

…None of this changes my mind about the impression the cover and topic combination of the Marr book made on ME. I will continue to reiterate that is the COMBINATION of theme, topic and cover aspects and that I still think there is a strong resemblance. For a general reader, I think they might see similarities. For a fantasy specialist or niche reader, they may seem very, very different. The book publishing industry traffics in knock-offs, similar books all the time. This is not really disputable. Harry Potter spawned a lot of knock-offs, even if the magic/wizard story also had a long history before Rowling was born.

Note also that publishers do not send every genre book out for review to mainstream, general interest publications. They obviously think Marr is something special and are giving her book special attention. With extra marketing effort comes extra public scrutiny – a professional writer knows and accepts that.

And here’s the bit about no apology:

Book reviewers and book critics don’t just publicize books, they actually make critical judgments and offer opinions, which is what I was doing in the book blog. I do not believe I have anything to apologize for as I was doing what the newspaper pays me to do.
I have tried as well as I can to explain why I see the new Marr book as suggestive of the Hamilton book. My explanation regarding the combination of monotone cover art and topic and theme has been adequately explained and the quotations have been rendered accurately according to the AP stylebook and what is common practice among professional book critics.

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4 comments on “No Apology In Sight

  1. You can’t cure stupid, especially when it goes down to the bone. I wonder what her boss thinks about all of her ravings.

  2. I’ve been reading about this and I still feel something is missing with her. I understand what she is saying, I think. Anyone who writes about faeries in modern times and has body parts on there dusk jacket must be a knock off of Laurell K. Hamilton? Wow!

  3. Allie-
    It’s not that Henderson is accusing *everyone* of being a knock-off of Hamilton. If this was the problem, well, there wouldn’t be a problem. I would love to see a discussion about how Hamilton has influenced the upsurge of fantasy literature of the past decade– especially where it pertains to vampires and faeries– because I do believe she’s been a huge influence.

    The problem is Henderson is singling out Marr as a copycat of Hamilton. Just Marr. Henderson is blatantly ignoring all evidence to the contrary– the multiples of authors writing about faeries that all have covers that could be considered similar to Hamilton’s. And Henderson has also said she has “evidence” to justify the knock-off comments, but she has yet to present it in a clear fashion– that is, a side-by-side comparison so people can judge for themselves.

    Jane Henderson is not “an ordinary observer” as defined by the lawyer as the basis for deciding what copyright infringement is or isn’t. She is a *biased* observer. She’s the one presenting an argument, and ignoring the truth.

    She’s also keeping the truth from the “ordinary” observers– that is, people like you.

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