I figured that I will do my small part in getting the word out about somebody plagiarizing stories in our on-line community. Most of you will know this already but perhaps some have not.
Mercedes Yardley last night posted on her blog about a person by the name of 'Richard Ridyard' who attempted to pass off a story as his own, but was actually written by the horror master Stephen King. Fortunately, the people at Shock Totem recognized it for what it was and called him up on it. You can read her full story here. She also mentions that horror writer Angel Zapata has had one of his stories plagiarized. I read this morning that our own Aaron Polson has also had his story "Communion" plagiarized by this person. You can read his comments about this at his blog here.
Angel does an amazing job of building a case against this fraud on his most recent post. Do yourself a favour and read his well-researched story exposing this person here. There are numerous comments from folks at his blog, updating information on the story.
There's not more I can add to what others have said about this person. When on-line publishers accept stories there is a certain amount of trust assumed. I somehow doubt this was done for money because, as we all know, there isn't a lot to be had by publishing short stories on e-zines. I think that it's more of a sick joke by someone who has carefully placed stories for some time, knowing that eventually they would be discovered. I also think that this person is getting off on the amount of attention they are receiving. Sort of their '15 minutes of fame.'
There will always be people who try to scam the system, but it is comforting that when a person like that is exposed for what they are the rest this community can rally together. In a matter of hours people all over the world have gathered and shared information on this fraud in an attempt to expose him/her more quickly the next time. I have no doubt that Richard Ridyard will surface again in another persona, but at least everyone will be watching.