Inhuman Swill : Scams

Frey-ing fish in a barrel

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After reading last week's New York Magazine feature article "James Frey's Fiction Factory," I was tempted to post another jeremiad against the author who proves himself time and again the slimiest, most brazenly unapologetic charlatan to disgrace our industry in the past decade.

Fortunately, doing so would be redundant, since I can just send you to John Scalzi's two excellent posts analyzing Frey's latest hijinks:

  • The Man in the Frey Flannel Suit
  • An Open Letter to MFA Writing Programs (and Their Students)

    All I will add is that you should never sign a contract with a man who claims there's no difference between fact and fiction.


  • In today's mail, I received an invitation to have my biography included in the next Marquis Who's Who in America. I knew already that it was a scam, but if I hadn't I would have guessed as much from the fact that the invitation came to my work address. There's no reason whatsoever for my day job to get me into Who's Who.

    A minute or two of searching online led me to an amusing article from Forbes by Tucker Carlson, "The Hall of Lame." To Carlson's catalog of Who's Who shames, I would add this question: Why does Ronnie Spector think it's important for me to know she's a member of the Literary Guild?


    I've noticed a new flavor of spam slipping through my filter today. Is it similar to the Nigerian scam, or is it even more dangerous? Check this out:

    Subject: How are you? Date: Fri, 16 Feb 2007 08:45:28 +0500

    Hello!!!

    How are you? My name is Nadejda. I am 26 years old. I live in Russia, city Yoshkar-Ola. I am cheerful woman, and like to do many things as sport, camping, go to the cinema, theatre etc. In a word I like to do all what like all people. I work in marketing structure on sale of cosmetics. My dream this travel abroad. I know the english language well enough.. I began to study english language approximately one year ago. I wish tell to you history which have pushed me write to you. 8 months ago I have got acquainted with the man from other country by name Justin. During this time we had good relations. We have understood that our relations become serious and we have decided to meet in his country. I wrote the application for reception the visa. I waited reception of the visa approximately half of year. All time I kept in touch with Justin through the internet and often called to each other. I and Justin waited reception of the visa to our meeting. I have received the invitation from the ambassador for reception of the visa. My director has given me long-term holiday from work and I have gone to Moscow to receive the visa. I informed good news to Justin, but he has answered, that does not want our meeting. He played with me. He has informed that has the wife with two children and at all has no plans to meet me. I was not ready to such turn of events. I could not think what even after 8 months of acquaintance he can so unscrupulously act with me. Now I am in Moscow trip to Moscow and reception of visa. I do not want that all was gone for nothing and will be glad if my visa will be useful to our meeting. I could arrive already through 4-5 days, but a problem in that that now I have no man which would like my arrival. Probable it will silly sound but if you will be interested in a meeting with the good woman I shall like to meet you sometime soon! As Justin was dishonest with me I have decided to find the man which is interested to meet the woman from Russia. I do not know your ideas about my letter, but it would be fine if we could meet and have some weeks or months together. On my trip I want to receive rest from my work and a life in Russia. Also the basic purpose for the future it is search good men for serious attitudes which go to a marriage. I have no children, but I want to have children in the future. I am the mature woman and ready to creation of family with good man. I do not know what you really search in the future but if we could meet I shall be happy to discuss with you more about our meeting. What are you going to do this time? It would be fine if we could meet, do friendship or more than simply friendship. I shall be happy if you also have a free time and we could meet soon. I do not know your interests, but anyhow write to me back and I shall tell to you more about myself. Write to me all that you want. Maybe we have similar plans and it will be interesting to us together.

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