We Interrupt This Blog Post…

King's Night Shift 1st Edition Cover

to give you a warning.  A few days ago Shock Totem received a story called “Baboulas” by an author calling himself Richard Ridyard.  John Boden, Assistant Editor of Shock Totem, read the story and immediately cried foul. 

“This is plagiarism,” he said.  “This is Stephen King’s ‘The Boogeyman’ from his Night Shift collection.  Even the title is the same!”  ‘Baboulas’ is the Greek word for ‘Boogeyman.’  Ken, the editor, read the story and wrote the guy back saying that Shock Totem wasn’t in the business of publishing authors who steal work from other authors, and that the guy was never to submit to Shock Totem again.  Ken then contacted the mod for Stephen King’s forum and let her know.  She said that she’d run it past King and see what he wants to do about it.

How similar was Richard Ridyard’s story to Stephen King’s?  Let’s see.  This was Ridyard’s story:

“I am here to tell you exactly what happened,” the man in interview room B was saying.  The man was Mark Baker from West Park Street.  According to the history Inspector Wilson had gathered, he was twenty-nine years old, employed by a large recruitment firm, married, and the father of a four year old girl named Vicky, now deceased.

This is King’s:

“I came to you because I want to tell my story,” the man on Dr. Harper’s couch was saying. The man was Lester Billings from Waterbury, Connecticut. According to the history taken from Nurse Vickers, he was twenty-eight, employed by an industrial firm in New York, divorced, and the father of three children. All deceased.
 
Wait, what?  Let’s compare the last paragraphs as well.

Ridyard’s:

“So nice to see you again so soon, so nice,” Baboulas whispered.

It held its Inspector Wilson mask in one withered, shovel-claw hand.

King’s:
 

“So nice,” the boogeyman said as it shambled out.

It still held its Dr. Harper mask in one rotted, spade-claw hand.”

 
Hmmm.  The rest of the story is the same way, but I think that the point has been made.

But this isn’t all.  While on Twitter today, I came across a tweet from Angel Zapata.  Apparently Angel had been plagiarized.  By who?  Richard Ridyard.  Now where had I seen that name before? OH YES, in the Shock Totem slushpile. And Angel wasn’t the only one.  There were several others.  You can read Angel’s excellent post here.

As I read that post, I kept thinking that this was a hoax, or somebody trying to prove a point, or a social experiment.   Or perhaps it really is just greed.  Either way, it is wrong and despicable to steal somebody else’s work.  It makes me slightly ill and extremely angry.  I could just spit.

This hit especially close to home since Angel’s plagiarized piece was published in the June issue of Micro 100. Jameson T. Caine and MK Crittenden are in that same issue. Kurt Newton and I are also in that magazine, along with my friends Codi Brock and b2. It isn’t just the greats anymore. Now it’s getting personal.

UPDATE: Pop by The Eyesore Times to see Ken’s version and his musings on theft in general. I would never dare to steal anything from that man! I mean, are you kidding?!