Early yesterday morning, via e-mail, I received my daily dose of Genre Flash Fiction from Editor, G.W. Thomas's site, Flashshot. The featured story was called, IMAGINATION'S BURIAL
by Richard Ridyard
. I usually look forward to being delighted, shocked, or horrified by another great story, and yesterday I wasn't disappointed. Only it wasn't in that "Wow, what a fantastic story" way, it was in the "Holy Sh**, someone not only stole my idea, but actually stole a line I created" reality.
Case in point, excerpts from Mr. Richard Ridyard's
100-word story, Imagination's Burial
"We go to the end of the wreckage away from the crowds to search for survivors…We find two people unconscious, under rubble. We take turns drinking their blood."Now:
Read the 22-word story I wrote for the June issue (#6) of Micro 100
entitled "At the Depot."http://micro100.blogspot.com/
"After the train derails, we desperately search through the wreckage. Luckily, six men and women survive. We take turns drinking their blood."
I was taken aback. Could someone have stolen my work? Is it a case of unconscious plagiarism? Maybe the author really liked my work and wanted to do something similar. I was upset and dumbfounded. I decided more research was required.
What I found was frightening.
Author, Deborah Biancotti
has an excerpt from her award-winning story, "The First and Final Game"
on her site:http://deborahbiancotti.net/the/excerpts/e_2000_first.htm
Altair 6/7, Altair Press, ed. Robert Stephenson, pub. 2000
Aurealis Award Best Horror Short Story winner
Ditmar Award Best Short Story shortlist"Electricity is irregular here, and so are phones, but the privacy is absolute. You could kill every single person in every single house and hardly anyone would disturb you. It's that kind of place."Copyright Deborah Biancotti 2000 All copyrights reservedNOW:
Go to http://www.microhorror.com/microhorror/author/richard-ridyard/the-tyburn-jig/
and read Richard Ridyard's story, "The Tyburn Jig." Here are the last three lines:"Electricity is irregular here, and so are phones, but the privacy is absolute. You could kill every single person in every single house and hardly anyone would disturb you. It's that kind of place."
I don't claim all of Richard Ridyard's work is plagiarized, but there are some truly valid doubts and astonishing evidence found on many respected sites on the internet.
Sadly, there's more.
This is from author, James Wood’s
story, "The Face of the Dummy"
published on Short Stories org uk:http://short-stories.org.uk/jwfaceofdummy1.htmhttp://short-stories.org.uk/jwfaceofdummy2.htm"As long as I live he'll haunt me, taunt me, then destroy me. There's only one escape for me...for both of us. Tomorrow they'll find us hanging from a beam in the centre of this room ...two stiff, inanimate puppets on the ends of our strings, our faces blackened and contorted by the tightened rope…will look closely at the two bodies hanging side by side, and will see the inescapable resemblance."Copyright James Wood 1993 All copyrights reserved
Per Richard Ridyard's bio he's "a 21 year old Law student who lives on the Wirral, England." That's right. You read correctly. "LAW" student. And if by chance, one of his pseudonyms happens to be James Wood, he would have been the ripe old age of 5 years old the year he penned this story in 1993.
Here's an excerpt from Richard Ridyard's "The Hanged Man"
which has been published on numerous horror sites including:http://www.microhorror.com/microhorror/author/richard-ridyard/the-hanged-man/http://www.sffworld.com/community/story/2689p0.htmlhttp://newfleshmagazine.blogspot.com/2009/09/he-looks-at-me-i-am-alone-and-nervous.html#commentshttp://www.dailytourniquet.com/?p=548"As long as I live he'll haunt me, taunt me and then destroy me. There's only one escape for me. for both of us. Tomorrow they'll find us hanging from a beam in the center of this room. two stiff, inanimate puppets on the ends of our strings, our faces blackened and contorted by tightened rope…will look closely at the two bodies hanging side by side, and will see the inescapable resemblance."
Per a further Google search, I did find that it's possible he uses the pseudonym, "R.M. Valentine."
View Google address:http://www.google.com/search?q=%22she+continues+her+search+for+ghosts%22&sourceid=ie7&rls=com.microsoft:en-US&ie=utf8&oe=utf8
1. Flashes In The Dark: Horror Flash Fiction in Daily Doses
Sep 27, 2009 ... still she continues her search for ghosts. She is startled at first, squinting as she looks with her dementia clouded eyes. She then looks ...flashesinthedark.com/ - Cached
2. A Place of Rest by RM Valentine at Story write
It is getting quite late but still she continues her search for ghosts. She is startled at first, squinting as she looks with her clouded dementia ridden ...storywrite.com/story/324646 - Cached
In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 2 already displayed.If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included
I've included links to known published pieces from Mr. Ridyard in order for other writers and readers to draw their own conclusions:
Author's page on Flashes in the Dark
includes, A Place of Rest, The Grief of Rapture, The Beginning of the End, and The Empty Swing.
Author's page on Microhorror.com
includes The Hanged Man, The Empty Swing, The Tyburn Jig: http://www.microhorror.com/microhorror/category/author/richard-ridyardThe Darkness Within:
http://thrillskillsnchills.blogspot.com/2009/09/darkness-within-by-richard-ridyard.htmlSchool Boy Error: http://www.sffworld.com/community/story/3238p0.html
He’s also slated as editor for “Valentine Publications.” http://valentinepublications.com/What? There’s more?
Here’s another excerpt from the brilliant, master of horror himself, H.P. Lovecraft,
his story, “Ex Oblivione.”http://www.classicreader.com/book/2727/1/http://www.flashfictiononline.com/pdf/fpublic0006-ex-oblivione-h-p-lovecraft.pdf“The days of waking had become less and less bearable from their greyness and sameness…”
read Mr. Ridyard’s
story, originally published on Flashes in the Dark (which has since been pulled for obvious reasons, but you can find evidence of it through a Google search)http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rls=com.microsoft%3Aen-US&q=%22the+grief+of+rapture%22&aq=f&oq=&aqi
“My last days were that of realisation. The days of waking had become less and less bearable from their greyness and sameness…”In closing,
and quoting the title of one of the author's many stories, this may in fact be "The Beginning of the End"
for one Richard Ridyard.
Maybe through this effort, he will step forward and come clean. PLAGIARISM WILL NOT BE TOLERATED BY ANY WRITER.
What really gets me is that before I discovered this madness, I left said author positive feedback on one of his stories! I'm still upset, but strangely happy to expose an apparent fraud in our community. It's crazy, because several months ago I wrote a six sentence story not realizing the relevance it would have today. It's a warning, and I humbly present it to you, dear, honest writers.Beware the Word Hogs
They eat up all your little piggy muses. Catch a woman poet by the toe and she'll tell you that she knows. A man won't admit it, but neither will he hesitate to flash his cut roast beef. This market isn't safe for writers. Stay within the safety of your homes and write with the bed sheets pulled over your head or cry wee little tears for the lost. When the word hogs come, they won't leave you with any words, absolutely none.Copyright © 2009 Angel ZapataADDENDUM:
I did attempt to contact Mr. Ridyard
through “Valentine Publications”
and this is the reply I received from them:
Dear angel Zapata,
I was shocked and appalled to read the email regarding Richard Ridyard’s accusation of plagiarism, which I opened at 12:16 on the 29th of September. I have known Richard for over a decade and do not believe it possible for Richard to be morally capable of such an act. As a person with a great respect for the law and with such a love of literacy, I do not believe this is something he could commit knowingly, if at all.
I shall be passing this information onto Richard, but I urge you to contact him at his personal email: (I’ve removed it from this post, but did forward this to Mr. Ridyard) As officially this matter does not concern Valentine Publications.
I know Richard shall be contacting you soon regarding this accusation and we hope this matter can be rectified soon.
Valentine Publications - TeamI went
back to visit the “Valentine Publications”
website and found this waiting for me:
“The site is currently closed until further notice due to administration issues. We are still accepting submissions and are still aiming for 15th December 2009 release date for our first magazine. please come back soon! Mail@valentinepublications.com Valentine Publications Also please find us on facebook for more details and forum discussions.”
I have not received a reply from Mr. Ridyard.