It sucks when you like someone's artistic work and then find out that they're a jackass.
Piracy helps, of course. If you just can't stomach making some mad religious bigot richer every time you see one of his movies or listen to one of his albums - rip 'em off!
That's harder with books. I suppose you can do it if you buy them second hand, but that can be tricky for books that are (a) recent and (b) not rubbish.
I was all set, you see, to write a happy clappy post about how much I've enjoyed a couple of Neal Asher books.
Neal, I presume, wanted to tell some bloodcurdling tales of the sea. But nothing that's ever happened on any sea here could possibly be bloodcurdling enough for him, so he invented a planet, "Spatterjay".
Spatterjay's fauna is almost constantly brutally violent, its human inhabitants get tougher and tougher as they get older and older (and older...), and all sorts of entertaining things happen there. Plankton that eats people, people that don't die even when they've been eaten, treacherous alien slavemaster crabs, cybernetically animated corpses, giant robot pterodactyls...
It goes on. It's a lot of fun.
I've only read a couple of Ashers so far. "The Skinner" was the first one set on Spatterjay, then came "The Voyage of the Sable Keech", which isn't as good (and doesn't seem to have been nearly as well proofread...), but is still a rollicking old tale of blood, guts and hundred-ton-sentient-mollusc rape.
Then I noticed that Neal Asher has a blog.
And everything went downhill.
Look, if you can be coherent about your bitter right-wing realpolitik throat-slitting, I'll read it with a song in my heart and a smirk on my face. But if you keep trotting out arguments that I could see didn't work when I was using FidoNet at the age of 16, you're letting the free speech side down.
He doesn't know much about climate change (what a shame there isn't someone you can ask!) but he does know it isn't happening and if it is then it doesn't matter and if it does then it's not our fault and if it is then there's nothing we can do.
And then, there's this.
It's not that he says things I disagree with. He says many things with which I agree. It just seems that he doesn't think too hard about anything he says, and I don't like encouraging that sort of thing by helping to make his books bestsellers.
I don't ask for much from the authors I like. A bit of coherent thought now and then, an affection for orangutans, a few obscure references to Tony Hancock, a recognition that AK-47s for everybody is not necessarily a great way to run a railroad.
Or, of course, just telling your adoring fans to bugger off while you write another vast tome involving hot-swappable mistresses.
Neal Asher does not make the cut.