|cpence / Foter / CC BY-SA|
As part of this I have dealt with the ongoing ambiguities and conflicts of interest that come from both creating fiction, and publicly critiquing it. I won't pretend that is always straightforward, and I now operate a second pen name for some of my published reviews which is a questionable solution at best.
On the other hand, having on foot in each camp does mean I will probably not develop the kind of catastrophic tunnel vision that a staff member at Loose Id demonstrated in their correspondence with the reviewer Mistress M.
It is not only "entirely possible" that any given reviewer purchased their own copy of a book, it must be assumed at all times unless there is actual evidence to the contrary. On top of that, the publisher is simply not entitled to request changes to a review, even if that review consists entirely of incomprehensible gibberish and emoticons of bondage wombats. The content of the review is utterly and completely out of their hands. At the very most, direct technical corrections (such as about the length of the story and stated facts within the text) might be offered in the spirit of helpfulness.
And suggestions, no matter how coyly phrased, that one might have used a pirated copy, be bigoted towards the mentally ill, and be pursuing a personal vendetta against the author is indeed a goddam complaint, not matter how you disclaim it.
Choosing to fire such a missive of to Mistress M, who clearly has no fucks to give, was just the coup de grace on this massive miscalculation.