Novelists Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert, authors of the bestselling post-Frank Herbert DUNE novels, discuss on their blog some of their bizarre encounters with "talifans":
They started appearing as soon as our first DUNE prequels were announced, vehemently opposed to *anything* new
connected to DUNE, regardless of whether the novels were based on Frank Herbert’s own notes, regardless of whether
Frank had asked his son to write additional DUNE novels with him before his death. We can certainly understand
many devoted fans being protective of their favorite universe, and we can understand their initial skepticism.
Frank Herbert was a genius, against whom few writers in history can measure up. We felt the fans were showing
their passion and dedication, and Brian and I worked as hard as we could so as not to disappoint them.
Unfortunately, their tactics soon became apparent. Even before HOUSE ATREIDES
was published, before review copies were ever distributed, these "Talifan" got together and posted 60
one-star reviews on amazon.com. None of them had read the book, but that didn’t stop them from trashing it with
quotes like "This can’t possibly be good, so it has to be terrible" and "I don’t even need to read
this book to know how bad it must be."
But Talifans can be found throughout "fandom," as Kevin and Brian are well aware.
You’ll find the same sort of rude nastiness on
the Star Trek boards, on Robert Jordan boards, on X-Files boards. The behavior of a small group of unpleasant fans
has driven virtually every Star Wars writer to avoid participating in online discussion groups. [My favorite
ridiculous posting from a Star Wars fan board: "I absolutely hated the first thirteen books in Kevin J.
Anderson’s series, and I hate the fourteenth one even more!" Any rational person would say, If you hate it so
much, why keep reading? Go to a bookstore — you’ve got plenty of choices if you don’t like my work.]
The problem is, they hate *everything.*