From BOING BOING to Absolute Write - A Tale of Teresa Nielsen-Hayden (the "Hapisofi" of Absolute Write)

The "HapiSofi" of Absolute Write. Yes, this is her real picture. Would you ever want to cross her? Apparently, someone at the Viable Paradise Workshop just got her titanic goat. We wonder who? Nonetheless, the public and overwhelming figure of Teresa Nielsen-Hayden should be considered one of the most omnipresent cyber-bullies on Absolute Write. In keeping with the definition of a cyber-bully, she is archetypal in that she disguises herself due to her penchant for making libelous commentary, and among other things, makes unsupportable and hyperbolic accusations against others at such time they cross her. At BOING BOING she was asked to leave for such behavior as well as "disemvoweling" critics to dared to cross her or disagree with her in any way.

And now for something a bit more serious.Take a look at her WikiPedia Page. Yes. Now, take a look at her personal webpage she shares with her husband Patrick. Notice anything out of place?  Here is a bold statement on their recently updated personal webpage, right at the top:
"We might be interested in your work. As acquiring editors for Tor, we’ve (1) acquired, edited, and/or published (2) novels aimed at readers of all ages, from middle grade on up, (3) in most of the subgenres of science fiction, fantasy, and adjacent areas of popular storytelling ..."
"We might be interested in your work. As acquiring editors for Tor ..." But wait. On her WikiPedia page, it simply states:"
"She is a former managing editor and, now, consulting editor at Tor Books."
"Former managing editor ..." So, how did the Wikipedia bio miss the huge fact that she's an acquiring editor? Maybe because Wikipedia bios are fact-checked? Guess any Wiki editor who fact-checked Teresa would easily discover that she is not, and never has been, an acquisition editor. This makes her statement on her webpage appear to be a lie. Is it? And according to the Tor website (see below) she is not even a consulting editor, only a tech consultant to the website. Big difference? Btw, are you a member of Publisher's Marketplace which lists publishing deals going back ten years or more? If you are, and you do a search on deals made by Teresa Nielsen-Hayden, all you come up with is the following:
Lunch for Wednesday, July 2
Defamation and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage against 22 plaintiffs, including such online posters as Patrick and Teresa Nielsen-Hayden, Victoria Strauss and Ann Crispin, along with the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America website and Wikipedia parent Wikimedia, was scheduled for a court hearing yesterday.
Yes, that's it. Please become a member of PM and search for yourself, then search the Tor deals and who is making them. Everyone but Teresa. Okay, sooooo where are these alleged deals? The answer: nowhere. Because, there are NO deals. She has never acquired even a single book as an editor for Tor or anyone else. Can one then rightfully accuse her of boldly lying on her website? The website isn't dated, but updated regularly. But jeez, it's such an enormous and obvious lie, rather like Hilary Clinton telling the country she was shot at in Bosnia when no such thing happened, that you wonder who is going to believe it. Fools? Well, maybe, or perhaps just hopeful SF/F writers shelling out thousands to attend her workshop at Viable Paradise (and please note, not a single mention that supports the contention above on this website either). Could that be an incentive for lying? Like she says, "We might be interested in your work."

On Absolute Write, her favorite stomping ground, she also pretends to be an acquiring editor (i.e., people who make actual decisions on who to publish) at a major publishing house and maintains this fiction when in reality she is simply a tech consultant to the Tor Books website. But wait! What do we see? Fascinating, as Spock would say. Not a shred of evidence in the Tor-Forge staff bio to support her contention above that she is an acquiring editor.

Let's recap. Nothing on the Tor-Forge website, on SFF's Viable Paradise Workshop page, in Wikipedia, or Publisher's Marketplace in any way, shape or form, supports her contention on her personal website that she is, or ever have been, an acquiring editor for Tor or anyone else. Therefore, the statement on the NielsenHayden.Com website, at the very top where no one can miss it, is a lie. A lie. No dispute, no gray area. Her husband Patrick is involved in deals from time to time, but not Teresa. There is no "we."

But let's be fair. She was an editor, of sorts, crossed some T and dotted some I, a long time ago in a galaxy far away, but like so many other "editors" in New York, she is out of work. Her actual job is at a bookstore in Brooklyn.  Like a character in TOTAL RECALL, she remains a hero editor in her fantasy world, but everyone on Absolute Write is deathly afraid of her and they all work to maintain the illusion that she is still wearing emperor editor attire. In the past, her friends nominated her for a Hugo four times, but each time she was always a bridesmaid. 

By all accounts she is now morbidly obese, suffering various disorders, and inhaling drugs for acute narcolepsy. This is enough to inspire pity, but only from a distance. A long distance. She writes no fiction, agents no fiction, and edits no fiction--except in her fantasy world--and yet she pretends she is an expert on fiction writing. Her sycophants on Absolute Write practically bow to her, not knowing any better.

Teresa Nielsen-Hayden's biggest weakness is her narcissistic ego and need to be seen as all-powerful. She has been mum on the BoingBoing incident (where she was driven out for abuse) and her reasons for leaving. There is so much about her that doesn’t appear on her Google page and this is dirt that has gotten very neatly covered over the last four years. Teresa Nielsen-Hayden's own actions were perceived as hypocrisy, abuse of power and even in the Wikipedia case, using sock puppets to defend her on Wikipedia until she got banned. Her biggest threat is to be seen as a phony, as someone whose weaknesses don’t show her to be the great mighty Oz she wants her followers to see. Another weakness: she and CD always are screaming that censorship is evil--yet as a boingboing mod, she censored everyone who disagreed with her by banning them or disemvoweling them 

And just a freely expressed opinion or five on the nature of moderation in the hands of Teresa Nielsen-Hayden of Absolute Write. Does this define arrogance? But more importantly, what does she do to deserve such high self esteem?

A little comment on TNH pal, Lisa Spangenberg, to set the tone.

From the blog post:

"Lisa Spangenberg nicely captures the “fuck you, peasant” nature of the Nielsen-style approach to forum moderation. We’re the moderators, who the fuck do you think you are?? If only you felt our pain!!! Oh, poor misunderstood moderators."


  1. Judging by the mug shots of Melodi Sherman and Teresa Nielsen Hayden they would make an intimidating bouncer team at ANY slummy night club in Any part of ANY town. Faces only a mother could love.

    BTW, I was a member of AW back in the day, but after Jenna signed it over to Big Mel it started going down the tubes fast, so I posted my honest opinions of the main clique and left.

    The instant any mod or one of their "yes men" say anything against a poster you know he is not long for the site.

  2. This is a factual description of Teresa Nielsen-Hayden. She and a group of amateur writers from and centered in the rec.arts.sff newsgroup have been posing at being literary experts and (ab)using any position they get to be "writer killers".

    Take a look in rec.arts.sff newsgroup and witness an example where they attack fans of talented writers, make libelous statements about talented up-and-coming novelists, ban the mention of books and writers ...going way back.

    Teresa Nielsen Hayden was fired from Boing Boing.

    She and her husband Patrick Nielsen Hayden are friends with Debra Doyle & James. D. MacDonald, the 2-headed monster who writes mediocre schlock and publish tantrums posing as "book reviews" of writers they have felt threatened by (i.e., talented) in some way. They are the core of rec.arts.sff newsgroup.

    They are cyberbullies and also Wikipedia Wikibullies.

    Look them up on Wikipedia. And on Wikiquotes. Their articles only cite their own blogs and each other as citations.

    She calls herself an "internet celebrity" on Wikipedia. Her Wikiquote page only cites her own blog as citation. Why? Because the world is uninterested. They are legends in their own minds.

    If you want to win this war, start calling them on their malicious incompetency. Do their Wikipedia articles even meet notability guidelines?

    Thanks for speaking out. I hope this saves writers some time and heartache.

  3. HapiSofi of Absolute Write -- Teresa Nielsen-Hayden posing as an acquisition editor for a major publisher, but on Absolute Write she never names the publisher because a google search would turn up her name as only a tech consultant on the Tor website. What kind of accomplished editor would sink to tech consultant?

    Her advice on writing is quite often dated or wrong. She herself has never written a book-length work of fiction in her life, and only one short story that is poorly done. Like Melodi and Lisa, she isn't a writer, just a stooge of AW, hanging out on a power trip that gets its energy from bashing other people.

  4. They are pitiful, ugly, and unattractive and take their disappointment out on others instead of attending to cleaning their own houses and try- ing to make themselves more attractive. I am done with paying attention to any of them.

  5. As I posted in the Macallister Stone thread, Teresa Nielsen Hayden's lack of appealing physical appearance isn't the issue. It's the lack of attractiveness on the inside. Cliche, yes, but true? Yes. These kind of comments are not productive but risk making them into martyrs they surely do not deserve to be.

  6. From the Tor website today:-

    Patrick Nielsen Hayden
    Patrick Nielsen Hayden is a senior editor at Tor Books and the fiction editorial director of With his wife, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, he helped run the 1978 Worldcon, published the science fiction fanzine Izzard, and won TAFF in 1985; today, the Nielsen Haydens operate the weblog Making Light. He is the winner of three Hugo Awards and a World Fantasy Award for his editorial work. In the rest of his life, he teaches, edits the occasional anthology, and plays lead guitar for the New York City band Whisperado.

    Teresa Nielsen Hayden
    Longtime Tor consulting editor Teresa Nielsen Hayden helped invent along with Fritz, Patrick, and Irene. She also operates the weblog Making Light and helps to run Viable Paradise, a yearly science fiction and fantasy writers’ workshop.

    1. The actions of Teresa and Patrick Nielsen Hayden discredit any venture with which they are associated. They are steeped in mediocrity and leave a wake of destructive, nonproductive, antisocial aggressiveness. TOR is poorly regarded because of their tactics and nonprofessional, pathological skirmishes. They were even sued for libel, along with their cohorts James D. MacDonald and Viable Paradise gang.

  7. I used to get into it with Sofi on absolutewrite. I dared to disagree with her. I dared to suggest that the PublishAmerica pity partiers should take some responsibility for not researching the industry and the company before signing a bad contract.

    Yes she's a bully not to mention a c*nt. No wonder she hides her identity. Her absolute meanness makes it impossible to have any respect for her as a writer advocate.

    Simon Says

  8. Can you believe this creature is on Brainy Quotes??? Here is the link, and there is nothing witty or brainy here at all:

    Teresa Nielsen-Hayden Brainy Quote

  9. Editors at Teresa Nielsen-Hayden's Wikipedia page have awakened to the scam.

    Thank God.

  10. Wait, isn't this the board that says that YA should not be treated like children's books? Yet engages in censorship herself at boing boing? Color me confused, and not in a defend her sort of way.

  11. Teresa Nielsen Hayden is now officially off the Tor staff page. She has been removed permanently. A source close to the staff reports that the sheer amount of negative information about her on the web was the reason. However, she continues to update her Wikipedia page listing herself as an "Executive Editor" at Tor books, and a reference footnote to the Tor website (that proves she is off the staff completely).

    Another lie from this person. She lies about herself and about others as if she'll never be caught.

    Check it out. Here is the Tor page: