As writers and publishers there are times when we opt to include words, sometimes those that are taboo, in our stories because we believe they fit the character or the plot or the era. BUT, sometimes, long after printing and hours of pondering, we decide that maybe those stories would be better off without those words because they are harmful to others. Recently, John and Summer worked together to eliminate two slurs that were originally published in WHO KILLED BUSTER SPARKLE?. They simply didn’t feel right. We’d like to use this opportunity to start a discussion about using words, particularly those that harm certain groups of people.
To start, John W. Bateman and Unsolicited Press have included the following foreword in the book, which is currently being reprinted. New copies, without the slurs, will be available on January 1, 2024. Please take a moment to read it:
“Specificity gives a reason for everything.”
It’s difficult to step up and say Hey, I think we made a mistake. But what’s important, is taking the steps to rectify those mistakes. We hope that we can continue this conversation with readers, writers, and others in the publishing industry.
To demonstrate our sincere goal to champion the underserved, we will be donating 25% of the profit from all future sales of WHO KILLED BUSTER SPARKLE? to Black and Pink. Black & Pink National is a prison abolitionist organization dedicated to abolishing the criminal punishment system and liberating LGBTQIA2S+ people and people living with HIV/AIDS who are affected by that system through advocacy, support, and organizing.
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