[meteorite-list] An Imaginary Letter to Kevin Kichinka from Meteorite Publisher Derek Sears

From: Kevin Kichinka <marsrox_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2012 10:08:18 -0600
Message-ID: <CANDn_7HieQiHmQR-9Y+Ethji4GA6UG5z0jJ9Yp8pnqyuEExpUA_at_mail.gmail.com>


In regards to your concerns that I have chosen to not run your latest
contribution, the conclusion to "The Rise of the Raj and the Fall of
Shergotty" in the August issue of Meteorite, although as you claim
'our' subscribers expect to see it and should not be disappointed, let
me clarify some things.

First, quit calling them 'our subscribers' even though I did put you
on the Board of Editors after you declined, then asked you to write me
a business plan for the magazine, which I ignored. They are mine. It's
all mine. OK?

I know you feel uncomfortable that I didn't thank you or even
acknowledge that you sent the conclusion to the Shergotty feature in

I know that some think it unreasonable that when they received the
August proof of the issue to review for errors on a Saturday at 10pm,
I only allowed a 48 hour turnaround (or else!) meaning they worked for
me on a Sunday. That's how it is, kind of like you are all my
employees and owe me overtime. As I like to say, I have twice as many
writers as I can use anyway, i.e. you are all expendable.

And after I recklessly marked up your story, creating at least ten
'unforced' errors, like changing the year of the Shergotty fall and
crediting an English official for recovering it instead of the Indian
farmer, or inventing a new God for Dorothy Norton's illustration, or
taking a sentence fragment from the middle of a paragraph and making
it a new title though it lacks any meaning, that's my right, it's my
magazine. If I want to change your title, too, I change your title,
deal with it.

And when you whine you spent 400 to 500 hours to research and write
this story that you give me for free, well, learn to write faster.

Why did I shorten and re-write your 'heartfelt thanks' to Joel Schiff
and Dorothy Norton that you added at the end of the story? You took up
too much space. And if I cared about Joel, I would have mentioned my
new edits to what he had already edited when I emailed him last
weekend. It's not his business anymore.

And if I cared about Dorothy Norton, I wouldn't have misspelled her
name, another 'correction/'edit' you think I should make. Have you
noticed I have never thanked her for anything? Just because she is
dear friends with Joel from Day One of Meteorite and is one of the
journals most important contributors, and just because she was married
to Richard Norton, does it seem I care?

And as for deleting your bio at the end of the feature to this
'contribution' while running all twelve other contributors bios, so?
And your offering to still keep your bio out to make space for your
thanks to Joel and Dorothy"? How precious.

And when you want me to correct these 'typos', as you tried to fool me
into thinking by writing they were "probably created by computer
software in the translation from my Adobe doc", read again my email,
"I am very sorry that you feel this way. Given that these are your
feelings, and your inability to accept our editorial decisions, can I
assume you want to withdraw the paper?'

That's my plan. Let people know that (try this on for size) "sadly and
regrettably, Kichinka would not accept our usual edits to his fine
article. It is in the best interests of the readers of Meteorite that
they never see this featrue".

Sad. Regretable. Gotcha! Haha :>)

Kevin, I am one of those old-time researchers that believe meteorites
should only be possessed by us smart people, and you unwashed masses
of dealers, collectors, hunters and general public need to go away.
I'm not unreasonable, let's compromise. They all should learn to
respect us scientists and send their praise. I like if they send me
money for magazine subscriptions and send me papers I can publish for
free. That's cool! I know people like to see their names in print so I
leverage that to my own advantage and profit.

And because I'm me, I get to ride blimps in the sky on the public dime
to look for pea-sized meteorites in the tall grasses of California. Do

Why would I publish your 'circumstances of the fall of Shergotty' when
no one else has done it in 147 years? Why are you so special that you
should get this honor? Aren't you content with your discovery that no
dog could have been killed by Nakhla, or discovering that Nakhla's TKW
is less than 10kg and not 40, or that the Widmanstatten Pattern is
mis-named? You are very selfish.

And don't tell me my wonderful 'edits' are necessary because Joel
Schiff had previously edited your Shergotty feature. I did what I
thought 'made it better', and if you don't like my changes, well, as I
also wrote, we can "leisurely discuss these changes and your feature
for possible use in a future issue. Unfortunately, the November issue
is already full." Oh well. Maybe the readers don't care. I don't.

And when you offered to call me from Costa Rica to discuss this at a
time convenient to me on your dime? I'm BUSY!

Maybe in my next letter, assuming you are so dense you don't get my
message here, I'll write you about some past history of Meteorite
magazine and how I treated those people. Fear the Sears.

In closing, I hope this helps you understand why I won't be running
the story. Now shut up and go away.

Best wishes.

Derek Sears"
Received on Fri 13 Jul 2012 12:08:18 PM PDT

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