Editors, check your slushpiles. There’s a plagiarist afoot.

Advocate - istock

If this were a case of a single plagiarized story, it would not be news.

A few days ago Shock Totem received a story called “Baboulas” by an author calling himself Richard Ridyard. John Boden, Assistant Editor of Shock Totem, read the story and immediately cried foul.

“This is plagiarism,” he said. “This is Stephen King’s ‘The Boogeyman’ from his Night Shift collection. Even the title is the same!” ‘Baboulas’ is the Greek word for ‘Boogeyman.’

After SFWA member Mercedes M. Yardley drew our attention to the plagiarism issue, we learned that Stephen King was not the only author to receive the Ridyard treatment. Angel Zapata also discovered one of his stories had been plagiarized and did an exhaustive search turning up other stories and authors who have had their words stolen.

We bring this particularly to editors’ attention, with the request that you keep your eye on your slush piles.

6 Responses

  1. Gene Stewart

    Collating the contact information on these mss. will lead to the perpetrator(s), unless the point was not to be paid.

    Were they all by-lined “Richard Ridyard”?

    A Google search gave me this page of links, including a Facebook and Myspace, and various story credits: http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=Richard+Ridyard&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

    Is anyone tracking this down, or is this just a general warning to editors? A central reporting file should be established here at SFWA.

  2. Mary Robinette Kowal

    They were all by-lined “Richard Ridyard” or possibly R.M. Valentine. The magazines which published his submissions online have already responded and pulled them down.

    Primarily we wanted to warn editors who might still have submissions from him sitting in their slush piles.

  3. Lee Battersby

    Mary, I have 3 of young Master Ridyard’s stories sitting in my ‘rejected’ file from my current editorial gig at Midnight Echo. Want me to forward them to you for archiving/investigation/research purposes? I’ve not turned up possible plagiarism or original stories on this batch as yet, but a)I’ve not had much of a chance due to work and b) I doubt I have the resources of you fine folk, and I figure the original authors of any works plagiarised would appreciate the heads up.



  4. Terrie Leigh Relf

    I just learned of this situation from someone, and to the best of my knowledge, have not come across his work in my slushpiles for Sam’s Dot or Tales from the Moonlit Path–The name does sound familiar, though, so I’m going to check through old files.

    Sozar to you all for catching this scoundrel. . .

    Terrie Leigh Relf