Teresa Nielsen Hayden

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Name: Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Also Known As: TNH
Occupation: Editor, Moderator, Writer
Works: list of books she has edited
Official Website(s): Making Light
Fan Website(s):
On Fanlore: Related pages

Teresa Nielsen Hayden is a professional science fiction editor (mostly for Tor books), science fiction fanzine writer, essayist, and writing teacher. She has been nominated for a Hugo Award five times, including for Best Fan Writer and Best Fanzine, and reads media fanfic. [1] She's also known for the website she shares with her husband, Making Light, where she became the first moderator to use disemvoweling to handle offensive posts; the term itself was coined in a post by Arthur Hlavaty [2] on Making Light.

Making Light has had many oft-cited threads on fanfic [3], on copyright, and author's reactions to fanfic [4], on slash (especially this filking one, here [5]), on pundit slash [6] and other topics of interest to media fandom.

She popularized Ellen Fremedon's Id Vortex concept [7] on Making Light, and both she and her husband have been strong supporters of fanfiction (especially during the entire Marion Zimmer Bradley Fanfiction Controversy). [8]

Role in RaceFail '09

While for years TNH was widely respected for her support of fanfiction and the many other useful posts she made, large sections of media fandom were upset and disappointed when she plunged into RaceFail '09 on the Fail side.

After her husband deleted his journal due to rising anger over comments he'd made, TNH made a LiveJournal post in which she referred to the angry commenters as "nithings"[9]; elspethdixon subsequently wrote a post explaining the racist implications of the term.[10]

Some fans continued to support her, others attempted to reason with her. As people continued to call TNH out on her comments, she became angry and went on the attack. [11] TNH said she would remember and privately try to identify those attacking her and her husband[12], which was interpreted by some as a threat considering her position as a professional editor. In her LiveJournal post titled "I'm taking this about as well as you'd expect," she wrote:

Some of the people who are using false names are known to him. Some of them are known to or evident to me. In those cases, I've told Patrick who they really are. It's only fair.... Those of you I can't identify are not off the hook. I suggest that you never seek to take credit under your real name for anything you've done or written under your LJ pseudonym, because it's unlikely that I will ever forget you or what you've done.

vassilissa commented in response: "Is that a threat? It sounds like a threat." As recently as August 2015, TNH was arguing with others on Twitter over whether that statement was a threat or not; TNH maintains that it was definitely not a threat.[13]

TNH's actions were extensively catalogued as they occurred, in part to combat thread-deletion and locking.[14] The larger RaceFail controversy can be followed at the link-aggregating journal of Rydra Wong [15].



  1. ^ Making Light comment by TNH on the Punditslash thread. November 14th 2006.
    "Here's the deal: there's some fanfiction I like purely for its own sake -- Barb Cummings, Marcus Rowland, A.J. Hall, et cetera. And then there's slash, which I regard with the respectful fascination of an anthropologist who is never going to join the tribe".
    Accessed 1 November 2008.
  2. ^ May 14th 2007. Cory Doctorow. How To Keep Hostile Jerks From Taking Over Your Online Community. Accessed 1 November 2008
  3. ^ reference link
  4. ^ reference link
  5. ^ reference link
  6. ^ reference link
  7. ^ reference link
  8. ^ controversy about fanfic; reference link
  9. ^ 26 January 2009. Teresa Nielsen Hayden. I'm taking this about as well as you'd expect; reference link Accessed 25 April 2009
  10. ^ Holy mother of God *is horrified*, dreamwidth copy of a livejournal post, Jan. 29th, 2009. archived.
  11. ^ See chopchica's livejournal post tnh: the fail years, which reproduces several comments in TNH's posts that were later friendslocked.
  12. ^ A comment from TNH as quoted in chopchica's journal: "For now, I've been letting the trolls and sockpuppets romp while the site logs IP addresses. In just a minute I'm going to lock the place down, finish collecting telltales, and delete everything that's not worth the electrons."
  13. ^ K Tempest Bradford tweeted a screencap of TNH's post on 27 August 2015 and earlier in the summer tweeted "Teresa Nielsen Hayden threatened to punish & blackball writers during RaceFail." TNH denied the validity of this interpretation.[1][2]
  14. ^ Chopchica. tnh: the fail years (webcite link), posted to LiveJournal 31 January 2009. accessed 1 May 2009. Chopchica was very upset that TNH, "[l]ike all of the other cowards before her," friendslocked her original post that offended people and wrote: "I'm going to be reproducing all comments here, because tnh has a clear record of trying to delete and hide evidence of her words and actions."
  15. ^ reference link