Shining a bright light into the dark corners of the shadow-world of literary scams, schemes, and pitfalls. Also providing advice for writers, industry news, and commentary. Writer Beware® is sponsored by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc.

March 26, 2020

Space Kadet: The Twisted Tale of a Sad, Sad Internet Troll


Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware®

Scroll down for updates

A couple of weeks ago, my Twitter warning about an amateur literary agent received a fairly curmudgeonly response.


Mistaking it for a serious (if misguided) comment, I responded with a thread about why it's, well, bad for an agent to lie about their credentials. Which prompted this:

Ooookayyyy then.
After a couple more exchanges in a similar vein, plus a not-so-subtle threat (I do give this person credit for knowing the difference between slander and libel), "Dr. Mudgett" flounced.


Soon after, several alert individuals messaged me to let me know that "Dr. Mudgett" isn't just a rando with an inflated sense of self-worth and a profile named after an infamous American serial killer, but one of the sockpuppets of an astonishingly prolific Twitter troll possessed of awesome vitriol and seemingly unlimited free time to indulge it.


The troll's full name is Gary S. Kadet--and though I'd never heard of him before he decided to call me out, he is well known in the Twitter writing community as someone who, via large numbers of fake accounts (most of which have been suspended by Twitter), hijacks popular hashtags like #amquerying, #mswl, and #WritingCommunity to launch vicious unprovoked attacks against writing and publishing people of all kinds, especially new writers and literary agents. So copious is his output--we're talking daily, even hourly tweets--that sometimes he runs out of new insults and has to recycle them. (Sample, if you can stomach it, the stream-of-invective narrative of his Dr. Mudgett Twitter feed.)

I'm always interested in the bizarro side of writing and publishing, and Mr. Kadet certainly seemed to fit the bill. So I put out a call for contact.


I got a perfect flood of responses. I heard from agents and agency interns whom Mr. Kadet had targeted for insults, mockery, and general harassment--especially if they were women, and in some cases after they rejected one of his manuscripts (Mr. Kadet is a [currently] frustrated novelist). I heard from writers he'd savaged for nothing more than posting positive comments about something, or announcing a book sale, or just for talking about writing. Much of his trolling seems to be of the drive-by variety, but I also heard from writers for whom he has conceived a deeper grudge--some of whom he has been stalking and attacking for years, and not just with nasty tweets, either. Some of these individuals told me that he has doxxed them, and made public things about their personal lives they would have preferred not to share. One of his targets was forced to seek help from the police.

Several people have written about their encounters with him (prompting him, in at least one case, to send a laughably bogus cease-and-desist). More personal accounts of Kadet encounters are here. Also here. In fact, he's so famous--at least, as a troll--that he has inspired a parody Twitter account. I guess that's some form of validation, right?

Sockpuppet accounts Mr. Kadet has used in the past (all deleted or suspended): @JohnnyRacetrack, @JimboRockfordPI, @JacktheTrippe11, @JacktheTrippe12, @GaryKDarkLord, @GaryKadet, @RealGarySKadet, @CastleMurder,  @MudgettMania, @MudgettRedux, @FrugSigmund, @Joe_Nesmith. @JoeChristmas6, @ImmortalGSK.

Socks he's using currently (that I know of): @JackMcVea, @KatzProserpine. They share tweets back and forth:




Mr. Kadet loathes a lot of people, but for one agent in particular, his hatred burns with a white-hot flame: Gina Paniettieri of Talcott Notch Literary Services. In 2018, Talcott Notch rejected one of Mr. Kadet's manuscripts, to which Mr. Kadet took extreme offense, and he has been targeting the agency and its agents ever since. In addition to a veritable tsunami of noxious tweets, promises to sue, accusations of violating his "IP confidentiality" (apparently because Gina revealed the rejected ms.), and bogus bad reviews wherever he can place them (not always successfully, since they are so demented that they get flagged), Gina tells me that he has called her home to harass her, and that he's currently demanding that she "settle" with him--i.e., pay him off--so that he'll stop.


Here's an interview with Talcott Notch agent Tia Mele about toxic writers in general and Mr. Kadet in particular.

So who is Gary S. Kadet IRL? There's not a great deal to be found on a websearch, but he did publish a novel in 2000 with Forge, and was apparently an editor with the Boston Book Review. He has lived in Cambridge, MA and Providence, R.I. Twitter isn't the only place where he has been accused of stalking.
Soon after my call for contact, Mr. Kadet's @KatzProserpine sock account DM'd me this:


Ooooh, scary! Not to be outdone by his alter ego, Mr. Kadet reached out to SFWA under his own name. Of course, he couldn't resist mentioning Talcott Notch. Also note the date: more than a week before I put this post online.


Mystery Writers of America, one of Writer Beware's supporters, received an identical "complaint" on the same date. Fortunately, both SFWA and MWA know how to handle trolls. 
 
So what's the bottom line here--other than the bigger issue of the toxicity that flourishes on social media and the inevitability of encountering it if you're active online? I guess it's really just the familiar advice: "Don't feed trolls". Starve the energy monster. The thing with trolls is that, for the most part, it's really not personal. They don't care about you; it's your reaction they need. They thrive on your distress, and draw strength from your response. Depriving them of these things may not shut them up--they can't really control themselves--but it is probably the single most frustrating thing you can do to them. 
 
So if you find yourself targeted by Mr. Kadet--or, indeed, if any random tweet of yours receives a nasty or belittling response from an account you've never heard of--the best possible comeback is simply to block the account and move on.

UPDATE: I learned this evening that Mr. Kadet today sent his "bad writer Strauss" message to Horror Writers Association, another of Writer Beware's supporters--and for good measure, sent it to MWA a second time. He has also weighed in in the comments here.

UPDATE 4/10/20: Sockpuppet account @KatzProserpine has reached out again on Twitter, alleging, as it often does, that Mr. Kadet has no Twitter presence...


...and claiming that it is not Mr. Kadet's sockpuppet account...


...while exhibiting Mr. Kadet's twin obsessions (Talcott Notch, nefarious "IP practices"--see Mr. Kadet's complaint about me, above).

44 comments :

PT Dilloway said...

That guy really has too much free time on his hands. Probably should use it to work on writing.

Every Season is Championship Season said...

I feel some things in literature are not to be taken seriously, and if they where taken seriously, it would be of serious financial risk. Space Kadet is a loose cannon who'd happen to be an Internet Troll, and that would make matters worse/more dangerous than they should be.

David McKinsey said...

As someone who's had a death threat from this guy, as well as him trying to get the entire LGBT+ tag to gang up on me for being "fake" (trying to ruin my career) I support people also looking into their local law enforcement contacts, if needed.

Block/ignore, yes, but at times it escalates.

Anonymous said...

I frankly will sue you if you don't remove this inane article forthwith. I have NO presence on Twitter and this "Beware post" is pure libel without foundation. I'm sure more than some accounts on Twitter have no regard for you and less regard for poor, poor literary agents and idiots in general. Being that anyone can block anyone on Twitter, this Beware post has no value and amounts to pure libel. I'll be contacting your upstream provider about this abuse as well as the associations that host your self serving, ultimately worthless blog. Take it down or I WILL take legal action. - GSK

Anonymous said...

The established agent has all the power. Aren't you aware of your privilege in this instance? Sure he's acting out, but oppression will do that to a person.

Anonymous said...

Social media appears to be awash with morons like Anonymous above (eg posted 3/26/20 @2.15). Sad people with inflated egos and probably borderline sociopaths. Best to ignore them.

Allen F said...

As the kids say, laughing my ass off!

And the idiot doesn't even realize what you are doing right back at him. Not only have you outed him, he's so fixated on you that he doesn't have as much time for all the others he'd normally be bothering. So, you're providing yet another service to the community by engaging the fool.

@ Anonymous 3/26/2020 2:16 PM

She's been sued before by better and held her ground - and won. Can you afford to make an even bigger fool of yourself? From what I can find you seem to like hiding behind the false, which means the one thing you won't be able to handle in court is the truth coming out.

@ Anonymous 3/26/2020 2:53 PM

The established agent has only the power that you grant them over you, and ill-acting agents wonder why they are avoided (and appear on pages like these.)
Which is another nice thing about going indie - no agents or their fees.

Anonymous said...

Just remember, "GSK," it will be your burden to prove that anything said about you that is material is false... and probably with actual malice (wasn't just false, but was intentionally-or-close-to-it false) because you're a limited-purpose public figure on this subject. And if you do sue, you won't be risking just losing — you'll be risking paying the other side's attorney's fees from a SLAPP motion in most states.

Ann Montana said...

Thanks for the warning. It's good to be able to block these idiots before they get you.

Antaeus said...

For what it's worth, here's my opinion: Trolls are just big dumb things which live under bridges sucking the algae scum for nourishment. Modern trolls post wicked words on the internet because they have no talent of their own. They cower in the darkness of anonymity and hurl insults at the talented, hoping to obstruct their voices. Their posts are the literary equivalent of an immature child having a temper tantrum. Mature adults know to ignore trolls when they figuratively jump up and down with snot running from their noses. Eventually, they tire of being ignored and go back under their bridge to sulk.

pd said...

Some of his tweets look reportable as personal harassment.

Allen F said...

Agreed, Antaeus, but mature adults also warn others of said trolls to better avoid/block them - which causes some trolls to show how much monkey is in them by the way they start flinging poo in every direction ...

Jojoba said...

Good grief! Why slate yourself as "anon" if you're going to sign as GSK? Yeah, publishing is difficult but cool off (you won't but it's worth a mention). This sounds more like a tantrum than an actual legal threat.

Jojoba said...

In my experience, ignoring trolls doesn't always work but feeding them poison does. Outing them, talking about them and their true selves tend to work well. I mean, the guy is already in the comments, foaming at the mouth.

I'm starting to think that they are not a real writer, as dedicated as they are to taking constant jabs at others simply because they didn't get what they wanted years ago. How can you pen anything when you're so hyper fixated on lobbing vitrol endlessly at others?

Christine Tripp said...

I just can’t believe the update! Gary actually thinks anyone in the industry would listen to his rantings against either Victoria or Writer Beware??? Everyone in Publishing holds both in the highest regard.
He truly is a sad figure.

Lucy said...

"Depriving them of these things may not shut them up--they can't really control themselves--but it is probably the single most frustrating thing you can do to them."

You'd be surprised how well they can control themselves. Any bully can, if he faces a potential immediate consequence that's unpleasant enough. It's the lack of enforceable consequences that makes the Internet such a tempting hunting ground to people looking for recognition (fame, a form of power) or the power of forcing someone else to react--control games. It becomes a form of psychological sadism, a way to get kicks.

I would suggest that anyone experiencing harassment or threats continue to pool their accounts with Writer Beware; and if necessary, draw on the collected testimony when seeking help from law enforcement. A documented consistent pattern of behavior will be taken more seriously than what might otherwise be considered a single random incident.

Anonymous said...

This guy is seriously disturbed. I normally don't go Anonymous Coward with my comments, but I already have enough problems in my life. I don't need a troll infestation on top of everything else.
You've probably heard it before, Mr. Kadet, but get help. You aren't impressing anyone.

Anonymous said...

I was someone he began harassing under his Dr. Mudgett account; I reported him to Twitter, and his account was banned.

Jojoba said...

This isn't oppression in the slightest, what privilege do I have in this case? I can't wait to hear. The publishing industry has plenty of problems but your issues isn't one of them, GSK. (Even as anon, it is obvious)

Look, if you want to be published so bad, go indie. If you have all this time to rant and haunt, you have time to look into other avenues. People get turned down all the time in publishing by agents, that is part of how things are. Either go indie or find someone different

Anonymous said...

He already knows this, but doesn't want to do the work, because he's afraid of being rejected on his own merit without an agent or publishing house to blame, instead of actually work on his craft.

Anonymous said...

A really helpful blog. Thanks so much for writing this. I'd just blocked his accounts a while ago, they were so pointless and sad. Helpful to understand the links and see the pattern. This is a great public service.

Anonymous said...

Good Lord. This jerk is not just insane but pathetic and stupid.

Anonymous said...

Strauss, you're committing libel with nothing more than whiny complaints that lack ANY substantive fact. You're going to wind up in court for it. You're an idiot.

Anonymous said...

So take her to court, Gary.

Or are you going to claim yet again that it's not worth it because you're too successful to waste your time?

You're just adding to the material of this post.

Jojoba said...

That is super self-evident. At this point, this guy should stop calling himself a writer then. Publishing is hard for everyone but at least others put in effort.

Rhett Pendergast said...

Frankly, I find the slander and infanfare here laughable. Gary Kadet is a good guy and a fine writer. Once upon the grime in Cambridge, I enjoyed his compaby & his crime beat column @ Boston Book Review. Robert B. Parker was his biggest fan. My buddy Robin Moore regarded Gary a true wit, a delight & an excellent book reviewer. But guys like that -- actual writers -- not internet nerds -- what did they know?

Rhett Pendergast said...

Hear here!

Rhett Pendergast said...

Since your days @ Boston Book Review, Gary, you've always been a straight shooter. And your aim true. Methinks Robin Moore would agree, may he RIP. And certainly Bob Parker -- your 'biggest' fan, concurs. I've missed the specifics here, but having read the atrocious hit piece, and knowing you as I do, Strauss has crossed the line. Who appoints, anoints these weasels?

Rhett Pendergast said...

Since your days @ Boston Book Review, Gary, you've always been a straight shooter. And your aim true. Methinks Robin Moore would agree, may he RIP. And certainly Bob Parker -- your 'biggest' fan, concurs. I've missed the specifics here, but having read the atrocious hit piece, and knowing you as I do, Strauss has crossed the line. Who appoints, anoints these weasels?

Rhett Pendergast said...

LOL

Anonymous said...

EditRhett Pendergast said...

Since your days @ Boston Book Review, Gary, you've always been a straight shooter. And your aim true. Methinks Robin Moore would agree, may he RIP. And certainly Bob Parker -- your 'biggest' fan, concurs. I've missed the specifics here, but having read the atrocious hit piece, and knowing you as I do, Strauss has crossed the line. Who appoints, anoints these weasels?

Anonymous said...

EditRhett Pendergast said...

Since your days @ Boston Book Review, Gary, you've always been a straight shooter. And your aim true. Methinks Robin Moore would agree, may he RIP. And certainly Bob Parker -- your 'biggest' fan, concurs. I've missed the specifics here, but having read the atrocious hit piece, and knowing you as I do, Strauss has crossed the line. Who appoints, anoints these weasels?

Anonymous said...

Too much time on one's hands perhaps to slander and libel someone Strauss knows nothing about except she thinks (I'm stretching the use of the term here) he was mean to her on Twitter. I suppose that enough to commit libel to get back at him. The only problem is the guy's nowhere in evidence and all of this is baseless, the result of rumors fomented by a crappy literary agency she should be doin due diligence on due to their shady practices and disregard for writers in general. Did this purple-haired self-published self-appointed arbiter of writing ever contact Mr. Kadet? Of course not - that would heave been far to close journalism. As it stands it's libel and should be taken down. This blog, which is supposedly about bad agencies like Talcott Notch, rather than writers she wrongly assumes are on Twitter (Mr. Kadet isn't) and who simply rub her the wrong way for whatever reason. Being that he's never defrauded, misled or harmed writers financially or commercially in any way whatever, I think her including the man in that blog - with the high school level insult of "Space Kadet" stupidly added - would be irrelevant to its purpose as well as harmful and legally actionable.

Anonymous said...

Too much time on one's hands perhaps to slander and libel someone Strauss knows nothing about except she thinks (I'm stretching the use of the term here) he was mean to her on Twitter. I suppose that enough to commit libel to get back at him. The only problem is the guy's nowhere in evidence and all of this is baseless, the result of rumors fomented by a crappy literary agency she should be doin due diligence on due to their shady practices and disregard for writers in general. Did this purple-haired self-published self-appointed arbiter of writing ever contact Mr. Kadet? Of course not - that would heave been far to close journalism. As it stands it's libel and should be taken down. This blog, which is supposedly about bad agencies like Talcott Notch, rather than writers she wrongly assumes are on Twitter (Mr. Kadet isn't) and who simply rub her the wrong way for whatever reason. Being that he's never defrauded, misled or harmed writers financially or commercially in any way whatever, I think her including the man in that blog - with the high school level insult of "Space Kadet" stupidly added - would be irrelevant to its purpose as well as harmful and legally actionable.

Anonymous said...

Post the death threat - everyone would love to see it. As it stands everyone knows you're a liar and phony, Rebecca, looking for attention on the back of someone far better than you. Too much time on one's hands perhaps to slander and libel someone Strauss knows nothing about except she thinks (I'm stretching the use of the term here) he was mean to her on Twitter. I suppose that enough to commit libel to get back at him. The only problem is the guy's nowhere in evidence and all of this is baseless, the result of rumors fomented by a crappy literary agency she should be doin due diligence on due to their shady practices and disregard for writers in general. Did this purple-haired self-published self-appointed arbiter of writing ever contact Mr. Kadet? Of course not - that would heave been far to close journalism. As it stands it's libel and should be taken down. This blog, which is supposedly about bad agencies like Talcott Notch, rather than writers she wrongly assumes are on Twitter (Mr. Kadet isn't) and who simply rub her the wrong way for whatever reason. Being that he's never defrauded, misled or harmed writers financially or commercially in any way whatever, I think her including the man in that blog - with the high school level insult of "Space Kadet" stupidly added - would be irrelevant to its purpose as well as harmful and legally actionable.

Anonymous said...

STFU Jojoba, you don't know f--k all. Plenty of time on one's hands perhaps to slander and libel someone Strauss knows nothing about except she thinks (I'm stretching the use of the term here) he was mean to her on Twitter. I suppose that enough to commit libel to get back at him. The only problem is the guy's nowhere in evidence and all of this is baseless, the result of rumors fomented by a crappy literary agency she should be doin due diligence on due to their shady practices and disregard for writers in general. Did this purple-haired self-published self-appointed arbiter of writing ever contact Mr. Kadet? Of course not - that would heave been far to close journalism. As it stands it's libel and should be taken down. This blog, which is supposedly about bad agencies like Talcott Notch, rather than writers she wrongly assumes are on Twitter (Mr. Kadet isn't) and who simply rub her the wrong way for whatever reason. Being that he's never defrauded, misled or harmed writers financially or commercially in any way whatever, I think her including the man in that blog - with the high school level insult of "Space Kadet" stupidly added - would be irrelevant to its purpose as well as harmful and legally actionable.

Victoria Strauss said...

No doubt all of these "anonymous" comments, as well as those from "Rhett Prendergast", are from Gary. Most are replies to others' comments--for some reason Blogger allows replies but doesn't display them as such, so they look like Gary is just re-posting the same comments again and again. He is, but it's recycling: using the same responses for different people. This is one of the tells of his sockpuppet Twitter accounts, which tweet identical insults over and over. Another tell, of course, is his obsession with Talcott Notch--and, based on other tweets from the socks, his preoccupation with the fantasy color in my hair.

Art Shawcross said...

Listen up, you stupid, feculent Purple-Haired CUNT:

I'm not anonymous, you libelous bitch. You're the one with too much time on her grimy crone-like hands perhaps to slander and libel someone Strauss knows nothing about except she thinks (I'm stretching the use of the term here) he was mean to her on Twitter. I suppose that enough to commit libel to get back at him. The only problem is the guy's nowhere in evidence and all of this is baseless, the result of rumors fomented by a crappy literary agency she should be doin due diligence on due to their shady practices and disregard for writers in general. Did this purple-haired self-published self-appointed arbiter of writing ever contact Mr. Kadet? Of course not - that would heave been far to close journalism. As it stands it's libel and should be taken down. This blog, which is supposedly about bad agencies like Talcott Notch, rather than writers she wrongly assumes are on Twitter (Mr. Kadet isn't) and who simply rub her the wrong way for whatever reason. Being that he's never defrauded, misled or harmed writers financially or commercially in any way whatever, I think her including the man in that blog - with the high school level insult of "Space Kadet" stupidly added - would be irrelevant to its purpose as well as harmful and legally actionable.

I'm NOT Gary, you imbecilic shrike.

Victoria Strauss said...

Apparently Gary is no longer being coy about calling me a cunt. Kudos on your bravery, Gary.

Also: you might more convincingly pass as someone else if you didn't constantly recycle your insults.

DB McKinsey said...

My favorite part about this is that you can't edit or remove comments here unless you're logged into a google account.

*Makes popcorn*

Persephone Kate said...

Yes, of course and the big fat ugly troll in this instant is Victoria Strauss. This piece of shit show no evidence that Mr. Kadet is a troll, NO evidence that he's had anything to do with the purple-haired cunt. (Yeah, that's right idiot, I said it. ME. Not GARY, freaking supercilious tool.) There's no due diligence here and all I see is this moron clucking about with the hens of a disreputable literary agency if she had any ability at all would be on the beware list. This libel piece is false, irresponsible and outrageous for it's inisipid attack (Yeah, writers, you better beware because accounts on Twitter who plainly AREN'T Gary may offend you. Awwwwwwwwwww. Never heard of blocking, muting, replying? Oh no - best write a blog about it because someone you don't know, have never met or interacted with casually exposed what a morally bankrupt fraud you are. Go ahead and e-mail me about it. I'm skilled in the ways of telling you to fuck off.

Oh yeah. Make it up to the man. Buy his new novel:

https://amazon.com/Ogre-Life-Gary-Kadet/dp/B089CLPGMX/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=The+Ogre+Life&qid=1591130517&s=books&sr=1-1…


Art Shawcross said...

I'm ART SHAWCROSS YOU PURPLE-HAIRED MORON!!

Your "Space Kadet" headline is jejune - no, worse HIGH SCHOOL where you were obviously heavily abused to post such a fucking stupid blog piece warning of exactly NOTHING harmful to anyone. Jesus Christ, people must shun you a great deal. I can feel the repugnance as I repost my comment here, since the idiots who buy your crap don't understand it or - like you - are pathetic rejects hoping to be liked.

I wonder what an audit of your blogs might yield in your irresponsible postings. You obviously are innocent of absence of malice. How many agencies did you libel? Enough for a class action suit?

I bet there's some "there" there. Idiot.

Listen up, you stupid, feculent Purple-Haired CUNT:

I'm not anonymous, you libelous bitch. You're the one with too much time on her grimy crone-like hands perhaps to slander and libel someone Strauss knows nothing about except she thinks (I'm stretching the use of the term here) he was mean to her on Twitter. I suppose that enough to commit libel to get back at him. The only problem is the guy's nowhere in evidence and all of this is baseless, the result of rumors fomented by a crappy literary agency she should be doin due diligence on due to their shady practices and disregard for writers in general. Did this purple-haired self-published self-appointed arbiter of writing ever contact Mr. Kadet? Of course not - that would heave been far to close journalism. As it stands it's libel and should be taken down. This blog, which is supposedly about bad agencies like Talcott Notch, rather than writers she wrongly assumes are on Twitter (Mr. Kadet isn't) and who simply rub her the wrong way for whatever reason. Being that he's never defrauded, misled or harmed writers financially or commercially in any way whatever, I think her including the man in that blog - with the high school level insult of "Space Kadet" stupidly added - would be irrelevant to its purpose as well as harmful and legally actionable.

I'm NOT Gary, you imbecilic shrike.

Buy Gary's newest book. He might thank you.

https://amazon.com/Ogre-Life-Gary-Kadet/dp/B089CLPGMX/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=The+Ogre+Life&qid=1591130517&s=books&sr=1-1…

Victoria Strauss said...

That's an interesting self-promo strategy Gary has come up with: inserting links to his new small press-pubbed book into raging comments from his alter egos (sadly he doesn't seem to know how to make them clickable). Like the coronavirus, it's novel--though not exactly welcome.

Anonymous said...

I find it really worrying how... algorithmic Gary is, with all this. You okay, Gary? You got access to mental health care needs? Not trying to be funny about this - like, seriously, you have some obsessive stuff going on which is probably not benefiting your quality of life. Talk to a therapist, maybe a psychiatrist?

 
Design by The Blog Decorator