Recovered: About Zak

Apparently Zak S is an abusive PoS (CW: abuse, sexual violence, violence).(2024: Dead link, sorry.) Later today he is planning to make a statement, but what could he say?

I feel things, but obviously not nearly to the degree of his actual victims. From my place of relative privilege, what can I do? I’m not a large voice in this community, but I don’t think that should excuse me.

What to do with his social media presence?

  • Unfollow him on Twitter, Tumblr, G+, and Instagram, even where I am not active on these platforms.
  • Unsubscribe from his podcast, and its associated media.
  • Stop my Patreon contribution ($1/mo).
  • Remove his blog from my sidebar and feed reader.
  • Leave his Discord server. I won’t be updating the Gygaxian Democracy doc anymore either.
  • I don’t have any of his porn, but like, I wouldn’t watch it? I wouldn’t watch James Deen either.

What to do with his stuff?

I’ve got some things of his:

  • Vornheim (print/pdf)
  • Maze of the Blue Medusa (print only)
  • Death Frost Doom (print/pdf)
  • A Red & Pleasant Land (print/pdf)
  • Dial H (print)(he drew one page of it)

For now I’ll keep them I guess, but I don’t think I’ll be using them. None of them can’t be replaced by other books. (2024: I got rid of them.)

What to do with his associates?

Some of his collaborators and friends are waiting for his statement, although most of them have already distanced themselves. The ones I’m still watching are:

  • LotFP. I have always thought of LotFP as an accepting place for minorities that got a bad rap from some corners because of their publicity-stunt GWARness. I believe that many of the other creators at LotFP have already cut ties with Zak, but if Jim continues to work with him, then I am not sure I can continue buying their products. (2024: to their minimal credit, LotFP did grudgingly cut ties.)
  • China Miéville. China Miéville is one of my favorite authors, and has collaborated with Zak in the past. I’m not sure if they are in frequent enough contact that he would comment unprompted, but I’ll certainly think much less of him if I see a future collaboration without some significant statement. (2024: I’ve learned not to think highly of anyone anyway.)

What to do with myself?

I have recommended Zak’s blog to people in the past, and given his books as gifts.

  • I’m attempting to reach every individual who I’ve recommended or gifted his stuff to to let them know, so that they can make their own informed decisions.
  • On this blog, where I have linked to his blog, I am adding the rel=“nofollow” property to those links. (2024: Links are being stripped in the recovery” process, where any remained.)
  • On posts where I have mentioned his things, I will comment with a link to this post.

This post was first shared on February 11, 2019.

When I started recovering” old posts, I had initially planned to skip this one. Why rehash old drama? But even five years later, he’s still at the edges of the scene, trying to clear his name through legal bullying and suspect testimony. So it felt important to keep a version of this document alive.

I don’t need to give a full history, but it’s a little embarrassing how much I was a fanboy. I like to think of sharing this as brave” rather than dumb.”

April 19, 2024