A while back I noticed that the Amazon listing for "The Compelled" by Adam Roberts and François Schuiten had something of an oddity in the "About the authors" section, in reference to Mr Roberts:
His science fiction has been praised by many critics both inside and outside the genre, with some comparing him to genre authors such as Pel Torro, John E. Muller, and Karl Zeigfreid.
[Pel Torro, John E. Muller, and Karl Zeigfreid were some of the many pen-names used by super-prolific British author Lionel Fanthorpe for his 1950s pulp sci-fi novels, some of which were famously churned out at a high rate, sometimes one per week... someone was clearly having a laugh at Adam Roberts' expense - but who, and how did it make it on to Amazon?]
A little research (read: Googling) revealed that the text seemed to have been copied and pasted from an earlier version of Wikipedia's Adam Roberts page, which bizarrely enough had a genuine citation.
Delving into the history of the Wikipedia page, it appeared that the text was first inserted by a mischevious Wikipedian in December 2017, naturally without any citation. It lingered until November 2018 when it was removed by a passing editor who recognised it for the limp attempt at humour that it was.
However, the offending sentence was later reinstated in September 2019, this time with an actual citation from a real book, the Portuguese Verdadeira História Da Ficção Científica (The True History of Science Fiction). However, the book in question appears to have merely copied & pasted the original sentence from the mischevious earlier Wikipedia entry.... Needless to say there's a name for this sort of circular reference generation, and that is citogenesis. Wikipedia naturally has a list of such incidents.
Edit: It received a mention in the April 2023 edition of Dave Langford's Ansible newsletter:
Adam Roberts’s Amazon blurb for Stealing for the Sky has an ‘About the author’ coda that after the mention of his being a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature ends: ‘His science fiction has been praised by many critics both inside and outside the genre, with some comparing him to genre authors such as Pel Torro, John E. Muller, and Karl Zeigfreid.’ [JB]
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