FAQs, Acknowledgements, and Further Reading

Frequently Asked Questions

Did Stanek actually receive all of the military honors he claims he did? He isn’t listed online among the Distinguished Flying Cross Society!

As far as I know, Stanek did receive his military honors. He posted a picture of his DD Form 214 online on his blog, which appears completely legitimate. The DFC Society is a paid society, so you can be a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross and not be listed online.

On the other side, it doesn’t bother me that many people have accused Stanek of falsifying these records. This is the perfect example of the boy who cried ‘wolf’. When you’re well-known for lying about things, no one will believe you when you’re actually telling the truth.

Are Robert Stanek and William Stanek the same person?

Yes. Stanek’s real name is William Robert Stanek. He writes on his website:

The main reason for using Robert Stanek for fiction and William Stanek for nonfiction was the astounding pace at which William Stanek produces books.

I have absolutely no idea what this is supposed to mean. But yes, they are. Stanek’s day job, if you will, is writing computer manuals for Microsoft, and he is quite successful at it. I spent a little time going over his nonfiction books on Amazon. I did find some evidence that Stanek has written some of his own 5-star reviews, but most of his computer books don’t have many reviews – many of them have less than 20. I presume that this is because the manuals are mostly promoted and sold by Microsoft and through computer magazines – Stanek doesn’t need to rely on Amazon reviews to sell those books.

Was Robert Stanek trashing Patrick Rothfuss on Amazon?

This started with an Amazon thread titled rothfuss is a fraud. It was immediately picked up and spread around the internets. The best summary of the situation can be read at Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist.

In short, I’m not sure. By the time I learned what was happening some of the information I wanted to record had disappeared. I am planning on taking an in-depth look at the situation, but I’ll reserve judgment on what happened until I have done so.


I’d like to thank Jeff Darcy, Rose Fox, David Langford, R.A. Salvatore, and Tim Spalding. They were all kind enough to answer my questions and I am indebted to them for their graciousness and courtesy.

Further Reading

I also decided to go through Stanek’s books and do a page-by-page recap of the entire series. If you really want to be convinced that Stanek is a terrible writer, you can read them here:

Stanek’s Sites:

Sites that discuss Stanek (many of these I have already linked to in the previous pages). Keep in mind: there’s a lot of misinformation out there about Stanek.

Note: If you are aware of any inaccuracies on the preceding pages, or think there are more links that belong on this page, feel free to contact me at scavokretlaw@gmail.com.

Special: A Very Stanek 2012


  12 Responses to “FAQs, Acknowledgements, and Further Reading”

  1. Simply said … thank you 🙂 it’s possible you may become my hero

  2. great work … stanek is an asshole who has been ripping people off for way too long … your work is correcting a wrong

  3. Riveting and detailed account. Thanks for putting in the work. Appreciated,

  4. Amazing articles! Thanks for making them. I can’t believe what some authors will do…
    By the way, somethung you didn’t touch on: On the Amazon page for Keeper Martin’s Tale (Ultimate Edition-dun dun dun), there’s a supposed editorial review from clar reviews (http://www.amazon.com/Keeper-Martins-Ultimate-Robert-Stanek/dp/1575455153/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1264386406&sr=1-1)… Of course, it’s fake! http://www.amazon.com/There-such-thing-Clar-Reviews/forum/Fx2P7DWR5OTK2HC/Tx34EGFMYKLHLE0/1?_encoding=UTF8&asin=1575450259

  5. Wow…just wow. I’m truly impressed with the amount of research you put into this. It’s really sad that Stanek has become as well known as he has simply due to his dishonesty.

  6. It’s kind of a pity Stanek didn’t show up to post a gazillion comments protesting the unfair treatment of his epic series. ^_^

    These articles, however, are really good. I wish all reporters would put this amount of effort into uncovering the truth of matters. Very well done, you.

  7. Bored again, so here’s some useless research!

    I ran into one small oddity regarding the “William R. Stanek” computer books.

    One of the books he wrote is called “Netscape Mozilla source code guide“. The blurb claims “[h]e spent two years mastering the intricacies of Mozilla in order to write this book”. The Mozilla project started in February 1998 and the book was released in December 1999, so allowing for editing and publication delays, the two year figure is a little bit debatable.

    Yet, the frightening thought emerges: Is Stanek a Mozilla contributor? Does your copy of Firefox have a staggering piece of Stanekry in it?

    I haven’t actually looked at the version control history yet, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    As far as I can tell, Stanek isn’t actually mentioned in mozilla.org anywhere, not even as a non-code contributor. He’s not listed in the Mozilla contributors either, so his contributions, if any, are unlikely to be of any consequence. Hell, he’s not even listed in bug reports, and bug reports are the lifeblood of open source development and one of the easiest ways anyone can help an open source project. (…looking at the amazon preview, it doesn’t appear he’s even managed to list that as a way of contributing to Mozilla. *sigh*)

    The thing I like about good open source books is that they’re often written by people who actually use or contribute to the project. It’s rare to see good open source books that are written by some random technology authors who don’t actually go to the trenches in any capacity. It kind of makes me question whether the book is worth anything.

  8. He probably served in the Air Force, but he definitely did not receive the Distinguished Flying Cross. In an effort to reduce cases of “stolen valor,” the military created a site listing all recipients of major decorations and commendations. There is a Robert Stanek listed there, but it isn’t this jerk. The Robert Stanek who received the medal fought during the Korean War and died two decades ago.


  9. How do we know it’s not the same guy though? I mean, has anyone ever actually seen “our” Stanek in the flesh?

  10. These articles are great! I always find stories of bizarre wannabes fascinating, especially when this much research goes into it.

    On a minor note, the TVTropes page no longer exists.

  11. I contacted the Fake Warriors Project. Robert Stanek did receive the military awards he said he did. It doesn’t change what he’s done after his military career, of course. I wonder what would make such a decorated soldier turn to fraud?

  12. He’s been around. There are at least three commenters who are clearly him.