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Posted by on March 2, 2023

Alexi Vandenberg, owner of Rabid Fanboy, styles himself as “The Merchant Prince of Fandom,” and “Steampunk Jesus,” and claims to be a serial entrepreneur, running Bard’s Tower, Prince of Cats Literary Productions, and the ironically-named Super Villain’s Network. However, aside from Rabid Fanboy, none of these companies actually exist. Alexi Vandenberg has used these as aliases to gain his perennial status as a vendor at science fiction conventions. You have likely seen him selling books as Bard’s Tower or Bard’s Tower Celebrity Experience.

In order to lend himself an air of legitimacy, Alexi Vandenberg claims to have worked with George W. Bush, both claiming to invent the phrase “flip flop” and to be the one to suggest that Bush use it against John Kerry. He also claims to have worked with John McCain, and often tells a story about John McCain punching him in the tooth. In the past, when people would question Mr. Vandenberg about his outrageous stories, he would double down, and often claimed to have worked with or consultant with intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies. Much like his claims about past presidents and senators, these untrue stories were repeated by Alexi Vandenberg so confidently and frequently that they became part of the lore surrounding Alexi Vandenberg, Bard’s Tower, and Prince of Cats Literary Productions. Of course, they are all fabricated.

In recent months, Alexi Vandenberg began to claim his son has brain cancer, that his wife and mother- in-law were suffering from mental health issues, and began selling or attempting to sell all or part of Bard’s Tower (a fake company without trademarks) to multiple people just as mobster Bugsy Siegel did with the Flamingo Hotel in the 1940s.

Alexi Vandenberg has a number of extremely credible accusations of sexual misconduct against him, including from former authors. Alexi Vandenberg has falsely claimed that this his young son has brain cancer, seemingly defrauded an 80-year-old author who considered him a friend, and has been sued by an investor, former friend, and business partner for one count of breach of contract, one count of debt recovery, multiple counts of fraud, multiple counts of defamation, one count of negligence, and one count of intentional infliction of emotional distress. Not only that, but Alexi Vandenberg seems to have stolen from and defrauded the estate of a United States Air Force Captain.

The estate of Captain Gary Kitchen had over $60,000 in retail value of autographed sci-fi books, which Alexi Vandenberg agreed to sell. Mr. Vandenberg appears to have sold some or all of the books, kept the money, lied, and cheated the estate out of the money. Like George Santos, Alexi Vandenberg seems to have no moral qualms with defrauding veterans and creating outlandish backstories. A full accounting of Alexi Vandenberg and Bard’s Tower conduct regarding the estate of Captain Gary Kitchen can be found here: booksellers-go-bad-alexi-vandenberg-bard-s-tower-rabid-fanboy-enterprises

In addition to his fictitious backstory, Alexi Vandenberg has taken to a pattern of selling his companies. He sold 50% of his only real company, Rabid Fanboy to Shoshana Edwards, an author who considered him a friend. Alexi Vandenberg took $25,000 from Ms. Edwards and did sign a contract with her, one he seemingly has not kept, had no intent to honor, and has willfully violated. Shoshana Edwards, who is 80 years old, has suffered serious financial hardship as a result of Alexi Vandenberg and his fraudulent business practices.

Alexi Vandenberg also attempted to sell 100% of Bard’s Tower—a company that does not exist—to James Dobbs. Of course, Alexi Vandenberg could not sell the only company that did exist, as he had

already sold 50% of said company to Ms. Edwards. When Mr. Dobbs began due diligence on Alexi Vandenberg, Alexi Vandenberg falsely claimed his young son was sick with potentially fatal brain cancer in order to create a sense of urgency. Mr. Dobbs, who considered Mr. Vandenberg a friend, agreed to purchase the rights to operate at Pensacon 2023. Alexi Vandenberg signed a sales contract with Mr. Dobbs, signed a detailed Memorandum of Understanding, and proceeded to violate both. When Mr. Dobbs confronted Alexi Vandenberg, Mr. Dobbs was told to go away with colorful metaphors.

Author Megan Mackie, is one of several people who have alleged sexual misconduct, harassment, and slander by Mr. Vandenberg. At one time, Alexi Vandenberg had Ms. Mackie as a frequent author at Bard’s Tower; she was told she was being published by Prince Of Cats, and she considered Alexi Vandenberg to be a friend. Then one day, Mr. Vandenberg approached Mackie, informed her that he wanted to sleep with her, and made clear that if she did not have sex with him he would not publish her books. She refused. He sabotaged her books and attacked her personally and professionally. Alexi Vandenberg has waged a lengthy and protracted campaign of slander and intimidation against Ms.

Mackie, making false claims about her mental health.

All of these stories have just come out since February 24th 2023; they are all examples of the ways that Alexi Vandenberg has used his closeness to famous authors and self-proclaimed abilities to publish and popularize books in order to harass, victimize, defraud, and otherwise cheat members of the literary and geek community. Alexi Vandenberg who truly has been a monster in the geek community, and his predation and lies are just now beginning to come to light. There are most likely more victims, more lies, and more scams yet to be uncovered.

If you have been injured by, lied to, or in any way harmed by Alexi Vandenberg, please use this link to make a report with the Science Fiction Writers Association, as he is currently under investigation.

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