Personally, I wouldn't call it a tragedy so much as the saga of somebody who wants to be An Author, rather than a writer. Which is fine, really.
But considering that this young lady brought home on *one* advance something like five times what I made on advance for a three-book deal (and frankly, I don't think talking about how much we get paid is breaking "the most sacred rules of modern authordom"--anybody who reads Locus can figure out pretty much what I got paid), I don't know many working writers who would complain about the money she's bringing home. And that assumes that in that time she did not sell any nonfiction or any short stories to paying markets.
And how did she manage not to get paid for the movie option if a script was in development? Because, you know, normally somebody options the work and they pay you for the right to develop the script: because so many movies do not get made, authors are normally paid before the rest of that work gets done.
How much does Salon.com pay for an article, anyway?
Admittedly, I'm a writer of the genre ghetto, and so are most of the writers I spend time with. And the money isn't really in SFF.
Which is why I'm in it for the sweaty, buff, half-naked, lust-crazed fanboys.
Oh, damn. Wrong genre again.
Other comments on the Salon.com article:
Tobias S. Buckell Does The Numbers
Nick Mamatas Does The Numbers Another Way