Where Tangent editor Dave Truesdale outs himself at the Asimov’s Forum upon SF author James P Hogan’s passing Part 1

This is the first of an eleven part series at this blog (the eleventh part is a two part postscript), twelve parts if one includes the introduction here.

Yes you read the title of this first chapter correctly. Tangentonline editor Dave Truesdale OUTS himself at Asimov’s Discussion Forum upon SF writer James P Hogan’s passing in July 2010. Outs himself as what? As a Holocaust Revisionist.

In other words it all gets worse, much worse than the late James P Hogan, well-known in the SF genre community for his Holocaust DENIAL.

And it all goes beyond Hogan and the lack of public outrage that greeted his in-your-face Holocaust Denial while he was still alive. Hogan’s death and his Holocaust Denial acted as a catalyst and brought a lot of real ugliness and off-the-charts anti-Semitism (even if not admitted to, it hardly ever is these days) out of the SF woodwork.  A whole can of worms would be inadvertently opened by Hogan’s passing. Namely the banality of Holocaust Denial/Revisionism and how acceptable and respectable it is in the genre community (and I don’t just mean the fans).

Here I detail this can of worms so to speak and I was in fact the inadvertent catalyst for all of this. This was the last straw for me and decided to get me blogging on this (time constraints prevented me from writing all this far sooner). It was a disgustingly, nakedly bigoted hardcore Jew-hate thread at the Asimov’s Forum (and I have saved it all) that would not have been out of place at the most odious extremist political forums of both the far Left and the far Right. And I got the whole thing started and I swear unintentionally…

If anybody can succeed in discovering a more bigoted, deranged thread than this on any ‘mainstream’ political fora on the internet, well good luck with that. This is as bad as it gets in the so-called mainstream sphere of political discourse. Brazen and deep-seated hardcore anti-Semitism that pretends it ain’t and bottomless brain-dead moronism in equal measure.

After all was said and done and the blood and gore from this Asimov’s Forum flame-war
http://www.asimovs.com/aspnet_forum/messages.aspx?TopicID=3852  thread entitled ‘James Hogan has passed away’ were sopped up and forgotten about, the facts are these…

[The thread  is no longer accessible with the Asimov’s Forum shut-down on 8th April 2010. It has nothing at all to do with this exposé but a troll who perpetually spammed porn]

At minimum, one very well-known SF critic and magazine editor and a minor short story writer and reviewer (published a very few stories) had outed themselves as Holocaust Revisionists. Another SF editor Sam Hidaka (formerly assistant ed at Jim Baen’s Universe e-zine, now senior editor at the Universe Annex of the Grantville Gazette) had at minimum, inadvertently or not, defended those who had so outed themselves (we are not talking freedom of speech issues) by insulting, contemptuously mocking and superciliously deriding me for exposing and giving concrete evidence for the late James P Hogan’s Holocaust Denial. Make of that what you will. The details of this are in Part 6.

The majority of Asimov’s forumites commenting on that thread were a chorus in insulting and dismissing me – get this straight – for speaking out against Holocaust Denial/Revisionism, which I would not have needed to do if there were not those defending and justifying it in the first place! To top it off, the Asimov’s Forum administrator threatened to ban me! I detail the very lame and sinister reason why – not knowable at all from the visible Asimov’s Forum thread [well until the forum shut-down] – in Part 5.  No threats of banning were given, it appears, to those outing themselves as hardcore Holocaust Revisionists and those mocking me for exposing it. Holocaust Denial/Revisionism is not offensive or insulting to anybody apparently. It’s calling out Holocaust DENIAL for what it is – sans euphemisms and eggshell walking – that is so insulting and inflammatory, to Asimov’s Forum admin at least.

Here are the bloody details of all that went down (if you are a self-respecting Jew in or outside the genre I warn you, steel yourself)…

This is a thread (link above, now only accessible in Postscript Part A) in which Dave Truesdale of Tangent fame (he is the managing editor) unambiguously defended the late James P Hogan’s stance on the Holocaust as legitimate and reasonable! Truesdale did so unequivocally and explicitly on two distinct forum threads at the now defunct Asimov’s Forum (both threads now only in my two part Postscript). He really did and all the evidence for it is as clear as day.

Yes you read that right. The noted controversial critic/reviewer of short science fiction (via his Tangent vehicle) Dave Truesdale made an emphatic spirited defence of James Hogan’s Holocaust Denial as historically valid and legitimate! He also implied the A in ‘Lawrence A’ (for challenging him on this front, exposing him completely and putting the heat on him) stands for ‘asshole’. It gets worse than that, Truesdale had his own apologists and rationalisers (and at minimum one other who clearly outed herself as a Holocaust Revisionist – a very minor SF short story writer and book reviewer Marian Powell who posted under her first name ‘Marian’ at the now defunct Asimov’s Forum). I’m NOT saying that these apologists are Holocaust Revisionists themselves – not at all – just that they were the formers’ mealy-mouthed rationalisers and sugarcoaters.

All the evidence of what went down is presented in this series (Asimov’s Forum admin disgracefully deleleted some of my posts speaking out against Holocaust Denial!), but I saved them all (along with the deleted comments from others) and post them up here in this series. It can all be read in context. The whole thread is out of necessity posted up unedited and in its proper sequence (including the deleted comments) in the Postscript Part A.

If anybody thinks I am misrepresenting the facts or exaggerating, I am not. All the evidence I present here at this blog [now given the Asimov’s Forum shut-down the only place where any of this can be understood and appreciated]. In fact the full facts about Dave Truesdale are central to my postings, and they are very ugly indeed. I am not going to bother with ‘Marian’ ie Marian Powell (the very minor SF short story writer) so much since she has published just a handful of stories. You can read an interview she did here http://www.prescottwriters.com/marian-powell/

Yes she worked on a kibbutz for a year. So? The gods love irony, what else is new? Yes it is the same ‘Marian’ who posted at the old Asimov’s Forum. I have triple-checked this thoroughly. Regular (now former) Asimov’s forumites are cognisant of this, as is Gardner Dozois, former senior editor at Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine.

The thoughtful reader who is not a Holocaust Denier/Revisionist, nor a run-of-the-mill Jew-hater nor a moron (actually this may well be a minority position within the genre community if the Asimov’s Forum is anything to go by) would recognise immediately the disturbing nature of all this – pertinently why did Truesdale (and Marian) rush to Hogan’s defense? Freedom of speech had nothing to do with it. Truesdale and Powell continued to carry water for Hogan even *after* all the undeniable evidence was given that Hogan was a Holocaust DENIER, by myself in fact. A  few of these posts of mine Asimov’s admin would subsequently delete, most would remain up on that thread [now with the forum shutdown, they along with every other Asimov’s Forum thread are no longer viewable. The whole thread is now solely viewable in its ugly entirety in Postscript Part A]

If anybody out there (who has at least half a brain unlike so many Asimov’s forumites and is not a vicious anti-Semite) is not appalled by this thread in which Truesdale outed himself and what went down, then yes you have a big problem… You have no moral compass. You are either mentally deficient or a Jew-hater or both.

So without further preamble.. I started a thread at Asimov’s Forum on SF writer James P Hogan a month after he died entitled ‘James Hogan has passed away’ [now returns a ‘500 Internal Server’ error along with all other Asimov’s Forum threads]

I dared to point out (post dated 7/25/2010 5:10:11 AM) the uncontroversial indisputable fact that he was a Holocaust Denier, “the David Irving of science fiction” as I called him, but even generously remarked that:

“I coud call him the David Irving of science fiction, well he was just that (I don’t care for anybody telling me I shouldn’t insult the dead, screw that kind of nonsense. with Holocaust Revisionists like Hogan all bets are off and I don’t care for sentimental crap like ‘respecting the dead’ anyway) but I am sure he had his you know better attributes, and he seems to have lived an interesting life. He was in his 69th year.”

Now this is surely not controversial (unless you are a Holocaust Denier/Revisionist yourself of course). I didn’t start the thread in the political section at the Asimov’s Forum simply because I assumed (wrongly!!) there wouldn’t be anybody disputing the point that Hogan was a Holocaust Denier and/or not seeing how despicable, delusional and redolent of fascism Holocaust Denial actually is. Boy was I so very wrong. I am under no illusions of how very bad and pervasive anti-Semitism is (I used to be though), but even I was shocked by the ‘just questioning and doubting the official history of the Holocaust is not Holocaust Denial or illegitimate or anti-Semitic’ type gibberish that I got in response to my post on Hogan. That kind of ‘asking questions/there is legitimate debate or disagreement about the official Holocaust history’ crap is a red flag. It is itself Holocaust Revisionism, it reeks of it.

It is the equivalent of the 9-11 conspiracy nutjobs blabbering ‘I don’t think there was any conspiracy, just a few things don’t make any sense re 9-11 and I’m just asking questions’ in order to make their conspiracy thinking more palatable and receptive to the unwary and naive. But when they start asking their questions, they quickly descend into full-blown 9-11 conspiracy nuttery. This just asking questions claptrap re the official story of 9-11 is what the bloggers at ‘Screw Loose Change’ (a leading 9-11 conspiracy debunking blog) call ‘the mark of woo’. It’s a pretense that their conspiracy woo is not conspiracy woo. It is the equivalent of the red flag, the mark of Holocaust Denial/Revisionism that is the ‘I’m just-asking-questions-about-the-Holocaust I-don’t-deny-that-it-happened and the Nazis were crazy and many Jews died’ wormy rhetoric. And such twisted and slimy pretense is employed for the same reason as ‘the mark of woo’ regarding 9-11 nuttery; namely making Holocaust Denial/Revisionism more palatable, respectable and acceptable to society and to themselves, by pretending it isn’t what it so clearly is.

This is the response I got from Tangent managing editor and well-known SF critic (also former SFWA Bulletin Editor 1999-2002) Dave Truesdale posted 7/25/2010 10:07:51 AM (I only post up the most pertinent parts of his post, check the Asimov’s Forum thread for the full posts) [now only in Postscript Part A]:

..So I scratched around a little bit and found what seemed to be solid evidence that he did indeed say such things. And I also found solid evidence that he did not believe the holocaust never took place, but that he believed that some of the way the history was written about the holocaust was wrong. It was this he “denied.” He denied the public histories as they were written. A crucial difference.

For instance: after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989 a lot of classified Russian documents came to light. Apparently they showed that camps of Jews didn’t die from the Nazis, but died from neglect and starvation after the war on the part of the Russians, who were in charge of those camps. This side of the story was never told, and Hogan therefore denied that the holocaust happened the way it was being reported to the public. So you leave out a word or two, or reword a sentence or two, and it looks like Hogan was a straight up holocaust denier.

I don’t want to get into a political discussion about this, especially not here. I only mention the above as a cautionary exercise, one which is intended to make clear that you can’t always take for literal truth everything you read, or hear second hand. Keep an open mind.”

Keep an open mind!!

That’s Dave Truesdale no less, once again a well-known critic of science fiction (short stories really) and conspicuous in the genre community. He is known for his abrasive critiques of liberal sensibilities and for his no-holds-barred criticisms of short fiction in the genre. Tangent is/was highly regaded within the genre community for this – as far as I know the only mag dedicated to reviews and commentary of genre short fiction. I focus on Truesdale predominantly here because Truesdale is a major playa in the SF community. His commentary, political and otherwise is often cause for considerable commentary itself among SF writers, editors and fans.
Tangentonline at http://www.tangentonline.com/

The SFSite at http://www.sfsite.com/home.htm  informs us:

Dave Truesdale has edited Tangent and now Tangent Online since 1993. It has been nominated for the Hugo Award four times, and the World Fantasy Award once. A former editor of the Bulletin of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, he also served as a World Fantasy Award judge in 1998, and currently writes an original online column for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

Gardner Dozois, one of the most highly regarded editors in SF, and former senior editor at Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine had this to say about Tangent.

“Tangent has already become something of an institution in the field after only a few years, and performs an invaluable service for the genre by extensively reviewing the year’s short fiction…. [T]he level of criticism is pretty good here…. Tangent is doing a good job of filling a nearly vacant ecological niche, and if it disappeared the field would be much the poorer for it. In the last couple of years, Tangent has made itself even more valuable by becoming deeply involved in helping to assemble a recommended reading list for the yearly Sturgeon Award, a list that rivals the Locus Recommended List for its usefulness.”

Gardner Dozois, Year’s Best SF #14 (1997)

Here’s just one of Truesdale’s forays into the science fiction political mire from 2005. Truesdale scathingly criticised writer Harry Turtledove for a short story that Turtledove published, one where Osama Bin Laden and George W Bush were gay lovers.
http://www.tangentonline.com/editorials-columnsmenu-270/422-off-on-a-tangent-daves-corner-bedfellas-vs-terrorist-goodfellas

Now I give Turtledove, a Jewish writer no less, all the ammunition he needs to get back at Truesdale. Let’s see if he does anything…

An irony that would be so lost on so many – including Truesdale – is that Truesdale’s (standing up for Hogan) obscene take on the Holocaust isn’t any different from the rabid Muslim fanatics he criticizes the Western and American Left as being so soft on in the ‘bedfellas’ critique of his (and elsewhere)!

Truesdale also authored a controversial polemical piece at Tangent entitled “Idiocy from the SFnal Left” from 2003 that appears to no longer be available online. You can read something about it here at Matthew Cheney’s blog
http://mumpsimus.blogspot.com/2003/09/literature-of-ideas-and-sf-left.html

Several months after this flame-war went down – in October 2010 –  Dave Truesdale was to announce a new focus/emphasis for Tangent with an editorial entitled  ‘A New Direction’   http://www.tangentonline.com/news-mainmenu-158/1453-a-new-direction

Getting back to the pertinent Asimov’s Forum thread…
It only continues in the same vein from then on. The forthcoming chapters and postscripts reveal all (be patient please). And I detail in part 5 the disgraceful PM Asimov’s Admin sent to me (not knowable from the thread commentary itself). *Most* of the posters at the Asimov’s Forum commenting on that thread, would end up insulting and ridiculing myself – you know for speaking out against Holocaust DENIAL – which I would not have needed to do if  Truesdale and Marian had not gone to bat for the late James P Hogan in the first place!

Continued in Part 2…

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