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I had an extraordinary conversation with him a year ago. Nothing about HIV or Irving, but plenty about Darwin and conspiracy theories of why the US joined both world wars...

I still have fond memories of the first three Giants books, and also a couple of others from not too long thereafter. But I haven't touched a new one in some time, and frankly you're not motivating me to get out and do so, either.

He did not, as I recall, make a very good impression as Guest of Honor at Minicon in 1985. Shortly before I came back for that I did run into some people who still remembered him in DEC LCG (I was in LCG engineering at the time), who did like him personally, though, so I guess it's possible. Or was then.

I had the misfortune to be the only other person to show up to a panel at P-Con II last weekend, and thus had to sit through most of an hour of him regaling the audience with an explanation of why Velikovsky is a misunderstood genius. Didn't know about the (ack, spit) Irving bit, though.

Charming fellow, but completely round the twist and very much a creature of his place and times (i.e. Ireland, and about thirty years ago).

Well, as Charlie says, I've always found him to be charming, but I have to admit to seeing some loonieness as well. He assured me quite forcefully that should one of his young teenage daughters (this was some years ago --eek -- nearly 20) decide to have sex the decision was totally hers. If she thought she was old enough, that was the only view that counted. Completely ignoring that sex has influences on us which make decision making difficult for much older and more experienced people. And then there was the Libertarian stuff, but. Holocaust denial? Really?


Well, I never discuss how to raise kids because I have noticed people's views of this change entirely when they have them and not all of it can be an involunatory neurological change selected in by evolution. Since I don't have kids...

Hogan has never anywhere I have seen said "The Nazis did not kill umpty million Jews, Gypsies, Homosexuals and so on." What he does do is promote people who do support positions like that (Irving, as I recall, just argued Hitler was unaware of the industrialized killings).

On a more pleasant note, I saw you and Jordan out in the Kuiper Belt recently, or at least characters with your names. Do you know Benford?

Irving, as I recall, just argued Hitler was unaware of the industrialized killings

At one point he was content to stop there (by his account, Himmler and Heydrich were responsible) but he's since gone beyond that. In 1994 he claimed that 600,000 Jews were killed (rather than six million); he's since gone up to four million and then back down to 'less than a million'. He's not entirely self-consistent, but his general position AFAICT is that the deaths were part of a slave labour program rather than deliberate extermination. By his account there were no gas chambers, and (by spurious argument) he claims it would have been physically impossible for Auschwitz to dispose of the number of people believed to have died there.

(See refs here for refs; Ron Casey is a nasty piece of work who came rather amusingly unstuck when he vilified Nokia under the misapprehension that they were a Japanese company.)

Oh, is that out now or did you get an ARC. Yes we know him. Jordin has done consulting work with him and his brother and we nearly always rendezvous at some point during a worldcon, that sort of thing.


ARC: I am the reader for Benford at the SFBC.

I took the book as an attempt to write something in the spirits of Clement, Sheffield and Forward. I think he succeeded, too.

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