William Sanders, You Stay Classy!

William Sanders, You Stay Classy!

To bring this back around to where it belongs…

Sanders has returned from his trip and is responding to authors criticizing his bigoted views and/or asking that their stories be removed from the Helix site by, predictably, being a complete asshole.

He told N. K. Jemisin that he’d never publish her again and responded to Yoon Ha Lee’s removal request with some choice words:

He then … claimed that I only asked for the story to be withdrawn “because, let’s get real here, you feel the need to distance yourself from someone who is in disfavor with the kind of babbling PC waterheads whose good opinion is so important to you, and whom you seem to be trying to impress with this little grandstand play.”

As others have said: you stay classy, man!

To make things even better, on the page where Yoon’s story used to be is the following text:

Story deleted at author’s pantiwadulous request.

A quick check shows that this text also graces the two pages where N K Jemisin’s story used to be.

ETA: Looks like sometime last night Sanders rethought this strategy and simply deleted the pages. But Nick Mamatas has the screencap. You know, in case someone tried to pretend that shit didn’t happen.

And this morning I discovered that, though Sanders offered to take down the stories just yesterday afternoon, he now expects authors who want their stories removed to pay him $40 to do so. I’m sure if I sat here for another two hours, he’d do something else to offend.

If Sanders’ crazy wasn’t broadly evident before, it is now. (Also, pandiwadulous??)

Elsewhere, N K talks about the minefield one must traverse when something of this nature comes up. People don’t want to support Helix in any way as long as Sanders is involved, but the authors published there are not at fault and shouldn’t be punished. Doing the former without doing the latter, indirectly, is hard. It’s not the authors’ fault, but they may get backlash nonetheless.

Speaking of editors taking responsibility, Micole has an interesting post on the Aqueduct blog where she calls for a boycott of F&SF until they stop publishing Dave Truesdale on their website. (Others agree.) I’ve heard that Dave only has one column left on his contract, so he’ll be going soon, anyway. But it should be noted that he isn’t going away because Gordon van Gelder has expressed disappointment at the things Dave has to say (that I’ve seen), but just because the contract is up. Micole sites some of the nasty things Dave has said about me personally, which I appreciate other people pointing out (as Tobias did, as well). But I don’t know that this is going to move Gordon much. (He doesn’t have a very high opinion of me, so I don’t think he’d care if Dave or anyone else was nasty about me.) I’m less concerned about that than the crazy stuff he’s said as a columnist for F&SF and in other “professional” capacities. That anyone thinks it’s okay to give him a venue says a lot.

I’m going to say again: When will we, as a community, collectively shunn these people until they go away? Because, seriously, this has to stop. Pandiwadulous? PC Nazi? If people like this aren’t shut down and put out of the group, they will not stop, they will not get better, but they will infect others, drive folks away, and make the “professional” venues they’re associated with look like safe harbors for hate and bigotry.

14 thoughts on “William Sanders, You Stay Classy!

  1. Well, Tempest, looks like people were listening after all.

    From Steven Silver:

    “William Sanders has announced that the Hugo-nominated on-line sf magazine Helix SF will cease publication following its tenth issue (which will be online beginning on October 1). Sanders has said that part of the reason was the magazine’s “ongoing failure to develop a broad base of support.””

    I’m proud of my fandom right now.

  2. Tempest, you also need to know that Dave Truesdale was supportive of my work when I first started out. It has been pretty painful to me to think he could like my writing, which is just about 100% opposite in ideas, themes and characters to the type of thing he seems to promote now, and express these opinions. I’ve wondered “why” many times.

  3. Hi Tempest –

    I think I expressed something similar (having just read Dave Truesdale’s commentary this a.m.).


    Regarding shunning, this idea came to me a while ago, and yes, Sanders was one of the people I thought of. Most people who read it took it to mean just “internet trolls,” but I did mean more to it – similar to your idea.


    Stay strong. I like Martha Jones, by the way. She’s really cool, and the only trouble I have was her extreme unrequited crush on the Doctor. Didn’t make a lot of sense considering the big wanky baby that he is.

  4. You go, girl! Tough as it is to withstand the withering gaze of your critical eye (you know what I’m talking about, me wtf author, me) I enjoy your rants, and this time you are onto something. Now, if only more of the racists and bigots in American SF publishing could be outed this easily–and there are a lot more who aren’t inbred+stupid enough to holler their slurs online and live long, comfortable lives KKK’ing the field with nobody but their closest associates and colleagues (read: white colleagues) knowing about it. Now those are some really pantiwhateverulous people and someday they will be known by the colour of their hatred. Fingers crossed.

    Write on! Even if it’s to criticize wtf authors like moi. Because it just hones your word-knives for douchebags like the now-infamous “Col.” Sanders. I’ve had my encounters with his like and have the scars to show it. Which is probably what makes me prickly about criticism at times.

    Write on.

  5. Or neologism, perhaps. It’s hard to tell, with that level of tin-ear stupidity, before I’ve had my coffee.

  6. As noted in the comments on Yoon Ha Lee’s post, if Sanders keeps digging he’ll get to Australia. And I don’t want him! We have so much fucked up race and gender skeevery here already!

    I’m really disgusted, not just by this ever-expanding tale of extreme class, but by the number of people who evidently felt it far more important to concentrate on the legality of re-printing business correspondence or defend Sanders on the grounds his wife is ill, or support a columnist like Truesdale. As you say, they are infectious.

    I don’t want to be part of a diseased community, even tangentially, and it makes me feel soiled that I am.

  7. One good thing about writing lgbt spec fic is that I don’t need to deal with these people wanting my stuff anyways, so very easy to turn my back on there publications. I can only hope some good come out of the rampant outing of this racist and misogynistic garbage.

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