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Old September 19th, 2014 #1
alex revision
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Default World Fantasy awards pressed to drop HP Lovecraft trophy in racism row

World Fantasy awards pressed to drop HP Lovecraft trophy in racism row

Authors say statuette of the notorious science fiction author is inappropriate to honour modern sci-fi and fantasy writers



Dubious honour … the World Fantasy award statuette represents the writer HP Lovecraft (right)


The board of the World Fantasy awards has said that it is “in discussion” about its winners’ statuette, modelled on the late HP Lovecraft, after calls for the trophy to be changed due to Lovecraft’s “fundamental racism”.

Over the past four decades, the prestigious fantasy prize has been won by writers including Michael Moorcock, Gene Wolfe and Haruki Murakami. It comes in the shape of a bust of Lovecraft, the creator of the Cthulhu mythos and prolific writer of weird fiction, who – 2011’s best novel winner Nnedi Okorafor was stunned to discover – was also the author of a poem that concludes with a description of black people as “a beast … in semi-human figure ... filled ... with vice”.

At the time, the Nigerian-American author wrote of her conflicted feelings over the fact that “a statuette of this racist man’s head is one of my greatest honours as a writer”. Now her fellow author Daniel José Older has launched a petition calling for the organisers of the prize to make the late African-American science fiction writer Octavia Butler the inspiration for the statue rather than Lovecraft.

Older has almost 2,500 signatories to date, including Okorafor and other authors; he writes that while Lovecraft “did leave a lasting mark on speculative fiction, he was also an avowed racist and a terrible wordsmith”, and “it’s time to stop co-signing his bigotry and move sci-fi/fantasy out of the past”.

The novelist told the Guardian that while he reads Lovecraft himself, and appreciates “aspects” of his work, “there’s no reason, in 2014, to have a man who enthusiastically advocated for genocide be the face of fantasy’s greatest honour”.

“People have been debating whether Lovecraft being a racist matters or whether it’s his writing that should be at issue. I’m saying: both matter. After decades and decades of deeply embedded racism being prevalent in the fantasy genre, it’s time to make courageous moves against racism, and that includes not championing a vile racist,” said Older.

Okorafor, who was not involved with setting up the petition, said she loved the idea of Butler replacing Lovecraft, also suggesting the late Diana Wynne Jones as a possible option, “or some sort of mystical creature or plant”.

She also welcomed the controversy as an occasion for opening an important discussion. “I think seeing all aspects of authors like this (especially when it manifests clearly in the author’s work) will help us be better able to deal with issues of race. Instead of pretending it’s not there or feigning colour-blindness, it’s better to DEAL with it. Talk it out. See it. Accept it,” she said. “It’s not comfortable to question someone you idolise.

It raises emotions. The practice of cognitive dissonance abounds. There are uncomfortable arguments. Snarky rebuttals and retorts are written. These are growing pains.”

Older said there had been “thoughtful and brilliant points made on all sides and some ridiculous, nonsensical trolling” in response to his suggestion, adding that he “wasn’t surprised that some folks took personal offence to the petition. Lovecraft has long been fandom’s favourite racist and it’s always fascinating to watch people tie themselves in all sorts of rhetorical knots trying to justify appalling hatred on the one hand and sloppy prose on the other.”

One lengthy defence has been offered by Lovecraft expert ST Joshi, who writes of “the significant question as to whether racism should be regarded as so much more significant a moral, intellectual, and personal flaw than many other stances one could name”, and of “the further absurdity of thinking that Lovecraft’s undeniable racism somehow negates his immense talents as a writer and also negates the many virtues – intellectual, aesthetic, and personal – that he displayed over his life”.

A Salon article by the writer Laura Miller saw the self-avowed Lovecraft fan write that “we need to be able to accept the truth that even great artists – greater ones than Lovecraft, certainly – have their ugly sides, and that ugliness can be inextricable from their greatness. Art, being human, is an expression of the whole self. This isn’t the same as accepting Lovecraft’s racism. You can acknowledge, contemplate and discuss that racism without feeling obliged to reject the work as a whole.”

She adds: “When Joshi writes, ‘If Nnedi Okorafor and China Miéville [another WFA winner who objects to the trophy] are so offended at owning the WFA, they should simply return it and be done with the matter,’ he is essentially telling writers like Okorafor that they must accept an honour from that community in the form of a man who considered [black people] to be ‘semi-human’ and filled ‘with vice’. Suck it up, or get out. I’m pretty sure this is not the message the World Fantasy Convention meant to send when they gave Okorafor the prize in the first place.”

The board of the World Fantasy awards, which will be held in November in Washington, DC, said it “has been and continues to be in discussion about the future of the award statuette”.

World Fantasy awards pressed to drop HP Lovecraft trophy in racism row | Books | theguardian.com
 
Old September 19th, 2014 #2
N.B. Forrest
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"In discussion" (translation):

"Of course we've got to shitcan Lovecraft - now that the non-Whites have complained. We're just delaying it to save face and make it look like we actually considered saying no."
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Old September 20th, 2014 #3
Sean Gruber
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The real position of the jews: We will wipe our asses on the books of Shakespeare (Shylock), Dickens (Fagin), Goethe, Voltaire, and any other goy dog that ever picked up a pen.

Wouldn't it be better for culture if jews were simply exterminated?
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Old September 26th, 2014 #4
Sam Emerson
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Because the PC Terror wishes to do away with the H. P. Lovecraft World Fantasy Award, Counter-Currents/North American New Right is inaugurating a new H. P. Lovecraft Prize for Literature. The first award will be given when we have a suitable bust and prize money, probably next August 20th, Lovecraft’s birthday. Nobody ever asked if Lovecraft would feel slighted by giving this hideous bust to no-talent PC hacks like Nnedi Okorafar. We will do the master proud.

Reflections on the H. P. Lovecraft Award
 
Old October 26th, 2014 #5
dollins
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lovecraft would likely be appalled by some of the people claiming to be fans or inspired by his work some of the stuff these people write or support is just...I'm speechless! I hope this alternative award happens in his honor it would be great!
 
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