S.T. Joshi Returns His World Fantasy Awards

S.T. Joshi, the world’s best known Lovecraft scholar, is extremely upset about the World Fantasy Awards’ latest bow to political correctness.

You see, the World Fantasy Award is a bust of Lovecraft, as designed by the great artist and cartoonist Gahan Wilson.

But the current idea is that Lovecraft is soooooo racissssss that they can know longer stand to see his pale, tired visage on the awards table. (Many wish to replace Lovecraft with Olivia Butler, who was black, and only said scary racissss things about white people and half-alien people.)

S.T. Joshi, who knows Lovecraft’s flaws and virtues better than anyone still alive, and who has read everything the man has ever written, had this to say:

November 10, 2015 — The World Fantasy Award

It has come to my attention that the World Fantasy Convention has decided to replace the bust of H. P. Lovecraft that constitutes the World Fantasy Award with some other figure. Evidently this move was meant to placate the shrill whining of a handful of social justice warriors who believe that a “vicious racist” like Lovecraft has no business being honoured by such an award. (Let it pass that analogous accusations could be made about Bram Stoker and John W. Campbell, Jr., who also have awards named after them. These figures do not seem to elicit the outrage of the SJWs.) Accordingly, I have returned my two World Fantasy Awards to the co-chairman of the WFC board, David G. Hartwell. Here is my letter to him:

Mr. David G. Hartwell
Tor Books
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010

Dear Mr. Hartwell:

I was deeply disappointed with the decision of the World Fantasy Convention to discard the bust of H. P. Lovecraft as the emblem of the World Fantasy Award. The decision seems to me a craven yielding to the worst sort of political correctness and an explicit acceptance of the crude, ignorant, and tendentious slanders against Lovecraft propagated by a small but noisy band of agitators.

I feel I have no alternative but to return my two World Fantasy Awards, as they now strike me as irremediably tainted. Please find them enclosed. You can dispose of them as you see fit.

Please make sure that I am not nominated for any future World Fantasy Award. I will not accept the award if it is bestowed upon me.

I will never attend another World Fantasy Convention as long as I live. And I will do everything in my power to urge a boycott of the World Fantasy Convention among my many friends and colleagues.

S. T. Joshi

And that is all I will have to say on this ridiculous matter. If anyone feels that Lovecraft’s perennially ascending celebrity, reputation, and influence will suffer the slightest diminution as a result of this silly kerfuffle, they are very much mistaken.

Should anyone care to express an opinion on this matter to Mr. Hartwell, feel free to write to him at the above address or to his email address: dgh@tor.com.

It is embarrassing to have to point this out, but here is the obvious:

Sunand Tryambak Joshi was born in Pune, India, in 1957. He’s not a WASP. He did choose to become an American, and he is proud to read the great American fantasy writers.

And another obvious comment:

H.P. Lovecraft was raised to distrust people who weren’t WASPs. But he made friends with people who weren’t from any similar background, and he married a Jewish woman who was totally unlike him in personality and political views. He stretched his horizons a lot farther than these complainers choose to do.


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