The World Fantasy Awards have announced that their awards will no longer be represented by a likeness of H.P. Lovecraft. The announcement came at their annual convention, as first reported by Locus Magazine.
The awards bowed to pressure from authors and readers who mounted a campaign against Lovecraft’s image on the awards because of his racism, which one petition called “hideous.” The petition also called Lovecraft a terrible wordsmith, to the consternation of Lovecraft fans, and said some award winners have felt discomfort with a statuette of him as an award.
Lovecraft is seen as a pioneering figure in several genres through the unique blend of science fiction, horror, and fantasy that he called weird fiction. He had tremendous influence with a close circle of writers in his life and a lasting influence on later generations of writers including Stephen King, Peter Straub, and Ramsey Campbell.
Noted Lovecraft scholar, literary critic, and novelist S.T. Joshi, himself an immigrant from India, has released a letter on his blog sent to the World Fantasy Convention co-chairman. In it, he states:
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.
Mr. Joshi also requested that he not be nominated for awards in the future and states he would not attend the convention in the future.
Author Vox Day, who wrote the book SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police, posted on his blog about the change, stating, “None of the SJWs writing today, no matter how many awards they give each other, will have one-tenth the lasting literary impact that Lovecraft did. None of them has his imagination; the very best they have to offer can only offer pallid, perverted imitations of him.”
As of this writing the World Fantasy Awards have not announced what the 2016 award will look like.