Two-time World Fantasy Award winner S. T. Joshi, author of numerous books on H. P. Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos, and the editor of many more critical works about them, publicly announced he is returning his awards in protest against the World Fantasy Con’s decision to stop using a bust of Lovecraft as the award trophy.
He wrote on his blog November 10:
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
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010Dear 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.