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Old 09-04-2014   #11
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Re: Octavia E. Butler against Lovecraft (World Fantasy Award).

Similarly, I don't think science fiction's "explore it in detail" approach necessarily results in optimism, much less a liberal mindset. Much science fiction - including Butler's - often seems more horrifying than "horror", and everyone from Harlan Ellison to Greg Egan to J.G. Ballard has thrown out scenarios that are at least as pessimistic and demoralizing as anything in Lovecraft or Ligotti.
--Justin Isis
Interesting point. But even in Harlan there's always a didactic thing going on which might say , for example, "This particular story is really about the stupidity of wars and Why are we so damn stupid to hate and kill each other for patriotic slogans or stupid religions?" Don't get me wrong, that's a good message but it's largely a liberal one and it seems to imply some kind of optimism, that the reader can be enlightened by the story and so forth. I don't think you'll find much of that kind of thing in Lovecraft--except when he was really writing science fiction. In the Walls of Eryx reads like it was written by an anti-imperialistic liberal with its descriptions of colonizing a planet to enslave the natives and steal their wealth. It also has an interesting line near the end when the dying narrator thinks something like in a universe without absolutes how can one talk of a superior race...

Yeah, the old Gent was writing science fiction there.

Googling the World Fantasy Award, I see that it is described as "one of the three most prestigious speculative fiction awards" and is given to "those who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in the field of fantasy." There doesn't seem to be any focus on straight-up supernatural horror (which, keep in mind, Butler has written).
Well, the thing is when you get Gahan Wilson to design a bust of Lovecraft (that looks like an Easter Island Titan) as an award there seems to be a tacit understanding we're talking about supernatural horror and fantasy. At least that's how I see it. Besides science fiction already had the Hugo and the mystery writers had the Edgar so it was just reasonable to assume the WFA was for horror and fantasy.

Stop making me think, Justin. My head hurts!

Last edited by Druidic; 09-04-2014 at 11:06 PM..
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Dr. Locrian (09-05-2014), gveranon (09-05-2014), Justin Isis (09-04-2014), MTC (09-05-2014)


award, butler, fantasy, lovecraft, octavia, world

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