Larry Correia is taking the Pink shirts at the guardian to task over their attempts to inject yet more identity politics into fiction and indulge their unhinged obsession with race and victimhood, this time they want to try to dethrone H.P. Lovecraft from his position as important horror pioneer. I don’t really understand why they carry on like this but it seems to give them a purpose. If only they would get jobs and do something productive instead of crapping all over everybody else’s enjoyment. Have a read of what Larry has to say
A few things for those not in the loop. HP Lovecraft is one of the most famous authors in history, who basically created a whole genre. Authors commonly use the word Lovecraftian today to describe themes and elements that he popularized. Among the creators who list Lovecraft as a major influence are Stephen King, Ramsey Campbell, Joe Lansdale, Alan Moore, F. Paul Wilson, Brian Lumley, Clive Barker, Guillermo Del Toro, H.R. Geiger, John Carpenter, Mike Mignola, and Neil Gaiman. Plus thousands of other authors, artists, and film makers.
Have you heard of Cthulhu? Yeah. That guy.
Lovecraft has influenced video games, movies, comics, and more heavy metal bands than you can count. Almost eight decades after his death every nerd in the world knows who HP Lovecraft is. There have been thousands (not an exaggeration) of stories set in Lovecraftian worlds.
And hell, Lovecraftian is actually a word!
Octavia Butler was also an author. She passed away in 2006. I think I read a couple of her books as a kid but don’t remember anything about them. I’m certain she’s had some influence, but Lovecraft influenced orders of magnitude more.
Butlerian isn’t a word.
EDIT: It turns out Butlerian is a word, just not on Earth. And I’ve not read a Dune novel in a decade.
Lovecraft was an uneven craftsman at best – his stories clunk along, overburdened with adjectives and stale characters.
Wow, bold words there dude who has written a couple of books.
It’s his world-building and imagination that helped solidify his legacy, but even that is tainted by a failure of craft and humanity.
Yet, the atmosphere he set scared the shit out of millions of us, to the point that when we grew up and tried to write something scary, we used him as a template. Nothing is more human than fear. Pulling that off takes craft.
Really, most Lovecraft tales only consist of well-spoken New Englanders telling each other scary stories in the dark, but the man practically invented creeping dread in literature. But to be fair, Lovecraft said his influence was Poe, so we all learn from somebody.
He detailed his rabid, paranoid racism in many letters, and it permeates his mythos. Lovecraft peopled his fiction with hordes of swarthy, child-killing and abjectly stupid black and brown people, while women are almost non-existent.
Lovecraft was a product of his time.
I’ve written three books of alternative history set in the 1930s. I’m fascinated by this time period. I’ve done tons of research into those years. Racism was common, ugly, and rampant. And I’m not talking invisible micro-aggressions or college students lecturing people about privilege, I’m talking systematic, legal, subjugation of groups of people based upon their ancestors.
Yes, Lovecraft was a racist. He was a 1930s Democrat. It is actually kind of hard to find 1930s democrats who weren’t racists. Eugenics then was the “scientific” equivalent to Global Warming today. The “science was settled”. Proper good thinking folks didn’t question it and the world’s governments used Eugenics as an excuse for all sorts of programs that seem insane to us today.
In actuality Lovecraft’s racism veered a bit from the typical democrat’s “scientific” racism, and he was more into looking down on other cultures. Keep in mind that he was a snooty New Englander. If I recall correctly he believed that anybody could move up in the world, provided they learned to act like a proper snooty New Englander. He didn’t have nice things to say about southerners either, and as far as Europeans went, the only culture he liked was the Anglo Saxon one that spawned New England. He married a Jewish woman because she’d become “cultured”.
How Anglo was Lovecraft? He thought the American Revolution was uppity.
Yet despite being someone descended from those swarthy hordes on one side and degenerate backwoods hill folk on the other, I’m not personally offended. Dude could still atmosphere the shit out of a scary story.
As for black and brown people being dumb savages… It was the 1930s. Now I know this is really hard for somebody in 2014 to wrap their brain around, but to the average American most of the world was a mysterious, scary, alien place. Africa was a distant land of adventure. People were still expecting to find Shangri La. Hell, Lovecraft was a New Englander, by his standards Florida was a distant, scary, mysterious, alien land.
Read any periodical from this time, listen to the radio programs, you’ll find that this attitude of foreign lands being cloaked in forbidden mystery wasn’t just common, it was the absolute norm. You can pull up old news reels on Youtube and watch them to see what I mean. I watched a ton before writing Grimnoir. “Here is beautiful Japan! Mysterious! Look at the crazy shoes! They eat with sticks! How do these crazy yellow people do it? Scientists say the Asian can’t see well through their squinty eyes.” You think I’m exaggerating. I’m not.
As for women being non-existent, first off, not true. Second, don’t matter, because they’d just die a horrible death or be driven insane anyway.