Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Lovecraftian Thing a Day No.180: The Ballad of Black Tom

Given the apparent surge in reports of racially-motivated crime in the UK since the EU referendum - and the broader fact of the increasingly blatant racism informing Euro-American politics - the claim that we shouldn't judge Lovecraft's racism by the standards of our own time rings increasingly hollow. Whether we like it or not, Lovecraft's modernity can no longer be safely compartmentalised as being 'back in the olden days'. In the matter of race, his modernity, it seems, is contemporaneous with our own. Where things admittedly differ in the Lovecraftian milieu (at least those areas not too heavily policed by 'the old guard') is the ongoing interrogation of that racism and its continued relevance - including novellas such as today's digital offering, Victor Lavalle's The Ballad of Black Tom, along with a whole slew of other excellent pieces such as Elizabeth Bear's Shoggoths in Bloom, Ruthanna Emrys The Litany of Earth, various pieces in Nick Mamatas' Nickronomicon, and Matt Ruff's Lovecraft Country (which I have yet to read). Added to which is Brian Sammons and Oscar Rios' forthcoming Heroes of Red Hook, which you can help Kickstart here.

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