Thanks to Niels Hobbs/ the convention committee, I will be attending NecronomiCon next month in Providence, Rhode Island.
The title of this post refers to Carl Brandon, the mythical black person in fandom created by a couple of science fiction authors as a way of commenting on the lack of diversity in SF fandom.
Weird Fiction/ Lovecraft fandom has a race problem. Lovecraft fandom is full of apologists who downplay his virulent racism and excuse it. (A common argument–”He was a man of his time.” Lovecraft wrote and published fiction during the same time as the Harlem Renaissance). I find Lovecraft near unreadable due to both the overt and the subtextual racism present in his work. (His racism was of the “People of Color are subhumans” type).
However, there are Lovecraft fans and acolytes who not only excuse the author’s racism. They embrace it. (Check out the racist site Stormfront or any of the alt-right Reddits and online groups; have barf bag and brain bleach on hand).
That being said, people who play with the Mythos–particularly recent work by Victor LaValle and Kij Johnson (both will be at the con) have deepened my appreciation for H.P’s genius imagination. And the existential/cosmic horror is my second favorite kind of dark fiction. (The first being ghost stories).
Anyway, here is my schedule:
Sunday – 9-10:15am
FABULISM IN CONTEMPORARY WEIRD FICTION – Garden Room, Biltmore 2nd Floor
Before the short story, the novel, or even the play- there was the fable and fabulism has been a constant thread throughout the history of horror and weird fiction and, in recent years, many writers have been more openly showcasing fabulism in their work. This panel seeks to explore the phenomenon, it’s history, and it’s current use with several contemporary writers who have, themselves, embraced fabulism as a driving factor in their own work.
Panelists: Craig Gidney, J.T. Glover, Kij Johnson, Nnedi Okorafor, Simon Strantzas (Moderator), Peter Straub
Sunday – 10:30-11:45am
THE DREADED SURREAL: Landscapes in Weird Fiction – Omni 2
External landscapes have been something of a dark playground for weird fiction writers and artists throughout the history of the genre. Many bizarre and unsettling places have served as the settings for countless memorable works. Which of these fictional places have been most memorable in the minds of artists and writers working in horror, weird fiction, and science fiction today? What strange, terrifying places may yet be created? And how might they steer the genre in terms of narrative structure and content?
Panelists: Christopher Burke, Craig Gidney, Mike Griffin, Eric Schaller (Moderator), Farah R. Smith, Jeffrey Thomas