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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Lightning News Flashes: Sci fi, Fantasy & Racism; World-building ‘The Circle’

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get together a bigger story for this week’s post like I had hoped. So here are some more lightning news flashes, or lightning flash non-fiction, with links to the full stories. These stories cover race issues in sci fi and fantasy pop culture, and the world-building behind The Circle. Then comes news of the blogger’s current projects.

Star Trek Licence Plate Removed Due to Racist Connotation 

During the week, a man in Canada was forced by policy to turn in his Star Trek- themed license plate due to “politically incorrect” language. The message on the licence plate unintentionally conveyed reference to a racist method of assimilating the indigenous population of Canada to white culture. However, it was actually referring to Star Trek (post-original series) episodes involving the alien and villainous Borgs’ attempts to assimilate other races.

ReplacingLovecraft’s Image in the World Fantasy Award 

The World Fantasy Award committee introduced a new trophy that replaces the traditional one that had bore H.P. Lovecraft’s image. The new award depicts a gnarled tree overlapping a full moon. The old award became objectionable due to Lovecraft’s racist beliefs conveyed in many of his writings. While Lovecraft wrote some of the greatest horror and sci fi stories of the 20th century, his outspoken racism gave him a bad image to many minorities of colour and people of Semitic background.

World-building for The Circle 

On this weekend of its release, io9.com talks about how The Circle’s director dealt with the challenges of world-building for the movie, that world being a near future Earth dominated by an internet empire that basically plays Big Brother. It’s not quite Google but it’s definitely a response to Google’s dominance in the internet industry.

“Circa Sixty Years Dead” Update

I just figured out how I’m going to insert the images of ads into the manuscript template so I can meet Amazon’s 24-page minimum for the print edition of “Circa Sixty YearsDead”. Instead of using rich text format, I’ll use HTML format. HTML is a language typically used for making web pages and because of that it can convey images unlike most document file formats. Therefore it is more easily convertible to self-publishing platforms such as Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing.

So what do you think is the line between sci fi/fantasy fandom and racism? When it comes to those genius speculative lit authors who are also bigots, can we separate the author from their creation in order to admire their work, or is admiring the one admiring the other? Feel free to leave your comments in the box below. And no, these questions do not exempt anybody from the blog’s anti-discrimination/anti-racist policy; anybody leaving racist or other discriminatory remarks will be blocked.


See you next time.


A stairway leading to a door in a dark, cloudy sky.
Credit: Pixabay.com

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