I’ll try my best to keep this intelligent, and not divert into the blog post equivalent of shaking my hands and going “oh my god, oh my god!”
Now, let me preface this by stating I only got into a lot of weird fiction a few years ago. I grew up reading King, Barker, Crichton, and people of this nature. And yes, I read Lovecraft and loved him, but always found him to be very verbose in my early years. I still find him very verbose, but I can appreciate what he was going for now.
Anyway, cut back to a nervous Spooky Sean, at the convention center in Providence, meeting people and listening to panels. If there is one thing I’m struck with having been to Necronomicon 2015, sitting here remembering, it’s the sense of community, warmth and welcomeness which I felt.
In a day and age when sniping and yellow social media journalism are the norm, it’s wonderful to be in public with authors and artists, and see that everyone, even the racist old pieces of shit who happened to wander out of the home for the weekend, are very friendly, and inviting. I read an article by Silvia-Moreno Garcia who said that what Lovecraft really imparted and promoted was a generous nature. How Lovecraft was very into helping fellow writers, and being supportive. And boy, it seems that sense of community and giving nature has never left the scene. I was damn near assaulted with people saying hi, and introducing me to friends, and friends of friends.
And also, Scotch.
There was a whoooooole lot of Scotch.
Speaking honestly, I’ve been to a few horror and writing conventions, and perhaps it’s that I seem to have found a nice fit for me in the weird community, but I’ve never experienced anything like the sheer unadulterated friendliness I found at Necronomicon this year.
Since this is an ADD horror fan article, I won’t even edit the hops from topic to topic, but let’s talk about the obvious problem of Lovecraft’s racism, and how Necronomicon is taking steps to show the weird community is moving past the old ways. I met a lot of wonderful women who write weird and horror fiction, and listened to a panel about how Lovecraft is going global: what it’s like to adapt his work into, say, Swedish, or Spanish, and the various places across the globe his work seems to have a large audience within.
Perhaps it’s the fact I grew up with a learning disability, but I tend to side with those whose voices are normally not heard from. And I will go to bat for these unheard voices, these new and exciting opinions from those who have previously been washed beneath a tide of status quo.
Let’s be real about this. Lovecraft’s work brings racist assholes out of the woodwork. There’s no way to avoid that, as Lovecraft was also a racist pretentious asshole. But… H.P., he is long dead; more than 100 years dead and rotted away, and it seems that his old racist apologizers are being slowly but surely overrun by a new generation of people of color, women, and gay people, who are influenced not by his hate, but by his love of the cosmic, the terrible, and the weird.
And that’s what I want to emphasize. In truly Lovecraftian fashion, I feel I am not properly equipped to express what I feel, and how this experience over the weekend has effected me. But allow me to try.
Going to Necronomicon 2015 was a total blast. Despite one dumb line, most of the conversations I heard were about the exciting new things coming out of weird fiction from all sorts of different voices previously unheard. Most of the vibe I felt was that we are on the edge of a wondrous new future, where not only new voices, but new mashes of genre will make books, comics, and films even more wonderful, terrible, dark, terrifying, and exciting than ever before!
I leave you with a favorite quote of mine from Lovecraft.
“I never ask a man what his business is, for it never interests me. What I ask him about are his thoughts and dreams.”
That is the power of Lovecraft; to inspire dreams, and to bring together dreamers of all sorts to unite in a common cause of a love of the fantastic, the wondrous, and the numinous.
Thank you to everyone I met at Necronomicon 2015 for sowing the seeds for many new dreams to come.