Polish Writer Andrzej Sapkowski : The Lifetime Achievement Award At the World Fantasy Convention, October 27-30, 2016

Polish Writer Andrzej Sapkowski trying to see Columbus ! Columbus, Ohio, USA !

The Polish Fantasy Writer Andrzej Sapkowski will receive The Lifetime Achievement Award at the World Fantasy Convention, October 27-30, 2016 in Columbus, Ohio, US.

Gratulacje, panie Sapkowski ! 

The Lifetime Achievement Awards are presented annually to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding service to the fantasy field.

Andrzej Sapkowski is the fourth non-anglo-saxon author (the others were the argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges in 1979, the italian writer Italo Calvino in 1982 and Angélica Gorodischer, argentinian genre author in 2011) receiving a WFC Award in 41 years.

Señora Gorodischer was perhaps delighted by such a prestigious distinction. Or perhaps not as the “literatura fantástica argentina” gave the world, great writers as Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar  Adolfo Bioy Casares, Manuel Mujica Láinez, Silvina Ocampo, Victoria Bayon, Héctor A. Murena,  Marcelo di Marco, Carlos Gardini, Norberto Luis Romero, Ángel Bonomini, Marco Denevi, Bernardo Schiavetta, way above the consumeristic anglo-saxon fantasy junk.

«La literatura fantástica argentina es una de las más ricas del mundo.» (The Argentinian fantastic literature  is one of the richest in the world) – A. M. Barrenechea & E. Speratti Piñero, “La literatura fantástica argentina”

Both Borges and Calvino were some of the best writers of all times of all humankind and in our humble opinion they didn’t give a damn that a genre (trivial para-literatur) US convention awarded them with a „Lifetime Achievement Award”. As a rule the overall majority of the anglo-saxon genre awards’ winners are only anglo-saxon genre scribblers, mainly US&UK pulp fictioneers.

The World Fantasy Awards were established at the first World Fantasy Convention, an annual convention of professionals, collectors, and others interested in the field of fantasy, in 1975. The awards have been described as a “prestigious fantasy prize” and one of the three most prestigious speculative fiction awards, along with the Hugo and Nebula Awards (which cover both fantasy and science fiction).

„Prestigious” ? Probably within the US-UK mass entertainment industry !

“World” Best This and “World” Best That ? What “World” ? Whole planet Earth ? No way ! The so-called Anglo-Saxon “World”, aka less than 5% of the total human population of 7.3 billion of earthlings. That’s the Best & Rest, isn’t it?

Have you ever wondered why eminent american writers like Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ambrose Bierce, Edward Bellamy, Mark Twain, Jack London, William Dean Howells, etc. are not considered in the US the true founding fathers of the American SF and Fantasy? Although they are the ones who invented SF&F in North America ?

Gloria McMillan (researcher at the Arizona University) gave an answer to this question :

The result of Hugo Gernsback’s (and his imitators) frenetic commercial activity was to create a torrent of other pulp publications, this practice soon yielded so much fruit that many people, especially Americans, falsely assumed that Americans had created science fiction.

I think Hugo Gernsback gets all the credit because science fiction fans want to keep SF as a leisure genre, not a literary subject.  Firmly rooting SF with the pulps and Gernsback is a good-natured way to “snub’ high art, part of the long US project of anti-intellectualism.

Hugo Gernsback’s creation is pulp fiction. 

The writers mentioned above are, or have become, classics of the sort that American students are forced to read in classes.  We have our Modern Language Association fantasy and science fiction journal Extrapolation, but most non-academics do not read it.  The above writers get due credit in places like Extrapolation

I think that science fiction readers have usually been assumed to be lower middle-class (I believe there is a demographic study on this?), so many US fans do not have much by way of college training for literature. 

Very few care about high art roots and most do not. 

Academics get toleration when we try to give panels on, for instance, Verne and Wells here. 

“RelaxaCons are not MLA (Modern Language Association) conferences,” folks are keen to remind the enthusiastic literary historian.

And unfortunately, literary SF&F is the small rodent to pulp SF&F’s (and film, digital gaming, comics) giant reptiles.”


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