There is a petition to replace the World Fantasy award bust of HP Lovecraft for Octavia Butler on grounds of HP's obvious, long-standing racism.

While he's been a big influence on better writers in the field, I can understand and support the idea that perhaps the bust needs to change.

Sigh.

That being said, while I deeply respect Ms. Butler — who left us too soon and will be someone that I always point to as the best of us — she's been more of a science fiction writer by her own admission. Use her image to inspire, yes, but in a more accurate way.

If we want to update the WFA with someone with was deeply influential, there is Tolkien, someone who "... have in this War [War II] a burning private grudge—which would probably make me a better soldier at 49 than I was at 22: against that ruddy little ignoramus Adolf Hitler ."