Dancing Around in a Suit Made of Pulp’s Skin

We were analyzing the submission guidelines for one of those modern day pulp magazines that just doesn’t seem to get it.  A few objections were made, speculation ran wild about what sort of stories they would wind up with, a good time was had by all.  Then the astonishingly well read Kevyn Winkless threw out a heck of a summary.  It’s one of those comments that the world needs to read, but would normally disappear into the black hole of G+ comments.  This comment deserves a better fate, as it so succinctly (and amusingly) sums up my own beef with so much of the people milking the term “pulp”.

Kevyn writes:

Actually, I think what’s going on here is a bit more complex:

  • they think they like pulp when really they like 1980s era DTV pastiches of 1960s era B-movies.
  • not actually grokking the nuclear power core of pulp writing, they view it as akin to a downloadable skin for their fruit based communicator
  • viewing the elements of pulp as being no more than a set of decorations they not unreasonably want to specify which decorations they want and which not.
  • but they haven’t thought deeply about either pulp or their own convictions – this leads them to both fumble when it comes to praxis and to lack confidence that writers will/can give them what they seek.

So much insight I can see my own gall bladder from here.

About Jon Mollison

Jon Mollison was weaned at the literary knee of Tolkein, Howard, Moore, and Burroughs. He spent decades wandering in the wilderness of modern genre fiction, wondering when the magic and wonder went out of the world of dragons and space ships. In his darkest hour, he encountered a wise man who handed him the open secrets to crafting works that emulate the stories of the great authors who built the genre. They are easily summarized in but two words: Regress Harder. Now one of the twelve champions of the Pulp Revolution, his self-published works represent a more direct lineage to the tales of action, mystery, romance, virtue, and pure unalloyed adventure than the bland imitations churned out by New York City publishing houses in recent decades.
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