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”.
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.