It seems that I’ve been hearing an awful lot about pulp fiction, especially pulp sci-fi, recently! All of a sudden it’s like everyone’s talking about it! As I’ve mentioned, I’m doing some writing for the Tales of the Stellar Deep RPG, which is clearly rooted in pulp sci-fi and horror. All of a sudden people are discovering Conan, Andre Norton, and Edgar Rice Burroughs again. Doctor Who is in a Renaissance of fandom. Just today I discovered that Tor Books is doing a giveaway of an Allen Steele book on Goodreads, Avengers of the Moon, which is described point blank as “pulp-inspired.”
I think we may be tired of “grim for grim’s sake” in our literature; certainly there’s enough to keep us busy in politics and economics if we want grim things to discuss! Perhaps just like people in the Depression and the War Eras, we’ve had so much of our fill of the grimness of the world that we’d rather take our minds off things for a while, and read about heroic deeds of daring-do, where we know the hero has to survive because otherwise would would happen in the next book? Maybe we’ve had enough adventure in our lives now that we have finally gotten over the idea that “darker” means “more sophisticated” and therefore “better.”
I love pulp science fiction! So many things that have become so important to the genre originated in those little pulp books! I would love it if this were true!