Friday, November 11, 2011

Pulptacular!



If you're a fan of adventure writing, you might be interested in my Pulptacular column at the New Pulp website. I think I mentioned the column here when I first started writing it, but it took me a while (and some great help from Mike Bullock) to find my focus for it. It's a different animal now and I'd love it if you gave it another look.

It started with a post about how inexperienced I am with pulp. Or at least, with the specific characters and stories that most people associate with pulp. I know the hell out of James Bond and Tarzan, but little about Doc Savage and The Shadow. For that reason, I've traditionally resisted calling the kind of fiction I like "pulp," preferring "adventure fiction" instead. It created a mental barrier for me in exploring the world of New Pulp. Though New Pulp encompasses a wide variety of genres and sub-genres that I'm interested in reading, it has deep roots in the classic hero-pulps that I'm most unfamiliar with. How was I supposed to write a column about that?

After talking it over with Mike, I decided to own my inexperience and make Pulptacular a column for New Pulp beginners. I outlined my plan of attack and went to work exploring the various New Pulp publishers from a high level perspective; creating a sort of primer to these companies and trying to figure out what each of them uniquely contributes to the New Pulp landscape. Many of the companies I've been profiling self-identify as New Pulp endeavors, but not all of them do. What's interesting to me is their shared love of adventure fiction and the extremely different ways they choose to express it. Some produce prose, some produce comics, and one group I talked to produces audio plays. Some reprint (or translate) classic pulp in new formats, some tell new stories with classic characters, and some create new characters inspired by the old ones.

Following is a list of the publishers I've talked to so far and if you visit the New Pulp publishers page, you'll see the list I'm working through for future columns. I hope you'll find it useful.

Airship 27 (new prose stories featuring classic characters)
Pro Se (new prose stories featuring new characters inspired by the classics)
Age of Aces (primarily prose reprints of classic air-combat stories)
Altus (prose reprints of classic adventure stories of many genres with a special love of Lost Civilization stories)
Black Coat (English translations of classic, French adventure stories; mostly prose, but some comics as well)
BrokenSea (audio plays ranging from original creations to fan fiction and straight adaptations)
Dark Horse (new comics stories featuring classic and new characters)
Dynamite (new comics stories re-interpreting classic characters for a new audience)
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