An Amateur's Guide To The Pulp Revolution: Or, Why You Should Devote All Your Writing Time To The Glorious Cause

in writing •  11 months ago

If you're reading this, you are no doubt aware of this little phenomenon called PulpRev. Perhaps you have been to our excellent site before, or perhaps you know of our existence through some other nook and cranny of the Internet. Like Steemit, for instance.

If you aren't aware of us, however, then fear not. By mentioning the dreaded word, PulpRev, I have planted a subliminal neuro-virus in your retinas! Soon, you shall be part of us!

Or not. We don't really have that much funding. Or any funding, for that matter. No literary grants in our corner of the woods. In fact, we're almost completely decentralised. We have romance writers, horror writers, SF/F writers, detective writers - you name the genre, we've probably got someone who does something like that. We're so diverse, we have absolutely no idea how to define ourselves!

...This wouldn't normally be a problem, but it does make for rather confusing conversations. I mean, why in the world would a Pulp Revolutionary be unable to define pulp?

Well, there's a number of reasons. One reason is that the pulp magazines, the venerable ancestors of today's ubiquitous superhero comics, have been extinct for almost seventy years - and since we have our New Pulp friends working in that aesthetic anyway, there's not much we can say about it. Another reason is that thanks to the wonders of the Internet, the influences and inspirations of our many writers are about as multifaceted as a bombed-out ore mine. Since we aren't exactly raring to tie ourselves down to any one type of fiction, we haven't really stopped to think about the ramifications.

At this point, you're tearing out every hair on your head one by one, vehemently, with a pair of kitchen tongs. "What on Earth is the Pulp Revolution?" you scream. "Tell me, I wanna join!"

Well, I can't tell you what we are. There's far too many of us, after all, and I'm definitely the worst member. I haven't even written any pulp. But a negative is always easier to observe than a positive. Instead of telling you what the Pulp Revolution is, how about I try to tell you what we aren't?

The Pulp Revolution Is Not About High Literature

We do not write Literature with a Capital L, mostly because even if we tried, we probably wouldn't be able to do anything about it anyway. Literature, as work of enduring and universal value, can only be defined after the writers in question are dust. The Pulp Revolutionary considers himself an entertainer rather than a rarified artist, and puts the enjoyment and edification of the reader before any personal pretension. He panders shamelessly to the masses.

The Pulp Revolution Is Not About Suffering For Your Art

We do not believe in the pursuit of perfect prose. We do not work and rework paragraphs to achieve some sort of imaginary aesthetic perfection, and we do not believe that speed is a mark of inferior quality. Wordcount, as a matter of fact, is esteemed as the plainest and most obvious measure of a writer's dedication. The Pulp Revolutionary recognises that the reader must have his appetite whetted in order to read, and that this cannot be accomplished at five-year intervals. He writes with speed in mind.

The Pulp Revolution Is Not About Narrow Genre Conventions

We do not believe that every book should stick closely to the observed laws of the physical universe, any more than we believe that every book should be about green-skinned space babes from Mars. PulpRev can be realistic, hard-nosed military thriller fiction; it can be balls-to-the-walls insane Plutonian adventure fiction. The Pulp Revolutionary does not believe that escapism must be eschewed in the pursuit of realism, itself a narrow and artificial definition from a mere two centuries ago. He is free from genre prejudice.

The Pulp Revolution Is Not About Gender Politics

We do not believe that man and woman are like the Creator and Demiurge of the ancient Gnostics, fated to be forever at war. We do not believe that masculinity is something to be denigrated and destroyed for the safety of women, any more than we believe that femininity is something to be stripped and suborned for the pleasure of men. The Pulp Revolutionary does not discriminate based on sex, and believes that just as women have their own genres in which they take pleasure, so must the modern man. She recognizes the usefulness of masculine adventure.

The Pulp Revolution Is Not About Introspection To The Exclusion Of Action

We do not believe that a good novel must explore the internal lives of its characters. There is the time and place for a Joe Everyman, just as there is the time and place for the fully-realised firebrand of a Holmes or Conan. The Pulp Revolutionary, while believing that sympathetic and identifiable characters are the heart of good fiction, does not believe that endless navel-gazing gyrations are the essence of good prose. As a corollary to his hate of endless navel-gazing gyrations, the Pulp Revolutionary also believes that good entertaining fiction must have intent and meaning in every line. He seeks action with purpose at all times.

So, What Is The Pulp Revolution Not About?

It's not about writing unfun Literature. It's not about laboring over perfect paragraphs for weeks at a time. It's not about pursuing strait-jacket realism to the exclusion of all else. It's not about slighting masculine adventure or feminine romance. It's not about endless stream-of-consciousness navel-gazing, with no plot, no change and no purpose.

But apart from that, well, it could be anything. Anything fun, that is. And if anything fun sounds like your cup of tea, well, why don't you come with us? For a list of our latest and greatest Steemit offerings, please see the curated list here. If you're a writer, illustrator or narrator and want to join our righteous cause to Make Fiction Great Again, then just ask me or any other SteemPulper - or, heck, just post a work with the #pulprev and/or #steempulp tags.

Trust me, we'll find it.

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I'm #pulprev simply because I started writing the sort of stories I enjoyed reading.

I second everything written here. Pulp is fun for writers as well as readers. Why write something you don't enjoy?


Precisely, comrade. Why beat yourself up over words when you can beat up the baddies in your head over words? :)

Love the sound of this. Whilst I don't mind literature with a capital L, my reading pleasure started with more Pulp like reading. Books with great stories, action, and pure entertainment have their place in this world of ours.


Exactly, and if you love pulp-like stuff, well, stay tuned for our offerings. Thank you so much for reading!


Will certainly stayed tuned - followed you, so there's no missing out now :)


I featured your article in this weeks The Library.

If you have PDF files of these books please share! Thanks for introducing me. The stories and imagery look iconic. Love these type of stories. Pretty badass. @t2tang


I don't have any PDFs, but you can read our fiction free on Steemit. There's a nice list here.

High Literature vs Pulp Fiction -
The Pulp Revolutionary as "an entertainer rather than a rarified artist" who "puts the enjoyment and edification of the reader before any personal pretension" and appeals to the masses - count me in - and I won't say "Don't tell my college lit professors" (I've outlived most of them). None of them mentioned Jack London's science fiction. This was very last-century, yes, but now I feel cheated. So I'm making up for lost time and enjoying #steempulp and *FUN * stuff! Thanks for this, @t2tang!


Jack London is a fantastic writer, and if we can do half of what he does, I daresay we'll be very happy. Thank you very much, and I hope you enjoy our offerings!