Before the Pulp Revolution: The Mountain Who Writes!

Saturday , 4, March 2017 7 Comments

A super-powered samurai and a secret agent fighting ninjas with magic. Your argument is invalid.

There are two kinds of people in the world: the desperately lonely and benighted souls who drift through life unsatisfied and unhappy, and those who read Larry Correia.

Larry isn’t part of the Pulp Revolution, and I’d bet money he’s never heard of Cirsova magazine (or even Appendix N), but his writing definitely prefigured the Pulp explosion. Larry’s books are purest Pulp, and for that he deserves a place of honor in the Pulp Revolution Hall of Fame.

TO THE PROOF!

1 Action Oriented: Larry writes action. Larry writes GOOD action. Larry writes action scenes that blow the top of your head off. In fact, Larry has said that if he goes 5000 words without an action scene, he starts to get twitchy and feels the need to blow something up.

2 Moral Core: Pulp Heroes, as Misha Burnett wrote, act from a moral core. In Larry’s stories, even the VILLAINS act from comprehensive moral codes (see Hard Magic and Son of the Black Sword). Owen Pitt, chief protagonist of the “Monster Hunter” series, has a definite moral code which compels him to act, and the element of romance, in both the “male-female” and “adventure” senses, are clearly a part of that series.

3 Deafness to Genre Restrictions: It’s not that Larry consciously rebels against arbitrary genre restrictions. It’s that he genuinely doesn’t understand them and violates them as a matter of course. Like a caveman with a pocket calculator, The Big Book Of Genre No-No’s befuddles him, so he beats the infuriating thing against a rock until shiny stuff falls out. Then he takes the shiny stuff and makes something cool.

It’s telling that when Larry set his hand to writing Epic Fantasy, what he came up with was, first, a dieselpunk-superhero-fantasy with zeppelins, ninjas, and giant mechs—a genre blend that does the pulps proud—and second a post-demon-apocalypse, India-inspired sword and sorcery setting, every bit as exotic as anything you could find in the Pulps. BOTH are high-energy and high-adventure, both feature action and heroics, and neither are 300,000 word turgid tomes of exposition and boredom.

There comes a time in every literary movement when earlier works are reinterpreted in light of the new aesthetic and retroactively incorporated. It happened with New Wave, with Cyberpunk, and with Steampunk, and I’m doing it with the Pulp Revolution. Larry can consider himself retroactively drafted into the ranks of Red F&SF.

Now go find some shiny stuff and keep making the cool things. (That goes for everybody. Go forth and create the cool things!)


Jasyn Jones, better known as Daddy Warpig, is a host on the Geek Gab podcast, a regular on the Superversive SF livestreams, and blogs at Daddy Warpig’s House of Geekery. Check him out on Twitter.

7 Comments
  • All hail the Correia!

  • Rawle Nyanzi says:

    I fully approve, for I am best Correia fan.

  • deuce says:

    Larry is one of the Colossi who pointed the way for the wild tribes to follow. When they reached their New Canaan, he sold them guns at a discount. Free training for the ladies!

  • john silence says:

    Correia is indeed awesome.

    His postings about guns and miniatures are one exception, for they make me envious and I suspect that they could hurt my wallet at some point.

  • Rod Walker says:

    The Grimnoir series is Rod Walker’s favorite, though he has yet to read any fiction from Mr. Correia that he did not enjoy.

  • Sam says:

    Grimnoire is blindingly awesome. It will leave your eyeballs smoking ruined craters.

  • Gaiseric says:

    I actually bet Correia has heard of the Appendix N, actually. He often posts about his ongoing D&D campaign.

    He also explicitly called himself a pulp writer long before the pulp revolution had a label.

    It’s curious to me that the world of role-playing games might be exactly where the pulp revolution incubated—where the pulps went into a kind of suspended animation until some talented gamers decided to bring it out of hybernation, or the stars were right and it rose from the bottom of the sea, or whatever.

    Overtly pulp-themed games have been around for quite a long time before the pulp revolution started. Even when Hollow Earth Expedition and Spirit of the Century were first released back in 2006, they were merely riding a zeitgeist that had been going on in gaming for a few years.

    Anyone remember those old d20 minigames that ran in Polyhedron back in 2002 or so? Pulp Heroes was literally the first one printed, and the only one to be revised and udpated. Iron Lords of Jupiter, an overtly Sword & Planet game seems to have been the most popular.

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