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I have had a vision of the future. A dark vision. A chilling vision. A vision sent BACK THROUGH TIME from myself, a few years hence. A vision of the time WHEN THE PULP REVOLUTION RULES THE EARTH! I am shaken. I am shuddering. I am shocked. Allow me a moment or two to regain […]

There’s bit of a push right now for some of us to moderate our tone. The fear is that we’re going drive away potential readers… at the very time when this blog is having it’s best month ever in terms of traffic. The concern is that we might lose our rep for being builders… at […]

Campbellian Science Fiction stories—alternately “men with screwdrivers” or Blue SF—are provably inferior to the Fantasy & Science Fiction stories of the Pulps. Campbell is the Silver Age, the Pulps the Golden Age. This is not because the writers and editors of the Silver Age sucked. They had talent, skill, and imagination in abundance. Unfortunately, what […]

Q: What is the most important thing in storytelling? A: The storytelling. Period. Any other answer is sheerest nonsense.

Come children, let me tell you a tale… There was once an age, a Golden Age, an age of wonder and delight, of adventure and heroics, of creativity and imagination unbound… an age undreamt of by modern man, an age forgotten and buried, like hidden treasures beneath the sands of Ægypt. And into this Golden […]

(Note: my brief history of Japanese SF will continue next time as I track down some references.) Heroes. Who needs them! Just another holier-than-thou vehicle for someone’s personal hangups. Just another overinflated cardboard cutout, a power fantasy made flesh. Too strong, too competent, too perfect. Real life isn’t like that. Real people aren’t heroes. And […]

Strong opinions piss people off. Strong opinions, expressed forcefully, piss people off even more. To those offended, I say this: Campbell, confreres, and successors have—for seventy-nine years—pumped out self-serving propaganda that paints the Pulps as worthless. Constant recitation of a litany of calumnies has succeeded in erasing not only the virtues of the Pulps, but […]

Jeffro’s Appendix N crusade is smashing the idols of the SF establishment and chasing off their high priests, to the joy of readers discovering forgotten works. But one of the idols being smashed is John Campbell, founder of hard SF, and his Big Three writers. As Jesse Lucas said, there’s some irony in that: “Note […]

Deconstruction. For many readers, it signifies a mean-spirited exercise  in demolishing a genre’s conventions by a clever-in-his-own-mind critic. However, in the culinary world, a deconstruction is an attempt to distill a dish down to its essential ingredients so that they can be arranged into a new form. For pulp fiction fans seeking to reintroduce the glamour […]

Here’s the Great Myth of the Golden Age of Science Fiction: “Science Fiction sucked until the coming of John W. Campbell and the Big Three—Asimov, Clarke, and Heinlein. Together they swept away the puerile garbage of the Pulps and brought about Science Fiction’s Golden Age.” This is, not to put too fine a point on it, […]

In response to some recent questions and reactions, some of the guys have tried to clear up a few points of confusion. Cirsova editor P. Alexander has this to say in Attempting to Define the Pulp Revolution: What It Is and What It Is Not: We are not using the pulps to recapture kitsch; we are […]

Here is the narrative: Science Fiction was a tiny genre, largely ignored by the general public, a niche of a niche, only appealing to teenage boys… until Star Wars. Then, it got big. Star Wars blew up so big, they had to coin new terms to describe it: summer blockbuster. It was so big, it […]