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Pulp Revolution –

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As a reviewer, I’m told I have two distinct responses to movies. The first is “This movie is so bad they should bring back the stocks so we can lock up everyone involved and pelt them with rotten vegetables.” My second review posture is “Eh, it didn’t totally suck in every single way,” which I’m […]

The Castalia House blog is pleased to present an excerpt from Barbarian Emperor, the newest release from independent writer Jon Mollison Plucked from obscurity and hurled into the burning, blood soaked sands of the coliseum, one man defies an Emperor. Rather than settle for mere vengeance and an honorable death, a gladiator rises to challenge […]

Money isn’t evil. Money isn’t even the root of all evil—the love of money is. So why are so many people enamored of the notion that making money is bad bad terribad? It’s true: there are immoral and ignoble ways to make money. (Like manufacturing candy corn or making pizzas with pineapple on them.) And […]

Flipping through the bright and evocative covers of old pulp magazines such as Weird Tales, the name Seabury Quinn pops up with a regularity at odds with his current place in the annals of fantasy and science fiction. His stories of occult mystery served as excellent source material to inspire the sort of titillating eye […]

People have forgotten how to tell good stories. Or maybe just forgotten what makes up a good story. Comics have forgotten what makes good stories. They’ve decided that actual adventure stories with actual superheroes are boring and passe (or maybe they just don’t understand heroism). In the place of awe-inspiring more-than-merely-mortal bad guys and good […]

This past weekend, the Geek Gab podcast hosted Benjamin Cheah, known to Castalia House readers as Kai Wai Cheah, to talk about the short fiction revolution heating up on Steemit, a new blogging platform that offers considerable advantages to writers. In this podcast and in his thoughts afterward, Cheah describes these advantages: Steemit offers three […]

It’s January 22, which makes this HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROBERT E. HOWARD DAY! Happy Eleventy Second birthday, Mr. Pulp Grandmaster. Howard was, it must be said, one of the greatest and most influential F&SF writers of all time, right up there with Edgar Rice Burroughs and A. Merritt. He wrote dozens of poems and hundreds of […]

Imagine if you will, a boy that kept a box of his most favorite things under his bed. It could include all kinds of things: a huge rhinoceros beetle and a perfect lunar moth, wheat pennies and buffalo nickles, a Skylab commemorative stamp, a few worn out copies of some really old issues of Justice […]

I’m known for my florid, almost purple prose and lengthy, albeit humorous introductions. No time for that today. I’m leaving for the vasty wilderness and a weekend-long Internet blackout, and I have to get this one in the can before I depart for the great unknown. So, please pardon the upcoming abrupt transition. Comics are […]

I recently pointed out how the moral element of pulp-style stories absolutely saturates them, driving not just the structure of their plots, but also defining the likability of the characters on a scene-by-scene basis. I would even go so far as to say that this is what makes old school pulpy thrills even possible. In […]

Mass Effect: Andromeda is a failure. A massive failure. A failure so large, the company shuttered the “Mass Effect” series entirely and even shut down the studio that made it. You see… It only sold three million copies. Three. Million. Copies. Of a game that costs $60 apiece, and requires a $400+ piece of equipment […]

The pulp ethos is a real thing. Some people think I just made it up or something. Or they think I’m being evasive when I refuse to define “pulp” as a distinct genre in its own right. Of course, not everyone wants to spend a solid year surveying a bunch of works that nobody is […]