Pulp Fiction Covers from July, 1942

Tuesday , 4, July 2017 2 Comments

Easily the most controversial observation to come out of my survey of the fantasy and science fiction canon was that they pulps were (by and large) both Christian and Western in their overall outlook. And given that word for word and sentence for sentence, many of these authors have yet to be surpassed within their field, the stock standard dismissal of their work as being juvenile, cliché-ridden, and painfully simplistic really doesn’t hold up.

It turns out of course that these they were not merely the target of bogus complaints posing as literary criticism. Yes, they were treated unfairly and they were arbitrarily sidelined from subsequent framings of the science fiction and fantasy narrative. But they were not real target in these actions. It was their culture that was offensive. Not their writing. Not the subject matter. Not their style. Not the type of paper their work was printed on.

For one more data point in this transition of the field of science fiction and fantasy, check out this post from The Pulp Magazines Project. Note these Street & Smith magazine covers from July, 1942. It’s not an accident that there is a small town church featured in this image of an American flag. It’s also not an accident that “mainstream” periodicals doing something like this today is patently unimaginable.

  • John E. Boyle says:

    To the Left, and its Social Justice Warriors, it is America that is the great evil, the great threat which must be opposed and destroyed. Not the Nazis, and certainly not the Communists (mistakes were made…), but America itself.

    Keep that in mind, and it explains a great deal about their actions.

    Happy Fourth of July!

  • Joe F Keenan says:

    It is really incredible how Fantasy came off the rails. SciFi was always a little off putting to me, too much of the, “If only I was in charge the world would be all right” perspective for my tastes. Speaking of L Sprague de Camp….de Camp is noteworthy for his dismissal of Howard, in particular, Howard’s character using brawn, instead of brains to get them out of a bad situation. Here’s a real world example of why Howard is right, and de Camp…. clueless. I think there was something like this in Hour of the Dragon, I recall nothing like it in The Tritonian Ring: http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/823792/SAS-kill-ISIS-Mosul-drown-soldier-puddle-incredible-escape-Iraq Reason yerslef out of that Spragey.

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