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 Age came enemies, like ninjas in the night. (But not the awesome kind of ninjas, who totally kick ass, but the other kind. The bad kind. Ninjas who foreswear honor and kill for money. BOOO!) And these bad guy ninjas assassinated all the heroes and leaders of the Golden Age, and took their places, and had all their names and images erased. This they did, so that people would forget the awesomeosity of the Golden Age, would forget the great deeds done by the Golden Agers, and would be content with the sometimes-pretty-good-but-just-not-as-awesome deeds of the Silver Agers.
And we call these villains… THE FUTURIANS. And their reign was grim, indeed.
Now of the Futurians, there were three kinds: the sperglords, the scumbags, and the Socialists. (There were also some mostly-non-asshole Futurians, who don’t enter into this tale.) And each of these had reason to hate the awesomeness of the Pulps.
The sperglords sperged out because THE SCIENCE OF THE PULPS WAS WRONG AND THAT WAS NOT COOL HOLY CRAP MAN ITS CALLED SCIENCE FICTION IT’S RIGHT THERE IN THE NAME AND YOUR SCIENCE HAS TO BE CORRECT. IT’S THE MOST. IMPORTANT. THING. EVER. ALSO FANTASY IS FOR CHILDREN, I MEAN REALLY YOU GUYS WHO EVEN LET THEM IN THE BUILDING?!
The scumbags were really icky people, and did REALLY icky things, and hated the virtue, honor, and decency of the Pulps, and the Christianity intrinsic to Fantasy. They wanted a space where they could engage in their icky stuff at will, so normies and decent folk had to be driven off.
The Socialists, likewise, wanted Christianity banished because Religion Is The Opiate of The Masses, but they also hated Manly Heroes, because Manly Men have no need of an all-encompassing government to coddle them. Also it was all about the Collective Effort of The People, and singular and great heroes were just not on.
So the sperglords, scumbags, and Socialists (who were very often the exact same people, all in one) ganged up together to subvert and undermine the awesome genre of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and to overthrow the Reign of the Masters of Pulp, and to denigrate and disparage the stories of the Golden Age, and to hide them from view. They declared themselves to be the TRUE Golden Age, and for FOUR GENERATIONS continued the lies, until the glorious past of F&SF was forgotten.
(Except for a few graybeards, and who really listened to them because Science Fiction was about THE FUTURE, and the past was like, totally irrelevant, amirite or amirite?)
For four generations, the Futurians and their inheritors ruled. And each generation was more degenerate than the last.
The Silver Age threw away heroics and heroism, the Bronze Age threw away decency and morality, the Iron Age forged tiny cages for people’s imaginations, and the Clay Age finger painted with their own poo, for there was nothing else to throw away.
Unfortunately for the Futurians, people never change. And even among the most debased populace, there are those who yearn for heroism, who hunger for adventure, who long to read tales of Great Men Doing Great Deeds, who want to see the Manly Spaceman swing into the Evil Overlord’s lair on a rope and rescue the Beautiful Maiden from the clutches of the (insanely jealous) Beautiful But Evil Space Princess, and on a clear and gorgeous night with the stars burning in the sky above them, as they flee to their starship to escape the Evil Empire and the Evil Lair burns behind them, the Manly Spaceman kisses the Beautiful Maiden chastely, and they get married, and she shows him just how wicked a Beautiful but Chaste Maiden can be, for her husband.
All these things, and those like unto them, sneered at by the Futurians and their descendants, and derided, and buried, are what people yearn for. What they love. What inspires them. And even in Ages where they were buried and forgotten, and people knew not of them, they clutched desperately to the closest imitation of them they could find. In the middle of the vast and dreary wilderness of the poo-painters, they desperately searched for the tiniest scraps of heroism, and virtue, and wonder.
Here’s where hope enters the tale, and it’s because the Futurians were wrong. It isn’t called Science Fiction. It’s called Science Fiction, and the storytelling is the most important part. And there remained a small remnant who knew that.
And when real-world science somehow caught up and surpassed the Futurians’ dreary fictions, these people were freed. They were freed of the Rule of the Futurians, free to write their own tales and free to sell them to the whole world. And people were free to buy them, and share them, and even write short reviews on Amazon and rate them, so everybody else would know how awesome the author was. (hint, hint)
And then a lone space game blogger, in his very own space game blogger way, went digging in the sand, following a treasure map left behind by one of the greatest of the graybeards, and discovered the hidden secrets of the Golden Age and SHARED them and started a Revolution.
And the rest is history.
(Or will be. When the Revolutionaries grow in strength and numbers, and inspire the masses with Pulp, and lay siege to the Temples of the Poo-Painters and overthrow them. It will be historic.)