Tuesday, June 19, 2018

A Blade for Monsters Part 2

Modern technology was a wonderful thing. During the daylight hours Beringer planted tiny glasses around the necropolis, rigging them to alert him when they spotted motion. As the necropolis closed, he hid himself away inside an unused mausoleum and waited for nightfall.
The taint of the Void was upon this place. Flowers lay scattered on the flow, shriveled and brown. The hexagram on the wall was scratched and faded. The tombs were empty; scuff marks around them revealed that they had been opened recently. He scattered a generous handful of powdered aetherium on the floor and the sign, and retraced the hexagram with his finger. Light poured forth from the symbol, clearing away the corruption in the room.
He found a comfortable spot, set his telecrystal on the floor, and waited.

Monday, June 18, 2018

A Blade for Monsters Part 1

Alan Beringer had learned the hard way never to assume he had seen everything. It was perhaps the only reason he managed to hang on to his breakfast.
The bodies, or what was left of them, were scattered across the hall. In the middle of the aisle was a heavily-gnawed arm, the flesh only mostly stripped. Too many legs and too few torsos piled up in a corner. Unidentifiable gibs hung from the chandelier, dripping putrefied slime. Lying on the steps of the sanctuary, the remains of an old man awaited, arms and legs spread wide apart, his soft tissue chewed off. On the pulpit was his head, or what was left of it.
“Demons,” Beringer said. “Most definitely demons.”

Friday, June 15, 2018

Pulp Doesn't Revive Itself: Support The Culture You Want To See

We've got to create the culture that we want to enjoy, and that means backing those willing to put themselves out there. While that does mean spreading the word, ultimately it comes down to putting either your money or your skin where your mouth is. I understand if you're having to pinch your pennies, but if you can't put your money down then you can find a way to contribute otherwise; I can write, so I'm putting skin down instead and throwing my hat into the ring. Below is an excerpt of what I put out on my writing blog last Friday.

I'm taking a big step today. Today I launch my first crowd-funding campaign for my debut novel.

Head on over to my Freestartr page today, where you will find the campaign page live and awaiting your pledge of support. I don't have much to offer in terms of backer awards, as one would expect of someone starting out; I can't become someone that can do that sort of thing down the road if you don't trust me to deliver on my modest offerings now.

So what do I offer you?

If you haven't been keeping up, this is my #StarWarsNotStarWars AND my #AGundamForUs contributions, something I'm writing with as much inspiration from the East and the West, from the Pulps as from Medieval and Ancient epics, and played straight and sincere. If you want a hero that John Carter would be proud of, come put your money down for my space knight-errant and his adventures in a galaxy full of wonder and peril. No ponderous, plodding, bloated door-stoppers here: just slim, lithe page-turners like E.E. Smith and Robert E. Howard used to write.

I promise you Action! Romance! Giant Robot Combat! Space battleships pounding each other in engagements full of passion and valor, villains whose evil will make you love to hate them, and a heroine who is every bit the Deja Thoris to my John Carter, my Clarissa MacDougal to my Kimbal Kinneson. Some may not make it to the end, but nihilism and despair have no place in Galactic Christendom, so you'll find no such rob-the-reader endings here.

We've got a good core of solid folks now willing and able to produce the stuff we want to see; just look at the Contributors. We've also got Autarch Entertainment and The RPG Pundit making new non-pozzed gaming stuff for the tabletop RPG world, taking the same "Regress Harder!" ethic to tabletop gaming (where the same problem goes on there).

We're making more of our own outlets, starting with the magazines and podcasts (as those are easiest to do with a small team), but if we're going to succeed then we need to learn how to work better together as well as to bring some more players on to the team (as it were) to properly force-multiply our efforts. Remember that the strategy is "Fork and Replace", and the latter part in particular means working to build up clean institutions to be ready with the diseased ones collapse. That won't happen if you don't back those putting skin in the game now.

If you want the culture of hope, courage, and tenacity--especially under severe adversity--to revive and thrive tomorrow, then you need to water the seeds being sown and cultivated today. There's no other way to see it happen. Passivity is not an option.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Between Pulp Wonders and Light Novel Trash

In his last podcast, JimFear138 sat down with Rawle Nyanzi to discuss the concept of genres in a freewheeling discussion that spanned, among other things, My Hero Academia, the blurry line between science fiction and fantasy, and, at the 40:15 mark, Japanese light novels.
Rawle didn't have a high opinion of most light novels. I share the same sentiment. Yet light novels are the modern-day inheritors of the pulp tradition.
Within literati circles, it's fashionable to deride classic pulp fiction from the early 20th century as cheap, lurid and ultimately disposable fiction. Social Justice Warriors further insist that such stories are racist, sexist and all kinds of -ist and -phobic. Yet this seems to be a Western phenomenon: in Japan, light novels proudly continue the tradition of cheap, exciting entertainment, and far from being derided, are an integral and celebrated cornerstone of Japanese culture.
Light novels are short, inexpensive books on fast release schedules. Running to about 50,000 characters, they are small and lightweight, able to be carried about and read anywhere. This mirrors the pulp practice of publishing compact, fast-paced stories on equally compressed schedules. Well-loved in Japan and around the world, many LNs have been translated and exported across the world. But how do modern LNs compare to the pulps?

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Series Review: Writing Violence by Marc MacYoung

Marc 'Animal' MacYoung watches rom-coms because Hollywood gets action scenes wrong. Having worked as a court-recognized expert witness, correctional institute director, bodyguard, bouncer, cooler and event security, he has decades of first-hand experience with violence and criminals. His street name came from a high-risk lifestyle filled with life-or-death encounters on the mean streets of Los Angeles, and his vicious approach to streetfighting. With his Writing Violence series, MacYoung offers his expertise to writers seeking to create authentic action scenes.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Appendix N Review: The Dying Earth by Jack Vance

In the far-flung future, the Sun has reached the end of its lifespan. Under an alien sky, strange animals and plants thrive across the world, ruined cities stand in mute testimony to all-conquering Time, squalor and luxury exist side by side in decaying and decadent civilisations, and science and technology have blurred into a unified occult art people use but no longer understand. Demons and wizards, monsters and men, all sentient creatures human or otherwise, must find meaning and purpose and life in constant awareness of the inevitable end of Earth.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Announcing PulpRev Riot


Next month will be the one-year anniversary of the launch of pulprev.com. As our subscription was running out and our initial service providers turned out to not be that great, we've migrated the site to the Apollonian archons of nearlyfreespeech.net. This will mean greater freedom and flexibility when we do things with the site, and it also means we can fund the site relatively cheaply. This migration seems to have gone off completely without a hitch, but let us know if you find something.


When I registered pulprev.com last year I had just come back from a big demolition job in Kansas City and was feeling generous; the initial registration fee came out of my pocket. Since then we set up and published the PulpRev Sampler Anthology, which we initially planned to be totally free on Amazon but then we found out they wouldn't let us so we sold it for a buck. We had way more sales than we expected, giving us a war chest of about fifty USD. This is enough to fund the site as it is for a few more years, unless we implement something that uses a lot of bandwidth.