Wednesday, February 28, 2018


With the end of February comes the conclusion of SteemPulp's inaugural open call, SWORDS OF SAINT VALENTINE. Over the next few hours, the final submissions will come in, and the next phase will begin.
SWORDS OF SAINT VALENTINE met and exceeded many of its objectives. Participants exercised their creative juices, wrote and published stories, helped each other resolve story issues, and most importantly, GOT PAID. Through this initiative, we came into contact with the Isle of Write, and a number of our writers were discovered by content curators, most notably @curie. Thanks to a combination of cooperation, curation and PULP SPEED, our stories regularly hit the trending page for fiction posts.
The stories written for SWORDS OF SAINT VALENTINE spanned a dizzying scope. We have a Weird Western, a tale of battling airships and a princess, a story set in ancient Rome, even a pair of wuxia romances. Here's the full list of the SWORDS OF SAINT VALENTINE stories:
SWORDS OF SAINT VALENTINE wasn't just a writing event; it was designed to promote the pulp aesthetic and invite other Steemit users to join the movement. I would have liked to see Steemit users from outside our social circles participating in this event, but nonetheless I am satisfied with the outcome.
Now, the next phase of SWORDS OF SAINT VALENTINE begins. Under the direction of Chief Editor Jesse Abraham Lucas, we will compile these stories into an anthology and publish it on Amazon. Thanks for your support, and do keep an eye out for the anthology, the above-mentioned writers and for future stories tagged #PulpRev and #SteemPulp.
Cheah Git San Calligraphy.jpg

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Appendix N Review: Three Hearts and Three Lions

To Holger Carlsen, Dane by birth and engineer by trade, science rules all. The immutable laws of physics govern the universe, and there is no space in this rational world for the mysterious and the magical. Yet one fateful day, when fighting along the Resistance in the Second World War, he is knocked out in battle, and awakens naked in a strange forest. Nearby is a horse of startling intelligence, carrying arms and armour that fit him perfectly, including a shield that bears the device of three hearts and three lions.
Thus begins Poul Anderson's seminal work Three Hearts and Three Lions. Coming from an era saturated with Japanese isekai stories and Western dark fantasy CRPGs, Three Hearts and Three Lions is simultaneously refreshing and inspiring. Both of these media owe their origins to Gary Gygax's Dungeons & Dragons tabletop roleplaying game, and Gygax in turn drew inspiration from a list of stories, stories he listed in his famous Appendix N. Among them is Three Hearts and Three Lions.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

PulpRev Is Not Inevitable

Just over a year ago I published on my own website my Seven Traits of the Pulp Revolution, which included this disclaimer: This is my own perspective on the Pulp Revolution. Others with greater claim to the hashtag may have differing opinions.

Now I wish I hadn't.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Reminder: SWORDS OF SAINT VALENTINE Open Call on 14th February

In case you missed it, the #SteemPulp crew's first open call, SWORDS OF SAINT VALENTINE, opens on 14th February. A Steemit-exclusive event, SWORDS OF SAINT VALENTINE aims to champion pulp-style stories and identify promising talent on Steemit.

The theme for SWORDS OF SAINT VALENTINE is love and chivalry. No genre restrictions, but we want pulp-style stories -- fun, action-packed stories that place entertaining the reader first.

To participate, publish your story on 14th February in your local time zone and tag it with 'swordsofstvalentine'. If you're planning to write a serial, you must complete the story by the end of the month. There is no minimum word limit, but there is a hard limit of 15,000 words.

All authors who participate will receive compensation through Steemit payouts. Everyone who participates in this event will stand a chance to earn fair compensation for their time and energy invested in the story, and there is great incentive to publicise their stories far and wide. Authors of the best stories will be invited to submit their stories to the SteemPulp crew for inclusion in an anthology.

The selection criteria is two fold: fit to theme and aesthetic, followed by number of upvotes. Authors who pay for bot upvoting and resteeming services or use sock puppet accounts to upvote their own stories will be disqualified. There will not be a penalty for using the platform's native post promotion service, and writers who are discovered by content curators will receive extra credit. Total payouts will not be considered as part of the selection critiera; an upvote from a whale carries the same weight as a minnow.

To summarise, here are the requirements for SWORDS OF SAINT VALENTINE:

Theme: Love and chivalry. Story must fit the pulp aesthetic.
Word count: No minimum. Hard limit of 15,000 words.
Event opening date: 14 February 2018. Publish your story, or the first part of a serialised story, on this date.
Event completion date: 28 February 2018. Serialised stories must be completed by then.
Selection criteria: Fit to theme and aesthetic, and number of upvotes.
Disqualification criteria: Use of paid upvoting and resteem bot services, and use of sock puppets. Use of Steemit's native promotion service is allowed.
Extra credit: Discovery by content creators.
Compensation: Payouts on Steemit.

Selection and slush reading shall be performed by the SteemPulp Council -- members of the SteemPulp crew who have pledged to participate in the event. Even now, @everhart@noughtshayde@t2tang@jimfear138@notjohndaker and @jd-alden are punching away at their keyboards, composing the finest fiction yet to be seen on Steemit.

I, Herald of the PulpRev and Warboss of Steemit, will also publish a story for this event. There will be fearless xiake wielding sword and gun, rampaging man-eating beasts, superpowered cultivators and martial valour. It shall be a tale where East and West collide and combine into a shining alloy of undiluted awesomeness.

SteemPulp is here to take Steemit by storm. Join us, and we will Make Fiction Great Again.


Cheah Git San Red.jpg

Cover image credit: Saint Valentine on stained glass, royalty-free stock photo on Dreamstime.

To get a taste of the kind of stories we're looking for, check out our PulpRev Sampler here.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

The Last Post

The harsh scent of gunpowder tickled Michael’s nose. Boots stamped through the night. Whispered voices carried across the air. The weight of a hundred eyes fell on him. Squinting, Michael peered through the dark woods, down the hill, at the moonlit valley before him.

And saw no one.

“Halt!” a voice boomed.

Michael twitched.

“Advance to be recognized!”

Just in front of Michael, a man peered around a nearby tree—and aimed a rifle at him.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Geek Gab Interviews Indie Author Adam Smith

PulpRev friends Geek Gab had another author interview episode today, this time with Adam Smith, author of Making Peace which you can find at Amazon. You can already seen the influence of Nick Cole & Jason Anspach's Galaxy edge as the secret to their success spreads throughout the indie author world, something that we'll see more and more of in the coming months and years.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

An Amateur's Guide To The Pulp Revolution: Or, Why You Should Devote All Your Writing Time To the Glorious Cause

If you're reading this, you are no doubt aware of this little phenomenon called PulpRev. Perhaps you have been to our excellent site before, or perhaps you know of our existence through some other nook and cranny of the Internet. Like Steemit, for instance.

 If you aren't aware of us, however, then fear not. By mentioning the dreaded word, PulpRev, I have planted a subliminal neuro-virus in your retinas! Soon, you shall be part of us! Or not. We don't really have that much funding. Or any funding, for that matter. No literary grants in our corner of the woods. In fact, we're almost completely decentralised. We have romance writers, horror writers, SF/F writers, detective writers - you name the genre, we've probably got someone who does something like that. We're so diverse, we have absolutely no idea how to define ourselves!

 ...This wouldn't normally be a problem, but it does make for rather confusing conversations. I mean, why in the world would a Pulp Revolutionary be unable to define pulp? Well, there's a number of reasons. One reason is that the pulp magazines, the venerable ancestors of today's ubiquitous superhero comics, have been extinct for almost seventy years - and since we have our New Pulp friends working in that aesthetic anyway, there's not much we can say about it. Another reason is that thanks to the wonders of the Internet, the influences and inspirations of our many writers are about as multifaceted as a bombed-out ore mine. Since we aren't exactly raring to tie ourselves down to any one type of fiction, we haven't really stopped to think about the ramifications.

 At this point, you're tearing out every hair on your head one by one, vehemently, with a pair of kitchen tongs. "What on Earth is the Pulp Revolution?" you scream. "Tell me, I wanna join!"

Well, I can't tell you what we are. There's far too many of us, after all, and I'm definitely the worst member. I haven't even written any pulp yet. But a negative is always easier to observe than a positive. Instead of telling you what the Pulp Revolution is, how about I try to tell you what we aren't?

The Pulp Revolution Is Not About High Literature

We do not write Literature with a Capital L, mostly because even if we tried, we probably wouldn't be able to do anything about it anyway. Literature, as work of enduring and universal value, can only be defined after the writers in question are dust. The Pulp Revolutionary considers himself an entertainer rather than a rarified artist, and puts the enjoyment and edification of the reader before any personal pretension. He panders shamelessly to the masses.

The Pulp Revolution Is Not About Suffering For Your Art

We do not believe in the pursuit of perfect prose. We do not work and rework paragraphs to achieve some sort of imaginary aesthetic perfection, and we do not believe that speed is a mark of inferior quality. Wordcount, as a matter of fact, is esteemed as the plainest and most obvious measure of a writer's dedication. The Pulp Revolutionary recognizes that the reader must have his appetite whetted in order to read, and that this cannot be accomplished at five-year intervals. He writes with speed in mind.

The Pulp Revolution Is Not About Narrow Genre Conventions

We do not believe that every book should stick closely to the observed laws of the physical universe, any more than we believe that every book should be about green-skinned space babes from Mars. PulpRev can be realistic, hard-nosed military thriller fiction; it can be balls-to-the-walls insane Plutonian adventure fiction. The Pulp Revolutionary does not believe that escapism must be eschewed in the pursuit of realism, itself a narrow and artificial definition from a mere two centuries ago. He is free from genre prejudice.

The Pulp Revolution Is Not About Gender Politics

We do not believe that man and woman are like the Creator and Demiurge of the ancient Gnostics, fated to be forever at war. We do not believe that masculinity is something to be denigrated and destroyed for the safety of women, any more than we believe that femininity is something to be stripped and suborned for the pleasure of men. The Pulp Revolutionary does not discriminate based on sex, and believes that just as women have their own genres in which they take pleasure, so must the modern man. She recognizes the usefulness of masculine adventure.

The Pulp Revolution Is Not About Introspection To The Exclusion Of Action

We do not believe that a good novel must explore the internal lives of its characters. There is the time and place for a Joe Everyman, just as there is the time and place for the fully-realized firebrand of a Holmes or Conan. The Pulp Revolutionary, while believing that sympathetic and identifiable characters are the heart of good fiction, does not believe that endless navel-gazing gyrations are the essence of good prose. As a corollary to his hate of endless navel-gazing gyrations, the Pulp Revolutionary also believes that good entertaining fiction must have intent and meaning in every line. He seeks action with purpose at all times.

So, What Is The Pulp Revolution Not About?

It's not about writing unfun Literature. It's not about laboring over perfect paragraphs for weeks at a time. It's not about pursuing strait-jacket realism to the exclusion of all else. It's not about slighting masculine adventure or feminine romance. It's not about endless stream-of-consciousness navel-gazing, with no plot, no change and no purpose.

But apart from that, well, it could be anything. Anything fun, that is. And if anything fun sounds like your cup of tea, well, why don't you come with us? For a list of our latest and greatest Steemit offerings, please see the curated list here. If you're a writer, illustrator or narrator and want to join our righteous cause to Make Fiction Great Again, then just click on that there Discord link, up on the right.

Trust me, we'd love to have you.