Friday, May 24, 2019

The Pulp Classics Reading Club

We like to talk about the pulps and revolutions, but how many of our readers know what we're talking about? To the modern reader, the pulps are obscure, something something about barbarians and detectives and Star Wars.

The Pulp Revolution requires new stories, to be sure. But we also need both authors and readers who have reconnected with our lost history.

At the very least, PulpRev authors need readers who can laugh at our obscure inside jokes!

The first Conan story appeared in 1932, 87 years ago. Sam Spade debuted in 1930. Those characters took on a life of their own thanks to the power of their portrayal and have been kept alive by more recent movies.

Most folks, if they recognize those names at all, will likely think of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Humphrey Bogart rather than Robert E. Howard and Dashiell Hammett.

These are powerful cultural touchstones, saved from the wreck of 20th century publishing. But even they are fading.

We're sitting at an interesting place in history.

30 years ago, you had to work to find an original Conan story. You had to wear out shoe leather searching libraries and used book stores.

Today, you just have to trawl through Project Gutenberg or Wikisource.

But in either case, you have to know that Conan exists before you can search for him.

30 years ago, we had Arnold to remind us.

Today, Arnold is just the aging former governor of California.

Conan is a comedian.

Nobody except film buffs watch Bogart movies.

And nobody's heard of First Lensman Virgil Samms or Eric John Stark, Man Without a Tribe.

They're there for the reading, but who's going to read about them without first knowing they're worth reading about?

Don't worry though, I've got a plan.

I'm starting something I'm calling The Pulp Classics Reading Club. It's pretty simple: a free mailing list. Sign up and you'll get a classic short story in your inbox every Friday.

Each short story is a gateway to discovering a new author.

My goal is to reintroduce readers to the breadth, the depth, the excitement, and the fun of the pulps. One author at a time.

So if someone asks you, "What the heck is this Pulp thing you keep gabbing about?"

Send them my way. I'll show them.