Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

The Pulp Revolution Spinner Rack

The latest issue of Cirsova is out, and yep… it’s got my name on the cover. Let me tell you, I am very very excited about this. And not just because my contributor copy is on the way, either!

I don’t know what’s inside, but if it’s all as good as my piece on C. L. Moore in there, well… I think you’re going to get your money’s worth!!

Now… any time the subject of fantasy and science fiction short stories comes up, it’s seems like there’s always an independent author that steps up to say that they tried doing short works, but it just doesn’t work for them financially. Seriously, I wince every time I hear that. See, it’s just not normal. Before 1980, short stories and novellas were the bread and butter of science fiction and fantasy. The mind bending variety is just plain astounding…!

I want that energetic spirit of creativity to make a comeback. And I’m not alone! Guy’s like Schuyler Hernstrom are making it happen right now. Seriously, if you’ve ever looked back on the pulps and thought, “nobody’s ever gonna write like that again,” you need to check out the title story from Thune’s Vision. It is everything that the establishment creators can’t imagine… and it’s awesome!

And you know, sometimes I think the pulp revolution was just itching to happen well before anyone thought to coin the term. What gets me is the number of people involved that were hanging around these parts even when 90% of the posts were about Car Wars…! Karl K. Gallagher is one of those people, and if you want to hear more about him, check out this review and this interview, not to mention this post about him receiving the Planetary Award for his first novel!

Yes, Karl has returned with a sequel now. If you want old school science fiction in the tradition of Traveller and Starfire, this is it!

On the back cover of the latest issue of Cirsova, you’ll find an ad for Brian Niemeier’s stuff. Who is he and why is he here…? Well, let me tell you. Brian is one of those independent author types that isn’t necessarily in all this for the revolution. (And I mean this in the most swaggeringly Han Soloish way possible.) No, he’s not looking to make some kind of Weird Tales or Planet Stories revival along the lines of what P. Alexander is doing.

But freed from the constraints of the big box book store… and working on the basis of whatever seems awesome from the standpoint of stuff like tabletop gaming and anime, there is in fact a bit of parallel evolution going on here. Brian’s stuff blurs the lines between genres in way that could have been taken for granted more before 1940 or so….!

I try to pin down precisely what he’s doing here, but the main thing is… this guy’s causing a stir. He pulled down a Dragon Award with his sequel and is even now closing in on completing a third installment to this series.

Last but not least here, I have to put in a word for John C. Wright. Many times in the past year I have lamented the fact that nobody seems to write like Lord Dunsany, C. L. Moore, and Poul Anderson anymore. Looking at the wasteland that is the modern day mass market book store, it was all too easy to despair.

I’ve got news for you, though. The man that is arguably the best living fantasy and science fiction author…? He writes as if the Appendix N days never stopped. It’s awesome… and he is getting better all the time!

If you are looking for a novel written on the premise of old style elfs– elfs without the overwhelming sameness of today’s watered down Tolkien pastiche– then you have to see Swan Knight’s Son. I’ve heard people say that it’s the best book they’ve read this year… and now that I’ve read it myself, I have to agree with them!

I’ve never been more excited about fantasy and science fiction than right now. It really does feel like we are at the start of a new golden age. I’m telling you, I can’t wait to see what these guys come up with next.

Note: I am thick as thieves with these guys, no doubt. I want to see more fiction like this and I want these guys to be able to make money doing it. When you buy these guys’ books, you are helping make the pulp revolution continue to grow at an astonishing rate. If you buy through the links on the book images here, then you also help by getting Amazon to throw me a kickback for getting the word out. To everyone that does so… thank you for your support!

9 responses to “The Pulp Revolution Spinner Rack

  1. emperorponders October 9, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    I’m sure in the not-so-distant future people will talk a lot about Hernstrom.

  2. Trimegistus October 9, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    No, the writers who say they can’t write short stuff for economic reasons are telling the truth.

    Consider: the best-paying short fantasy & SF markets pay about 7 cents a word. A typical short story runs 5-10,000 words, and so is worth 350 to 700 dollars.

    The advance on a novel is typically about 5-10,000 dollars. So a writer would have to sell ten short stories to make as much as one novel. That means a story in one of the top-paying markets each month, every month. I don’t know of any writer who could manage that pace.

    Novels can be “pre-sold” in a way that short stories can’t. Most novelists are pretty sure they’re going to sell the thing they’re working on.

    Plus, novels can be re-sold into foreign markets. There are only one or two foreign markets for short fiction, which means the competition is fierce. A writer would be lucky to sell one short story a year into a foreign market, whereas most novels get translate at least once, and often multiple times.

  3. Sky October 10, 2016 at 9:19 am

    Not to say your points are bunk but there are other ways of looking at it.

    And thanks for the kind words!

    • Sky October 10, 2016 at 9:21 am

      I was attempting to address Trimegistus’ comments. Not sure why its floating there. WordPress is giving me a lot of sass mouth today.

  4. Pingback: The Pulp Revolution Spinner Rack — Jeffro’s Space Gaming Blog | Cirsova

  5. Brian Niemeier October 24, 2016 at 3:12 am

    Hey, Jeffro. I was just catching up on my blog reading after finishing the first draft of Soul Cycle Book III. Thanks for the highly endearing write up and for continuing to pimp my wares :)

  6. Pingback: Pulp Revolution vs. Extreme Horror – Attack of the Six-Foot Tranny

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