Who Created the Pulp Revolution?
July 24, 2017
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Declan Finn claimed today that I “more or less created the Pulp Revolution with Appendix N.” And I tell you, my first impulse was to argue back a little. Of course, I didn’t chew Alex Kimball out when he called Appendix N the book that launched a movement. And yeah… when I was trying to get the introduction to the thing just right, I did go and have twelve people attempt to explain why it was that the book had done what it did.
But there are many significant actors involved here, all of whom worked together to make the Pulp Revolution happen:
- There is Larry Correia, who not only ignored what his writing teachers told him… but who also pulled off one of the greatest pranks in science fiction history. He got a lot of people talking about something that wasn’t immediately obvious.
- There is Edgar Rice Burroughs, who single-handedly set the tone for fantasy, science fiction, pulp, comic books, role-playing games, and Star Wars.
- There is Gary Gygax, who created a time capsule that preserved that vision in the face of an industry and gatekeeping establishment that was hellbent on seeing it extinguished.
- There are game bloggers like Ron Edwards, James Maliszewski, and Jeff Rients who brought this to the attention of fans of role-playing games.
- There is John C. Wright, who never got the memo that Appendix N style fantasy was out of style.
- There is Alex Kimball, who offered to pay semi-pro rates for people that wanted to bring back more of it to the short fiction scene.
- There is Daddy Warpig, who observed that something was happening and called it what it was before anyone could grasp its significance.
- There is Dan Wolfgang and QuQu, who reported on what was happening with first class coverage.
That’s quite a list!
But I tell you. As crazy and strange and hilarious as the story of how the Pulp Revolution came to be is, I’m happy to say that it pales in comparison to the works that are coming out under its banner. Novels like Jon Mollison’s Sudden Rescue. John C. Wright’s Swan Knight’s Son. And Ben Wheeler’s In the Seraglio of the Sheik of Mars. And while commentators like me have had a field day the past few years here, I have to say… at the end of the day it’s the authors that really create the Pulp Revolution. And I’m really glad that they do.
So many people had just walked away from science fiction and fantasy over the past few decades. So many people had thought that no one would write stories like Robert E. Howard and Fritz Leiber did again. Even five years ago that was unimaginable. And now… against all odds, against all hope… there’s something for those people to come back to.
It’s awesome. It really is.
So kick back. Pop some popcorn. Queue up that audio book. Fire up the Kindle. And crack open that case bound omnibus. This party is just getting started!