Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

Category Archives: Pulp Revolution

The Jeffro Johnson Story

captainNo no no, I’m not talking about the story of the guy that stumbled into the Pulp Fantasy Canon and then broke the astounding news of the true history of fantasy and science fiction.

That’s last year’s news!

People have been double dog daring me to step up and write a story with increasing frequency. I have no idea if I even have it in me as I’ve only even tried doing it once. But hey, writing is writing. And if the fans think they can actually get excited about it (and by that I mean buy it and link to it and write reviews about it on Amazon) then I’m happy to try something different.

So what do you want…? What itch do you have that is just not being scratched and which you think I could conceivably step in and do something with…?

Or maybe you could look at it from the other direction… if I happened to have thrown up a 99¢ short work up on Amazon that people would totally dig… what do you think it would be like…?

I’ve never really given this any thought, so if you have any input… please lay it on me!

Critics Criticize Best Selling Literary Critic for Critiquing: News at Eleven!

With this past week there has been an uptick in criticism of my criticism. The subtext is “all you do is tear down” and “you’re not cool like us actual content creators.” This is not only unnecessarily insulting, it is baloney. I will prove it to you.

I am recovering a canon for a field that has been destroyed. The problem with my critics is that they do not actually care about the field I work to build up. If they did, they would be able to list off fiction published in 2016 that is as good or better than what is on my list. But they can’t and they won’t because they are here to keep me in check, not to do the time consuming and exhausting work that I do.

What do I do exactly? I read science fiction and fantasy and then I get up at two o’clock in the morning to compare it to forgotten classics and current cultural trends. And this goes right past you. “Nothing to see here,” you declare. You see the critical aspect of what I do without acknowledging the building that goes on. And like basically every professional author right now, you act like creating a rival to the establishment sff blogs is a useless or even unworthy endeavor.

You think it’s nothing. But you can’t or won’t do what I do. You can’t point to specific works of fiction from 2016 that people really ought to read. Why is that? Well one, the field has been destroyed so you don’t read. Two… you are inherently bigoted towards criticism in general. You think it’s a non-activity or an anti-activity.

So you show up to someone that is doing something in order to lecture him on how he’s not doing anything. It’s pure projection. You either think that nothing should be done… or else you think that something ought to be done but it has to follow some sort of hyper-unrealistic script that you choose to judge me by. What I’m saying is… this script that you’re pushing is equivalent to “nothing should be done.” And you don’t see it. You won’t see it.

I don’t understand why you feel impelled to do this. But it really doesn’t make sense. For as long as I keep talking… the only true counter to what I’m saying is to do what I do, but do it better. Which you can’t do, because you don’t actually care. So you essentially retreat into, “stop doing what you’re doing, Jeff.” Which is the only way you win this exchange, isn’t it?

Not a very compelling argument, y’all.

Looking for More Short Fiction Suggestions

Hey y’all. Fancast, Fanzine, and Fan Writer are all getting appropriate amounts of love in the shortlists this year. BUT THE SHORT FICTION CATEGORIES DESERVE MORE. Please give me your recommendations for the best Pulp Revolution short fiction of 2016. And if somebody groks the Hugos, please let me know if the suggestions are eligible and are in the right slot. WARNING: I did not ask permission to do this!

P. Alexander reminds us of the Cirsova eligibility post.

Jon Mollison suggests “Athan and the Princess” from Schuyler Hernstrom’s collection Thune’s Vision, though Alex prefers “Saga of Adalwulf”.

Misha Burnette’s “Hill of Stars” is another favorite.

Current lists of stories that I know of right off are the Planetary Awards, Sad Pookas, and Rabid Puppies… but I want MOAR!!!

Please mention your favorites in the comments here.

JimFear138 on Geek Gab!

Great episode.

Pay attention, because it lays out precisely what it is that attracts them to the Pulp Revolution scene and what keeps them energized. Spoiler: it’s pretty much the same thing that H. P. Lovecraft did for his fans and for new and aspiring authors.

JimFear138 on Pulp Revolution’s Irrepressible Conflict

dallasFirst up, just got a rave review from the uber-cool Jon Del Arroz:

Read this over time, slowly digesting each of the articles. It’s a great “in between other books” read on that level as the articles are fairly standalone. It goes over every work in Appendix N from the original Dungeons and Dragons game, giving expert analysis from both a fantasy literature and a gaming perspective. It’s opened my eyes to a whole new world and I can’t recommend it enough for SF/F enthusiasts, writers and gamers alike.

The timing on this is interesting, as there are fears brewing over the potential of the Pulp Revolution to descend into the same tedious cliqueishness that all the previous movements seem to have descended into.

Well let me allay your fears on that: it’s just not going to happen. People that show up on our doorstep have had their contracts canceled or been run out of the convention scene. Some of them have just been way too into it for even the Sad Puppies to be able to handle. If we start getting picky about who gets to sit at our lunch table, we would very rapidly cease to exist.

Which brings us to JimFear138’s latest podcast. Just go listen to the whole thing. I can wait.

Okay, you back…?

Let me just add a couple of things to that. There are private conversations, but they are rare. Every private meeting or email thread means we lose a half dozen blog posts. It eats our momentum and I can’t get excited about it. When we do end up kibitzing around on Skype or something, I always regret not recording and releasing the conversations. There’s so much awesome stuff we don’t have time to write up! It’s just a shame to keep it to ourselves.

Pulp Revolution is not a group you associate with. It’s something you do. It’s reading old books and discussing them. It’s blogging and podcasting. It’s continuing the conversations that spring up on social media. It’s writing new pulps and putting them up on Amazon.

It’s not anyone’s place to tell anyone else they’re pulp revolutioning wrong. There is no gatekeeper. This whole thing is happening because there are no gatekeepers! And unlike the Sad Puppies, there is no one that can imperiously tell anyone, “hey… we built that.” Nobody built it. It just happened. When people find out the truth about the pulps and start reading them for themselves, they are overcome with a desire to create. Games. Stories. Criticism. It’s awesome. Nobody orchestrates this.

You know what you do when you make someone a leader of this…? All it does is paint a big fat target on their back. Please don’t do that.

I called Jon Mollison last night and hashed some of this out. He told me I sound paranoid. Maybe I am. Do you have any idea what it would feel like to live in the world of 1984 and break a story that is diametrically opposed to everything you hear in the media and in academia? And more than that… to go hang around the meanest, roughest, most radical bunch evil-doers in the science fiction and fantasy scene… only to convince a good chunk them that they are just as blue pill as anyone…?

It’s nuts. It’s dangerous. It’s unprecedented. It shouldn’t be possible. It overturns everything in your head about how you’d think these things should play out.

And while it sure seems like the audience for this is growing like gangbusters, the social reaction to this in online spaces outside of the bubble make me feel like I’m the monster in the space movie that causes the lights to go out wherever he prowls. It’s freaky.

JimFear138 is right. There is liable to be a response to what we’re doing. And it may come sooner than you think. Get ready for it.