Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

Category Archives: Pulp Revolution

QuQu and JimFear138 on #GamerGate & Sad Puppies

Okay, this is goes a little bit longer than sixty seconds… but man, I gotta tell you, this covers all the gory details of what was happening behind the scenes when GamerGate was the talk of the town. The Sad Puppies bit starts at right at one hour and eighteen minutes in. Even later in, they get into Pulp Revolution, too.

Check it out!

Appendix N is Causing a Commotion!

I was interviewed last week by Scott Cole over at the Castalia House blog.

Awesome reviews like this one keep rolling in:

I’ve been mulling it over for a week now on how to write a review for this. I’m still not sure I can do it justice but I’ll try.

This author has hit on the exact essence of what made early Dungeons and Dragons great. The things he highlights in each tale is the exact reason I love each story. Gygax and Company had access to a rich and wonderful set of books that we are not lucky enough to have today.

Publishers don’t take risks like they used to. Only now with the renaissance of self publishing are we seeing the odd and eldritch return to print. This tome is vital in understanding the story element design choices that made D&D great. The disregard for convention, the raw wildness of the ideas.

Jeffro has collected the proverbial cherry from the top of each of these sundays and then encourages you to dig your spoon in deep.

The response to the announcement that I’ll be on Geek Gab again along with Razorfist has caused a stir:

Meanwhile, Brian Niemeier reports a new fear percolating in the vast reaches of the internet:


Stick around. We’re just getting warmed up here!

Heroism! Romance! Wonder!

The Pulp Revolution scene is flat out on fire right now…!

First up… those Sad Pooka guys have gone and memed the thing:

And if you happened to miss it, my Geek Gab appearance is the talk of the town:

Finally, JimFear138 is off the chaintop book blogger Rwale Nyanzi has released his take on the pulp ethos with Sword & Flower.

And I really should add… one of the more striking things about the old pulp stories is the prominent role that grappling plays in them. Tarzan, for instance, re-discovers the Full Nelson in one of his more exciting scenes of his debut novel. As awesome as that is, somehow it never quite made the transition into the tabletop games that were inspired by this stuff….

UNTIL NOW! Douglas Cole has finally pushed the state of the art forward on this longstanding problem in tabletop gaming. Check out his designer’s notes over at Castalia House for the full story!

Pulp Revolution Spinner Rack III

Something happened.

Those days when you’d go look for some science fiction and fantasy and struggle to find something good or different or old school… they’re over. Those days when you’d sift through a shelf of books always with the same dozen or so authors that are in all the big chain stores everywhere…? Those are gone too.

Between the hoopla surrounding the Sad Puppies campaigns, the debut of Cirsova magazine this year, and the proliferation of top notch book blogs in recent months, something of a critical mass has been reached. There are more authors turning up now than any of us can keep up with. And these are not the sort of people that would have risen to the top under the old regime. Far from it.

There is a wave coming. And it’s going to change everything. The authors that created the works below are the ones that are going to make it happen.

Pow Wow with the Mad Genius Peeps

A lot of water has gone under the bridge in the past three years. Not everyone has come to the same conclusions, as this post by Brad Torgersen over at Mad Genius Club illustrates.

Dig this exchange from the comments over at the clubhouse:

Jeffro: The problem with this analogy is that around 40% of the reading audience is ether underserved or not being served at all. When these people figure out what been done, that they have a choice… they walk away from the fake and watered down sff creators and they don’t come back.

The industry’s applecart is in the process of being upset. It doesn’t surprise me at all that they feel like a bunch of scrappy outsiders are busting in and shaking them down for their lunch money. Because that’s exactly what’s happening.

They wouldn’t have their position at all if they were able to conceive of another way. So yes… from their vantage point, the pie really is shrinking.

George Phillies: Jeffro, Which 40% did you have in mind, and why? I am not concerned if 40% is an exact number or a WAG.

Jeffro: There is a large number of people that thought “man, I really love me some science fiction and fantasy.” Over the past three decades or so, they dipped into the top tier magazines, said “nothing to see here”, and then went and played video games or tabletop rpgs instead of reading.

Forty percent is the number of people that the media narrative has declared to be irredeemable sexist racist homophobes. It’s no accident that the exceedingly moderate Sad Puppies were tarred with that brush. It also no accident that shows like Vikings, Flash, and Supergirl are completely unwatchable. They are vehicles for the exact same narrative you see in Time, on CNN, The New York Times, etc.

If you want undiluted heroism and romance, you pretty well have to go back to before 1940 and read a bunch of stuff that nobody is talking about. The stuff was synonymous with sff in the seventies but the sff encyclopaedias were subsequently rewritten to downplay, erase, or smear. The literary strain of sff exemplified in works like The Man in High Castle is essentially a repudiation of traditional Western ideals. Edgar Rice Burroughs and Lord Dunsany both are in the same camp as the author of Beowulf. The literary set is at war with that camp.

So yes… when ordinary people go looking for sff… they tend to think it doesn’t exist anymore. And they’re largely correct.

George Phillies: I am not clear what your problem is with Supergirl, which is one of the few TV shows that I watch, but thank you for your polite answer.

Jeffro: You know, I really didn’t want to go there. But I felt you deserved a straight answer to a direct question. Cheers.

Suburban Banshee: Don’t hold back! Tell us what you really think, Jeffro….

Ironically, Dunsany was pretty far out himself at the time he started writing; but he is certainly on the side of poetry and fiction as a binder, not a divider.

Jeffro: Dunsany is an interesting case as he defined fantasy for over half a century. His tales were more explicitly Christian than either Narnia or Middle Earth. Science fiction grandmasters like Poul Anderson and C. L. Moore worked in more or less the same spirit.

The living author whose work most resembles these classic authors…? John C. Wright. “The Parliament of Beasts and Birds” would have fit right in with Fifty-One Tales.

Neville Ross: jeffro, pray tell, what’s so wrong with both The Flash & Supergirl? Especially since both as as heroic as they’ve always been? The girl power thing’s been eased up this season, BTW, so that shouldn’t even be a factor anymore.

As for The Man In The High Castle, that novel’s a bulwark of SF-why all the hate? It’s just exploring an alternate history.

Jeffro: You just reduced this:

“The literary strain of sff exemplified in works like The Man in High Castle is essentially a repudiation of traditional Western ideals.”

To “hate.”

You know, I get that I look like I’m really out there to people, but you really need to up your game if you want to talk about this stuff.

Pulp Revolution: Not everybody gets it. Some people really don’t get it.