Friday, June 24, 2011

Pulp Fever

It’s a recurring disease that hits me every summer. Suddenly, the thought of reading “legitimate” fiction is repulsive. I need grotesque and heinous villains, larger than life heroes, mayhem and hot lead.

I have no choice. I have to read pulp fiction.

Over the next couple of months I’ll read a few escapades of Doc Savage, several Spider thrillers, a couple of Phantom Detectives, A G-8 WWI adventure, maybe an Avenger or a Secret Agent X or Captain Future, supplemented with a couple of Candid Camera Kid tales and a Suicide Squad adventure.

When summer rolls around pulp becomes my crack.

I also have to write pulp fiction.

Yes, I love reading and writing horror, but the 12-year-old that still lives inside me occasionally must have his way. And he wants more pulp from my keyboard.

I hope to write a big chunk of Donovan Pike and The City of the Gods in the next few weeks.

I also have two other big pulp projects in the work, one set in the anything-can-happen blood and thunder 1930s and the other in World War 2.

I’m not sure yet where they’ll show up. Perhaps over at Pulp Nocturne, or maybe I’ll self-publish. Take it from me, nobody is getting rich from pulp fiction. At least not the writers. You write it because you have to.

By the way, new pulp fiction is becoming quite the cottage industry. There’s some good stuff being published by the next generation of pulp writers. At the same time, some of the stuff is simply awful. But that’s the way of most things.

(Quick aside: the fandom that has sprung up over the new pulp fiction is a little schizophrenic. On one hand it’s great to see a lot of enthusiasm over something I’ve loved since I was 9 years old. At the same time, the territorial fiefdom of fandom can be a little confusing. A few years ago I was invited to join a blog for pulp writers. This was about the time that a publisher (not associated with the members of the blog) was beginning a series of pulp facsimile reprints of Doc Savage and Shadow novels. I made a post about the topic on said blog, only to see the post deleted because I had violated the unstated rule of talking about a pulp project that wasn’t originated by a blog member. Later, I was asked to leave the blog because I wasn’t posting enough.

The other day I dropped in on the blog and discovered a post heralding the new series of original Doc Savage novels.

The unstated rules have apparently been rewritten.)

Anyway, the pulp fever rages and Tylenol can’t touch it. Time to dig through the boxes of moldering paper. There’s a dirigible and a tommy gun waiting for me.

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