Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now (#221) -- New Ground in New Pulp

Is it possible to break new ground in new pulp, and how would you go about it?

Dig, baby, dig!
While it's true that there are no new stories to tell (no new plots anyway), there are plenty of new combinations of characters and plots and writers that will make even old stuff we've seen before look and sound and feel new. I think the same thing applies to breaking new ground in the new pulp movement.

There is as much new ground to break as there are new writers to tell stories.

The trick (or tactic, if you prefer) will be in not just redoing the stories of the past and limiting ourselves to the definitions that come from the bookstores and archivists and collectors/lovers of classic pulp. If we only honor the old definitions, we'll only see the same old stories again and again. We will need to figure out ways to embrace both new characters and new time periods and new ways of telling stories.

Just a little deeper...
Mixed-up first-person action stories set today in an alternative present? Moving classic characters into new forms and into new settings? Pulps tales of horror, terror, fantasy, noir, hard-boiled, science fiction, science fact-ion, epic adventure, and any combination thereof? Stories of men, women, black, white, Asian, gay, straight, genderless, or raceless protagonists? Seemingly structureless stories of avant-garde form or mixing various literary styles and points of view within a single narrative? Stories that have only the face-paced literary style of old pulps in common with the classic but have characters who fail to succeed in saving the day, even fail repeatedly? Sure. Why not?

Why not? The possibilities are endless. Only we ourselves can put up the box and shove ourselves inside it.