Sunday, March 11, 2012

[Link] The Golden Age of Pulp Fiction & the New Pulp Movement

The influence and inspiration of the Golden Age of Fiction of the 1930s and 1940s, where literary giants like Edgar Rice Burroughs, Walter B. Gibson and L. Ron Hubbard headlined the popular pulp fiction magazines of the day can still be felt today. While we have movie franchises like Indiana Jones, and Disney bringing John Carter to life on the silver screen, we also have a new literary movement, called “new Pulp Fiction” which is rapidly garnering fame.

To give us the story behind New Pulp Fiction and what the future holds for it, The Golden Gazette News recently interviewed Tommy Hancock, who in addition to being the publisher for Pro Se Productions, is a “new Pulp” writer himself and an editor at Moonstone books.

GGN: Please briefly describe for our readers what “new Pulp” is and how it is influenced by the pulp fiction from 1930s and 1940s.

TH: The answer to the first part of this question can get complicated. Basically any story that is clearly based on characters or archetypes made popular or created within the Pulps during their heyday or written plainly the style of the classic stories can be considered new Pulp.   There’s a growing number of writers and publishers, however, who discuss and debate this topic on a fairly regular basis.  Some of them, myself included, have even united under a banner of sorts—The New Pulp Movement.  Many of us that promote New Pulp look at New Pulp as essentially being plot focused storytelling with rich, clearly defined characters and fast pacing.  That’s a short answer and of course there are always exceptions, but that’s the general thumbnail description I use.

The second part of the question is quite easy to answer.  Not only is Pulp written today influenced by the legendary stories, characters, and Pulp creators of the early 20th Century, a lot of it is inspired, either directly or indirectly by that wealth of wonderful, fantastic fiction produced in that period.  Many of the modern artists and writers trying their hand at Pulp today grew up reading the adventures of Doc Savage, being haunted at night by Lovecraft’s nightmares, finding their own barbarian courage thanks to Robert E. Howard and Conan, and so much more.  As we got older, we discovered the world beyond the characters and found how fascinating the people who wrote the stories and the history of Pulp itself was.  All of that tangled together has given the world today a whole crop of creators who recognize the roots of what they now aspire to do.  Not only are writers today writing classic characters like Doc Savage and The Spider and breathing new life into them, many creators are bringing original creations into existence, but many of these new heroes and villains have their feet planted firmly in the inspirations Classic Pulp has provided.

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