Fear of a Pulp Planet

Swinging in.

Bloggers Jeffro Johnson — whose Appendix N book I spotlighted here — and Jon Mollison, both of whom I’m acquainted with online, have made much of the “Pulp Revolution,” a nascent literary movement intended to turn modern sci-fi and fantasy away from a perceived focus on deconstruction and embrace its heritage as a literature of the heroic and wondrous. It also seeks to bring the works of long ignored pulp authors back into the limelight. Through my Appendix N review series, I have played a small role in this grand project, but beyond seeing high Amazon sales of certain books by Pulp Revolution-affiliated authors like Brian Niemeier and the aforementioned Jeffro, I didn’t think our efforts would reach wider attention.

Until now.

An article in the Guardian, a widely read British left-wing newspaper, notes the rise of the Right Wing in the US publishing industry. Most of the industry leans left, but the Pulp Revolution types — myself included — are more right-wing, so the Guardian noting a right-wing impact on publishing is quite important indeed.

Specifically mentioned are Larry Correia and Brad Torgersen, two highly successful right-leaning authors:

Where the cool individualism of Ayn Rand and Christian writers such as CS Lewis once reigned in science fiction and fantasy, brasher, pulpier works by rightwing writers such as John Ringo, Brad R Torgersen and Larry Correia are now finding favour. United by their shared distaste for what they regard as the mainstream’s crippling obeisance to political correctness, as well as their adeptness at internet promotion, these younger authors are vocal about feeling disenfranchised with the genre: Correia himself started the Sad Puppies movement, to tackle what he perceived as a liberal bias in sci-fi writing, and Torgersen continued it. As the latter complained: “Science fiction isn’t dangerous any more. It’s been pasteurised and homogenised … The formerly disenfranchised have … cast out everyone who does not flatter a given set of progressively-couched orthodoxies.”

The latest instalment of Correia and Ringo’s Monster Hunter Memoirs series features “50-foot bipedal crocodiles” with “more monsters popping up than crawfish at a fais-do-do!” So they’re not always overtly political. But their appeal utilises the same flash-bang delivery and emotive narratives as today’s rightwing politicians – the image of the red-blooded hero, battling dark and alien evil.

The article goes on to note that a continued right-wing presence can impact the culture, since the modern breed of right-leaning authors goes more for emotional impact than dry recitation of policy statements.

While the “Pulp Revolution” is not mentioned or even alluded to, it does note the “pulpy” nature of Correia and Torgersen’s work, pointing out that such a thing can indeed draw a decent-sized audience. In a way, this vindicates all the work done on Appendix N and shows that with steady effort, the Pulp Revolution can scale mountains. Between this article and Jeffro’s brisk sales, I think we’re in for a good year.

We only have to keep up the momentum and press onward.

Oh, and here’s Sword & Flower, my little contribution to the Pulp Revolution.

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2 Responses to Fear of a Pulp Planet

  1. Mary says:

    “while the left, diverse and fractious, reads across a larger group of authors, conservatives tend to focus on a few big names”

    Gosh, golly, gee, it couldn’t be because publishing churns out more leftist tomes, giving them more choice?

    • Rawle Nyanzi says:

      I agree — lefties simply have far more choices, since their assumptions are the default in the traditional publishing industry.

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