There is a question that I have probably spent far more time pondering than I should.
Am I Pulp Revival writer?
On the one hand, I can point to “A Hill Of Stars”, which is very much a Pulp Revival story. It appeared in the first issue of Cirsova magazine, and the story was a deliberate homage to H P Lovecraft and E R Burroughs. I set the story in an alternate Permian Era Earth which is inhabited by both humans and the Elder Races of Lovecraft. That story has inspired other writers to set stories in what we are calling “The Eldritch Earth”.
I have another story set in that world, “In The Gloaming O My Darling”, which I wrote specifically for Cirsova. That one is a little less adventure and more horror, but I think it fits easily into the Pulp Revival genre.
I have some other stories that I think qualify–“We Pass From View”, for example, in the Sins Of The Past anthology, is a horror story told as an interview with a dying B-movie director and is a deliberate pastiche of the Weird Tales style. And then there is “The Silk Of Yesterday’s Gowns” which was inspired (in part) by an on-line discussion of “The Great God Pan”. (And which I am still trying to find a home for–it’s kind of brutal.)
I’m much less sure about my novels, however. The Book Of Lost Doors series drew on a lot of different sources for inspiration, and most of those sources are New Wave or later. Leaving that aside, however, is the spirit of my novels consistent with the Pulp Revival aesthetic?
The answer to that, of course, lies in the definition of Pulp Revival. And that, I believe, is still a very unfixed thing. There are some characteristics that everyone who uses the term (and it seems to be gaining ground day by day) seems to agree on: action-oriented storytelling, protagonists with a clear moral compass, an element of romance in both the classical sense of decisive action as well as the modern sense of interpersonal passion, and an unapologetic view of violence as the proper tool for overcoming evil.
The genre (or subgenre, or style, or school) is still in a state of flux, however. Which means, I suppose, that it is going to be the writers and fans of Pulp Revival who get to define how the term is defined. That’s rather an uncomfortable state of affairs for me, since it means that I probably could, with some effort, help to shape a style of literature.
Who wants that kind of responsibility?