A few thoughts on the subject of Pulp Revival.
First, Dominika Lein’s “Still Pulp Rev”.
Then Jon Mollison’s “A Newcomer’s View Of Pulp Rev”, which a commentary on Lein’s piece.
Then The Mixed GM’s “Support Your ‘Local’ Content Creators”, which is commentary on both of the above, plus some Twitter conversations by Cirsova.
I think that Pulp Rev is a work in progress and that it’s too early to really comment on what form the movement will take. In fact, it is the people who are currently involved in the movement who will shape its final form. I’m seeing a new literary genre taking shape in a handful of blogs and discussion forums and it’s kind of thrilling. Being a part of that process is pretty amazing–it’s not an opportunity that comes around every day.
However, I do think that I can safely say that the movement has gotten some momentum and is clearly going somewhere. The audience is there, the talent is there, the technology for hooking up the first and the second is in place.
My crystal ball predictions are as follows:
- Pulp Rev will continue to be driven by indies. Not necessarily entirely self-published, but a combination of self-published and small press. While I expect that large traditional publishers will eventually begin to market works using Pulp Rev language, the movement as a whole is based on the freedom to experiment that independent publishing affords.
- Pulp Rev will make use of the short fiction format for innovation. The technological earthquake that continues to shake up the fiction publishing market has created as many opportunities as it has destroyed. I don’t know exactly how short fiction will be published ten years from now–or even next year–but I am convinced that the market is there and that people who are smarter than I am will work the bugs out of the distribution channels.
- Pulp Rev will splinter into multiple subgenres, and that’s a good thing. I am pushing for this myself, in my own way. The “Eldritch Fantasy” subgenre is one that I am particularly interested in promoting, but I also feel that there is definite Pulp Rev style of crime thriller and modern fantasy that will no doubt give rise to their own genre names in time.
- The movement as a whole will prosper, but that doesn’t mean that everyone associated with it will be successful. That’s just the nature of the business. Right now we have a self-selected group that is motivated by a love of the work more than financial returns. Some of the writers will find a greater audience for their unique styles. How that will impact the movement as a whole is yet to be seen, but I hope that we will be able to celebrate the successes among us without too much bitterness.
- As the movement takes off new authors will be drawn into it. Again, this is a good thing. I am not concerned about writers jumping on the bandwagon or seeking to cash in on Pulp Rev because I don’t think it matters why someone creates, if the end product is good and because I believe in the wisdom of the marketplace. Readers will separate the genuine article from the fakes.
- Pulp Rev will revive other genres. Already I’m seeing Pulp Rev inspiring Steampunk authors, and there seems to be interest from Dark Fantasy and Grindhouse Horror authors as well. This is a literary movement that can’t be confined to a single genre, and I think the heroic sensibilities of Pulp Rev will find root in all sorts of unlikely places.
These are just some random thoughts, and I thought I’d get them down. I could be completely wrong about all this.
It’ll be interesting to see, in any event.