Tag: science fiction convention

Pulp Fiction Fridays with Guest, Teel James Glenn

Trey from Cybil Lewis Series (c) Laura Givens
Trey from Cybil Lewis Series (c) Laura Givens

Each Friday is Pulp Fiction Friday. Authors will contribute a post discussing the writing of pulp, mystery, spies, and whodunits in the realms of science fiction and speculative stories. Welcome to Teel James Glenn to Pulp Reports for some Q&A!


What is pulp? What makes it different from other genres?

My favorite quote to describe the pulp style of writing is from Algys Budrys who boiled it down to “a clear cut solution to a sentimental problem.” But I think it can be whittled down even further to that to one word: Passion!

Or perhaps breathtaking. Or exciting.

No pulp writer ever sold a story that bored. Just wouldn’t happen and that is the credo I follow in scribing the adventures I do. Action. I was a fan of it both on screen (old serials were a first love that got me into 40 years of stunt/fight choreography work), in comics (Marvel, DC and all Gold Key comic were how I literally learned to read!), and lastly pulp books (I was fortunate that, Tarzan, Conan and the Doc Savage reprints came out at just the right time for me to absorb them, often reading two books a day!).

So called ‘literary’ fiction is often contemptuous of actual action/conflict-as if living instead of thinking about living was more important.
Why do you write pulp? What do you enjoy about it? Love about it?

I write to let my mind soar- to, I hope, change the world one sentence at a time. I think of it as the difference between a 2D movie and a 3D film- somehow it is more involving and reaches out more directly to

the reader, and therefore, as a writer, I feel as if I am connecting more solidly with my readers.
Who inspired you to write?

It is hard to say which writer was the one who truly ‘sparked’ my mind to try my own hand it. Early on I read Andre Norton books, Doc Savage books and R.E. Howard’s Conan tales. I discovered pulp- both the idea of it historically and other actual series- later in high school, by the time I was already beginning to write tales.

What’s next in terms of pulp fiction? Where does the genre go from here?

I think that genre is being accepted as simply good writing now. Many of the so-called ‘classic’ writers actually were the pulp writers of their day- Shakespeare (remember only sonnets were considered literature in his day), Dickens, Dumas, Bradbury, Hammett, etc. are now all required reading. I think Burroughs, Dent, Howard and Spillane will receive that kind of respect in the future.

Who is your favorite pulp character? Why?

It’s a toss up between Doc Savage, Tarzan and Conan. In all three they were self ‘acutualizing’ individuals who lived by their own code of justice and were uncompromising when it came to honor. Most of my own creations- Dr. Shadows, Moxie Donovan, Lord Shoutte, Ku’zn and Athelstan Grey all have a very strong code of honor and follow it regardless of personal risk.

Find out more about Teel James Gunn here:

Facebook- Teel James Glenn
Website-Theurbanswashbuckler.com

Pulp Fiction Fridays with Guest, Sean Taylor

Trey from Cybil Lewis Series (c) Laura Givens
Trey from Cybil Lewis Series (c) Laura Givens

Each Friday is Pulp Fiction Friday. Authors will contribute a post discussing the writing of pulp, mystery, spies, and whodunits in the realms of science fiction and speculative stories. Welcome to Sean Taylor to Pulp Reports for some Q&A!


What is pulp? What makes it different from other genres?

Pulp is about writer’s shorthand. It’s a way of bypassing the intellect and going straight to the gut. It’s about impact, not thought. It’s about action and characterization more than it is about symbols and deeper meanings. That’s not to say that pulp doesn’t have symbolism and deeper meaning and thought and intellect. It just doesn’t wear it on its shoulders like a club membership patch. Pulp hides it hoity-toity in its back pocket and decides to speak to the common man and woman instead.

Why do you write pulp? What do you enjoy about it? Love about it?

At the heart of it, I like to tell stories about people doing things. Pulp is a logical extension of that for me. It takes all the stuff I learned from reading Hemingway as a literary major in college and smashes it up with all the sci-fi and adventure reading I did as a kid. Because of my background, I probably approach even pulp with a broader literary sensibility, but I don’t see the two as mutually exclusive. Writing pulp just gets me closer to the reader ultimately, and as a writer, that’s where I love to be.

Who inspired you to write?

Writers who have influenced and inspired me to write are numerous and varied, ranging from the folks like C. Lewis to Shūsaku Endō to Annie Dillard, but the one’s I’ve learned the most from would be Hemingway, Flannery O’Connor, Raymond Chandler, Ray Bradbury, and H. Rider Haggard.

As for who really and truly inspires me, it would have to be my wife Lisa. She has always believed in me, and even convinced me to write early on, championing me into my first few writers awards for fiction at the college level (I was a non-traditional student when I graduated.) Between her support and my own ego—that demands I keep going in order to justify it—I have no choice but to keep creating and telling stories.

What’s next in terms of pulp fiction? Where does the genre go from here?

I think for starters the genre has outgrown being simply a genre. I think pulp is a style of writing, a way of thinking about storytelling, and that because of that, it has already infiltrated almost other genre already. Where would summer thrillers be without pulp storytelling? Dead in the water. And your favorite sci-fi stories? Same fate. The pulp sensibility to cut through the 30 pages of describing the beautiful mountains, and the 16 paragraphs of how warm his hand felt on her shoulder… that way of thinking about stories has gone viral inside other stories to the point that it no longer can be constrained by the term genre.

Who is your favorite pulp character? Why?

I’m going to have to answer this one two ways. My favorite classic pulp character is probably the Golden Amazon or Armless O’Neil. And boy, are those two vastly different characters. What attracts me to the Golden Amazon is that she’s in a position to do the right thing for the whole world, whether people like it or not. She has to deal with issues of dictatorship and wondering is a benevolent dictator is just as bad as an evil one. As for O’Neil, he’s a quintessential grumpy ol’ drunk with a solid hook for the bad guys who get in his way. He’s the classic white man lost in another culture without all that Tarzan BS to deal with.

As for my favorite newer pulp character, I’d have to go with ego here and say it’s Rick Ruby, the private dick Bobby Nash and I created for The Ruby Files. Rick’s a throwback in a lot of ways, but he’s also a way of dealing with some current issues in an older setting. He’s also one of the most complicated “heroes” I’ve every had a hand in creating because he’s not out to be a hero as much as to get the job done and get paid and get back to taking care of the people he made his family.

Find out more about Sean Taylor here:

a. Twitter-/seanhtaylor

b. Facebook-/seanhtaylor

c. Instagram-/seanhtaylor

d. Website-www.taylorverse.com and seanhtaylor.blogspot.com

e. Tumblr-https://www.tumblr.com/blog/seanhtaylor

Pulp Fiction Fridays with Guest, Paul Bishop

Trey from Cybil Lewis Series (c) Laura Givens
Trey from Cybil Lewis Series (c) Laura Givens

Each Friday in November will be Pulp Fiction Friday. Authors will contribute a post discussing the writing of pulp, mystery, spies, and whodunits in the realms of science fiction and speculative stories. Welcome to Paul Bishop to Pulp Reports!


RIPPING YARNS: PULP AND THE THRILLER

 by PAUL BISHOP

Far too much of today’s fiction output is bloated filler designed to turn books into 700 page doorstops under the false assumption more is better. If you’re like me, you don’t have the time or patience to plow through 700 pages to read a story better served in 300 pages – or less.

The writers who worked on the pulp magazines from back in the day understood their audience wanted stripped down yarns filled with action, twists and turns. Thrillers actually had to thrill, and the pulp style was the way to guarantee reader satisfaction.

PULP - FELONY FISTS 2Hero pulps from the ‘30s and ‘40s, such as The Shadow, Doc Savage, and The Avenger, pull major collector’s prices today. To a lesser extent so do the weird menace and aviation pulps. Western pulps can still be had for bargain prices as can many of the romance and sports pulps.

I’ve always been partial to the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat presented in the sports pulps. One of the best of the sports pulps, Fight Stories magazine, now demands the same high collector’s prices as the popular hero pulps. Like the contents of Sports Stories magazine, the tales in Fight Stories were a cut above the yarns in the multitude of other sports pulps. The most collectible issues of Fight Stories contain the two-fisted tales of Sailor Steve Costigan written by the creator of Conan, Robert E. Howard.

Howard’s boxing tales, along with many others from Fight Stories, are among my pulp SWAMP PAPER 2favorites. They have long held sway in my imagination, yet until recently, there was no modern home for their novelette length. However, the advent of e-publishing has not only provided a viable publishing platform for the 25,000 word novelette, but also a way to reach specific niche audiences still hungry for these types of tales.

The Fight Card series, created by myself and prolific writer Mel Odom, is inspired by the boxing tales from the best of the sports pulps. Told in the straightforward, hard-driving, two-fisted pulp style, Fight Card yarns written by some of today’s best pulpsters – Eric Beetner, Terrence McCauley, David Foster, Heath Lowrance, and many more – Fight Card are designed to be read in one or two sittings, while still providing major bang and satisfaction for a reader’s dollars.

LIEPublished in e-books under the unifying pseudonym Jack Tunney, and in paperback by the individual author’s name, the first two Fight Card books, Felony Fists (written by myself) and Cutman (written by Mel Odom) debuted in late 2011. It is now the middle of 2015, and Fight Card has recently published the 45th book in the series.  Several authors – Kevin Michaels, David Foster, and Eric Beetner – have written multiple entries in the series. I also had a blast writing two books in the series, Felony Fists and its sequel Swamp Walloper, featuring 1950’s LAPD detective turned pro-fighter Patrick Felony Flynn.

When I began to write my latest novel – the police procedural Lie Catchers featuring top LAPD interrogators Ray Pagan and Calamity Jane Randall – I applied several of the tenets of pulp to keep the story rolling along and filled with tension.

Pulp is more than just a style of storytelling bent to the needs of ancient, moldering, disparaged, cheap monthly magazines better known for their controversial, lurid, and colorful covers. It is a living, vibrant, modern alternative to the turgid state of modern genres providing thrillers that actually thrill.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Novelist, screenwriter, and television personality, Paul Bishop spent 35 years with the Los Angeles Police Department where he was twice honored as Detective of the Year.  He continues to work privately as an interrogation and deception expert. His fifteen novels include five in his LAPD Homicide Detective Fey Croaker series. His latest novel, Lie Catchers begins a new series featuring top LAPD interrogators Ray Pagan and Calamity Jane Randall. * WEBSITE * TWITTER * FACEBOOK * AMAZON *