I saw this a little while ago and grimaced.
At the moment, people are just writing stuff, fast and loose, that other people can read and enjoy. These writers might even revel in the idea of being called ‘New Pulp’ but pretty soon it will be a whole thing. You know, one of those things where people tell you what something is without letting you make up your mind for yourself. You know… a thing.
It rapidly moves from being descriptive “wow look at what these guys are writing” to prescriptive “you can’t write sentences like that, that’s not new-pulp enough”.
To which the only rational answer is, “sod off”.
Writers won’t be doing this, because writers like to experiment and play (though some might like to be the big fish in a little pond and will grasp this newly defined genre with a grateful death-grip — but they won’t be the good ones. They’ll be the one-good-novel-on-infinite-repeat ones). The general readers won’t be doing this, because readers just want to read good stories well told. No, the fans-from-hell will be doing this. The ones that populate every genre forum they can find trying to define an art-form along strict illogical lines.
So what’s the problem? Just ignore the muppets, right?
I wish it was that simple, because what happens is that some journalists and some (the ones that don’t think for themselves …you know, most of them) literary critics, hear of this thing, this new thing, and they leap on it. It saves them having to actually read stuff that wasn’t written by some dead middle-class person before the end of the Boer War. You know the sort, I call them ‘Perkinses‘.
And then this definition becomes a sneer, a twisted lip, a guilty secret to hide under plain white wrappers.
And then novice writers think this is how you write and churn out tones of derivative crap that buries the good stuff.
And then readers move on to the next big thing, and miss the gems for half-a-century. Only discovering them when the author is dead and buried, which is no flaming use to anyone.
Oh I know, ‘Ruddy Dreadfuls’ yeah, that’s the next wave, look out for the ‘Ruddy Dreadful’ wave. It’s acoming. Forget New Pulp, that’s so last month, jump on the ‘Ruddy Dreadful’ bandwagon.
“Come on spring-heel, we have a reefer-mad dragon to save.”
PK’s Caveats: Caveat 1: I may not know what I’m blathering about. Caveat 2: There are no rules about writing, there are just things you can get terribly wrong. Caveat 3: If people apply the words never or always to storytelling techniques, ignore them.
First posted to ‘of Altered States’: http://www.ofalteredstates.com/blog/