Coffee is better with pulp.
In the early Twentieth Century, one of the most popular forms of escapism was the pulp magazine, so called because of the cheap “pulp” paper on which they were printed. The ethos of these magazines was “Quantity over quality” as their undernourished writers churned out fictional tales at a feverish pace for monthly or bi-weekly publication. For a quarter a pop, readers could escape the everyday drudge with fast-paced tales in such wide-ranging genres as Westerns, romance and boxing stories. Some of the most famous characters to emerge from the pulps into popular culture come from the science fiction and weird fantasy magazines: The Shadow, Conan the Barbarian, Buck Rogers and Cthulhu, just to name a few. The pulp magazine is a product of another time, but its timeless legacy demonstrates that when creative imagination is given free reign, bright stars will emerge that illuminate imaginative thought for generations to come.
So what’s the big idea?
Page of Pulp is a creative challenge to pound out a page of imaginative fiction for each day of the year—365 pages in total. The fiction is serialized, with each segment being grouped into separate but interconnected stories. This means that multiple stories in multiple fictional universes may be explored over the course of a year, but no new stories will be started until the last has come to a resolution.
My stories are inspired by the science fiction and weird fantasy genres. They are intended to be neither a modern update nor a derivative homage to the pulp magazines of yesteryear. Rather, inspired by the enthusiastic creativity and moody ambiance embodied in these publications, they will mix and match various elements of classic fantastic and speculative fiction in ways that I hope you will find exciting and novel.
In the process, I hope that other writers will be inspired to take on the Page of Pulp challenge. Why waste your time reading the news when you can spend it writing the future?
Who’s in charge here?
E. Thomas Thomas is a cleverly memorable pseudonym for the sometimes clever and rarely memorable author, Elliot Toman. Speaking. For years, I creatively challenged myself by publishing the daily comic strip Westward. Nowadays, I’m exploring the advantages of more long-form writing, including the opportunity to reimagine the complex and far-reaching story of Westward with a greater level of detail and cohesion.