21st Century Pulp Revival

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It often seems nowadays that the only book young sci-fi fans regularly read is Facebook. Fortunately, a couple of up-and-coming publishers have recently discovered that such ultramodern social networking outlets offer great opportunities to pimp old-fashioned pulp adventures.

“Tools like Facebook and Twitter have made finding the type of entertainment you enjoy a lot easier,” says Erik Mona, publisher of Planet Stories, which reprints long-forgotten sci-fi and fantasy tales by authors like Robert E. Howard, Michael Moorcock, and Leigh Brackett. “Planet Stories has both a Facebook page and a Twitter feed (and a WordPress blog, for that matter), and I know that these ‘distractions’ have acted as ‘attractions’ for us, bringing in a new audience that is very receptive to the types of thrilling adventure stories we tend to publish.”

The Great Secret book cover

According to John Goodwin of Galaxy Press, the present economic crisis also makes now the perfect time to revisit classic yarns. Through their recently launched Golden Age Stories imprint, which is heavily promoted via Twitter and other online outlets, his company reprints pulp tales penned by L. Ron Hubbard.

“When these stories came out in the 1930s and 1940s, they were called escapist literature,” he notes. “Society was at its all-time low. There was the Depression, there was a war, and unemployment was at record levels. So it’s not dissimilar to what we have right now. Still, all of the stories are character-driven, so they’re not necessary pegged by a time. Each story is as current today as when it was written 60 or 70 years ago.”

Which is undoubtedly something to Tweet about.