Ever since Quentin Tarantino's film, just about everyone is familiar with the term "pulp fiction." But do you know where he got that title?
Unlike highbrow literature from the 19th and 20th Century, pulp fiction was written entertainment for the regular guy, printed on the cheap paper from which it got its name.
Writers in pulp fiction gave the world escape from the dreary and mundane with heroes like Conan, Tarzan, Sam Spade and Buck Rogers. Over time, the pulps evolved into the action-adventure paperbacks of the 1960s-80s, as documented in Jack Badelaire's first issue of Hatchet Force. Characters like the Executioner, Nick Carter and Remo Williams inspired legions of imitators, as well as blazing a trail for other "men's fiction" authors to tittilate us with action adventure series set in WWII, the Wild West, the Banana Wars or outer space. Some of it was bad. Some of it was good. Most of it was great fun, giving us something to chuckle or smile about (however guiltily) for far longer than a feature-length film could entertain us.
Unfortunately, "men's fiction" had all but disappeared by the 1990s. Many avid readers quit visiting the book store over the succeeding years, since there were fewer and fewer books that appealed to them. Sure, some of the gutsy, testosterone-charged titles could still be found at used book stores, or thanks to online sellers, but either venue required hours of browsing to find the desired book among the multitudes of romances, chick-lit, horror and political or techno-"thrillers."
The good news is, there are developments coalescing to benefit those who enjoy reading pulp or pulpesque fiction. One such development is a renewed interest in the genre, represented in several blogs and Facebook pages/groups dedicated to the subject matter. Another promising trend is some great new fiction by talented authors inspired by the classics--some of which is arguably even better written than the inspirational source material.
Another significant victory for the genre is the opening of Virtual Pulp Press.
Unlike other online bookstores, Virtual Pulp Press is dedicated to a certain flavor of entertainment, and is focused on that whether the format is book or e-book; non-fiction, fiction, or film.
In days to come, I'll be working on making Virtual Pulp Press even better. For right now, I think it's pretty cool and worth all the work I put into it. I hope you will check it out, and tell somebody about it.