Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th; Pulp Modern Update

Happy 4th of July.  Let's remember the whole purpose of this experiment called the U.S.A was to form "a more perfect union."  That means, to me, a country where everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, has an equal chance at improving his or her life.

Now, on to the more 'important' stuff:

As I have stated, I'm getting lots of crime submissions for Pulp Modern.  I've gotten a fair number of westerns as well.  The science fiction, horror, and adventure/fantasy submissions have been few and not many have made the first cut. 

I think I am picky when it comes to science fiction and adventure because I don't read too much in those genres.  In order to help any writers interested in submitting, let me offer some hints as to what I like when I do read science ficiton-- I'm a fan of Phil K. Dick.  If you send me a story that messes with reality, I'll probably be interested.  I think the most important book (of any genre) of the last century was 1984 and the most important book of the century before that was Frankenstein.  I guess what I'm getting at is that sociological science fiction stands a much better chance.  Since the journal is called Pulp Modern, however, I would not mind seeing some technical science fiction provided THE WRITING IS GOOD.

Ah, time for me to digress:  A lot of genre writers feel, as Stephen King does, that story is the most important thing.  I even wrote a review of Ed Grainger's western collection in which I echoed that sentiment.  It's true, story is important.  But if the writing isn't very good to begin with, it's going to be difficult to get into the story.  Science fiction, to me, has always suffered a problem where the writing was concerned.  I'm not going to mention names, but some very popular science fiction authors turn me off because, while their ideas are great, they have no writing style to speak of.

So, PLEASE send me some science fiction that is written in a readable style.


What is horror?  Horror is actually my favorite genre because when it's done properly, it evokes the purest, most primal emotions.  I remember when I was a small child and my father read "The Tell-Tale Heart" to me just before I went to sleep.  Well, I don't need to tell you that I didn't go to sleep.  Everything about Poe's story fascinated me.  I remember seeing an old Hammer film, Frankenstein Created Woman, on television and not being able to sleep for several nights.  I remember the first time I saw Halloween.  I couldn't sleep in a room by myself for weeks.  That's what I'm looking for from the horror submissions-- stories that will crawl inside the mind and make the reader cold with fear.  I don't write a lot of horror myself because I know how difficult it is.  If I'm not scared while I'm writing the story, how can I expect the reader to be scared?

Adventure/Fantasy-- Just send me what you got.  I've gotten the least amount of submissions in this catagory.  Anything pirates, Johnny Quest, even James Bond-like, falls into this category.  If you're writing fantasy, make it good because that's another genre I'm very critical of if the writing doesn't jump off the page.

I know I sound like a pompous jerk making all these demands but keep in mind that I want (and any writer involved should feel the same) this to be the best goddamn journal EVER.  There is a strong group of writers on the Internet that I want the world to know about and the only way to make that happen is to make sure we get the best stories out there so people who don't normally read online fiction take notice.


  1. There's poor writing in every genre, but I'm totally with you on sci-fi. I've only read one Asimov's books, but, man, the writing was so bad it was hard to get through.

    Dick is one of my all-time favorites. His short stories are so wildly imaginative and go straight in the most disturbing directions.

  2. Though I should add that I recently read a Best of the Year sci-fi collection and the writing was universally excellent.

  3. I should hope the Best of collection had good writing in it! I've never been able to finish an Asimov book myself. His ideas were fascinating, though.

  4. Wow, I just watched Frankenstein Created Woman for the first time since I was a kid. Not sure why the hell I thought that movie was so scary!