Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Three for Three!

What's Three for Three?

We've had book bombs before in Pulp and Puppydom, but there are other ways to help out your favorite authors.  Jon Mollison over at Seagull Rising explains how:
One of the easiest, cheapest and fastest ways to show your support for an author is to write an Amazon review. The algorithms that operate in the substrate of that website use the reviews a book has to determine how strongly it sells that book to random shoppers. As a result, even a few reviews helps push the sales of a book, and push it up in the rankings. The best part is that reviews are permanent fixtures, so they continue to operate, whereas sales represent a short term bump. 
To that end, I'm calling for a review bomb. Here's how it works: On March 3, write three sentences to describe three books. 
That's it. 
Choose three titles off the list of books you've read. Spread the word, boost the signal for your favorite authors, particularly the smaller independent authors and those who are Pulp Revolution friendly. 
It sounds simple, but it will have a big impact. So spread the word: Three for three on 3/3.
On March 3 (3/3), help your favorite writers out. Write three sentence-long Amazon reviews for three books. Your choice.

Edgar Rice Burroughs: Entertainment is Fiction's Purpose

We live in an age where the proper role of science fiction and fantasy, according to the publishers and critics, is propaganda. Where the color of an author's skin and who is playing with her genitals at night is more important that the quality of the work. Where each new day, another group of people issue their own version of the fourteen words, trying to ensure the future and existence of white people, black people, gays, STEM majors, etc.. in science fiction, fandom, and even the greater society as a whole. The audience must learn, must be taught, must embrace whatever virtue is being hawked from the shelves this week. So many words are spent on what the audience ought to read, without a thought on what the audience wants to read.

So the audience, as usual, walks away, seeking their diversions elsewhere.

Recently, Sad Puppies became a voice crying in the wilderness, "Where the hell is the fun?" And, like the arrival of any prophet, the stones flew.

This is not new. Back in his prime, Harlan Ellison had to remind the authors of his own day that before one could educate, they first had to entertain. And for those who treat politics like football, Uncle Harlan is on the other side of the aisle from your typical Puppy.

Science fiction and fantasy have had to repeatedly learn over and over again Ellison's lesson. The genres have only survived the repeated downturns by embracing adventure and entertainment instead of the propagandist's scolding. But the lesson never sticks, so every ten years or so, the field must learn it again.

Unfortunately, this mulish tendency to lecture from the paperback has its roots in the birth of modern science fiction. Whether it was Gernsback shilling for science education, Campbell for technological progress, or Pohl for social progress, science fiction was split off from the rest of fiction by people who wanted it to server some greater good. But even back then, there were giants championing the cause for the reader.

In the course of giving advice to would-be authors, Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote in Writer's Digest in 1930:
Except for purposes of entertainment, I consider fiction, like drama an absolute unessential. I would not look to any fiction writer, living or dead, for guidance upon any subject, and, therefore, if he does not entertain, he is a total loss. 
Every possible advantageous function of fiction may be found in history or biography, but for pure entertainment and mental relaxation nothing can take the place of fiction and drama, with the advantages all on the side of fiction since it may be had economically and in comfort at home. 
The man who takes himself and his work too seriously is certain to attempt something for which he is not fitted, with the result that he soon loses whatever following he may have created, or if he is a beginner, he never achieves any such following. 
In fiction the reader has a right to expect entertainment and relaxation. If obscenities entertain him he can always find fiction that will fulfill his requirements. If he wishes to be frightened or thrilled or soothed, he will find writers for his every mood, but you may rest assured that he does not wish to be instructed. He does not wish to have to think, and as fully ninety per cent of the people in the world are not equipped with anything wherewith to think intelligently, the fiction writer who wishes to be a success should leave teaching to qualified teachers and attend strictly to his business of entertaining.
If this article leaves any thought with you, I hope it is that the profession of fiction writing should be carried on upon a high plane of business integrity and professional ethics, without any vain and silly illusions as to the importance of fiction outside of the sphere of entertainment.
He who has an ear, let him hear...

Pulp Radio Wednesday: The Green Hornet - The Unexpected Meeting

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Johnny Fox: The Fall of #GamerGate & Sad Puppies

QuQu, Dan Wolfgang, and JimFear138 talk for hours on the similarities between Gamergate, Sad Puppies, and the Pulp Revolution. Pulp fans should pay attention to the last third of the podcast.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Geek Gab: A Conversation with John C. Wright, Razorfist, and Jeffro Johnson

As I owe both the Puppy of the Month Club and Castalia House a number of articles this week, posting here will be more Instapundit-style until the weekend.  Don't worry, I am working on a few ideas on New Wave, Campbelline vs. Futurian movements, and continued exploration of the trope described in this post. Unfortunately, the ideas need a little more time in the oven on top of time being a bit of a scarce resource this week. Fortunately, this weekend was a treasure trove of pulp and sci-fi conversation.

First on the list is Geek Gab's special episode with John C. Wright, Jeffro Johnson, and Razorfist as they talk pulps. I hope that each guest can return soon.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Vote In the Planetary Awards!

The Planetary Awards are now open for voting:

Vote for the best stories of 2016

We’re expanding the voting pool for the awards this year, so read this entire post to find out if YOU are eligible to vote.
But first, here are the 2016 stories nominated by book bloggers across the internet:
Short Stories / Novellas
“Athan and the Priestess” by Schuyler Hernstrom, found in Thune’s Vision
Awakening” by Susan Kaye Quinn
“Edge” by Russell Newquist, found in Between the Wall and the Fire
“The Gift of the Ob-Men” by Schuyler Hernstrom, found in Cirsova #1
“The Glass Flower” by George RR Martin, found in Volume 2 of Dreamsongs  [DISQUALIFIED]
“Images of the Goddess”by Schuyler Hernstrom, found in Cirsova #2
Paper Cut by Aeryn Rudel, found in Issue 1 of Red Sun Magazine
“Purytans” by Brad Torgersen, found in the July-August issue of Analog Magazine
Arkwright by Allen Steele
Babylon’s Ashes by James SA Corey
The Girl with Ghost Eyes by MH Boroson [DISQUALIFIED]
Hel’s Bet by Doug Sharp
The Invisible City by Brian K Lowe [DISQUALIFIED]
Memories of Ash by Intisar Khanani
The Secret Kings by Brian Niemeier
Swan Knight’s Son by John C Wright
How to vote:
If you were part of the nominating process, you don’t need to cast a vote. We will assume that you want to vote for your nominee(s). If you want to change your vote, or cast a vote in a category where you didn’t nominate, then post your new vote in the comments section below.
If you were NOT part of the nominating process, put your vote on your blog, podcast, or youtube channel.  Then, leave a comment on this page, so we know to count your vote. You get one vote for best short story and one for best novel, but you don’t have to use both votes if you’re only interested in one category.
NEW RULE THIS YEAR:  Although the nominees were chosen by the book blogging community, we’re allowing ANY blogger, podcaster, or youtuber to vote for the winners! We want food bloggers, travel bloggers, cat bloggers, dog bloggers, and anyone else who’s willing to publicly share about the book or short story they think is the best.