Monday, October 17, 2016
A history of the counter-revolutions to Campbell, each anti-pulp in nature. I am not endorsing the comments on the pulps or the hagiography to hard sf. However, I do find it curious that all the counter-revolutions were in the same anti-heroic direction and not towards the pulps. Notice that the first, the Futurians, was a sizable faction of WorldCon fandom at the time as well as a sizable fraction of the editorial gatekeepers of the time, editing up to half of the pulp magazines on the 40s at one time.
Jeffro was wondering who killed the pulps, leaning towards Campbell. I'm leaning instead towards to the Futurians, who did drive the pulpier of the Campbell authors out of the spotlight and into obscurity. The insistence on Literature with Meaning is common to Socialist authors, having been first expressed in the 1890s, and the Futurians were all card-carrying believers in that anti-civilization pipe dream. Jeffro has suggested 1940 as the year when the wheels fell off of science fiction, which would coincide with the rise of the Futurians as an editorial force. Now, we might both be right, as there is overlap between Campbell's authors and the Futurians, most notably in Asimov. If I am right, though, Worldcon fandom has been a blight on the genre since its inception.