Pre-Tolkien Fantasy Challange Roundup: Part II

PreTolkien

We are on week three of the Pre-Tolkien Challenge and the whole adventure has been very successful. A lot of great people have joined up and written about their favorite fantasy work from a great era of fiction. Check some of it here in the Pre-Tolkien Challenge Roundup: Part I.

Reading the classics of Fantasy and Science Fiction, writing about the great stories and great authors, and having good discussions is critical now more than ever. The relentless Cult of Resentment is constantly attacking every single pillar of our civilization and culture. Today the festering anal fissure of science fiction and fantasy Tor.com vomited another “problematic” book burning screed where the author flat out said that Lovecraft should never be recommended and that Tolkien makes him uncomfortable. Read the garbage here.

Of course once you look deeper you realize that the writer of the piece is a fantasy author himself. A creepy, balding, gummy creep with a pedoface like no other. He shits on the classics, shits on Tolkien and then hustles creepy cheap Narnia ripoff YA. Described by Kirkus “paid” reviews as “Madeline is white and blonde, Jason is Chinese-American, and their culturally diverse friend group in the Sunlit Lands includes an Apsáalooke and a Native Hawaiian boy. For Narnia fans who enjoy heavy snark, this is a must-read.”Check that part out Narnia fans who enjoy heavy SNARK. 

These two bit poverty pimp hustlers want to memory-hole and destroy the greats of our genre and replace their work with their own cheap soulless garbage. This example being Tor.com is appropriate, after all, Tor is the home of John Scalzi, the scribe of resentment who made a career rewriting Hadelman, Heinlein, Herbert, and Piper, but snarky. Fuck snarky. Nobody likes snarky. The snarky teenage girl trope was invented by pedo 80s movie writers. It isn’t real except maybe in the damaged mind of former child actors.

So, yes fellow pulp warriors. This isn’t just a fun exercise where we blog about our favorite stories. This is us taking the field against enemies that hate everything we love.

So, without further commentary, check out these posts:

Once again, these posts are awesome. I’m sure I’ve missed a few, so I will go through all my Twitter mentions and comments, and I have a few more of my own pending. Lets keep the conversation going. Lets talk about what made the old pulps and the old writers great. Because if we don’t we cede the ground to people like the Tor crowd who are hell bent on tearing down and destroying.

 

Cirsova, supporting indy publishing.

cover-in-progress-2-jabari-weathers-art-png-for-pdfI’m a huge fan of short stories, huge fan of short story magazines, and a huge fan of pulp fantasy. So out of all the awesome things I came across last year Cirsova magazine was towards the top of my list. Hands down my favorite short story magazine out there.

So, when given the chance I backed the 2017 edition on Kickstarter for ONE freeking dollar. One dollar gets you two digital issues and helps the indy magazine fund next year. So if you support indy writing, pulp fiction support the kickstarter by throwing at least one dollar and also go grab yourself a back issue on amazon. You won’t be dissapointed.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1161542777/cirsova-2017-s-5-and-6-lovecraft-swords-and-space?ref=card

The Biggest Sin of Story

I reread my post  on Asimov’s and realized that in my guns blazing critique I left out my main problem with the magazine. The stories, for the most part, are well written, and beyond my amateur writing to technically critique. But, and this is a massive bconanut. They are boring. The worst thing a story can do is bore me and I had to force myself to finish most of them.

I became a fan of Science Fiction and Fantasy a bit different than a lot of people. Narnia and Lord of the Rings were not my opening introduction. For me, the gatekeeper of strange new worlds was Conan the Barbarian and Dungeons & Dragons. I devoured SFF in the form of 90s pulp television like Hercules, Xena, and the animated Conan show. I loved going back to the gritty SFF of the 80s; Conan, Heavy Metal, Robocop, Total Recall, Alien, Predator, and other great pieces of fiction.

Some of the fondest memories of my childhood are reminiscent of the opening to Stranger Things. My brother and our friends spending countless hours lost exploring damp dungeons and putting vile creatures to the sword. Fantasy was dark, mysterious, yet romantic and heroic. Worlds filled with dark dungeons, treacherous mountains, exotic jungles, and grotesque alien beasts.

The Fantasy and Science Fiction we loved was far from the boring slice of life tripe I come across nowadays. None of our favorite tales involved some boring putz pining about the woman that left him before coming to a forgettable unresolved end. It was fun, action-packed, and filled with adventure.

The type of stuff I enjoy is still easily found everywhere. From recent movies, tv, videogames, and anime. People love it, evidenced by the millions who attend Comic Cons and the huge fandom for 80s style action adventure. Where it’s conspicuously missing is where it should be found front and center. Mainstream SFF magazines.

If you are looking for adventure, heroism, mystery, and wonder, the last place you will find it is between the pages of today’s major SFF magazines. Instead, you will find dull, depressing, pointless character pieces that lack agency, action, and plot. It would be fitting if Asimov’s changed its name to Ambien’s because from cover to credit the whole thing is soporific.

But there is Hope. Good, action packed, adventurous SFF is out there and a revolution is brewing. Indy magazines like Cirsova are pushing for a pulp revival. Bloggers all over the place are commenting on the topic like Misha Burnetts post The Five Pillars of Pulp Revival.

Science Fiction and Fantasy stories need to move past the post-modern literary quicksand it has become mired in. We need to expel the failed Creative Writing MFA carpet baggers and their slice of life, preachy, dull, writing. It’s time to bring back adventure, action, and romance to the genre it most belongs in.