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Steve Long

A Very Pulp Hero Movie

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But Lovecraft was published in, um, the pulps ...?

 

I believe the point is not that the modern versions of romance and other genres existed back then, but that those genres are the descendants of the pre-WWII pulps, just as those old pulp magazines were descendants of penny dreadfuls and whatnot.

 

-AA

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Regardless of how narrow you want the definition of "Pulp" to be. It has always been my favorite genre. I have copies of all the, well most anyway ;) , of the pulp style RPG's from over the years. Justice Inc was the best I'd every used to actually run the genre, the systems built in flexability allowed me to do everything I wanted within the rules rather than having to "tweek" and make up things "just because".

 

But to get back to the subject at hand. I know that Pulp isn't the most popular genre these days, but I would really REALLY like to see PulpHero come out :D

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Can the Skycaptain pull this off without Yoshimi? Does anyone want my obscure references?

 

But seriously, folks... Wouldn't he be better off with a Lightning? What if he was stuck with something a bit more awkward, like a PBY?

 

I love the pulpy goodness. I disagree that anything printed on pulp paper is by default "pulp." Lovecraft is not pulp, and neither is Nabokov (he had a very hard time finding a puplisher for Lolita, and it wound up bing puplished by a small pulp press that mostly did less erudite adult reading.

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Originally posted by BoneDaddy

I disagree that anything printed on pulp paper is by default "pulp." Lovecraft is not pulp,

 

Are you saying that horror wasn't a pulp genre, or just Lovecraft?

 

Remember that Lovecraft wasn't the only writer to write "Lovecraftian" tales. Robert E Howard, for example, wrote some fine tales ("Dig me no grave", for example.) So now Howard isn't a pulp author, either?

 

In fact, what people are doing are establishing arbitrary and idiosyncratic definitions of what is and isn't "pulp", that just happen to correspond to their own prejudices. It sounds a little Lewis Carroll: `When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.' (from Through the Looking Glass).

 

Lovecraft was a pulp writer. Horror is a pulp genre. And so is Romance. For more details, see: http://www.mogozuzu.com/romance.htm

 

Alan

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I just have to comment that they trailer used the music from the TV series Stargate SG1, which while good music, is still the utmost of cheeziness in a trailer. Who cares if it has Angelina Jolie in skin tight leather suits.

 

 

 

 

Wait, did I just write that?

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Originally posted by Chromatic

the trailer used the music from the TV series Stargate SG1, which while good music, is still the utmost of cheeziness in a trailer.

 

The music is actually from the score of Stargate, the original movie upon which the Stargate SG-1 TV series was based...

 

It has an upbeat action feel to it and has been used quite a few times as trailer music for a variety of action oriented films...

 

Movie studios tend to "borrow" music that has the right feel to use in trailers until the actual score for a movie has been recorded...

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Alan - Horror is Pulp, Howard is Pulp, maybe some Lovecraft is Pulp, but not all.

 

Dagon - sure, that's pulp.

Dreamquest of Unknown of Kaddath - I don't think that's Pulp.

The Dunwhich Horror, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, I just don't think rank with Tarzan and Conan. They are different genres, which I think is the important part of this "Pulp" thing. As genre goes, I think Frank Miller's Sin City was in the pulp genre.

 

It becomes a question of Ontology. What do you mean when you say Pulp? I must admit I'm not entirely sure of what I mean. I don't mean to put you in the Thrasymachus seat, by the way - I'm really interested in answering these and other pressing questions.

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Meh, it's just semantics. The "pulp genre" has no fixed definition, though it trends toward a few (distinct) ideas:

 

- Works actually published in the pulps of the 1910's-40's (which would include Lovecraft, obviously)

- Works inspired by or in the style of those pulps

- Overdramatic or lurid genre work (westerns, "noir," etc.) of any time period (Tarantino's use of the word)

- Low-budget genre work for a mass audience (I tend to think of licensed novels as "modern pulp")

- Nostalgic high-cheese adventure set in, or conceived in the spirit of the early 20th century (such as Indiana Jones, even though the IJ movies were inspired by movie serials and not the pulps as such)

 

The last definition seems to be the most frequently referenced, but they all apply.

 

-AA

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Originally posted by BoneDaddy

They are different genres, which I think is the important part of this "Pulp" thing. As genre goes, I think Frank Miller's Sin City was in the pulp genre.

 

Well, there's your problem. Pulp isn't a genre.

 

A variety of different genres were published in various pulp magazines.

 

Of course, there are all the other definitions of pulp which AA listed... These are all quite valid.

 

Anyway, I think we're off in pointless land at this stage.

 

Alan

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Alan,

 

by your definition, I concede your point.

 

But, If pulp is just defined by the period of its writing, then how can we call anything new "pulp?" How can we call anything "in the style of pulp" since it could encompass anything from that chronological period?

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Originally posted by BoneDaddy

But, If pulp is just defined by the period of its writing, then how can we call anything new "pulp?" How can we call anything "in the style of pulp" since it could encompass anything from that chronological period?

 

Well, I don't really call anything new "pulp". There are vague analogues and forms descended from it, but the pulp magazines are long gone.

 

The pulp magazines weren't "anything" from the period. They were a particular manifestation of popular literature.

 

Calling something "in the style of pulp" probably isn't correct. It is more likely to be "in the style of" some particular subset of pulp, or, actually, more like a film or radio serial - forms which were rather big like them. But nobody talks about material being "in the style of television".

 

Which makes me think of Champions... Champions doesn't cover all comics - just the superhero ones.

 

Pulp Hero (Justice Inc) doesn't cover all pulps - just the action/adventure and horror ones. It's not really designed to run "True Love Stories", except as a subplot of an adventure story, but it is designed to run "How Cthulhu chewed my face off".

 

So there you go: Pulp in this context can be defined as "a subset of the action/adventure and horror stories published the pulp magazines, and other material broadly similar to this."

 

How about that?

 

Alan

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Originally posted by assault

Well, I don't really call anything new "pulp". There are vague analogues and forms descended from it, but the pulp magazines are long gone.

 

Just to be a geek, I'll point out that Astounding Stories, started in 1930, continues to this day (under the name Analog Science Fiction). And it's still published on cheap pulp paper. :)

 

-AA

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Originally posted by austenandrews

Just to be a geek, I'll point out that Astounding Stories, started in 1930, continues to this day (under the name Analog Science Fiction). And it's still published on cheap pulp paper. :)

 

-AA

 

I bow my head before my superior in geekishness. :)

 

Alan

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Guest Operator9

I've seen the promo and it looks pretty good, doesn't hurt that it has Angelina Jolie, just something about her and that leather outfit. So i'm patiently waiting for the movie.

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um, Atlantis comparisons to anime were made because the film is a direct rip-off of an anime series. And when I say direct rip-off I mean the characters, plot, everything.

 

http://www.thesecretofbluewater.com/atlantis-i.htm

 

 

 

I would not put Lovecraft stories as pulp because they are not adventure stories. However, I just looked up "pulp" in dictionary.com and it says:

 

A publication, such as a magazine or book, containing lurid subject matter.

 

So I looked up "lurid"

 

lurid

1. Causing shock or horror; gruesome.

2. Marked by sensationalism:

 

given that definition I can't say Lovecraft doesn't fit.

 

Of course given that definition Al Franken's books are pulp.

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Originally posted by dugfromthearth

um, Atlantis comparisons to anime were made because the film is a direct rip-off of an anime series. And when I say direct rip-off I mean the characters, plot, everything.

 

http://www.thesecretofbluewater.com/atlantis-i.htm

 

I remember before Atlantis came out, I saw that very list (or one extremely similar) ranting about how Atlantis was a ripoff. The guy foamed and frothed at great length for many months, compiling very detailed lists. Until the film actually came out. Then he put a link at the bottom, that opened a white page with a sentence or two that amounted to, "I saw the movie. Never mind." :)

 

-AA

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Originally posted by concord

The music is actually from the score of Stargate, the original movie upon which the Stargate SG-1 TV series was based...

 

It has an upbeat action feel to it and has been used quite a few times as trailer music for a variety of action oriented films...

 

Movie studios tend to "borrow" music that has the right feel to use in trailers until the actual score for a movie has been recorded...

 

A part of the Aliens Soundtrack (the cue from when the drop ship escapes just as the atmosphere converters blow up has been used in over 50 movie trailers.

 

the composer of the soundtrack said he got more money from that snipnet of music than he did some of his entire scores....

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Originally posted by Michael Hopcroft

That was probably the reason i avoided "Atlantis" -- that and the reviewer i read who said it was one of the most racist films he'd ever seen. (How could a people forget how to read their own language?)

 

Heiroglyphics? Having said that, I am not sure if modern-day Egyptians are direct descendants of Ancient Egyptians. Assuming that they are the same race, then I think the analogy works.

 

On the subject of what is "pulp", I think we have a definitional argument going on (my, how I love them).

 

Romance, "spicy stories", sci-fi, horror, Westerns, war stories, adventure tails, spy/detective fiction and masked vigilantes were all published in pulps, as far as I know.

 

However, if someone asked me what I felt what was in the "pulp genre", I would say it was detectives, two-fisted adventure, spies, glamourous femmes fatales, death rays, remarkable vehicles, insidious foreign masterminds, beautiful damsels in distress, brilliant scientists, mysticism/occult forces, power-hungry megalomaniacs, exotic locations (some even on different planets), incredible or unusual people (individuals or races), combat, narrow escapes, deathtraps, heroes who do the right thing, even if sometimes tempted not to.

 

Yes, other genres may have elements of these (sci-fi can have the villains, unusual people and places and strange technology, for example), but the "pulp" genre features many or all of these elements strongly. Some pulp stuff doesn't have much "weird science", of course. That is a staple of more extreme "pulp" fiction, just as you have high fantasy, low fantasy and swords and sorcery all within the "fantasy" genre.

 

Just my opinion, mind. :)

 

EDIT: I added mysticism/occult forces, as I realised last night that magic can sometimes be important in pulp genre stories (like the Indiana Jones ones). I've also taken out my little explanatory note about French adjectives!

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I tend to define it as cheap, mass-market fiction from between the wars. Pulp was a product of a couple of things - the ability to mass produce low-quality magazine-style publications, and the need for cheap low-brow entertainment. Radio eventually cut into this, and television replaced it. One thing that made pulp fiction distinctive was the fact that a typical news stand could carry literally hundreds of titles, each specializing in fiction fitting a certain niche. This resulted in a lot of fiction about an enormous range of topics, many of those topics very offbeat.

 

A lot of pulp ethos was inspired by the rapid technological advances going on then - the world in 1940 was a very different place than the world in 1910. Pulp stories of the twenties were written in the shadow of the mass technological carnage World War One. They were inspired by a certain degree of internationalism that the Dough Boys brought back with them. There was also a sense of dread about the things scientists were discovering - Lovecraft's stories were a sort of visceral reaction to astronomy and physics, and life in a world that could suddenly be destroyed by things beyond our understanding.

 

The Hard Boiled school of detective stories were in some ways a reaction to the English puzzle-oriented mystery stories. American writers found a distinctively American voice which would later give us Film Noire. Western stories were popular, of course, harkening back to dime novels, and giving Americans their own set of indigenous folklore. And, of course Science Fiction was definitely a child of the times, driven by the rapid pace of scientific breakthroughs, but couching these discovery in optimism, rather than dread.

 

Fiction in the twenties was affected to some degree by the social aura of the time as well - prohibition, the Jazz Age, Women's Suffrage. But, I think I'd agrue that, in some ways, it took a while for this to be really integrated, and that thse things affected pulps of the thirties to a greater degree. One thing to keep in mind is that people don't tend to write about things that are happening as they write - they tend to be inspired about things that happened somewhat recently, or, in this case, by things that happened during the last decade. So, the 1920's fascination with archaeology, for example, found more play in pulps of the 1930s than pulps of the 1920s.

 

In the thirties, the depression drove a need for especially escapist fiction. Just look at the movies from this decade - mostly happy, upbeat, big productions. Pulps were similar, and the adventure pulp grew in popularity. Adventure pulps are certainly fun, and their very nature lends them to role-playing games, but they don't entirely define what most non-rpg people think of as "pulp."

 

Lamrok

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Originally posted by Lamrok

Adventure pulps are certainly fun, and their very nature lends them to role-playing games, but they don't entirely define what most non-rpg people think of as "pulp."

 

Nice explanation, Lamrok.

 

I think the question some people have been trying to answer is precisely what defines the "pulp" genre for an RPG. Others have been taking a more technical line about what was actually published in the pulps.

 

My point is that, for gaming and indeed film genre purposes, I think that "pulps" contain certain of the elements I listed.

 

Conan stories might have been published in pulp magazines, but they belong in the fantasy genre.

 

Some of Lovecraft's tales were published in pulps too, but they are horror stories (with occasional sci-fi ones thrown in).

 

If I bought "Pulp HERO", I'd like to see a history of pulp magazines, with reference made to all the different types of stories that got printed. However, in terms of gaming information, I'd be expecting advice on "two-fisted adventures", for want of a better term.

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