Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Table Talk: Turning the Table

Those of you who follow this column know we run a regular "Questions from the Reader" segment every few weeks. Well, the guys like the interaction so much (let's face it, sitting in an office with nothing but you and your imaginary friends can make a writer very lonely) they decided to try a new spin on it. 

This week, Barry Reese, Bobby Nash and Mike Bullock decided to turn the tables on you, the reader, and pose questions for you to answer. Please pick one (or more) question(s) and respond in the comment field below. When responding, please let the guys know which question you're replying to with your answer, so as to avoid confusing them more than life in general already has.


Question #1 (Bobby Nash): There has been a lot of discussion lately on the appeal of pulp and new pulp  to modern audiences? What makes you, the reader, want to pick up a classic pulp or new pulp book? Is it characters, publisher, creators, cover art, or something else? What are you looking for in your pulp tales?

Question #2 (Mike Bullock): What do you prefer reading, existing characters in all new stories, or all new characters in new adventures? Or, a mixture of both? Please explain why. 

Question #3 (Barry Reese): Are there any genres you feel are currently being neglected in New Pulp? If so, what would you like to see and in what format?

Please reply using the comment feature. And, as always, if you have queries you'd like to submit for the "Questions from the Reader" segment, please use the Contact form in the upper right corner of the site.


  1. 1. My pulp preferences are probably more eclectic than most. For examle, if the lead is a superhero, I'm guaranteed to buy it at some point. Like all good books, cover art and great plot descriptions can make or break a book purchase for me. Right now the big clincher is whether it is in digital format or not. I love my new Kindle and am focusing my purchasing power towards it.

    2. Up until sometime last year, I would have said existing characters. I love old pulp and comic characters, but I've quickly realized that sometimes the need to stay true to their origins can neuter great storytelling. I would rather go for a Rook, Dillon or Death Angle these days.

    3. Sports, sports, sports. While Paul Bishop and Mel Odom have set out to fill that void a bit I think there's a lot of room for more sports oriented pulp fiction. Other fields are overlooked: romance, spicy fiction, even sci-fi and sword & sorcery seem under-represented, but I think a lot of room could be made for sports pulps in the field.

  2. 1.) CHARACTER. Better yet CHARACTER TYPE. I don't think Nick Ahlhelm is all that alone in his preferences. While I'm not guaranteed to buy it just because there's a superhero involved (I don't own anything Superman or Lobo) I'm instantly drawn in by a few certain "types": The cloaked, masked, pistol packing Shadow/Spider type. A dark hooded or cowled figure like Batman or the Green Lama. The man of action type like the Rook or Lance Star. Gracing the cover, described on the back, segmented in the inside front cover. If your book has a story staring a character of the right "Type" then I'm at least going to take a look and read a little.

    2.) Similar to my answer to question 1 I like a type. I want break neck paced stories focused on action (character development takes a lonely seat in the back of the crashing plane for this one) and adventure. If they take place in a unique or unusual setting all the better. If they have an element of scifi in them great! They could be filled with either new characters in established universes or brand new everything as long as they fit the type.

    3.) My introduction to pulp began just a few years ago and primarily with the authors of this blog. Sure I knew of the Shadow, Doc Savage, The Phantom, and The Spider but they were legends like Babe Ruth to me, very inaccessible items from the past. I'm discovering new genres all the time. I guess that's a long way to go to simply state that I don't really know. I just didn't want to ignore the question.

  3. 1-Character, plot and genre. Not necessarily in this order. And the cover sometimes has been important to me. I remember a point where in fact, was a BAD cover. I thought it was hiding a wonderful story. Was not.

    2-I want like caine stories focused on action and adventure. I don't want "dead time" in a story. But, being honest, is a misture of old and new. For old, i go to The Spider and similar ones. For new ones... characters like The Masked Ghost, for example. The important thing os the wordsmith making me want to read the story. Old or new.

    3-Sword & sorcery. Is almost forgotten in his pulp form. Regarding formats... i like short stories and novellas.But maximum 60.000 words. For sword & sorcery my ideal lenght is the short storie or the novella. Longer works must be REALLY good to justify such extension like 60.000 words.

  4. 1)I like to see a larger than life human hero. Someone a young person, or young at heart can aspire to. Cover art is very important to me, it and the title are the first thing you see. A good looking gal on the cover doesn't hurt either.

    2) I now read old pulp characters by old pulp authors. The new pulp authors using old pulp characters just are not getting it right for me. Current authors should create new characters and put them in their own stories.

    3)Space Opera! Bobby's new book Earth Strike looks very intriguing. However I like the blaster toting space cowboy type best.

  5. This is an awesome site, I dig it.

  6. Thanks for participating in the talk, folks!


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