Over on a Facebook group known as Fantastic Fiction, author PJ Lozito (author of the superb Sting of the Silver Manticore) inquired as to what others considered must-haves for a shelf of New Pulp. I immediately threw out Derrick Ferguson’s Dillon series as a good place to start. Nearly twelve hours later, one person had asked who Dillon was and others had suggested various “classic character revivals” such as Moonstone’s Avenger & Green Hornet volumes and the new Prof. Challenger book.
But no one else had mentioned any of the other New Pulp creations or series.
New Pulp has had problems defining itself for “civilians” for awhile now — non-pulp fans who don’t know Pulp Fiction from the Samuel L. Jackson movie. But it has equal problems with some folks in the classic pulp brigade, who don’t read the new heroes because they prefer the classic ones.
For the record, here’s what I eventually listed as books that should be on a New Pulp fan’s shelf, in addition to Dillon: the Dire Planet series by Joel Jenkins, the Captain Hazzard stuff by Ron Fortier, Hounds of Hell by Fortier and Linzer, Green Lama Unbound by Adam Garcia, Wayne Reinagel’s books, Van Plexico’s Sentinels, PJ’s Silver Manticore, Martin Powell’s Halloween Legion, Chuck Miller’s Black Centipede. I could go on and on, listing YesterYear by Tommy Hancock, Fortune’s Pawn by Nancy Hansen, all the Sovereign City stuff, etc. but those are the ones that first came to mind and I think they’re all worthy of a look. Those are the books that, to me, are New Pulp ‘classics.’
Revivals of classic pulp heroes is wonderful — I’ve done it and enjoyed it. I’ll continue doing it, as well.
But if any of the New Pulp crowd ever hopes to attain lasting impact with their work, we have to break through. For me, that means getting people to try The Rook, Lazarus Gray, Rabbit Heart, The Damned Thing and Gravedigger.