Locus is linking to an excellent article but David Truesdale from a recent Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction about how the small press is taking readers of science fiction and fantasy back to its iconic roots. Be interesting to see if the mystery small prss is ever so moved. The best we have so far is Otto Penzler's fantastic The Big Book of Pulps.
Off On A Tangent: F&SF Style
by Dave Truesdale
The New Nostalgia:
The Classic Pulp Story Revival
"We seem to see "new" used to describe quite a lot of resurrected types of fiction from our genre's past these days. As critic Paul Kincaid notes in a recent SF Site (March 1st) review of The New Weird, we also see the New Hard SF Renaissance and the New Space Opera1 as well as the New Weird. All hearken back to the days of the pulp magazines from the 1930s and 1940s (or in the case of The New Weird, as far back as the 1920s and Weird Tales), and each in their own way seeks to update, or reinvent these sub-genres to align themselves more with contemporary tastes and sensibilities while at the same time capturing the qualities that endeared readers to them in the first place.
"The 'nostalgia' part of the title is as fitting as 'new' is. The April/May issue of Asimov's SF sports a reflective editorial by Sheila Williams on SF magazine publishing landmarks, and a recent "On the Net" column by James Patrick Kelly also waxes nostalgic on various subjects. And one of the publishers discussed below is even called Nostalgia Ventures. Thus we title this essay "The New Nostalgia" with a serious nod to nostalgia and a bit of the tongue-in-cheek toward the "new."
Since most of the pulp magazines had bitten the dust by around 1950, the year I was born (and I'm talking not just the SF pulp magazines, but the crime, western, detective, war, superhero, and romance pulps as well, though some would keep presses running even after Eisenhower left the White House), one would have to be nearly 70 to have been of sufficient reading age by the late 1940s to have caught even the tail end of their heyday. Therefore, the only recourse most of us have had to reading the stories in them is through the numerous reprint collections issued over the years. Probably the most famous compiler of stories from the '30s and '40s was the indefatigable Groff Conklin. SF owes him a tremendous debt of gratitude. Others along the way who have reprinted some of the best of the really older stuff but nowhere near as prolifically, have been Damon Knight and Frederik Pohl, with a few scattered others in the mix over the years. But it has been literally decades since their efforts in this direction have seen print. Thus, another generation of readers has no idea of the origins of our genre from reading the stories themselves; all they know has been gleaned from introductions to recent volumes of "new" this or "new" that. While these thoughtful capsule histories are extremely helpful and valuable, there is no substitute for having read the actual stories themselves—many of which have become classics in the field, and their author's icons. "
For the rest go here http://www.sfsite.com/fsf/2008/dt0807.htm
Duane Swierczynski quoted one of my all-time favorite writers Charles Bukowski speculating on why writers write.
"Writing was strange. I needed to write, it was like a disease, a drug, a heavy compulsion, yet I didn't like to think of myself as a writer. Maybe I had met too many writers. They took more time disparaging each other than they did doing their own work. They were fidgets, gossips, old maids; they bitched and knifed and they were full of vanity. Were these our creators? Was it always thus? Probably so. Maybe writing was a form of bitching. Some just bitched better than others."
I don't know about you but I've had all the Russert Watch I can take. I''m sorry that he died so young and that he left his wife and three children behind. But my God this isn't Jack Kennedy dying. I send out political links several times a day. Occasionally I comment on the links. Here's what I said after OD'ing on the Russert coverage.
"To me this is a Beltway circle jerk. Russert started out as a modestly talented interviewer and ended up as a puffed-up parody of the hard-boiled interrogator. He played favorites and he never admitted error. All the network hacks are paying him such extravagent praise because they're part of the same club. You see the same kind of thing at the Shriners and The Knights of Columbus whenever one of their own passes. The difference is that they never helped lie us into a war as Russert and the rest of the Washington press corps did."