13 January 2014

Pulp Magazines Project

I found the Pulp Magazines Project website recently which is an open-access digital archive dedicated to the study and preservation of one of the twentieth century's most influential literary & artistic forms: the all-fiction pulpwood magazine. The Project also provides information on the history of this important but long neglected medium, along with biographies of pulp authors, artists, and their publishers.

This is another of those excellent and fun sites that I love, playing their part in keeping alive our culture through preserving our literature. Pulp fiction played a huge role in society that cannot be understated and gave many authors their beginnings. At their peak of popularity in the 1920's and 1930's, the most successful pulps could sell up to one million copies per issue.

Pulp fiction magazines were the main source of everyday entertainment for the masses during the first half of the 20th Century. These magazines delivered action and heroes that were some of the most creative in literary history. Pulp heroes and their authors have influenced every medium including comics, movies, and television.

The most successful pulp magazines were ArgosyAdventureBlue Book and Short Stories described by some pulp historians as "The Big Four". 

Among the other notable titles of this period were Amazing StoriesBlack MaskDime DetectiveFlying AcesHorror StoriesLove Story Magazine, Marvel TalesOriental StoriesPlanet StoriesSpicy DetectiveStartling StoriesThrilling Wonder StoriesUnknownWeird Tales and Western Story Magazine.

The collapse of the pulp industry changed the landscape of publishing because pulps were the single largest sales outlet for short stories. Combined with the decrease in slick magazine fiction markets, writers attempting to support themselves by creating fiction switched to novels and book-length anthologies of shorter pieces.

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