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- The Alternative Top 25 Best Science Fiction List
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OTHER Best Lists
Pulp Science Fiction
Pulp Science Fiction is a term that describes a period of publishing in the 1930s-1950s when science fiction magazines were published on cheap paper. These publications had a distinct style with colourful cover art, brutish monsters, space heroes, and the scantily-clad damsel in distress. The stories in these publications emphasize action, adventure, and plot at the expense of character and literary elements.
You might think of these as the fiction version of those cheesy science fiction B movies of the 50's.
You can view the crowd-ranked "Popular" Pulp Science Fiction Books list and vote and/submit entries to it.
- Level of Real Science
Moderate. Earlier Pulp Sci Fi was not very scientifically literate, but as the genre grew science started to become more real.
- Level of Grand Ideas/Social Implications
Low. Pulp Sci Fi is all about the adventure and grand ideas have no place in an action packed adventure on an alien planet in the Pulp world.
- Level of Characterization
Low. The emphasis is on plot and adventure so stock characters are used--the hero, the damsel in distress, the alien monster.
- Level of Plot Complexity
High. An adventure story has a well developed plot and Pulp Sci Fi is no exception. While the plot may not be complex or inventive, it is nonetheless central to the effectiveness of the story.
- Level of Violence
Moderately high. Violence is a part of the adventurous stories on alien planets, but it tends to be the hero triumphing over aliens and feature colourful alien blood.
Related Science Fiction subgenres
Retro-futurism. A more modern sub-genre that celebrates this Pulp Sci Fi sub-genre and focus on reviving the pulpy style.
- 1 Burroughs Barsoom series
By Edgar Rice. Burroughs is a Pulp writer, but he is also a writer that helped make Sci Fi what it is today.
- 2 Mythos stories
By H.P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft's Mythos stories first appeared in Weird Tales, a pulp magazine, and were horror stories that combined the supernatural with scientific probability.
- 3 Man of Bronze
By Kenneth Robeson. The Doc Savage series ran for 16 years and is a prime example of the exciting adventure--a hero goes around the world vanquishing villains to help those in distress.
- 4 Armageddon 2419 A.D
By Philip Francis Nowlan. The first of the Buck Rogers series and helped popularize Sci Fi.
- 5 Perry Rhodan
- 6 Space Hawk
By Anthony Gilmore. Typical hero and villain story, but in space.
- 7 Captain Future
By Allen Steele A notable Pulp Sci Fi series because it has more real science than others.
- 8 The Death of Captain Future
By Allen Steele. A award winning novella that is a spoof on the Pulp Sci Fi sub-genre and makes you think about the nature of the hero.
- 9 Weird Tales
By Stefan R. Dziemianowicz. A legendary Pulp magazine that ran for 31 years and has been revived a few times. It featured Sci Fi as well as other genres like Horror and Sword and Sorcery.
- 10 Amazing Stories
By Charles Durning. A legendary Pulp magazine that was the first to exclusively publish Sci Fi. In addition, many writers (H.P. Lovecraft, Orson Wells) who become famous had their first stories published in this magazine.