If it is not obvious yet, I am a huge fan of the Pulp Revolution. It is not just because the stories are great, or even that they spur the imagination for gaming. Part of the reason I enjoy the Pulp Revolution is the stories are not awful.
THEY. ARE. NOT. AWFUL.
I cannot stress that point enough. I know it sounds like I am damning them with faint praise, but that is not my intention at all. They are absolutely fantastic and even when they fall short, at least they are reaching for the stars.
A few years back, I nearly gave up on science fiction and fantasy. I had not been reading much and decided that I should change that habit. So I went to a large bookstore (Mistake #1) and purchased this:
I then took it home and read it (Mistake #3).
I don’t know how you read collections of short stories, but I just open it up to page 1 and read each story in order. In this case, I even read the Introduction. As soon as I read the paragraph about diversity and how great it was for the publishing industy*, I should have returned the book to the store, but I read through the whole thing. Twice. Just to see if maybe I misunderstood the stories.
They were just awful. There were a couple stories I enjoyed because they had potential, but the vast majority were just trash. Just third-rate pretentious literary fiction with a veneer of something “fantastic” to qualify it as science fiction or fantasy. In most stories nothing interesting happened.
After reading this collection, I thought to myself “This…this is best science fiction and fantasy of the year?” and promptly gave up on reading most new fiction for a few years. Luckily the Pulp Revolution has pulled me back. There is a lot to read and I am not caught up yet on my backlog. If I haven’t bought / read your work yet, I apologize. I am getting there!
* I don’t care if you are black, white, gay, lesbian, male, female, whatever. I just want a great story. A selling point of a story should not be the color of the author’s skin or what they do with their genitals. However, after reading this collection, I nearly swore to read nothing but straight white Christian men for the rest of my life. Apparently, “diversity in science fiction / fantasy” is code for “terrible literary fiction that occasionally mentions spaceships or something”.