Pulp magazine

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"Pulp fiction" redirects here. For the film, see Pulp Fiction.

Pulp magazines (often referred to as "the pulps") were inexpensive fiction magazines widely published from the 1920s through the 1950s. The first "pulp" is considered to be Frank Munsey's revamped Argosy Magazine of 1896. Most remaining pulp magazines are science fiction or mystery magazines now in digest form.

The name "pulp" comes from the cheap wood pulp paper on which such magazines were printed. Magazines printed on better paper and usually offering family-oriented content were often called "glossies" or "slicks". Pulps were the successor to the "penny dreadfuls" and "dime novels" of the nineteenth century. Although many respected writers wrote for pulps, the magazines are perhaps best remembered for their fast-paced, lurid, sensational and exploitative stories. Parallels between comic books and pulp magazines can be drawn; for example, magazines often featured illustrated novel-length stories of heroic characters such as The Shadow, Doc Savage, and The Phantom Detective. Pulp covers were famous for their half-dressed damsels in distress, usually awaiting a rescuing hero.

Pulp magazines often contained a wide variety of genres, including detective/mystery, science fiction, adventure, romance, war, horror/occult, and others.

Famous and infamous characters of pulp fiction

Popular regular pulp fiction characters included:

Authors and pulp magazines today

Many well-known authors began their careers writing for pulps under assumed names. A distinction can be made between an author who wrote for the pulps but later went on to transcend the limitations of the genre, and a "pulp author" who did not.

Well-known authors who wrote for the pulps include:

Many classic science fiction and crime novels were originally serialised in pulp magazines such as Weird Tales, Amazing Stories, and Black Mask. The format eventually declined (especially in the 1950s) with rising paper costs, competition from comic books, television, and the paperback novel, although it is still in use for some lengthy serials, like the German science fiction weekly Perry Rhodan (over 2200 issues as of 2003).

See also

Pulp Fictionfr:pulp (magazine)


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