With this issue, Pulp Spirit comes into its own as a full-fledged webzine rather than a feature nestled among the space adventures of Planetary Stories. In it you'll find a variety of non-science fiction type stories, illustrated by the same great illustrators you know from PS and written by many of the same great writers -- as well as a few new-comers.
The first pulp magazine appeared in 1896 when The Argosy, a magazine that had published since 1882, first as a children's magazine, then as a general magazine, made two changes that altered the reading habits of Americans. In October it adopted an editorial policy of only publishing fiction. In December it began to be printed on cheaper -- and less heavy -- pulpwood paper. The idea of the all-fiction magazine caught on with readers, and the idea of pulp paper caught on with publishers -- it was cheaper than the slick paper previously used, and the fact that it was lighter meant it was cheaper to ship and mail. By the turn of the new century the pulp magazine was a fact of life with American readers, and by the thirties there were hundreds of pulp titles, many of them selling for as little as a dime. There were pulp magazines that specialized in almost every conceivable category of fiction, from western, detective, romance and sports, to historical, adventure, horror and even science fiction.
But until the 20s, most pulp magazines were aimed at families and carried a range of different types of stories. Not just in The Argosy, but in magazines with titles like All-Story, Munsey's, New Story, Blue Book and Short Stories, you could find adventure stories that took place in any corner of the world, outdoor stories about the American western frontier, the Canadian Northwest, the logging industry, mining of every sort, jungle adventures, stories of military combat, fiction set in every age of history, and a healthy number of them set in prehistoric times.
Even as specialized titles like Western Story, Detective Story, Weird Tales and Love Story began to appear, other titles continued to emphasize variety in their contents. The leaders among these titles were Blue Book, Adventure, Short Stories, Action and, of course, Argosy. They continued to emphasize variety and in their pages you could find westerns by the likes of Max Brand and Clarence E, Mulford, detective stories by the likes of Ellery Queen and Brett Halliday, fantastic adventures by such as Edgar Rice Burroughs and A. Merritt -- and much, much more.
In Pulp Spirit, as with those legendary general-fiction pulps you'll read westerns, mysteries, adventure and crime stories. Action stories of every sort. The contents will be dictated by only two factors: what our writers are able to produce for us; and what you, our reader, want to see in the magazine. We assume that you'll want stories that emphasize action and adventure. Will we carry an occasional love or sports story as well? You tell us.
Of course we'll leave the science fiction to Planetary Stories. But what about fantasy? Now that Pulp Spirit has replaced the fantasy magazine Wonderlust, we haven't really decided where we'll publish any fantasy stories that might come our way in the future. Where do you think they belong, Planetary Stories or Pulp Spirit? Send us your letters. Let us know what you want and we'll try our best to give you a magazine you'll look forward to for years to come.
Gerald W. Page