The essay “Rescuing Women” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch appears in the upcoming Summer Issue of Cirsova Heroic Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine.
“Apparently, women working in science fiction today need a hand up. For the past few years, women writers who got their start after the year 2000 have complained that they need to use […]
“Peter [The Great] emancipated the Russian women, except those in his own family. He put them into convents.”
I was 19 or so the first time I read ‘The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody,’ by Will Cuppy (1884-1949,) and I was so in love with it I decided to write something similar. I began collecting notes and writing little encyclopedic articles about, well, everything I could, in a style that combined (or tried) Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary‘s sarcasm and Cuppy’s own brand of comparatively more light-hearted humor. Then I read that it took Cuppy 16 years and 15.000 notes to write that book (and he didn’t even finish it,) so I decided to do something else with my time.
It’s a tragedy that Cuppy, crippled with increasing depression and the prospect of eviction from his apartment, committed suicide because his book became an instant best-seller when it got published (1950) just one year after his death. Not to mention that it’s one of the best books ever written.
tl;dr version: 9/10, buy the damn book.
Recommended for: People who enjoy good and strong writing, those who want to go back to the real roots of fantasy, pulp fans, and people who like to think about what they read. For fans of R.E. Howard, Burroughs, and Jack Vance this should be a no-brainer.
Not recommended for: Spineless cowards, soviet agents of International Communism, people who enjoy being laughed at, and lovers of YA fantasy fodder.
First of all, thanks to Cirsova for a free review copy of its first issue.
The pulps are fantasy’s father, or at least a similarly important family member. Unfortunately, for most people there is a huge cultural gap between the origins of that genre and what they actually consume now. As Jeffro Johnson wrote in his blog:
[…]the general view of science fiction history is that it just somehow jumps from Jules Verne and H. G. Wells straight on to Clarke, Asimov, and Heinlein.
Most of what is published under the fantasy and sci-fi category is horrible and can only be read when you are a teenager. In other words, when you still haven’t read almost anything and you have the discriminating skills of a baked potato. It was not always like that, because many allegedly “pulp” stories of the 30s are still great, but, in any event, that seems to be the current state of fantasy/sci-fi. However, many of us began our literary adventures thanks to those books, so I guess they are “good for what they are.”