Cirsova Primarily a PulpRev Publication?!

We got mentioned recently in Steve DuBois’ review of one of our contemporaries, Broadswords & Blasters. It’s a good review, B&B is a pub I’ve really been meaning to check out, I just haven’t had the time.

Still, it’s an interesting take-away that we “work primarily with authors who identify as members of the movement” given that maybe half a dozen out of over 50 contributors are actively involved beyond having used the tag a few times.

Rather than just say that Steve’s wrong (I probably turned down as many stories from members of the #PulpRev community for next year as I acquired, more if we count anyone who used either hashtag), I think it would be more useful to look at how this misconception came to be.

Some of this misunderstanding might spring from Cirsova having been a pre- publication, so there may have been the misconception that all of our writers were part of the movement when the movement was a fan of our publication.

I spoke about this once here, but I’ll reiterate that being published by us does not draft anyone into any movements nor does being part of any movement guarantee you’ll be published by us.

I’ll also note that there are, at this point, two distinct PulpRevs/PulpRevolutions

The first was the Movement, back when it was #PulpRevolution and eventually #PulpRev. It was small, but there was momentum behind it. This was mid-late 2016 through early 2017. Several authors, including Cirsova contributors, latched on because there was buzz and it was an exciting time. It was a “Beyond Sad Puppies”/”Beyond Rabid Puppies”/”Beyond other stuff” thing that folks were looking to get in on.

The second is the Community, which formed from participants in the movement. This is #PulpRev. It’s not really a club, because its doors are pretty open, but it’s not really a movement anymore, either. It’s more introspective, having become something of a writers’ circle. Involvement in the first =/= involvement in the second.

I was an active proponent of the first and remain an involved, but peripheral, figure in the second, but I do consider them very different things.

However that brings me around to how one could have the misconception of Cirsova being a primarily “#pulprev” magazine. What we were looking for in our stories got taken and held up as exemplary; we kept looking for the same things and buying stories from writers who wrote what we were looking for.

5 responses to “Cirsova Primarily a PulpRev Publication?!

  1. Cirsova is Cirsova. I think that people like being able to slap an easy label on things, both pro and con. But counter-culture movements, by their nature, tend not to fit into neat categories.

    There are a lot of people who are in what might be called “Alternative Fiction”–that is to say fiction that is a reaction against the traditional publishers’ genre categories.

    But it’s like “Alternative Music”. Folk, Metal, and Be-bob are all “Alternative Music” but that doesn’t mean that they are all the same.

    I like some Pulp Rev fiction, and I like some #PulpRev fiction. I don’t like all of either, and I don’t consider myself part of either. I’m the Last New Wave Writer.

    I’ve been reading Cirsova since you started it, and I believe that there is a “Cirsova Style”. If I had to define it I’d call it “Imagination & Action”–you consistently publish stories that combine imaginative settings and fast paced action.

    • Thanks. And I’m wanting to keep things interesting, which is one of the reasons why I’m shifting the scope of volume 2 (and in a way that may well be more inclusive of your stuff).

  2. I like the paragraph in your linked article, explaining superversive as ideology, and pulp rev as story structure. I think I understand pulp rev better now.

    I’m planning to review an issue of Broadswords and Blasters in December.

    I’m also putting some thought towards a post which is a criticism/suggestion for improvement in one aspect of some of the newer pulp stories. I feel that I need to do some more reading of pulp rev material first, though.

    • I’m not sure what I could recommend outside of our own current and upcoming contributors. I haven’t read a whole bunch of community-era PulpRev(R) stuff, and what I have has been a mixed bag. For those outside of our own contributors, I can vouch for Alexandru Constantine, though. His story in Story Hack issue 0 was one I would’ve gladly bought had I had a shot at it.

      I’m too close to review it, but PulpRev(R) put out a free “sampler”.

      • I liked Alexandru’s story in Storyhack 0 as well. I also liked “Dead Last”, which I think was Jay Barnson’s. I thought Jon Mollison’s story was good as well, but it wasn’t SFF, and I don’t usually read fiction without some spec.

        I’ll take a look at the PulpRev sampler for my reading list.

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