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Most recents (14)

Singapore is safe.

Which means Singapore is boring.

Singapore is a poor setting for most pulp-style stories.

Save for one genre:


To understand why, let's look at history.

The region we now called Singapore was originally settled by the Malays.

Prior to Islam and Hinduism, the Malays practiced a folk religion combining animism and shamanism.

These practices still survive today.

2000 years ago, Indian ships first arrived in the Malay Archipelago.

As trade between Indian and Malay states grew over the centuries, the region absorbed Hinduism and Buddhism from India.

Read 26 tweets
Why is fantasy/sci-fi and fandom generally so degenerate?

Because for decades it was formed and controlled by a mafia cabal of satanic child abusing perverts who promoted filth within the genre. 🧵
You think I’m just selling the thread, but no. Do you know the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America? They’re one of the main “SFF” tastemakers, founded by Damon Knight in 1965. They award the Nebula Prize, which, along with the Hugo, is the premier award for SFF authors.
This is going to be a real trip, so strap in. We start with Marion Zimmer-Bradley, who was central to the SFWA clique and even served on the board in the 70s. MZB is a name you might know. She wrote Mists of Avalon, a feminist Arthur story you couldn’t fucking avoid in stores.
Read 28 tweets
We were talking on the #PulpRev Discord recently about the problems that authors face with editing:
1. Writing and editing are two separate skills. Writers may also be good editors, but it's not guaranteed.
2. It's a big ask to solicit free editing advice from friends and acquaintances. Editing is long, hard, tedious work, and editing a friend's manuscript risks burning the relationship.
Read 26 tweets
I don't think about fantasy the way most people do.

Lots of readers think in terms of tropes, genre conventions, aesthetics.

I think in terms of culture.


What is a Western fantasy?

Mythical creatures. Wondrous magic. Legendary weapons. Exotic locations. Perilous journeys. Grand quests.

What is a Chinese fantasy?

Mythical creatures. Wondrous magic. Legendary weapons. Exotic locations. Perilous journeys. Grand quests.

Read 24 tweets
The standard writing advice for the aspiring professional is to write to market.

Identify a hot genre. Understand the tropes. Place your own spin on the tropes and craft a compelling tale.

A time honoured strategy. But what if you disagree with the tropes?


#Cultivation, xianxia, whatever you call it, the tropes are familiar.

MC seeks to become invincible. He engages in an endless cycle of violence, bloodshed, revenge and growth. In the end, he reigns supreme.

The story structure may be compelling, but it's not cultivation.

To cultivate is to purify mind, body and spirit.

Do not chase your obsessions; release them.

Do not pursue unwholesome desires; cleanse them.

Do not seek power; seek wisdom and serenity, and power comes naturally.

Cultivation is the antithesis of cultivation fiction.
Read 6 tweets
The book with the exciting cover is @JohnsonJeffro’s collection of literary criticism that helped kick off the #PulpRev movement.

The other one is an anthology of stories taken from Appendix N. Along with some personal additions the editor apparently felt like making.

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As the Anthology is TradPub, I’m not going to lay blame for the title confusion on the editor’s feet. Fact is, you can’t copyright a title. They didn’t do anything legally wrong. Especially where the two books are in different categories.

But read the FULL titles again.

Someone involved in making this book took Jeffro’s full title, including the subtitle, and changed ONE WORD.

Again, not legally wrong. But you also can’t tell me it wasn’t deliberate. Especially given the niche nature of the subject.

Read 11 tweets
Right-wing media moan about how the Left has captured arts and culture.

The same media then refuse to give publicity to Right-wing artists.

This shows us that:

They don’t care about culture.

They’d rather complain and concede.

They are setting up their own grift.

I’ve been a reader since the 1990s.

I started with thrillers.

Even today, the genre is a bastion for conservatives and right-wingers of all kinds.

You have to work to find a self-declared leftist / liberal / progressive in this genre.

How many right-wing thriller writers can these media outlets name that weren’t also journalists?

Those who can’t show they don’t care about culture.

Those who don’t care about culture except as a springboard to attack the Left and grow their audience should be ignored. /3
Read 13 tweets
The business of entertainment is too important to be left to megacorps, pedophiles, and small-souled bugmen who delight only in forcing their ideas on others and demanding them to pay for the privilege.

Every work of art, no matter how great or minor, builds upon the culture.

It is a conversation with the past, and sows the seeds for the future.

From culture springs the values and worldview that influence how you think, feel, perceive, act.

Those who aim to control the culture, to decide who gets to be seen and who doesn't, want to control the past, present and future.

They want to control your soul.

Read 10 tweets
An increasingly common trend I'm seeing in books, games and movies these days is having characters banter with or snark at each other.

In the middle of combat.

This is utterly ridiculous.

The idea of casual danger dialogue stems from comic books.

With only a couple dozen pages per issue, the creators have to cram as much plot and personality into every panel as possible.

This works because every panel is a slice of frozen time.

Every panel represents a beat.

Talking is a free action contained within the beat.

This is unique to the medium, not seen in other media.

And for good reason.

Read 24 tweets
The Chinese believed that #writing and #health belonged to the same element:

The element of wood.

What applies to one field applies to the other.

The link between writing and wood should be obvious.

But health?

'Health' isn't just healthcare.

Not just doctors and medicines and treatments.

It's a holistic perspective of health.

Physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.

This also includes training and practices to become healthy.

Wood represents growth.

What do you do when you train?

You grow.

You tear down muscles and build them back up.

You develop and ingrain specific motor skills.

You thicken the myelin sheaths that insulate your nerves, allowing them to fire more efficiently.

You grow.

Read 11 tweets
After reading @wastelandJD's Pulp Mindset, I got to thinking about two longtime favorite movies of mine, and and what does and doesn't constitute a pulp story: Walter Hill's Streets of Fire, and John Carpenter's Escape From New York.


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Both movies feature a similar basic plot: Important person disappears into impenetrable place. One bad dude must go in and rescue them. This makes them an ideal case study for what Cowan says does and does not make a pulp story. And FWIW, I think he's right.

One on major difference is setting. Pulps were always deliberately vague, creating a sense of wonder by only hinting at the larger world. Streets of Fire opens by telling us it's "Another time, another place," and then showing us a world with a mashed up 50's/80's aesthetic.

Read 9 tweets
Wuxia. Xianxia. Cultivation.

Among the hottest fiction trends today, and the genre I'm working on next.

I've been looking into the genre for years, but everywhere I looked I found too many power fantasies, too few actual wuxia.

It shows a lack of understanding of the genre. /1
Wuxia should be the stuff of legends.

Highly-skilled warriors in a milieu of danger and respect. Adventure in exotic realms. A world where you can earn your place with your sword.

But beyond that, wuxia has one more element:


It's right there in the name.

Wuxia is commonly translated as 'martial hero' into English.

The meaning of 'hero' is well-known.

'Martial' has a neutral connotation. It means the ways of war.

The meaning of wuxia seems obvious: a hero who uses martial arts.

But this is not what wuxia means in Chinese.

Read 23 tweets
To add on to this thread, a superhero's cloak has other significant properties:

Bulk, surface area, and volume.

These create certain advantages and disadvantages, which a canny caped crusader will be aware of.

Such a large cape produces a large amount of drag.

The air will resist his movements, especially if the cape is allowed to billow around him.

This is how Batman glides from place to place: his cape generates drag, slowing him down significantly. /2
But the cape will also slow down a hero when performing quick, explosive movements. Running, jumping, fighting.

This is a Bad Thing.

Worse, the cape can be used against the hero. /3
Read 12 tweets
It's a sad thing to see your local writing scene descend into the mire of Social Justice.

However distasteful the phrase 'culture war' may seem to outsiders, there IS a war to control the culture. Your culture. And it's everywhere. /1
Currently Singapore is running a month-long writer's festival.

Yesterday there was a debate on whether men have ruined modern feminism.

Today there will be a talk about the 'brown experience', immigration and globalism.

Other programmes include:

-Discussion of colonialism through language
-Identity politics through writing
-Subversion, inclusiveness and representation
-The political correctness of writing creatures from cultures not your own
Read 14 tweets

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