All posts by lmd

Pulp Fiction Medium

(I apologize profusely for my rambling. Honestly, I had a really hard time putting my thoughts into words this time around!)

In regards to how the pulp magazine medium matters, I did not so much focus on the stories as I did the magazine itself. While imagining actually flipping through the magazine, I thought about how thin the pages would be compared to a bound book. The reason the thought stuck with me is because I went back to look at Gernsback’s introduction “Amazing Stories” and how heĀ really tried to defend Science Fiction so people would at least give it a chance. There is also the fact that he kept reiterating that there would be actual science within the stories, which I took as meaning that he wanted people to look at this genre as “serious literature.” When I think of thin magazine pages compared to those of a novel, one seems quite a bit cheaper than the other. Having these stories in a pulp magazine medium meant being able to print them in bulk for a low price, but doing so, I think, could have possibly cheapened the genre itself too. After all, why would serious literature be printed on something so cheap? I do not know where I am going with this, honestly. I just feel like maybe Gernsback thought he had to really defend Science Fiction because of the medium they chose in regards to getting these stories out. They were able to print for cheap and sell them at a reasonable price, but they had to almost sacrifice how serious people would look at the genre itself.

Black-and-White Thinking in “Sultana’s Dream”

“Since the mardana system has been established, there has been no more crime or sin; therefore we do not require a policeman to find out a culprit, nor do we want a magistrate to try a criminal case” (15).

I see a lot of black-and-white thinking in this short story, especially in regards to the quote above. In this case, it’s the idea that men are the only people who commit crimes and sins, so if they are cooped up in the houses, the town/village is free of all that. It makes it seem like only one gender has to the capability to go through with such things, which leaves the other gender completely innocent. Obviously, in reality, we know that is not true. Women are just as capable of doing awful things as men are. However, in this story, in “Ladyland,” women are too pure for that.