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In Pieces March 9, 2011

Posted by bobv451 in e-books, iPad, iPhone, nostalgia, sci-fi, science fiction, space, VIPub, web & computers, westerns, Wild West, writing.
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But digestible, coherent ones. Mike Stackpole and I have discussed the matter of how to approach e-fiction. We’ve talked about this a lot. Seeing distinct parallels with how people used to read fiction in the 19th Century. We have pretty much agreed the 21st Century can thrive with episodic fiction. Pulp fiction, even.

I love pulp fiction. The biggest knock against it is that it’s done fast. Too fast to be literature. So be it. The real question for me is one of entertainment value. Does it deliver? What difference does it make if what you’re reading took a lifetime to write or a week? Should that affect your response to the material itself? Some of the biggest “hacks” are Shakespeare and Charles Dickens. I’ll match their work on an entertainment basis against “literary” fiction–*any* literary fiction– all day long and into the night.

Mike is a big proponent of doing segments of a book, putting them out there and when the story is finished, issuing the entire series as a book.

I am currently reading Doc Smith’s Spacehounds of IPC This was originally serialized in Amazing Stories, Jul, Aug, Sep 1931. Each segment is an episode of the hero and heroine struggling to get back to Earth after a space wreck. It’s easy enough to see where each segment ended and how it fits into the overall story. This gives a chance for that “serial feeling” that folks (like me) enjoy yet doesn’t require a lot of straight-through reading time.

We’re busy these days and time for recreational reading tends to be chopped up. Stories like this are perfect to read on your smartphone while standing in line at the post office (10 package-laden people ahead of you, one clerk? You’ve got time.)

The old pulp magazines dished out the segments and ended with a cliffhanger to get the reader back for the next issue. Penny dreadfuls might be returning. I just saw that Lee Goldberg is starting a men’s adventure series, a la Nick Carter (which incarnation of Nick Carter will be interesting to see. The early Nicks were of a Secret Service agent. Ones I did in the early ‘80s were spy thrillers. Like this one.)

James Reasoner, Bill Crider and others have started a serial western series, Rancho Diablo.

And, of course, my fertile, febrile, feeble mind is hard at work. More later on this.

Nick Carter magazine

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