Today I introduce a new, intermittent series here at Every Day Should Be Tuesday: The Good, the Pulp, and the Superversive. With each post I will look at the work of a particular author or at a particular series and discuss how good it is, how pulp it is, and how superversive it is.
There is a basic human tendency, when you come across a label you find very useful, to start slapping it willy-nilly on everything you like. The terms “pulp” and “superversive” get thrown around a lot by a lot of people who run in the same circles. But, at the same time, they are distinct aspects of storytelling with a certain amount of tension between each other. So I think it is useful to both attempt to define them and to attempt to distinguish between them.
A story can be good but be neither superversive nor pulp. A story can be pulp but be neither superversive nor good. A story can be superversive and good but not pulp. A story can be all three (easier said than done). A story can be none of the three (easy enough—the real trick is figuring out how to win awards for it). And so on. Think of it as a Venn diagram.