Way back before the internet made it possible to publish anything to anyone, a different sort of technical revolution lead to the first, cheaply produced, ubiquitous form of mass communication; Pulp Magazines.
Printed on the cheapest of paper and designed to be sublimely disposable, the spread of pulp magazines can largely be credited for the rise of superhero comics, speculative science fiction, and weird horror. Writers like H.P Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, Ray Bradbury, and CL Moore were able to crack into the field because of how hungry these magazines were for content – and that in turn shaped the way we perceive “genre fiction” to this day.
Now there’s a new magazine eager to take up the mantel of pulp, Retro Future.
Retro Future was conceived as a quarterly pulp magazine that searches for diverse, surprising, and progressive science fiction in art, verse, prose, essays, and comics. Like the original pulps, this is printed on newspaper-grade paper and mailed to subscribers the old fashioned way. The magazine’s publisher, Brennan Taylor, cut his teeth in the indie game design world with works such as, How We Came to Live Here, and Bulldogs!, a high-octane scifi role-playing game. The street cred is real, and the intentions are grand.
Retro Future first issue was a success with stories, comics, or art by Jared Axelrod, Noam Bergman, Nic Brennan, Claudia Cangini, Blue Delliquanti, Jonathan Deloca, O.E. Fine, Raymond McVey, Carly Engracia, Katy Fleming, and Feargal Keenan. They’re Kickstarting their second issue now, and time is running short. It’s rare to see fiction, art, nostalgia, and progressive thought mingle so perfectly as it does with this concept, and we hope that it will get the support it needs.
If you’d miss the bygone era of ostensibly disposable fiction that actually leaves a surprising impact, considering donating today.