Posts Tagged ‘edgar rice burroughs’


A few posts back, I wrote that the closest antecedent to the classic western pulp market is East Asian “light novels”, not western e-publishing. Translations of these books are becoming more frequent, but there’s still a huge amount that’s yet to be licensed or officially translated and probably never will be. The insanely short release schedules and sheer volume of work, coupled with the general disinterest of western readers and publishers in tackling translations in the first place, dictates against us getting more than a small window into grab-and-go novels geared towards teenagers and people who want a quick read on their commute. Yet unlike other languages, Japanese, and to a lesser extent Chinese and Korean, has a dedicated and active fan translation community that brings out work we otherwise would never see. The legality of these projects is dicey, but oftentimes its the only way to read these works if you’re not fluent in the language of origin and the only way they’d ever come to the attention of English-language publishers in the first place.

What I found was that some forms of storytelling from older English pulp that has largely died out on this side of the ocean is alive and well in Japan, as well as a certain young adult ethos that characterized older middle-grade fiction but not the current predominate mode of YA. These features were especially noticeable in two series that I breezed through this year (both not officially translated, alas). (more…)

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I was browsing the British Library’s Flickr photostream, of all places, when I stumbled across a full PDF scan of the 1895 novel Fifteen Hundred Miles and Hour by Charles Dixon. The title refers to the speed of a spaceship built by a Dr. Hermann which ends up transporting him and three other stalwart individuals, as well as a dog, from England to the planet Mars. Keep in mind, The War of the Worlds wasn’t serialized until 1897. Here we have another example of early scientific romance that I think only Darko Suvin has read cover-to-cover after it went out of print.

He called it clumsy.

I can’t disagree.


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