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Poll has been closed for voting. Displaying poll result:
Pulp! Contest No. 1: "Mix & Match"
1 “The Lizard Queen” by DeepSeaDragon
2 “The Necronaut” by Cam S (off-site)
3 “Agent Foxtrot and The Bane of Black Billy” by Jave Harron
4 “The Adventures of Sparky Lane” by J. A. Fletcher
Unique Voters: 4

Okay! So, finally, here comes the first (and hopefully not the last) Pulp! writing contest. Spacing isn't a problem now, or at least not the same one. Seems now 'spacing' automatically means 'double-spaced,' so to prevent a GINORMOUS post from offending thine eyes, I will isolate each pulp subgenre (and its related tropes) to its own post.

So, rules; pick 2 subgenres and then AT LEAST 2 tropes from each (of the 2 you picked) and write a story. However, since I've got quite a loooong list, I'm totally fine with people throwing in as much as they want into a single story, producing some sort of troperrific pulp superbaby. (Yes, I did copy/paste that almost verbatim from another thread.)

Note that I am using terms derived from tvtropesDOTcom, so if you're unfamiliar, please look up a particular trope there (Sorry in advance for Ruining Your Life), or you can ask me.

It's April 1st (which is probably not the best time to premiere anything...), so you've got a brand-new month (i.e., until the 1st of May) to work on your stories. If you need more time or need to drop out, that's fine, just let me know.

Aaand... here's the first subgenre!

Crime/noir/"hardboiled" detective fiction:

-Femme Fatale

-The Caper/The Con

-Wrongly Accused

-Downer Ending/Anticlimax

-Unreliable Narrator

-City Noir

-Greasy Spoon

-Staples such as revolvers, Colt 1911s, Tommy Guns, and Fedoras/trilbies and trenchcoats.

4/1/2010 . Edited 5/7/2010 #1

Second subgenre! (A lot here…)

Sci-fi (retro-futurism, space operas, planetary romance):

-Non Human Sidekick/Robot Buddy/Amusing Alien

-Space Police/Time Police

-Space Pirates/Space Marines

-Casual Interstellar Travel/Faster Than Light Travel/Interplanetary Voyage

-Portal Network/Subspace Ansible/Teleporters And Transporters

-Space Opera/Planetary Romance

-Feudal Future/Days Of Future Past/The Future Is Noir

-Raygun Gothic/Zeerust

-Hologram/Projected Man

-Bigger On The Inside

-The Bridge/Cool Starship

-Generation Ships

-Cold Sleep Cold Future/Human Popsicle

-Brain Uploading/Brain In A Jar

-Bio Augmentation/Organic Technology

-Neural Implanting/Cyborg

-Uplifted Animal

-The Red Planet

-Space Station

-Ancient Astronauts

-Beethoven Was An Alien/Julius Beethoven Da Vinci

-Robotic Reveal

-Cargo Cult/Cult Colony

-Lost Colony/Transplanted Humans

-Touched By Vorlons/Ascend To A Higher Plane Of Existence/A God Am I

-Agony Beam

-Living Ship

-Master Computer

-Gattaca Babies

-Powered Armor

-Logic Bomb/AI Is A Crapshoot/Insant AI Just Add Water

-Ray Gun/Laser Blade

-Rubber Forehead Aliens/Starfish Aliens/Green Skinned Space Babe

-Emperor Scientist

-Energy Beings

-Attack Of The 50 Foot Whatever/Kaiju

-Cloning Blues

-Your Mind Makes It Real

-Alien Abduction/Alien Invasion/Flying Saucers

-MIB/Area 51

-Interspecies Romance

-Laser Guided Amnesia/Brainwashed

-Schrodinger's Butterfly/Lotus Eater Machine/Recursive Reality

-Asteroid Miners

-Standard Sci-Fi Fleet

-Bizarre Baby Boom

-Body Snatcher/Body Surf

-I Love Nuclear Power/Genetic Engineering Is The New Nuke

-Stupid Jetpack Hitler/Soviet Superscience

-Wagon Train To The Stars


-Standard Sci-Fi Setting

4/1/2010 . Edited 4/8/2010 #2

Third! (Not as much.)


-Mook Horror Show

-Secret Identity/Secret Identity Identity/Clark Kenting

-Cut Lex Luthor A Check/And That's Terrible

-Brought Down To Normal

-Bruce Wayne Held Hostage

-Awkward Ability

-Legacy Character

-Lovecraftian Superpower

-Silver Age

-Stock Superhero Day Jobs

-Create Your Own Villain

-Superpower Silly Putty

-Bad Guy Bar/Supervillian Lair

-Secret Mutant Hero Team

4/1/2010 #3



-Bank Robbery

-Train Job

-The Outlaw

-The Bounty Hunter

-Retired Gunslinger/Retired Outlaw

-Young Gun


-The Sheriff/Posse

-Pinkerton Detective

-Cattle Baron/Railroad Baron


-Hunter Trapper/Mountain Man/The Pioneer

-Determined Homesteader (& family) OR Determined Widow

-Forty Niner/Prospector

-Frontier Doctor

-Snake Oil Salesman


-Remittance Man

-Railroad Employee Roundhouse


-Preacher Man

-The Noble Indian/The Savage Indian

-Historical Domain Character (Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Billy the Kid, Frank & Jesse James, Wild Bill Hickok, Geronimo, etc.)

-Showdown At High Noon/Mexican Standoff

-Chained To A Railway

-Traintop Battle

-Wanted Poster

4/1/2010 #4



-Screw You Elves

-Urban Fantasy

-Low Fantasy

-Doomed Hometown

-Knight In Shining Armor/Knight In Sour Armor

-Evil Sorceror

-Barbarian Hero

-Empathy Weapon/Ancestral Weapon/BFS/Cool Sword

-The Dung Ages/Ye Goode Olde Days

-Here There Were Dragons

-The Time Of Myths/The Dark Times

-Dungeon Punk/Steam Punk/Clock Punk

-Sky Pirates/Cool Airship/Zeppelins From Another World

-Floating Continent/World In The Sky

-Pirate/Ocean Punk

-Atlantis (and/or other mythical places such as Thule, Mu, Lemuria, etc.)


-Bazaar Of The Bizarre/Merchant City

-The Lost Woods

-Spell Book

-Five Races

-The Magocracy/The Necrocracy

-The Quest

-Standard Fantasy Setting


4/1/2010 #5

Sixth! (Is it over yet?)


-Virgin Sacrifice

-Eldritch Abomination

-Things Man Was Not Meant To Know

-Did We Just Have Tea With Cthulhu/Did You Just Scam Cthulhu

-Abandoned Laboratory/Hospital/Warehouse

-Ancient Tomb

-Bedlam House

-Haunted House

-Hell Hotel

-The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday

-Lovecraft Country/Campbell Country

-Sinister Subway

-Swamps Are Evil

-Town With A Dark Secret

-Torture Cellar

-Spooky Silent Library

-Always Night

-And I Must Scream

-Body Horror

-Creepy Doll

-Go Mad From The Revelation

-Final Girl

-Gypsy Curse

-Cannibal Clan

-Indian Burial Ground

-Madwoman In The Attic

-Nightmare Fuel Coloring Book

-Occult Detective

-Nothing Is Scarier

-Tome Of Eldritch Lore


4/1/2010 #6

Seventh! (Almost, almost…)

War/spy thriller:

-City Of Spies

-Cloak And Dagger

-Double Agent/Fake Defector/The Mole (and related)

-Rogue Agent

-Tuxedo And Martini/Conspicuous Trenchcoat

-Spy Couple

-False Flag Operation

-Feed The Mole

-The Handler/The Spymaster

-Knowledge Broker/Mysterious Informant

-Murder Inc.

-Psycho For Hire

-Hitman With A Heart/In Love With The Mark

-Contract On The Hitman

-Government Conspiracy

-Honey Trap

-Hidden Wire/Tracking Device/Incredibly Obvious Bug/Incredibly Obvious Tail

-Manchurian Agent/Trigger Phrase

-Master Of Disguise

-Spy Versus Spy

-You Can Never Leave/He Knows Too Much

4/1/2010 #7

Eighth! (Aand… done! Now get writing!)


-In Media Res

-Chekov's Gun/Chekov's Gunman


-Twist Ending/Bolivian Army Ending


-Beneath The Earth

-Deserted Island

-Living Forever Is Awesome

-Extranormal Institute

-Retro Universe


-The Great Politics Mess Up

4/1/2010 #8
Jave Harron

Hmm, so many choices! Fantasy and Western may make for a pretty cool combo, actually. Plenty of scifi westerns, so why not the other way?

4/1/2010 #9
J.A. Fletcher

Looks pretty good.

4/2/2010 #10

Wowee...! Do we have any kind of time limit here?

I would just say that my own upcoming Thousand Fists could work under these guidelines (It's wuxia/martial arts fantasy like Thousand Swords, but with steampunk/clockpunk elements and all sorts of Lovecraftian cosmic horror looming in the shadows), but for this contest I'll write something new and exclusive... especially considering Fists is way too long to submit for a contest. I'll update with my exact choices here as soon as I get back from work and make up my mind!

4/3/2010 #11

Hope to see some great entries from you guys! The time limit is roughly the entire month of April, as I wrote in the first post (I'll bold it so it's more obvious). I'd really prefer to have the contest over by the first of May, but if people need some more time, I'll probably oblige them.

And yes, new new new! Please. =P

4/3/2010 #12
Cam S

Question: If there are some tropes that aren't listed above, but could conceivably fit into pulp, would those towards the limit?

Things I'm thinking of:

-After the End

-Just Before the End

-Psychic Powers

-Gone Horribly Wrong

-Time Travel

If these don't fit, I can work up something new.

4/3/2010 #13

The very last bit of your question is a little off there (missing a word or something), Cam, but I think I get the gist anyway.

Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, psychic powahz, malfunctioning Mad Science and time travel all seem like staples to me, so have at it. Glad to see you're interested! =D

For the record, everyone; I definitely encourage incorporating tropes of your own choosing. Just make sure you use some from my list, too, 'kay? 'Kay.

4/3/2010 #14
Cam S

Yes. I do appear to be missing a verb there.

Alright, got it. I've just had this brain bug since reading Ellison's "The Executioner of the Malformed Children," and I'm not sure there's a more pulpy author active right now than him. Figured this would be a good way to work it out.

4/3/2010 . Edited 4/3/2010 #15

Update: Feel free to enter as many stories as you can/want, people. ;)

4/3/2010 #16
Lord Monbodo

I'm unfamiliar with the Did we just have tea with Cthulhu/Did you just scam Cthulhu.

4/8/2010 #17
Lord Monbodo

And you don't have to worry about ruining my life. I've been there before.

4/8/2010 #18

Did You Just Punch Out Cthulu is my favorite trope ever. Expect it in my upcoming works, albeit not in my entry for this contest.

Remember when I mentioned wanting to do something involving gunfighting and dinosaurs? I decided to combine that with elements of a couple dreams I had and that's gonna be my main basis for this project. Now all I need is an off day...

I'll break down the exact genre/trope combinations when my brain not hurt so bad.

4/9/2010 #19

Anything involving Cthulhu is almost always instant win.

I sit in anticipation, Bud. =O

BTW, everyone, expect additions to the various subgenres for an even HIGHER trope content!

4/9/2010 #20

Here's some more tropes for you all. You can incorporate any you like into your stories, or if you don't have an idea for one yet, maybe these'll help;

Flying Car

Standard Sci-Fi Army

The Fair Folk

Wetware CPU/Wetware Body

Walking Transplant/Organ Theft

Used Future

United Space Of America/Divided States Of America

Blasting It Out Of Their Hands


Magic Knight

Kung Fu Wizard

Squishy Wizard/Inept Wizard

Black And White Mages

The Red Mage

Widow Witch

Wizards Live Longer

Un Equal Rites/Mutually Exclusive Magic/Equivalent Exchange


Blood Magic

Elemental Powers (and related)

Functional Magic (and related)

Psychic Link (and related…)

Spell Construction (you know the drill)

Power Nullifier

Post Modern Magik

Fantasy Kitchen Sink

Psychic Nosebleed

Genius Loci

Lost World

Modern Mayincatec Empire


Translation Convention

Time Dilation

To Serve Man

The Symbiote

Sunken City

Subspace Or Hyperspace

Soul Jar

Soylent Soy

Sky Surfing

Science Hero

Mad Scientist/Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter

Mighty Whitey

Kid Hero/Detective/Superspy

From Nobody To Nightmare/Start Of Darkness

Multigenerational Household

Fake Ultimate Hero

Combat Sadomasochist

Chronic Villainy/CiVillain/Science Related Memetic Disorder/Reformed But Rejected

Dr. Genericius

Artifical Human

Opposite Sex Clone

Minion With An F In Evil/Hero With An F In Good

Villain Ball Magnet

Anatomy Arsenal

Androids And Detectives

Apocalypse How/Apocalyptic Log

Ancient Conspiracy

Artificial Limbs

Augmented Reality

Automaton Horses/Clockwork Creature

Ave Machina

Blood Sport

City In A Bottle

Coca Pepsi Inc

Color Coded Wizardry

Contagious Powers

Cosmic Keystone

Crystal Spires And Togas

Death Ray/Disintegrator Ray

Deus Ex Machina (and variations)

Dilating Door

Doing In The Scientist/Doing In The Wizard

Easily Detachable Robot Parts

Elaborate Underground Base

Fantastic Racism


Food Pills

Force Field Door

Freak Lab Accident

Giving Radio To The Romans

Glamour Failure

Goddamn Orks


Half Human Hybrid

Here There Be Dragons

Jungle Princess

Lensman Arms Race

Ley Line

Living Relic

Magic Carpet

Mars Needs Women

Masquerade (and related)

Mundane Utility

People Farms/Jars/Zoo

Precursors (and variations)

Magician Detective*

Remember, May 1st is the "deadline" (though you can ask for more time). Feel free to let us know what you've got brewing so far. ;)

4/17/2010 . Edited 4/21/2010 #21

Short stories/one-shots are fine, yes?

...But now you make me want to throw in a Jungle Princess...

4/17/2010 #22

This entire contest (and any subsequent ones) revolves around writing short stories/one-shots, so... Yes. Yes, they are. =P But, hey, if you get started and things naturally expand into multiple stories or even a series, then all the better.

And doooo it.

4/17/2010 . Edited 4/17/2010 #23

I don't have enough time at present to join the RPG and commit to it (especially since I teach college, and finals week looms dolefully large on the horizon), but I will enter this contest!

Also: Does 'Magician Detective' (where it's not real) count as 'Occult Detective'?

4/20/2010 . Edited 4/20/2010 #24

Glad to hear you'll enter. And huh, I'd not heard of the Magician Detective before, actually (otherwise I would've definitely placed it among my other choices). The two tropes seem pretty distinct from one another, but what the hey, go ahead and use it. I'll just add it to my list. ;)

4/20/2010 #25

I'm not sure I'll necessarily use it (leaning more towards the Occult/real, anyway)--just noticed it linked off of Occult Detective and not in here.

4/20/2010 #26

Ah, I see. Well, like I said, I didn't actually know about that one. Anyway, now it's fair game.

4/20/2010 #27
Lord Monbodo

Heh, you don't mind if I use the Shut up Hannibal! trope do you?

4/20/2010 #28

Okay, I'm only doing this one more time, guys. Let's read through the thread(s) next time before we ask questions which may have already been answered. To quote (myself);

"For the record, everyone; I definitely encourage incorporating tropes of your own choosing. Just make sure you use some* from my list, too, 'kay? 'Kay."

*"So, rules; pick 2 subgenres and then AT LEAST 2 tropes from each (of the 2 you picked) and write a story. However, since I've got quite a loooong list, I'm totally fine with people throwing in as much as they want into a single story, producing some sort of troperrific pulp superbaby."

4/21/2010 #29
Lord Monbodo

*_* okay stupid question. Sorry.

4/21/2010 #30
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