Why we need pulp fiction now more than ever

The dangers of doomscrolling

I’ve been spending all my time doom-scrolling since Russia launched its brutal and unjust assault on Ukraine, and I can’t recall ever felt angrier with what I’m seeing in the news.

Short of WWIII, it’s about as bad as it can be. And in all seriousness, WWIII could break out now at any time. Many believe it’s just a matter of time. I asked myself, how can I write humorous sci-fi at a time like this? Why would anyone want to read it now? And so for a while I seriously considered dropping my current writing project – a light-hearted sequel to my humorous sci-fi series about aliens who love coffee. I felt like this just wasn’t the right time for writing frivolous sci-fi.

But then I thought about how popular dime novels were during the American Civil War, which featured escapist adventure stories. And during the depression cheap adventure stories in the form of ‘pulp’ fiction were hugely popular.

Dime novels became very popular during the darkest years of the Civil War

It’s in times like this that low-cost escapist adventure stories are needed more than ever. We all need to take a break from doom-scrolling through the news and find a way to unplug and relax. Pulp fiction, escapist adventures, humorous sci-fi – whatever kind of reading you prefer – is a legitimate form of recreation.

Apart from that, however, we must take things seriously and do what we can. The best way most of us here in Canada and the USA can do something practical is to donate to charities supporting worthy causes.

Recently I did some research into charities dedicated to assisting the people of Ukraine. The Washington Post and The Globe and Mail have both published lists of reputable charities supporting Ukraine.

Charities supporting Ukraine: