From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
Pulp, meaning very cheap paper, was the stuff on which were printed popular magazines, the off-spring of the "penny dreadfuls" of the Victorian era and the "dime novels" of the early twentieth century. These magazines featured mysteries, Westerns, adventure, and - as time went on - science fiction stories. They were characterized by lurid covers and stories of dynamic heroes and monstrous opponents. They reached their peak of popularity in the 1920s and 30s.
Although the term "pulp" has come to mean generic hack writing, notable authors in the genre include Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and Erle Stanley Gardner.
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