The pulps explore the unexplored

Another new archetype developed primarily by the pulps was the spaceman explorer. Taking cues from Marco Polo, deep-sea divers, Henry Morton Stanley and early American pioneers, the space explorer was something new to fiction, but with a decidedly familiar ring.

What was so appealing in the early pulps was that so little was known about other worlds that to the average joe reading them, anything can happen. Amazon races? Sure why not. Giant tarantulas? Yep, they make sense. Floating rocks? Hey they’re made out of that new element — gravitanium!

With such a wide berth of possibilities available, many of the early pulps were filled with sci-fi tales of brave explorers setting their rocket ships down on strange worlds.

So what was the typical equipment of a space explorer? Fish-bowl helmet. Sealed jump suit. Energy pistol. Rocket ship.

Also optional was the lovely sidekick, suitable to save your butt when your helmet breaks. (See above.)


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