I know I'm not the only one who has difficulty classifying stories and novels along genre lines. Many authors seem to be dismissive of genre labels, while many critics and reviewers are fond of the phrase "transcends the genre" to indicate writing of quality.
That being said, I began to think of the Pulp genre of stories as something more of a meta-genre. After all, there are several well-known genres that are covered by the Pulp label: Pulp Crime, Pulp Crimefighters, Pulp Science Fiction, Pulp Westerns, etc.
How to define the Pulp feel? Well, RPGs have actually done so. And many anthologies of old and new pulp stories are available at better bookstores.
Here's a link of interest: http://labyrinth.net.au/~adamford/pages/stuff/ManiFesto.html - the Neo-Pulp Manifesto!
I'll admit I skipped over most of the definition text to get at the examples. Here are a few I'm familiar with:
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (novel)
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (comic)
Firefly (TV show) / Serenity (movie)
Heat Vision and Jack (TV show - pilot only)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV show)
Evil Dead III: Army of Darkness (movie)
Well, that's interesting. Certainly an area I'd like to play around in writing-wise.
I wonder if we can include Trese by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldissimo as Neo-Pulp? Seems to embody the spirit quite well. I'd tag my own short story "The Death and Rebirth of Nathaniel Alan Sempio" as Neo-Pulp as well. I use the term "tag" because it could arguably belong to other genres.
Perhaps that's an approach we should take a look at? Accepting that fiction often jumps around various genres and meta-genres, taking stuff here and there, and mixing them together into stories that work. Tag them books and stories authors!
Why not just do away with tags and genres, you say? Well, they'll creep back in somehow. I mean, it's like looking for a restaurant - sometimes I don't care what I want to eat, but sometimes I want to eat Italian, or Japanese, or Filipino food and ask recommendations accordingly. The restaurant I end up at may not be that great or it might just be fantastic, but I won't know that unless I've eaten there before, right?
Then again, I have friends who decide they want to go to McDonald's and only order chicken anyway, so maybe the analogy is just plain flawed.