Also known as Golden Agers
An extremely loose faction, in which the members identify with their subfaction more than the faction as a whole, the Pulpers are distinguished by their love of one or more of the classic “pulp”-style fiction series. Many Fen treat the Pulper faction as a grouping of convenience rather than a “true” faction.
Some subfactions of Pulpers are recognizable even to the layman; many of these are listed below. Other subfactions are nearly indistinguishable from each other.
Banzai Institute for Biomedical Research and Strategic Information
The most visible subfaction of the Pulpers in Fenspace, the Blue Blazers have their own writeup.
Fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars romances and similar works, the Barsoomians are fond of chivalry, swordfighting, and wearing very little clothing, but prefer to live their fantasies on the ground instead of joining the Space Pirates. There aren’t very many Barsoomians, but they’re responsible for one of the most recognizable symbols of Fen presence in the Solar System: the city of Helium, perched majestically on the northern rim of Hellas Planitia to guard the southern mouth of the Hellas-to-Isidis Grand Canal on Mars.
Some of the most modern Pulpers, the Foglios are fans of the comics of Phil Foglio. Many of the Foglios are either trying to biomod themselves into heavy-worlders (Buck Godot, Zap Gun For Hire), are busy fangirling the Mads (Girl Genius), are just rabid gamers in general (What’s New with Phil and Dixie), or are REALLY WEIRD!!! (XXXenophile).
The Sparks (the aforementioned Girl Genius fen) are responsible for maintaining the sub-faction's bases - the enigmatic Castle Heterodyne on Mars (used primarily by the Sparks), and the New Hong Kong base on asteroid 2244 Tesla (used equally by the Sparks and the Buck Godot Fen). While not all Sparks are Mads, all Foglio-Fen Mads are Sparks.
Fans of E.E. “Doc” Smith’s Lensman series, Lensmen believe that, while all men may have been created equal, they don’t stay that way – intelligence, drive, and force of will cause people to separate into distinct groups, and the most successful have a duty to defend, protect, and lead the rest of humanity. Military service is important to the Lensmen, and biomods that produce telepathic abilities are their still-unattained Holy Grail.
Lensmen hold themselves separate from the other Golden Agers.
The Quatermass Institute
|Handwavium is at the least sentient, and is likely truly sapient. It has a personality, which means it has some form of intelligence - an intelligence that is demonstrably not human. The issue is this: since it is intelligent, and possibly sapient, what do we do when this unknowable, alien intelligence turns against us?
—from a page on the Quatermass Institute website
While the rest of fendom gleefully go out into space, the Quatermass Institute grimly watch for signs of the inevitable alien invasion and stand ready to defend humanity – at all costs. They depend solely on hardtech, as they believe that handwavium may be a plot by the unseen aliens to weaken humanity as a prelude to their inevitable genocidal feast. For similar reasons, they avoid using the "alien" hardtech data in the Whole Fenspace Catalog.
The Slan are self-absorbed and melodramatic Fen who biomodded themselves with the same batch of ’wavium and the same wish: to become Slans. They have the enhanced physiology, the waving tendrils, and the “telepathy” (integrated bio-comms). And many say they’re the most whiny, supercilious jerks with overinflated martyr complexes in Fenspace.