By Bill Higgins: In August 1986, Jamie and Gail Hanrahan published PyroTechnics #38, a fanzine founded by Jeff Duntemann. It served as a club newsletter for General Technics, a loose organization of SF fans interested in do-it-yourself technology. That was 34 years ago.
In 2003, Andrew Plotkin found a copy of Pyro 38 stored in his dad’s basement. He decided to write a lengthy and thoughtful Letter of Comment. On September 10, 2003, uncertain whether 1987 postal addresses would still be valid, Andrew posted his letter to the rec.arts.sf.fandom newsgroup for all on Usenet to read.
Today I noticed that it has been just about as long between Andrew’s charming LoC and now as it has between the publication of Pyro 38 and the day Andrew posted his letter. I think this is a moment to celebrate.
The most recent issue of PyroTechnics, number 57, was published in 1997, six years pre-Plotkin. Nevertheless, we of the Pyro editorial staff are always glad to receive comments from readers. (I was one of two editors for #57.)
John Ridley, a GT member, has archived most of the issues of Pyro. One may read Issue 38 at this link.
General Technics still exists, and more or less thrives, though we haven’t published a zine in quite a while. We throw room parties a couple of times a year at Chicago and sometimes Detroit cons. We hold a weekend club outing annually. We correspond on a busy mailing list. Some of us have gafiated, but a goodly number are still active fans and/or pros. We still chatter about SF, science, and do-it-yourself technologies. In the Seventies we called ourselves “techies;” the closest modern word, I suppose, would be “makers.”
Anyway, I salute Andrew Plotkin’s noble gesture. He reminds us that fandom is, among other things, a long conversation. Here’s to friendships that stretch across decades. And long may the conversation continue.
Forty-five years ago the war comic Battle Picture Weekly crashed down into the British comics scene with such an impact that the aftershocks are still being felt today.
Now, in a special double-sized issue, the award-winning fanzine Journey Planet takes a look back at this fan-favorite — and sometimes controversial — comic, and presents all-new in-depth interviews and features with some of its top artists, writers and editors, as well as never-before-published artwork.
Join Pat Mills, Carlos Ezquerra, Cam Kennedy, John Wagner, Alan Hebden, Mike Dorey, Steve MacManus and more — as well as fans like Ann Gry and today’s comics creators including Maura McHugh and Garth Ennis — as they discuss the impact and legacy of Battle and its stories, from the sublime Charley’s War to the subversive Hellman of Hammer Force.
With special features on the hugely influential creators Joe Colquhoun and Mike Western, this issue of Journey Planet is a must for every Battle fan! Download the PDF here.
By Jeanne Bowman: Issue 71 of Outworlds was mostly assembled and ready for layout (articles, editorial, plus 140 pages of LoCs) when Bill Bowers finished his personal run on April 17, 2005.
Fifteen years later, at this year’s Corflu, Pat Virzi co-opted Jeanne Bowman and Rich Coad as co-editors to help complete this project from the files Dave Locke sent her. Pat promises production values that Bowers would have loved, but without the tiny type. The volume will be an Ace Double(:Bill) zine, with Outworlds 71 plus Afterworlds (a collection of commemorations to Bill) on the flip side.
If you knew Bill or his zines, we’re asking for your help. We are seeking contributions for Afterworlds: art, photographs, poetry, a paragraph, an article, one last letter of comment. You could send us your favorite photos of Bowers and tell us a story about them. Tell us some random memories of Bill – maybe about the first time you met, or the last time you talked to him. Tell us what Outworlds and Bill’s other zines meant to you.
Please help with a contribution to Afterworldsby June 25. Because how cool would it be to have this pubbed by Bill’s birthday (and the anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing)?
Wondering what to say? Here’s a bit of what we’ve already received:
I’m really one of his artists, not one of his commentators. Doing stuff for OW was a privilege when most of the other publications around him were so poorly executed. – Derek Carter
…But that was Bill for you; in his fanzine he was front and centre, but he never seemed to place himself at the centre in personal socializing. – Skel
…His last few years were hard, and now he’s gone, but it’s a pleasure remembering him and Outworlds now. – Arthur D. Hlavaty
Please send your questions, contributions, reflections, or remembrances to Jeanne Bowman and Pat Virzi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“If you all come through, I’m obviously in deep shit. So, go ahead: Make My Issue!” – Bill Bowers, “A Call to Arms .02” contributor request, May 1998
Looking ahead, in SeptemberSF² Concatenation will (hopefully, depending on its lock-down) have its autumnal (northern hemisphere) edition. This will consist of some articles and some standalone book reviews. (Many thanks to its book review panel members who have been sending in their reviews on USB memory sticks by old-fashioned snail-mail post as SF² Concatenation’s mission control is digitally isolated.) Alas, there will be no seasonal news page in September for the autumn as publishers are going rather quiet on the book promotion front, cinemas are closed to new films, and all SF conventions have been cancelled.
Looking further aheadSF² Concatenation will be suspending operations (other than receiving books from publishers for review). They will not be checking their e-mails (their mission control is digitally isolated during UK lock-down — ironically to prevent computer virus infection/master site hacking etc.) but they will pick up articles submitted by e-mail at some point in the future when they can get to their office.
Still further into the future, they aim to resume their seasonal editions three months after British lock-down ends. (This is because many publishers have ceased sending out physical review copies of books during the current SARS-CoV-2 crisis and so they will have to wait to accrue a season’s worth of books and review them before they can resume full editions.) They say they will though pick up their e-mails as soon as lock-down ends and liaise with contributors at that time. SF² Concatenation will also monitor publishers’ catalogues as soon as the resumption of production of new ones recommences and so their first seasonal news page may have lengthier forthcoming books listings as these will include recent releases not previously covered.
By James Bacon: Journey Planet, editors James Bacon, Christopher J Garcia, Alissa McKersie, Ann Gry, Chuck Serface, John Coxon and Steven H Silver are incredibly proud and pleased to have been considered by fans to be worthy of being nominated as a Hugo finalist.
2019 was a wonderful year for us all, in many ways, and we openly admit that this delightful news was and is badly needed at this difficult time for so many in 2020 and our thoughts are with those who work and strive in these challenging times. .
We hope that we can share our love and appreciation of so many things through our fanzines and welcome this opportunity to share them.
Last year’s issues were: Antique Space, Defying Integrity of Continuity, Apollo XI, and The Matrix.
Each of these issues are so distinctly different: from celebrating a historic anniversary to publishing Russian poetry, to the world of fiction in two so very wondrous and different ways. We are so privileged to have the time and good will of so many people who enjoy spending their time contributing, creating, and helping make these zines.
We would like to thank our contributors: Artist Sara Felix who did amazing covers for two of our issues. Artists Meg Frank and Vanessa Applegate who did a cover each.
Our thanks to Stephanie Alford, Bob Hole, and Jose Sanchez Ed Hengeveld, David M. Stein, Kurt Erichsen, Jack Clemons, John Scalzi, Richard Man, Alma Alexander, Allen M. Steele, Bryan A. Palaszewski, David Hardy, John Donat, Joseph Green, C. Stuart Hardwick, Nancy Jane Moore, Bill Higgins, Gregory Benford, y Pádraig Ó Méalóid, Brenda W. Clough, Scott Hipp, Sarah Gulde, Rob Hansen, Patty Wells, Regina Kanyu Wang, Teddy Harvia, and Tim Gagnon, NASA (we used a lot of their photos). Emma Harris, Warren Frey, Espana Sheriff, Jenn Scott Ulrika O’Brien, Jenn Scott Peppard Saltine, Cardinal Cox, Helena MacCallum, James Mason, and Bill Howard.
We are very grateful for everyone’s support and hard work, and we are thankful for the honour of being Hugo Finalists.
Our thanks to all those who nominated us but also to the Hugo Administrator Tammy Coxen and her team, the WSFS Division and of course the Chairs, Committee and staff of ConZealand.
Chris, James, Alissa, Ann, Chuck, John, and Steven.
The latest edition of Journey Planet is a departure for the team of Christopher J. Garcia and James Bacon as they focus on a single Russian poem, “Defying Integrity of Continuity,” accompanied by art by Ann Gry with a stunning cover by Sara Felix.
You can read it at Weebly here or on eFanzineshere.
Ann Gry who
co-edited this issue is from Moscow, is an event runner, lecturer in law,
artist and poet, who was welcomed by Prof. Jocelyn Bell Burnell to read at a
Dublin 2019 programme item featuring astronomy-related poetry pieces.
The editors say:
The question of what one does for poetry and how one finds poetry was important to the process of producing the fanzine. Journey Planet supports and welcomes work from fans and professionals alike, and have been privileged to have so many amazing contributions. In this issue the simplification of what readers are receiving, is hoped to allow a focus on poetry, allowing some thought, cogitation and consideration of the poem in full. The importance of art complementing the poetry is vital here. Ann Gry created the interior art, revised from the initial idea of presenting this zine in a livre d’artiste format. And all co-editors were absolutely overjoyed to be able to have such a fabulous cover by Sara Felix.
Ann Gry discusses the poem: ‘It is one of the most important pieces I’ve produced so far and it was largely inspired by the Irish Worldcon with all the readings, writings and conversations. I trust you to fill in the lines that follow with your own meanings.’
Chris and James recognize that this is perhaps the purest art edition of Journey Planet they have edited. Both approached this very differently. James was captured imaginatively by the simple yet beautiful line, that soon became the title of the zine, while Chris has always enjoyed penning and reading poetry, Ann became fully immersed in the editorial process, contributing more than expected to the layout, decisions and process while also seeing it as so many fans have, as a starting point.
James noted that he has bought art by Sara Felix, and supports writers, comic artists and YouTubers both by Kickstarter and Patreon. But how do we support a burgeoning poet? So James was very pleased when Ann said that she would start a Patreon to coincide with the release of this issue. Looking forward to her future work at https://www.patreon.com/AnnGry
Not all countries can access Weebly, and the editors “are grateful to Bill Burns for hosting and managing efanzines.com“.
issue will also be available on Scribd and Issuu:
Journey Planet 46 marks the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing. Editors, Chris Garcia and James Bacon welcomed Steven H Silver as guest editor on this special issue. Download the 144-page fanzine here.
contributions from Regina Kanyu Wang, Allen M. Steele, Gregory Benford, John
Scalzi, Patty Wells and Jack Clemons, there is a wide variety of subjects
covered -all connected with the Moon Landing.
“Walter, Frank, Jules, My Grandfather and Me” by David M. Stein
“Apollo 11 and the Volvo” by Jack Clemons, Images courtesy Jack Clemons
“Moon Shots—Words and Pictures” by John Scalzi
“The Hasselblad and the Space Program” by Richard Man
“The First Time All Over Again” by Alma Alexander
“Waiting for Someone From China… or Maybe California” by Allen M. Steele
“Apollo 11 Reminiscences” by Bryan A. Palaszewski
The Apollo Art of David Hardy
“Church and Space” by Nancy Jane Moore
“Coolock is Full of Spacers” by Pádraig Ó Méalóid
“Passing the Torch” by Brenda W. Clough
“Knowing Buzz” by Gregory Benford
The issue includes art and cartoons by Ed Hengeveld, Kurt Erichsen, Tim Gagnon, and Teddy Harvia.
on the fanzine began last year, and it is notable that co-editor James Bacon,
after making much mention of his pleasure at meeting Nasa Astronauts, said “I
will hope that Norah Patten, Ireland’s astronaut scientist, achieves her
dreams, and gains entry into the elusive and exclusive club of people who
have travelled into space, and I wish that she gets to watch the silent
stars go by” — perhaps he will say that in person at Dublin 2019.
By John Hertz: WOOF (World Order of Faneditors) is the apa collated annually, since 1976, at the World Science Fiction Convention.
It’s another Bruce Pelz invention. As Suford Lewis said, he had a fruitful imagination.
Legend says he called it his second dumbest idea. But what did he know?
I’m well aware that actually answering this question would be an elephantine task.
An apa (amateur press, or publishing, association) is – among us – in origin a device for distributing fanzines.
Russell Chauvenet coined the word “fanzine” in the 1940s. Analog, Asimov’s,The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and like that, are prozines. Our fanzines are amateur publications by fans, for fans. Pros sometimes contribute. Some people are both.
We borrowed apas from Amateur Journalism (sometimes “ayjay” for short). NAPA the National Amateur Press Association, founded 1876 and still ongoing – its 144th annual convention was 11-13 Jul 19 at Lansing, Michigan, U.S.A. – says it is
dedicated to the furtherance of Amateur Journalism as a hobby. Although deeply rooted in the “Black Art” of letterpress printing, all of the associated arts of writing, editing, publishing, and illustration are equally important to NAPA members. Each month’s bundle of papers, mailed to all members, will contain the work of printers, some who do not write, and writers and poets, and some who also print. Some edit and publish the work of others, leaving the craft of printing to yet others.
You can look it up.
Our fandom is younger, but was well along in 1937 when John Michel and Don Wollheim founded FAPA the Fantasy Amateur Press Association – also still ongoing.
It occurred to Michel and Wollheim – each of whom has much to answer for (historical present tense; JM 1917-1968, DW 1914-1990) – that fanziners could send copies of their zines to a central officer who would then collate and distribute them. From this came copy counts, membership rosters, waiting lists, and things too fierce to mention.
Since then we’ve had dozens of apas. They come and go, each with its own rules, customs, and jokes. Most of our apas have been quarterly or monthly. I’m in one that’s weekly.
The central and only officer of WOOF is the Official Editor. Some have held that position for years – Pelz himself, and Victoria Smith, to name two – but this too comes and goes.
The OE for WOOF in 2019 is Kees van Toorn, who among much else chaired the 48th Worldcon, at the Hague.
This year’s collation will be WOOF 44 (the number, like much else, is subject to controversy but there you are; possibly pertinent, but I insist it isn’t, atomic element 44 is one of the rarest metals on Earth, and has no biological role).
Sue Mason, some of whose artwork was collected by Alison Scott in No Moose Today, Thanks, will do a cover.
Would you like to contribute? There’s no formal membership.
This year’s Worldcon will be at Dublin, Republic of Ireland. At the moment WOOF seeks a convenient place for depositing and collecting contributions on paper. Electronic contributions will be printed and collated in.
The result will be (1) sent by paper or electronic mail to each contributor, as each may arrange with the OE; (2) sent to people who do not contribute, if any so arrange; (3) given to members of the Worldcon who seem interested, as resources may permit – including some way of covering the OE’s costs, with Dutch letters of exchange – that may not be right – hmm — or PayPal, or something.
Stay tuned for more details (“Slans! This is a Porgrave thought-broadcaster,” A.E. Van Vogt, Slan ch. 14, as the electronic may see here).
Meanwhile if you wish you can write or call me, 236 S. Coronado St., No. 409, Los Angeles, CA 90057, U.S.A.; (213)384-6622 (Pacific Time zone).
Why me – when I’ve never been in WOOF? Well, Lord Melbourne (William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne, 1779-1848), when told he was a pillar of the Church, said “I don’t think I can be a pillar of the Church. I must be a buttress. I support it from outside.”
Among much else he wrote and translated under the name Rei Kozumi. Some of us rendered this as “Mr. Kozumi”, not recognizing his Japanification – while in Japanese style the last name shall be first, the Japanese are punsters far beyond even the likes of me (and I wish I’d invented “Black Art”, though ink comes in other colors too) – of “cosmic ray”. He was great in fandom and prodom.
By James Bacon. Journey
just published four issues in quick succession. Covering a wide variety of
subjects and with co-editors James Bacon and Chris Garcia the consistent
constant, there have literally been 3 fanzines a day made available this week.
Journey Planet issue 41 presented Tony Roche’s
legendary fanzine Heroes Unlimited #8,
edited with Tony, Pádraig Ó Méalóid and Merlin Roche. Issue 42 – Infinite
Diversity in Infinite Combinations looks at Diversity within Star Trek fandom
with co-editor and Taff Candidate Sarah Gulde. Issue 43 was about Silicon
Valley co-edited with Chuck Serface and Issue 44, a Half Pint of Flann, a
primer of Flann O’Brien was co-edited by Michael Carroll and Pádraig Ó
four issues of Journey Planet have
converged for publication, but they did not come about or start anywhere near
the same time.
Journey Planet issue 41 presented Tony Roche’s
legendary fanzine Heroes Unlimited #8,
the Journey Planet edition repackaged
and added considerably to the edition published in print in September. Bonus
additional content, driven by those who had read and enjoyed the hard copy with
letters of comment, and also a reflection on the loss of Stan Lee, amongst
other new additions were added in. It is hard to know the genesis of this
issue, and it would not be unfair to say, possibly 49 years ago when issue 7 of
Heroes Unlimited was published, there
was an expectation that issue 8 would appear, but in modern times, it was in
February 2017, that Pádraig suggested that the time was now ripe for Heroes Unlimited #8 to Tony and so, it
began and twenty-two months later, an issue arrived. It was a glorious
experience, and involved a visit to Northampton, and meeting fanzine reader Alan
expected that we might get the Silicon Valley issue done some time before
Worldcon 76. That would have made sense, I thought, but all three editors had
commitments to Worldcon 76, albeit my own were tangential and all related to
Dublin 2019, Chris was an MC for the Masquerade and Chuck…. Well Chuck had a
really quite serious and responsible job at Worldcon 76, as Division Head for
member services. I thought it would be so nice to share my favourite Bay Area
places with fans before they arrive, and had written notes as early as June. It
was well after Worldcon that this issue really took shape, although work had
already been started, and I was on my way to San Jose in November when I
finished my own long contribution and we saw the issue come together.
chatting to Sarah Gulde after Worldcon, definitely in September and thought a
Star Trek issue would be a nice idea, Sarah then steered this in a direction
that really pleased both myself and Chris and suddenly we also had the title ‘Infinite
Diversity in Infinite Combinations’ and some excellent contributions coming in.
Michael Carroll expressed some interest when he was engaged about our Instant
Fanzine section and provided an amazing image for the and then Front
I had written another article on “The High Ground.” Despite bashing out 2,000
words on this episode that was banned by the BBC in the UK and RTE in Ireland,
and researching it with local fans, both Sarah and Chris felt the article did
not fit in with the overall theme of the issue. This is why co-editors are
important, I did not need to argue, or discuss it, if they both felt that way,
they are probably right, and it can be hard to objectively reflect immediately
when one is so close to an item, so you trust your co-editors. This will
actually work out well. We have heard by a back channel that someone connected
with “The High Ground” was pleased with the issue, which is terribly exciting,
and so, maybe it would be better to ask them first about for the article, while
another co-editor who contributed shared their passion for Trek, so at some
future stage, we may have a better article in another Trek issue, so Chris and
Sarah was very right.
of the real joys about Journey Planet
is that myself and Chris, are very open to ideas and concepts, and areas of
discussion. We cannot always find the energy and enthusiasm we need, to bring
an issue to fruition, which is why having co-editors is so vital. The
complexity of the workload, and reach of editors and skills they bring vary per
issue, is flexible, has to be. Sometimes ideas do not excite, or fail to
capture the imagination significantly, but can be returned to, other times,
work on an issue goes into hiatus, for any of many reasons. Right now, we have
a variety of potential issues in a wide variance of statuses, and know that we
can come back to them when matters are right. Everyone involved works very hard
and it is a pleasure to see what other voices and opinions can bring to the
zine, and this perhaps has something to do with why the fanzines are such
is everything though, for instance in our Flann issue, Michael Carroll was lead
on layout. That is because this issue had a stumbling block. I had forgotten to
tell everyone how much of this issue I had worked on in my head. Indeed, I
produced the idea of the issue, more broadly, on Friday the 21st of December.
That would be nine days ago.
Christmas period is always a good time for me to get writing done, and I find
that not only work, but Dublin 2019 matters slow sufficiently, that various
things that require thinking time can occur, an annual reflection and check-in
on how things are with Dublin 2019, and writing for fanzines is the pastime
things that I can get to, as well as sending out post, looking for books,
asking for input or instant fanzine contributions and enjoy reading submissions
so on. It can be really very productive.
course, I should have said to Chris, at least, that a Flann Primer was in my
head. You see, there is a lot of celebration occurring next year, At Swim Two
Birds is 80 years published, Palimpsests: The fifth International Flann O’Brien
Conference at University College Dublin on the 16–19 July and Dublin 2019
is occurring a month later. I would hope that we could garner some interest in
the subject of Flann and his writings, and elicit some future contributions for
a future far off issue, and so a ‘Primer’ to get people interested was the
notion that had concocted in my brain.
was over breakfast in Cafe Journal in Monkstown, on the south side of Dublin
with Tony and Pádraig, and while Tony is a fan, he is more of a Beckett man, if
truth be told, that the Flann issue came up.
a fabulous feast of Irish delicacies, surrounded by books, I voiced the idea of
the issue, and so it came to be. Chris of course, was appalled. His own
workload schedule was filled, and layout was beyond him, but I was not going to
not see this fail and once more into the breach, Michael Carroll stepped up,
and indeed now nine days later there is an issue done. Incredible.
was truly wonderful. While in Ireland I spent time reading and researching.
Fortunately, my late father had a supply of decent books on the Railways in
Ireland so I was able to reach for the Boocock.
Boocock wrote the Locomotive Compendium
Ireland, DMU Compendium, Irish railways 40 years of change and an
Irish Railway Pictorial, amongst
dozens of others). Johan Anglemark, Val Nolan and Jack Fennel turned up trumps
and Pádraig who is a scholar in Flann, had many an item on file and Michael
produced a first rate cover to wrap it all up.
so four issues are now up on the weebly and shortly I hope
will be on Bill Burns efanzines.com and I will pivot my focus back to
matters relating to Dublin 2019.
After 49 years, Heroes Unlimited #8continues the fanzine tradition that started with Merry Marvel Fanzine in Dublin in 1967 by Editor-in-Chief Tony Roche.
September this year, Editor-in-Chief Anthony Roche, Co-Editors James Bacon,
Chris Garcia, Pádraig Ó Méalóid and Merlin Roche, published in print copy Heroes Unlimited 8.
HU8 sports a cover by Paul Neary, with cover logo by co-editor Merlin Roche and cover caption by Todd Klein.
fanzine features a massive interview with Alan Moore by Tony Roche, an article
on “Women in Comics” by Sharae Deckard, and interviews with Maura McHugh;
Karen Green; Dr. Melanie Gibson; Hannah Means-Shannon; Annie Parkhouse; Kate Charlesworth;
Maggie Gray; Suzy Varty; Mary Talbot; Nora Goldberg-Fourrel de Frettes and
Sarah McIntyre by Pádraig Ó Méalóid.
fanzine contains a comic, “Something in the Post” by David Hine, and
illustrations and sketches and art from Ken Simpson, Will Eisner, Al Williamson
and Henry Scarpelli.
are articles on Irish authors of the fantastic, such as “A Master of Irish
Fantasy: Lord Dunsany” by Patrick O’Donnell, and “Bob Shaw’s Science Fiction”
by Eamonn Hughes, while Rob Hansen writes about early comics fanzines.
co-editors took time to write themselves, with Tony Roche reviewing the SCARP
Comic Convention in 1968 and the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo in 2018.
James Bacon took to writing about Troubled
Souls by Garth Ennis set in Northern Ireland and science fiction writer and
friend James White who also lived in Northern Ireland. Pádraig Ó
Méalóid writes about his beloved copy of Watchmen.
Heroes Unlimited 8 also reprints the Letter of
Comment that Alan Moore sent in following issue number 5, as well as a letter
from Derek G. Skinn that not even Dez remembers; and a late letter from Peter C
fanzine was printed and published in September 2018, and presented to
contributors, for comment.
Journey Planet is proud to present this, an
updated version of Heroes Unlimited 8,
as issue 41 of Journey Planet. We
have included a new article about the passing of Stan Lee by Michael Carroll,
words from Tony Roche capturing the connection he had with Stan Lee, letters of
comments from Dr. Sharae Deckard, Harry McAvinchey, and Dave Hine, and a record
of quite a wonderful and humbling day for the editorial team, with photographs
of the paper copy being presented to Alan Moore.
by the same group of editors who decided that it would be demanded in PDF
format and that they should take full advantage of the electronic form of
presentation. They hope you enjoy JP:HU8.
Themed, for your pleasure.