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 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.
We are currently working on an online event to replace it — a WisCOnline, if you will. More details will be coming in a second blog post by next Monday (March 30).
WisCon 45, in May 2021, will be a banger, with all the elements of WisCon 44 that we are unable to carry off online, as well as all of the normal elements of WisCon 45! More details will be coming soon on W45 as we confirm them; watch this space!
The live streaming event will take place on Discord, a wonderful service for audio and text chatting – a free account will be needed to participate. The link you will need for the event is https://discord.gg/ZJfh7xD if you want to participate in the live text chat or want to be a reader. If you just want to listen, the live stream should be available on YouTube, thanks to the excellent support of the German Tolkien Society (Deutsche Tolkien Gessellshaft e.V.) – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCerbg8qXXeiQEvxq7u6Kz6w
You are welcome to join in at any time, though there will not be any scheduled readings until March 25th. If you would like to schedule a time to read something, please contact me through private message and we will work it out. Open mic readings will take place all day long as well if you just want to drop in.
Some of the guest readers will be: Marcel Aubron-Bülles, Dr. Luke Shelton, John Garth, Carl Hostetter, Dr. Andrew Higgins, Jason Fisher, Brian Sibley, Chica Chubb (Japan), Dr. Sara Brown, Stephen Hunter (“Bombur” in The Hobbit movies), Bruce Hopkins (“Gamling” in The Lord of the Rings movies), Ted Nasmith, Verlyn Flieger, and Dr. Una McCormack
(5) KAYMAR. Fan artist Jose Sanchez is the winner of the
2020 Kaymar Award, given by the National Fantasy Fan Federation.
Jose’s artistic contributions have added brilliance to the covers of the N3F’s magazines, including N’APA, Tightbeam, and Eldritch Science. Three cheers for Jose’s contributions! And may they long continue!
Jemisin cites the recent debates over the World Fantasy Award (which has traditionally been shaped as a bust of H.P. Lovecraft despite the “Call of Cthulhu” author’s public record of vile racism) as one of the main inspirations for The City We Became. That aforementioned “otherworldly threat” facing New York resembles both Lovecraft’s work and his life. The Enemy, as the characters refer to their many-headed foe, sometimes appears in the form of strange tentacled monsters (very reminiscent of Lovecraft’s signature Great Old Ones), but other times disguise themselves in human form as white gentrifiers and alt-right racists. Lovecraft himself lived in New York for a time, and documented in letters how repellent he found the city’s signature mix of people from all ethnicities and walks of life.
“It’s basically me mentally and spiritually engaging with the whole idea of how so much fantasy owes itself to Lovecraft, while overlooking his glaring flaws,” Jemisin says. “I also read some of his letters where you can see him just being horrifically racist, using the same language to refer to people in New York City the same way he refers to the Great Old Ones and Nyarlathotep and all the other creations of his. It’s kind of a deep dive into how pathological racists think. You cannot read Lovecraft without understanding that this is what’s in Stephen Miller’s head. There are all these people out there who sadly and horrifyingly now have positions of power, and they think of their fellow human beings this way.”
(7) UDERZO OBIT. Albert Uderzo
(co-creator of Asterix) has died at 92 according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Astérix,which has a cult following, particularly in Europe, has also becomea major film franchise, both in animated and live-action form. The property has spawned a number of cinematic adaptations, most notably 1999’s Asterix & Obelix Take on Caesar, starring Gerard Depardieu and Roberto Benigni.
Asterix debuted in October 1959 in the French magazine Pilote, created by René Goscinny and Uderzo. Two years later, the first stand-alone effort, Astérix the Gaul, was released. Since then, the series has gone on to sell more than 380 million copies, translated into more than 100 languages internationally. The duo collaborated on the comic until the death of Goscinny in 1977. Uderzo then took over the writing until 2009.
March 24, 1946 — The Shadow’s“The Walking Corpse” first aired. Like most of The Shadow stories aired after the brief glorious run of Orson Welles as The Shadow in the Thirties, little is known about who was involved it in though it is known that Eric Walker was the writer. We were unable to pin down who were the actors involved, nor who the sponsors were. If you listen to the episode, do tell us what you find out!
(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born March 24, 1834 — William Morris. Credited with creating the modern fantasy literature genre, he certainly wrote some of its earlier works, to note his epic poem The Earthly Paradise, The Wood Beyond the World and The Well at the World’s End, plus his entire artistic motif fits nearly within a fantasy literature and artistic design that looks as if it was created by the Fey Themselves. All of his works can be found at the usual digital suspects, often at no cost. (Died 1896.)
Born March 24, 1874 — Harry Houdini. His literary career intersects the genre world in interesting ways. Though it’s not known which, many of his works were written by his close friend Walter B. Gibson who as you know is the creator of The Shadow. And one famous story of his, “Imprisoned with the Pharaohs”, was actually ghost-written by Lovecraft! ISFDB lists another piece of genre fiction for him, “The Spirit Fakers of Hermannstad.” (Died 1926.)
Born March 24, 1897 — Theodora Kroeber. Mother of Ursula K. Le Guin. Anthropologist. Ishi in Two Worlds is the work she’s most remembered for. ISFDB lists her as having but one genre work, a children book titled Carrousel with illustrations by Douglas Tait. (Died 1979.)
Born March 24, 1924 — Peter George. Welsh author, most remembered for the late Fifties Red Alert novel, published first as Two Hours To Doom and written under the name of Peter Bryant. The book was the basis of Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. (Died 1966.)
Born March 24, 1930 — Steve McQueen. He got his big break by being the lead, Steve Andrews, in The Blob. Setting aside the two different roles on Alfred Hitchcock Presents he had which are at least genre adjacent, The Blob is his only genre appearance in his brief life. (Died 1980.)
Born March 24, 1941 — Henry Glassie, 79. Folklorist who’s the author of one of my all-time fav Christmas books, All Silver and No Brass: An Irish Christmas Mumming. I was delighted to see that ISFDB say he has two works of genre fiction, “Coals on the Devil’s Hearth“ and “John Brodison and the Policeman”. Both are to be found in the Jane Yolen anthology, Favorite Folktales from Around the World which is available at all the usual digital suspects.
Born March 24, 1946 — Gary K. Wolfe, 74. Monthly reviewer for Locus for twenty-seven years now and yes, I enjoy his column a lot. His brief marriage to Ellen R. Weil which ended with her tragic early death resulted in them co-writing Harlan Ellison: The Edge of Forever. Old Earth Books has reprinted many of his reviews done between 1992 and 2006 in Soundings: Reviews 1992-1996. He’s also written several critical looks at the genre, Critical Terms for Science Fiction and Fantasy and The Known and the Unknown: The Iconography of Science Fiction.
Born March 24, 1946 — Andrew I. Porter, 74. Editor, publisher, fan. Major member of NYC regional fandom starting in the early Sixties. APA publisher and edition in mind boggling numbers with Algol: The Magazine About Science Fiction which became Starship. He won a Hugo for Best Fanzine in 1974, in a tie with Richard E. Geis. who was doing SFR. He sold Science Fiction Chronicle which he founded in May 1980 to DNA Publications in May 2000 and was fired in 2002. Algol/Starship lasted less than five years despite the exceedingly superb reading it was. He has won myriad awards, including the Big Heart Award at a recent Worldcon. He has attended hundreds of science fiction conventions and nearly forty Worldcons since his first in ‘63. He was Fan Guest of Honor at several conventions, including the 1990 Worldcon.
Born March 24, 1949 — Tabitha King, 71. Wife of Stephen, mother of that writing brood. I met her but once on the lot of the original Pet Sematary a very long time ago. ISFDB to my surprise lists only two novels she’s written solely by herself, Small World and Wolves at the Door, and one with Michael McDowell, Candles Burning. None of her books are with her husband which surprised me.
(10) COMICS SECTION.
Lio explains to us why some aliens might wish to visit our planet:
Half Full, using a Batman reference, proves again that English is a funny language.
Grant Snider’s cartoon is not genre, but is apropos to the times.
(11) CALLING SHORT ORDER COOKS. The editorial team of Journey
Planet is looking for articles, artwork, creative writing, or anything
printable for their upcoming issue dedicated to DC’s Swamp Thing.
Anything related to that character in comics, film, and television — live
action or animated — is all good. They’ve received great submissions
already. They’d like yours as well. Send entries to Chuck Serface
at firstname.lastname@example.org by April 1, 2020. The issue will appear
(12) FREE BOOK OFFER. To encourage folks to STAY AT HOME, Black Coat Press is now offering one free book to anyone who will write
to them and request one! You have a choice between four titles:
Send them an email at email@example.com telling (1) which title you desire, and (2) if you want to receive it as a PDF or an EPUB file. That’s all! No strings! No archiving of email addresses! Please stay home!
The Horror Writers Association (HWA) and Poisoned Pen Press, an imprint of SourceBooks, present the Haunted Library of Horror Classics, a line of reissued classic horror literature books from over the past 250 years. These books are recognized as literary masterpieces of their era and are either remembered today only through distorted theatrical or movie versions, have been relegated to academic study, or have otherwise been nearly forgotten entirely.
…”Simply put, we are running out of fish,” says Daniel Pauly, a professor of fisheries at the Institute of Oceans and Fisheries at the University of British Columbia. “And the situation, the trend line, is getting worse every year.”
“Maybe centuries ago we could live off hunting for our food but we can’t live off hunting today and fishing is hunting. The notion of hunting in the 21st century to feed 10 billion people is absurd.”
A handful of start-up firms think they might have the answer. They are experimenting with growing fish “meat” in the lab.
Mainly based in Silicon Valley with a couple in Europe and Asia, they have developed techniques to extract fish stem cells and grow them into commercial quantities of edible flesh.
Stem cells are a type of cell, found in embryos or adult creatures – which can grow into a number of different specialised cells. They can grow into the muscle cells which make up most the parts of fish people like to eat.
They’ve also released “The Jedi Went Down to Tattooine” –
What happens when you mix The Phantom Menace with Charlie Daniels? An outer rim ho-down, ya’ll. Strap in and enjoy this before the mouse yeets it.
(18) JIM BUTCHER DOUBLE PLAY. A new trailer for Peace Talks (the next Dresden) just
came out — and at about the 1:49 mark of the trailer comes the announcement that
another new Dresden, called Battle Ground, will be coming out in
September of this year.
PEACE TALKS by Jim Butcher, Book 16 of the five-time #1 NYT Bestselling Dresden Files book series. Coming July 14th in hardcover, ebook, and audio formats from Penguin Random House.
[Thanks to Cora Buhlert, JJ, Cat Eldridge, Chip Hitchcock, Dann, Martin
Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy, Michael Toman, John King Tarpinian, Olav Rokne, Chuck
Serface, Nina Shepardson, Darrah Chavey, Daniel Dern, Danny Sichel, Paul Di Filippo,
Contrarius, and birthday boy Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title
credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]
(1) NEW HORROR “RADIO NETWORK.” Brian Keene announced
yesterday on Facebook that The
Horror Show with Brian Keene will become the flagship podcast for the new Brian Keene Radio Network,
which will also include Defenders Dialogue, Cosmic Shenanigans, and Grindcast. From
the statement, it looks like the split from Shelly and Armand Rosamilia is
amicable. They are all still friends.
The Horror Show with Brian Keene started out on the Project iRadio Network. During our second year, we became part of the Project Entertainment Network.
Beginning April 1, (in the midst of our sixth year on the air) The Horror Show with Brian Keene will become the flagship podcast for the new Brian Keene Radio Network,…
Listeners will not be impacted by this change. You’ll still be able to hear episodes of each podcast for free via Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, YouTube, Google Play Music, and all other platforms. You’ll also be able to hear them for free on a new 24/7 live-streaming venture (a rebooted and revamped Brian Keene Radio) beginning in April. Old shows will still be accessible, as well. You may notice some changes to the structure of each show — new theme music, new title cards, advertising presented in a different way — but otherwise, it’s business as usual….
(2) DEAR JEFF BEZOS. While Amanda S. Green had some
unfortunate problems uploading her new book via Kindle Digital Publishing,
thereby missing a deadline and forfeiting pre-orders, she got a hell of a good
post out of it for Mad Genius Club: “Not
How I Expected Today To Go”. A lot to learn here.
…Lesson #1: Check the Terms of Service on a regular basis.
Amazon has updated the Terms of Service and did so on Feb. 20, 2020. How many of you have read them since then to see if there are any changes you need to be aware of? I hadn’t–at that point. I guarantee you I have since then.
…In the meantime, I have set a recurring alarm on my phone’s calendar to remind me to check the ToS every month. Yes, I’m being obsessive about it. But I am convinced the fact I knew what the ToS said and could prove it was at odds with the FAQs helped me plead my case and get my pre-order privileges restored. (As did being professional in my dealings with Amazon).
This writer will not be the unhappy writer on what should be release day ever again.
Dan Scanlon didn’t have a sad childhood; he just grew up with a hole in it.
It was in the shape of his father, who died in 1977 when Scanlon was only one year old. Neither he nor his brother, who is about three years older, remember their dad. They tried to construct some sense of him from pictures, from stories, from glimpses of the few soundless reel-to-reel home movies they had.
That’s what inspired Scanlon, a veteran Pixar creative team member and director of Monsters University, to pitch the idea for Onward, an animated fantasy about two brothers who do the same. These siblings—younger, shy Ian (voiced by Tom Holland) and older, boisterous Barley (Chris Pratt)—are blue-skinned, pointy-eared elves in a suburban sword-and-sorcery world who harness magic to bring their late father back for one single day together.
The UK government is not ready to ban public events of scale yet, and Reed Exhibitions is apparently not ready to face the costs of a voluntary cancellation and continues to vow that the London Book Fair will proceed next week. The show is an increasing outlier, with the big Leipzig Book Faircanceling next week’s show.
More companies have announced that they will skip the fair and protect their employees, now including a number of UK-based companies and divisions. Penguin Random House, which officially had only made the show optional for US employees — most of whom opted out — has followed other large trade publishers in withdrawing entirely. Their spokesperson said, “The London Book Fair is an important moment in the global publishing calendar but given the fast moving situation around the Coronavirus, Penguin Random House has come to the difficult decision to withdraw from the fair in the interest of the health and wellbeing of our employees, authors, and partners.”
(5) CALL FOR ARTICLES. Steven H
Silver will be co-editing an issue of Journey Planet and would like contributions
that fit in with its theme —
I don’t believe in the supernatural, but when I was walking amongst the ruins of Kenilworth Castle back in 1984, I had the feeling that if ghosts existed, I was about to meet one.
As anyone who knows me can tell you, I’m not much for wandering around outdoors. Allergies have had a tendency to make me favor climate controlled areas, so it came as a huge surprise to Elaine when we saw Thingvellir in Iceland that I commented “I want to come back here and spend three or four days hiking and camping.”
While it is true that travel broadens the mind, it is also true that it opens us up to the magic of the world around us. This year, I’ll be co-editing an issue of the Hugo Award wining fanzine Journey Planet with James Bacon and Christopher J Garcia that looks at “the most magical place you’ve visited.”
We’re leaving it up to the authors and artists whose work will appear in this issue to define what “most magical” means in this context. It could be a place that took your breath away, a place that actually made you believe that magic or ghosts or the supernatural existed, a place that has significant meaning for you, or something else entirely.
Artwork and photos based on the same prompt are also very welcome.
If you are interested in participating, please drop me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss appropriate topics and article length.
The deadline is June 20.
(6) AO3/CHINA UPDATE. Two English-language publications
that focus on China have news stories from their perspective.
…Outraged internet users took to social media Weibo to voice their anger, accusing Xiao’s fans of being compliant in China’s censorship machine.
“China has succeeded in getting people accustomed to self-censorship in the past decade, and in using public power to eliminate those with different opinions. The idea has been deeply rooted in everyone’s head,” Weibo user Frunzzi wrote in one of the most popular comments.
Another user with the handle ChaofanDouxiansen wrote: “Why would you hurt the already limited space for creation? Shame on you.”
…Some Sean Xiao fans went so far as to organize a coordinated assault against the website, posting a message that encouraged others to report AO3 and LOFTER (China’s equivalent of Tumblr) for unlawful and homoerotic content.
Unfortunately, it seems that the spiteful act has yielded results. AO3 is now blocked in China, leaving a massive base of displaced fanfiction authors and readers. In turn, that community has started to launch similar attacks against Xiao’s fanbase.
The whole thing is a huge and unnecessary mess, and the fan who organized the assault has admitted to working with Sean Xiao’s management team in order to control the situation on Weibo.
(7) KGB. Fantastic Fiction at KGB reading series hosts Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel present Daniel Braum and Robert Levy on Wednesday, March 18, 7 p.m. at the KGB Bar (85 East 4th Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY.)
Daniel Braum is the author of the short story collections The Night Marchers and Other Strange Tales, The Wish Mechanics: Stories of the Strange and Fantastic and the Dim Shores Press chapbook Yeti Tiger Dragon. His third collection, Underworld Dreams is forthcoming from Lethe Press in 2020. The Serpent’s Shadow, his first novel, was released from Cemetery Dance eBooks in 2019. He is the editor of the Spirits Unwrapped anthology from Lethe Press.
Robert Levy’s novel The Glittering World was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and the Shirley Jackson Award, while shorter work has appeared in Black Static, Shadows & Tall Trees, The Dark, The Best Horror of the Year, The Year’s Best Gay Speculative Fiction, and more. Anaïs Nin at the Grand Guignol, a speculative novella written in the style of the literary icon’s legendary diaries, was released in October by Lethe Press.
(8) LUNNEY OBIT. Fanzine fan Frank Lunney died February 28 due to a coronary event. Early on, Lunney’s Beabohema was competitive with the very best sercon zines of its day, gaining a Best Fanzine Hugo nomination in 1970 when it shared the ballot with Richard E. Geis’ Science Fiction Review, Charlie Brown’s Locus, Leland Sapiro’s Riverside Quarterly, and Peter Weston’s Speculation. Wikipedia says his contributors included “a then-obscure fan named ‘Gene Klein’ who would later become famous as Gene Simmons of KISS.”
In the early Seventies he switched
over to publishing Syndrome, the reasons for which he explained in
an interview published by Dan Steffan and Ted White in Blat! (See the
full text here.)
…But the real thig that made me decide to change was being at the Boston woldcon in 1971 with the Katzes and the Kunkels. They had some hashish that made me hallucinate. (laughs) And they loaned me A Sense of FAPA with Ah! Sweet Idiocy in it, and I read and I realized that not writing about science fiction was a lot more interesting than being concerned with science fiction at all….
Although he considered what he was doing before to be fannish, from that point on other fans also identified his output as fannish. Or even faannish. In later years he would often attend Corflu. Indeed, Lunney is credited with originating the Corflu practice of paying $20 to have one’s name removed from the choosing hat, taking away any risk of being drafted to give a GoH speech at the Sunday banquet.
(9) TODAY IN HISTORY.
March 3, 1965 — Mutiny in Outer Space premiered. It was, produced, directed and written by Hugo Grimaldi and Arthur C. Pierce (although the latter was not credited as directing). It starred William Leslie, Dolores Faith, Pamela Curran and Richard Garland. The word “meh” would best sum up the reaction critics at the time had to this film. It has no rating at Rotten Tomatoes so you’ll need to watch it and see what you think of it.
March 3, 1965 — The Human Duplicators premiered. It was produced and directed by Hugo Grimaldi and Arthur C. Pierce (without a credit for the latter as director). The film stars George Nader, Barbara Nichols, George Macready and Dolores Faith. It was the color feature on a double bill with the black-and-white Mutiny in Outer Space. It wasn’t well received by critics, and Mystery Science Theater 3000 gave it their usual treatment. It currently holds a zero percent audience rating at Rotten Tomatoes. You can see it here.
(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born March 3, 1863 — Arthur Machen. His novella “The Great God Pan” published in 1890 has garnered a reputation as a classic of horror, with Stephen King describing it as “Maybe the best horror story in the English language.” His The Three Impostors; or, The Transmutations 1895 novel is considered a precursor to Lovecraft and was reprinted in paperback by Ballantine Books in the Seventies. (Died 1947.)
Born March 3, 1920 — James Doohan. Montgomery “Scotty” Scott on Trek of course. His first genre appearance was in Outer Limits as Police Lt. Branch followed by being a SDI Agent at Gas Station in The Satan Bug film before getting the Trek gig. He filmed a Man from U.N.C.L.E.film, One of Our Spies Is Missing, in which in played Phillip Bainbridge, during the first season of Trek. Doohan did nothing of genre nature post-Trek. ISFDB notes that he did three genre novels co-written with S.M. Stirling. (Died 2005.)
Born March 3, 1924 — Catherine Downs. She’s in four Fifties grade B SF films: The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues, The She Creature, The Amazing Colossal Man and Missile to the Moon. All but the first film was the subject of a MST3K show. (Died 1976.)
Born March 3, 1936 — Donald E. Morse, 84. Author of the single best book done on Holdstock, The Mythic Fantasy of Robert Holdstock: Critical Essays on the Fiction which he co-wrote according to ISFDB with Kalman Matolcsy. I see he also did two books on Kurt Vonnegut and the Anatomy of Science Fiction on the intersection between SF and society at large which sounds fascinating.
Born March 3, 1945 — George Miller, 75. Best known for his Mad Max franchise, The Road Warrior, Mad Max 2, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome andFury Road. He also directed TheNightmare at 20,000 Feet segment of the Twilight Zone film, The Witches of Eastwick, Babe and 40,000 Years of Dreaming.
Born March 3, 1977 — Sarah Smart, 43. She’s Jennifer in the two part Eleventh Doctor story, “The Rebel Flesh” and “The Almost People”. She’s Magda Cribden on The Secret of Crickley Hall, and played Carl Gruff in the “Billy Goat” episode of the Fairy Tale series.
Born March 3, 1982 — Jessica Biel, 38. A number of interesting genre films including The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Blade: Trinity, Stealth, The Illusionist, the remake of Total Recall which I confess I’ve not seen, and the animated Spark: A Space Tail.
Born March 3, 1980 — Katherine Waterston, 40. She’s Tina Goldstein in the Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which she reprised in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. And she was Janet “Danny” Daniels in Alien: Covenant. Finally I’ll note that she was Chrisann Brennan in the Steve Jobs film.
(12) FOWL TRAILER. Artemis Fowl hits U.S. theaters
Disney’s “Artemis Fowl,” based on the beloved book by Eoin Colfer, is a fantastical, spellbinding adventure that follows the journey of 12-year-old genius Artemis Fowl, a descendant of a long line of criminal masterminds, as he seeks to find his father who has mysteriously disappeared. With the help of his loyal protector Butler, Artemis sets out to find him, and in doing so uncovers an ancient, underground civilization—the amazingly advanced world of fairies. Deducing that his father’s disappearance is somehow connected to the secretive, reclusive fairy world, cunning Artemis concocts a dangerous plan—so dangerous that he ultimately finds himself in a perilous war of wits with the all-powerful fairies.
Here is retired Marine Randy Hoffman describing combat to young men and women in training. “Your heart rate is uncontrollable,” he tells them. “Your pulse goes up so much that your ears kind of stop up. Everything goes kind of in slow motion. Your brain focuses on minute details to help you get through engaging the enemy before he can kill you.” [Wall Street Journal, December 13, 2019]
There are also delayed physiological effects. Here is the late Paul Russell, a combat medic in Vietnam, describing his reaction after he crawled under incoming fire to rescue wounded GIs, an action for which he would be awarded the Silver Star. “I threw my guts up all the next day. Adrenaline.”
(14) PRESSING ON. Galactic Journey’s Gideon Marcus is full of good news about their affiliated venture, Journey Press. He begins the “State of the Press, March 2020 edition” with news that their flagship release, Rediscovery: Science Fiction by Women (1958-1963), is in over 300 bookstores (besides being available as an ebook.) Here’s what else they have coming up —
Old Masters sign on with Journey Press
It is our great honor and privilege to announce that Journey Press will be working with Hugo Finalist and SF veteran Tom Purdom to bring back his classic, I Want the Stars. We chose to bring back this particular book for several reasons. For one, it is a timeless work, with a unique vision of the human condition nearly a thousand years from now. For another, it may well be the first science fiction novel ever to explicitly star a Black man. That’s unusual for today, forget 1964. Finally, it’s just a great book. It comes out in June.
Also, we are bowled over with delight to announce our collaboration with Robin Brown, son of the late, great Rosel George Brown. Ms. Brown was one of science fiction’s brightest lights from the mid ’50s until her untimely death in 1967 (two of her best stories are in Rediscovery). Just before she passed away, she wrote Sibyl Sue Blue, the novel that features the first galactic woman space cop. If ever there were a genre we need to have more books in, it’s that one!
Look for Sibyl Sue Blue next year, timed to coincide with coverage of the book at Galactic Journey.
New Talent on the Horizon
In less than two weeks, we will be releasing Kitra, our first work of new fiction. It’s already gotten some great advance reviews, and we think it’ll be a hit. Well, we hope so: there are nine more planned books in the series! Don’t worry, though. Kitra stands alone.
We’re particularly excited about this release, not only because it’s a revival of the space adventure yarns of the mid-20th Century (think Robert Heinlein and Andre Norton), but it also features illustrations by the talented Lorelei E. Marcus. Last, but certainly not least, Kitra has a queer woman of color as its protagonist — again, something we think there should be more of!
Scientists at Iowa State and the University of Colorado say they’ve found compelling new evidence that the ancient Earth was an unbroken expanse of water, without a single continent. Yes: “Waterworld.”
The research, published this week in the journal Nature Geoscience, examined ancient samples of sea floor found in Australia and found chemical clues that Earth used to be a completely blue planet — a discovery, the scientists say, that could have deep implications for the history of life itself.
A Disney producer says the character Li Shang is missing from the live-action remake of Mulan, as his storyline is not “appropriate” in the #MeToo era.
The film tells of a woman who disguises herself as a man to fight in place of her father in China’s imperial army.
In the 1998 animated original, based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, General Li Shang developed a bond with Mulan’s male warrior alter-ego Ping.
After her true identity was revealed, she and Li Shang have dinner together.
Given recent revelations in Hollywood, however, producer Jason Reed confirmed they were uncomfortable with the power dynamics in their relationship.
“I think particularly in the time of the #MeToo movement, having a commanding officer that is also the sexual love interest was very uncomfortable and we didn’t think it was appropriate,” Reed told Collider.
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, Dann,
Mike Kennedy, Michael Toman, Martin Morse Wooster, Brian Z., and Andrew Porter
for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of
the day Camestros Felapton.]
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:
During today’s The Orville panel at San Diego Comic-Con, show creator and star Seth MacFarlane made big news, announcing the show is hopping from the Fox Broadcasting Network to the Hulu streaming service.
Note: These novellas don’t get much push from me beyond a few blog and chat-space posts, so getting the word out is pretty much up to their readers. Amazon always gets plenty of reviews, so appropriate mentions and reviews out-and-about elsewhere on the Net extend the reach more. Do please pass the word, if you are so moved.
(4) ANOTHER REVOLUTION. Journey Planet 45 – The Matrix dropped yesterday, assembled by guest editor John Coxon with Chris Garcia and James
Bacon. The stunning cover is by Meg Frank. Download the issue here.
Twenty years ago, The Wachowski sisters brought a groundbreaking film to fruition that not only bent the rules in regard to production but became the most memorable film of 1999 far eclipsing easily forgotten movies or disastrous disappointments.
The contributors to this issue ask many questions, discuss a variety of angles and consider the work now with ample time for reflection and digestion.
Contributors include, Emma Harris, Warren Frey, España Sheriff, Jenn Scott, Dave Lane, Ulrika O’Brien, Peppard Saltine, Helena MacCallum, Pete ‘Cardinal’ Cox, Bill Howard and CiteUnScene AI.
Art contributors include España, Chris, OzynO, Dark Ronin, Helianmagnou, Dark Tox1c, Frederikz, L0lock and ShaqueNova.
The Matrix spawned sequels, comics, animation and a considerable amount of books, thinking about concepts it set out.
Join us as you realize that 20 years have slipped by, and remind yourself of how you felt and what you thought about this fantastic film.
Audible tells The Verge that the captions are “small amounts of machine-generated text are displayed progressively a few lines at a time while audio is playing, and listeners cannot read at their own pace or flip through pages as in a print book or eBook.” Audible wouldn’t say which books would get the feature, only that “titles that can be transcribed at a sufficiently high confidence rate” will be included. It’s planning to release the feature in early September “to roll out with the 2019 school year.”
Penguin Random House, one of the world’s five biggest publishers, told The Verge that “we have reached out to Audible to express our strong copyright concerns with their recently announced Captions program, which is not authorized by our business terms,” and that it expects the company to exclude its titles from the captions feature.
(6) FRED PATTEN NEWS. Together with Stan Lee and
other notables, Fred Patten was commemorated by San Diego Comic-Con’s in
memoriam list, shown last night during the Eisner Awards ceremony. Fanbase
Press tweeted photos:
Sherrill Patten, his sister, says Fred’s final two books
are available to order.
has just published Fred’s last furry fiction anthology, the Coyotl Awards
Books now shows the cover of Furry Tales – A Review of Essential
Anthropomorphic Fiction in their online FALL catalog. Copies can be
Tales featuring anthropomorphic animals have been around as long as there have been storytellers to spin them, from Aesop’s Fables to Reynard the Fox to Alice in Wonderland. The genre really took off following the explosion of furry fandom in the 21st century, with talking animals featuring in everything from science fiction to fantasy to LGBTQ coming-out stories.
In his lifetime, Fred Patten (1940–2018)—one of the founders of furry fandom and a scholar of anthropomorphic animal literature—authored hundreds of book reviews that comprise a comprehensive critical survey of the genre. This selected compilation provides an overview from 1784 through the 2010s, covering such popular novels as Watership Down and Redwall, along with forgotten gems like The Stray Lamb and Where the Blue Begins, and science fiction works like Sundiver and Decision at Doona.
(7) REMEMBRANCE. Now online is Dublin 2019’s In Memoriam list, which shows the names of sff people who have died
since the last Worldcon.
(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born July 20, 1924 — Lola Albright. Though she’s best remembered best known for playing the sultry singer Edie Hart, the girlfriend of private eye Peter Gunn, she did do some genre performances. She’s Cathy Barrett, one of the leads in the Fifties film The Monolith Monsters, and television was her home in the Fifties and Sixties. She was on Tales of Tomorrow as Carol Williams in the “The Miraculous Serum” episode, Nancy Metcalfe on Rocket Squad in “The System” episode, repeated appearances on the various Alfred Hitchcock series, and even on The Man from U.N.C.L.E. in the episodes released as the feature length film The Helicopter Spies. She was Azalea. (Died 2017)
Born July 20, 1930 — Sally Ann Howes, 89. She is best known for the role of Truly Scrumptious in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. She was in Brigadoon as Fiona McLaren at New York City Center Light Opera Company, and in Camelot as Guenevere at St. Louis Municipal Opera. She was even in The Hound of the Baskervilles as Laura Frankland which has a certain Starship Captain as George Stapleton.
Born July 20, 1931 — Donald Moffitt. Author of the Baroness thriller series, somewhat akin to Bond and Blaise, but not quite. Great popcorn literature. Some SF, two in his Mechanical Skyseries, Crescent in the Sky and A Gathering of Stars, another two in his Genesis Quest series, Genesis Quest and Second Genesis, plus several one-offs. (Died 2014.)
Born July 20, 1938 — Diana Rigg, née Dame Enid Diana Elizabeth Rigg, 81. Emma Peel of course in The Avengers aside Patrick Macnee as a John Steed. Best pairing ever. Played Sonya Winter in The Assassination Bureau followed by being Contessa Teresa “Tracy” Draco di Vicenzo Bond on On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. By the Eighties, she’s doing lighter fare such as being Lady Holiday in The Great Muppet Caper and Miss Hardbroom in The Worst Witch, not to mention The Evil Queen, Snow White’s evil stepmother in Snow White. Now she would get a meaty role in Game of Thrones when she was Olenna Tyrell. Oh and she showed up recently in Dr. Who during the Era of the Eleventh Doctoras Mrs. Winifred Gillyflower in the “The Crimson Horror” episode.
Born July 20, 1949 — Guy H. Lillian III, 70. Letterhack and fanzine publisher notable for having been twice nominated for a Hugo Award as best fan writer and rather amazingly having been nominated twelve straight times without winning for the Hugo for best fanzine for his Challenger zine. As a well-fan of Green Lantern, Lillian’s name was tuckerized for the title’s 1968 debut character Guy Gardner.
Born July 20, 1959 — Martha Soukup, 60. The 1994 short film Override, directed by Danny Glover, was based on her short story “Over the Long Haul”. It was his directorial debut. She has two collections, Collections Rosemary’s Brain: And Other Tales of Wonder and The Arbitrary Placement of Walls, both published in the Nineties. She won a Nebula Award for Best Short Story for “A Defense of the Social Contracts”. “The Story So Far” by her is available as the download sample on iBooks in Schimel’s Things Invisible to See anthology if you’d liked to see how she is as a writer.
Born July 20, 1977 — Penny Vital, better known as Penny Drake, 42. Uncredited role as Old Town Girl in Sin City, Sox in Zombie Strippers (which also stars Robert Englund and Jenna Jameson), Astrid in Star Chicks, Sabula in Monarch of the Moon and Annette DeFour in Dreamkiller which I think is genre.
(10) CAKE RE-ENACTMENT. Yessir, don’t we all love gray
frosting? Other than that, impressive!
(11) HARD SCIENCE. The latest issue of IEEE Spectrum — Project Moon Base – contains fifteen
excellent articles about getting to the moon, building a base there, long-term
stays on the moon, and a bit of history. Greg Hullender says, “Highly
recommended to anyone interested in lunar exploration, particularly anyone
thinking of writing a story set in a future moonbase.”
IEEE Spectrum: You invented a completely new technology for landing on the moon. It seems to combine a maglev train, a railgun, and a hyperloop. Can you briefly describe how that works and how you came up with it?
Kim Stanley Robinson: I got the idea from a lunatic friend of mine. It’s basically the reverse of the magnetic launch rails that have been postulated for getting off the moon ever since the 1930s: These take advantage of the moon’s light gravity and its lack of atmosphere, which allow a spaceship to be accelerated to a very high speed while still on the surface, after which the ship could just zoom off the moon going sideways, because there is no atmosphere to burn up in on the way out. If you just reverse that process, apparently you can land a spaceship on the moon according to the same principle.
It blew my mind. I asked about the tolerance for error; how precise would you have to be for the system to work? My friend shrugged and said it would be a few centimeters. This while going about 8,000 miles an hour (12,900 kilometers per hour)! But without an atmosphere, a landing can be very precise; there won’t be any winds or turbulence, no friction. It was so fantastic a notion that I knew I had to use it.
(12) COLLECTIBLE. Montegrappa prices this beautiful
fountain pen at 6,750 Euros.
Moon Landing L.E.
A giant leap for mankind
In 1969 Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins captivated the world. Supported by a cast of thousands, their supreme achievement continues to set the bar for how big boyhood dreams can be. Developed in close coordination with NASA, a marvel of engineering in miniature transforms the act of writing. Allow your ideas to go where no-one has gone before. The Eagle has landed!
When Buzz Aldrin embarked 50 years ago on his historic voyage to the moon aboard Apollo 11, he packed a tiny, credit-card-sized book, “The Autobiography of Robert Hutchings Goddard, Father of the Space Age.”
Goddard, who was a physics professor at Worcester’s Clark University, launched the first liquid-fueled rocket in Auburn in 1926 and is generally considered the father of modern rocketry.
For Aldrin, who was the second man to set foot on the moon, there was also a personal connection.
Goddard had taught Edwin Aldrin Sr., Buzz’s father. Buzz never met Goddard but cherished his father’s connection with the professor, said Fordyce Williams, a coordinator of archives and special collections at Clark, where the book is on display.
The cast of HBO’s recently concluded Game of Thrones took the stage at San Diego Comic-Con Friday night to reflect on their time on the long-running fantasy series, and revealed a few secrets about their characters.
warning followed that opening paragraph. Tons of spoilers followed the warning.
So, you have now been warned
twice. (Or is it thrice?)
(15) UNDER COVER. ScreenRant profiles “The Most Popular Actor You’ve Never
Doug Jones is a highly respected and acclaimed actor who has appeared in over 150 acting jobs to his name to this day. However, chances are you never realized who Doug Jones was unless you’re a hardcore cinephile. That’s because many of Jones’ roles require him to be covered in extensive makeup and costumes that hide his natural visage. Jones is the man behind such iconic characters as the Lead Gentleman in Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s best episode, “Hush”, the monster in The Shape of Water, Saru in Star Trek Discovery and Abe in Hellboy, the latter of which took seven hours in makeup everyday just to bring the character to life. Jones got his start not by acting, but as a mime for his University’s mascot.
(16) FAN MAIL FROM A FLOUNDER. The surprising thing
about Richard Paolinelli is not that he wants to be insulting, but that he only
repeats insults someone else thought up first. Which probably informs potential
readers what to expect from his fiction.
There will be no manholes in Berkeley, California. City workers will drop into “maintenance holes” instead.
Nothing will be manmade in the liberal city but “human-made.” And students at the University of California, Berkeley, will join “collegiate Greek system residences” rather than fraternities and sororities.
Berkeley leaders voted unanimously this week to replace about 40 gender-specific words in the city code with gender-neutral terms — an effort to be more inclusive that’s drawing both praise and scorn….
(18) JEOPARDY! Andrew Porter was tuned in to Jeopardy!
on Friday and witnessed this:
Category: African-American Authors.
Answer: In the “African Immortals” series by Tananarive Due, vampire-like beings from this Horn of Africa country prey on the living.
Incorrect questions: “What is Somalia?” and “What is Cape Horn?”
Correct question: “What is Ethiopia?”
[Thanks to Mike Kennedy, John King Tarpinian, JJ, Cat
Eldridge, Chip Hitchcock, Martin Morse Wooster, Michaeline Duskova, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew
Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing
editor of the day Rob Thornton.]
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 James Bacon: Today sees the 70th Anniversary of the
publication of Nineteen Eighty-Four, and it is ten years now since
Claire Brialey, Chris Garcia, Pete Young and myself published Journey Planet
no.3 that focused on that book. Here is my editorial from Journey Planet
3, published Ten Years ago now/:
I am not sure when I fell in love with Julia. I am unsure when I read Nineteen Eighty-Four for the first time, but it left a mark on me as a teenager. There’s a rebellious streak somewhere in me, and I found the book rousing. At the time, I was in a Christian Brothers Catholic school, so the ideas of sexual repression and censorship not only repulsed me, but also were focus of my teenage angster. I hate censorship by the state, I hate the idea of them controlling, not for us, but for protecting the system. Fortunately, the state is rather incompetent; I don’t worry too much, although that incompetence can be fatal to any bystander, here or over there. The book has influenced so many things that I also love dearly. V from V for Vendetta, perhaps my favourite comic ever, is in my mind a successor to Winston Smith. Moore and Lloyd pay great homage to Orwell’s piece, yet this is still an original take on the concept of what is a super hero. Taking the fight back to “The Leader”. Moore’s recent League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier also beautifully amazing in its homagical setting. The TV series 1990 by the BBC in 1977, dubbed ‘1984 plus six’, was a great and more recent find staring Edward Woodward. Equilibrium and Brazil are truly derivative, but in a very enjoyable way. The Matrix strangely seems to replace a person we don’t see with a computer, but I think I may be alone. Burgess’s 1985 is a great read and I love the way he breaks it down into two parts, easier for the likes of me to wrap my brain, thoughts and imagination around. I do wish I could have gone to the Orwell Conference in Antwerp on 11 November 1983. The collection of nineteen papers I have in Essays from Oceania and Eurasia beginning with Burgess’s ‘Utopia and Science-Fiction’ indicates that if one likes something enough, even the academics seem interesting. The BBC play from 1955 is another favourite: Peter Cushing is a perfect Winston Smith, and nearly as good as the later John Hurt. I liked both Julias. She reminds me of someone. Someone I love. I wonder do I love these Julias or the book one. Romance is not strong in the book, although Orwell did like women. I like the way that the novel and terms therein have pervaded throughout modern culture, and although I am sure many fans of Ozzy will know why he says what he does, watchers of the Cathode Udder probably have no idea. I do, though, and that’s what matters. It is the book, the words penned so lovingly and carefully rewritten and worked on, chiselled at until they are perfect, that is what matters. This fanzine is partly an expression of gratitude and appreciation on my part. Is it science fiction? I’m still uncertain, but it’s a cracking good read for sure. end.
the first edition was a strong cover, Penguin books have issued so many
editions which I find attractive that I’ve come to own more than one edition.
True to say that eyes and moustaches do feature, and I honestly don’t have
every edition. Indeed, a quite check shows that a new Penguin Classics edition
has been released on the 6th of June. D-Day. Fans will note the subtle move
from Penguin Modern Classics to Classic’s, and I will no doubt seek out and
confirm who the cover artist is, although they are unfortunately not credited
on Penguins website.
There is so much about Nineteen Eighty-Four, that haunts humanity currently. For sure, many of us are fortunate enough not to be living the life that Winston and Julia had but the concepts and concerns and ideas and dreadfulness seem to have leaped from the pages to reality, scarily and vividly in an era of ‘alternative facts’ I think Orwellian elements are more pervasive now than they were ten years ago.
interest to fans could be the Secker and Warburg facsimile edition that
contains as much of the manuscript that exists, which as you can see with a
typed on the facing page to assist reading. Produced in 1984, it is a
fascinating insight into a piece of the writing process and although itself 35
years old, can be found for reasonable prices.
although I have only seen a number of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror TV
programmes, I do wonder if he sees the future as insightfully as Orwell
think it makes Nineteen Eighty-Four more important than ever.
two years The
International Flann O’Brien Society presents
the International Flann O’Brien Society Awards, otherwise known as the Father
Kurt Fahrt, S.J. Memorial Prizes. There are two awards, for the best
book-length and best article length-work on a Flann O’Brien theme. These awards
are affectionately known to members of the society as The Big Fahrt and The
Small Fahrt, and are presented Flann O’Brien conference which the society
the nomination process begins, a number of Fan-written works are nominable in
both the Big Fahrt and Small Fahrt categories, and have been long-listed.
Bacon explains. “Last year we published A Half Pint of Flann as
issue 44 of Journey
edited by Michael Carroll, Chris Garcia, Pádraig Ó Méalóid and myself, and it’s
been long listed for the Big Fahrt. This is an amazing honour, as it sees us on
the same list as Maebh Long’s Letters of Flann O’Brien, which is a
“Works published in the zine have
also been long-listed for the Small Fahrt and these include; ‘Mise agus Myles,’
by Johan Anglemark, ‘The Case for John Shamus O’Donnell,’ By Jack Fennell,
‘Extractum Ó Bhark i bPrágrais (A Flann O’Brien A to Z): Interim Version II,’
‘Object Found in a Book – I: An Béal Bocht Publisher’s Note; II: The Brochure,’
and ‘The Cardinal and/or the Corpse: An Exegesis of Rumour or The Revelation of
Stephen Blakesley,’ all by Pádraig Ó Méalóid, and ‘Introduction,’ by myself
(James Bacon) and Pádraig.
also very proud to have had my own two articles, ‘Off the Rails: Flann on
Track,’ and ‘Single Narrow Gold Band: Flann’s Pen,’ on the long list,” added
decided to pursue investigating the railway elements in Flann’s Cruiskeen Lawn
columns in the Irish Times last year, and I’ve since had a paper for the Dublin
Flann O’Brien Conference at University College Dublin accepted. It’s
entitled Off the Rails: Flann – An Expert Community Advocate for Rail
Transport. My esteemed colleague Pádraig Ó Méalóid will also be presenting
a panel at the conference, on Flann’s Column Bawn columns in the Sunday
Dispatch in the early fifties.
conference, entitled “Palimpsests: The Fifth International Flann O’Brien
Society Conference,” is taking place on the 16th to 19th July in Dublin, and is
already looking quite impressive for Flanneurs and/or Mylesians.
The organizers have just added acclaimed authors Joanna Walsh and Gavin Corbett to the line-up of keynote speakers and writers, which already included Anne Enright, Patrick McCabe, Maebh Long, Louis de Paor, Katherine Ebury, Blindboy Boatclub (from the Rubberbandits), Lisa McInerney, Erika Mihálycsa, David, Eddie, and Joanna O’Kane, as well as a special exhibition of items from the holdings of Burns Library’s Special Flann O’Brien Collection.
on how to attend the conference will be published shortly.
the International Flann O’Brien Society is free. Members also receive issues of
the Parish Review, the society’s regularly irregular electronic publication.
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.