OK, so you may have already heard that we're up for the Hugo for Best Fanzine! Journey Planet edited by James Bacon (also up for Best Fanzine for The Drink Tank AND Best Fan Writer), Chris Garcia (same as James!), Emma King and Helen Montgomery (for the Gender Parity issue!) and Pete Young for the Blade Runner issue! It was an amazing year for us, simply fantastic. If you didn't read the three issues we put out, The Blade Runner issue (http://efanzines.com/JourneyPlanet/JourneyPlanet12.pdf) is one of the most beautiful zines I've ever seen. Pete did the layout and it's spectacular. David Hartwell even said so when I gave him a copy at WorldCon! It's got writing from James, me, Pete, Graham Sleight, James Shields, C.A. Chicoine, James Mason, Tonya Adolfson, and many many more. There's issue 13 (http://efanzines.com/JourneyPlanet/JourneyPlanet13.pdf) which has something like 50 contributors including folks I'd been wishing to have words from, including Gail Carriger, Carrie Vaughn, Alisa Krasnostein, and John Picacio! The James Bond issue, the last one of 2012, has thoughts on Bond from Andy Trembley, Kevin Roche, James, Me, Lynda Rucker, J. Daniel Sawyer, Julie McMurray, Taral Wayne, Chris "Glug' Hensley, and Alissa McKersie! It's a lot of fun with an original Alan Beck cover!

Now, the first issue of Journey Planet of 2013 is up on our Weebly site, http://journeyplanet.weebly.com) and is about The Write Stuff, writing and so on, with Guest Editor Lynda Rucker. There's so Deep Cuts on this one! We've got us, the wonderful Gail Carriger, Robin Hobb, Seanan McGuire, Mike Carey, Lauren Beukes, Maura McHugh, Lynne Thomas, and many, many more! It's a lot of fun!

And the next issue is all about Philip K. Dick with Pete Young coming back on to join us! We're working with some great stuff, including a Tim Powers piece AND a couple of things that I'm pretty sure PKD himself would have enjoyed.

And again, Woohoo!
The term 'herring-fucker' gets thrown around a lot these days, but no one flings is better than Jesse Bullington. In The Folly of the World, Jesse throws around a lot of words, and pretty much every single one of them lands perfectly into place in a plot that at first had me looking backwards-and-forwards for connection and control functions. It's not Bullington as a writer, but me as a reader that was having issues, but when it all came into view, when I could feel that there was a direction and it was clear, I was as drawn in as I have ever been with a novel by an author I've not yet read!

The characters are so richly drawn, and the historical setting of Dordrect, a part of Holland (also known as Dutchlandia) which ends up an island following the Saint Elisabeth floods, is wonderfully portrayed. It's the introduction of the awesome Jolanda that really moves the story, introduces a sense of disquiet to pretty much everything that happens after we first encounter her. She is exactly what the plansmen of the novel, Sanders and Jan, are looking for as she is able to retrieve the real focus of the story. There's a set of dynamics at play between the three mains that is so complex that it did take some serious attention. I thought that the way the characters played off each other, and used the entire situation of the story and the setting, to be very dark and twisting.

Not Twisted, but twisting.

Every step of the way, Bullington is making you love and hate every character. At times, I was thinking "Poor Jo." and at other "Fucking Jo!" and the same about Jan, and ESPECIALLY about Sander. It's hard not to like a character who walks to his execution excitedly in the first few pages, and while I thought Sander was a lot of fun, he was dark dark dark at time, and a heavy bit of action at others.

While the characters are great, I did find myself a bit ragged reading in the middle. The prose worked, hard and dark and disquieting, but the plot seemed to take too many steps of the music that was playing. A lot of time is spent on character development, which is good, but at the same time there are stretches where I'd have liked some movement. The opening is one of the most engrossing I've ever come across, and the finish is a bit harsh in its brimstone, as it were. At 400+ pages, it's something of a tent-pole novel: highest on the front and back, a bit slack in the middle.

I would say that The Folly of the World is a fine novel for readers who have a fondness for depth and for the kind of prose that goes straight at your throat. Bullington isn't a light read, no doubt, but the prose is so good, the characters so very layered, and the setting so looming, that you'll be dragged under faster than you can imagine.

This has a lot of Spoiler-y content, so you might wanna not go through it unless you've seen Skyfall.

You see, I did a run-through of all the Bond films leading up to the Bond issue of JP (which, if you haven't read it yet, it's up at (http://journeyplanet.weebly.com/uploads/1/5/7/1/15715530/journeyplanet14bonds.pdf)
and I finally watched Skyfall a couple of times, and had a lovely chat with John The Rock Coxon (and you should be reading him at Chickensinenvelopes.net now, as he does AWESOME stuff!) and he pointed out that it was no less sexist a movie than any of its predecessors. He pointed out that the female agent couldn't hack it, was put out to pasture as an office worker to be there for Bond to hit on in the future as Miss Moneypenny. I thought for a moment and found that I both agreed and disagreed.

You see, yeah, I can see where John's coming from, that the only two strong female characters in this movie are M and Moneypenny. You know what happens to M if you've seen it, but we lose Moneypenny to the trill of the Office. This is after she performs both admirably, and less-than-admirably, in the field. Does choosing to not be a field agent make her any less of a important figure? I don't see it that way. She settled down, and I think this talks more and more to Bond's inability to settle down; his deathwish. She's smarter than Bond and knows when to get out with her life. M said it long ago: Double-0s have a short life expectancy. It is not unreasonable to leave that, no matter what gender you are, and Bond doesn't have that option, largely out of his own sense of duty. And Moneypenny stands as almost as tough an agent as Bond, especially when she tracks him down, obviously without his knowledge.

Now, what interests me the most is that we finally have a reason for the Moneypenney-Bond flirtation. Watch Skyfall and see all the points where she takes the lead, grabs Bond by the sensual short-and-curlies, and then apply that to the back-and-forth that the two shared in the various other films. It finally makes sense. The two work beautifully together in the film, and my guess is that the two of them in the future will see Moneypenny taking more of the lead. I can't wait to see what they do with it, but there are so many options!
OK, so we've started a blog! Don't expect this version to stick around forever (we're doin' a site (http://journeyplanet.weebly.com and it'll eventually expand and grow and probably host a regular blog) but it'll be our way of getting y'all some more information on JP's comings-and-goings, plans for the next issues themes and so on.

The next one is The Writers' Issue, all about what it is a writer goes through while being a writer. We're always hearing stories, usually of the Horror variety, of what it takes to be a writer in this world of SF&F, and these are going to be stories of what it takes. Lynda Rucker is Guest Editing with us this time, which should make for a good issue. I'll be handling the layout, which means I get to go and find art!

If you've got writing stories, or writing art, send 'em to journeyplanet (at) gmail,com!

SO, watch this space, it's going to grow and change and probably morph into somethign we hae no ida about now. Isn't that how it always goes?



April 2013

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