Have you ever wondered what life was like 55 years from today? What were the best selling science fiction novels or magazines of that year? What about popular movies and comic books of the period? What were the important historical events that were unfolding right at that moment? Well, if this is an interest to you, then log on to Galactic Journey to find out more.
What's the Journey?
The Journey is a blog site created by Historian Gideon Marcus. The blog consists of a day by day report of events as they happen 55 years ago from the current date. The blog includes reviews of sci-fi short story magazines, novels, movies, and television. The Space Race between the US and the Soviet Union is a periodic topic that is closely followed. Even political events such as wars and elections are reported in the Journey. On the lighter side of life, the Journey reports on the latest hit song in popular music of the period. If you are fashion conscious, there are fashion reports published on the blog.
Who's the Traveler?
The Traveler is Gideon Marcus, a professional space historian who has written both fiction and non-fiction. He has written a series of articles for Quest: Space Quarterly on the early days of the US unmanned space flight program. His latest work of fiction is the story "Andy and Trina," which appears in the anthology series Tales of Alternate Earths 2.
First Blog Entry
Galactic Journey published its first entry on October 21, 2013. The blog was first published on Dream Width, then later on WordPress. You can read the first blog entry here.
The Journey has earned several awards since its inception. In 2016, the Traveler received the Serling Award from the Rod Serling Memorial Foundation. In 2017, the Journey was the Hugo runner-up finalist for the Hugo Awards Best Fanzine category and in 2018, the Journey was a Hugo Finalist for Best Fanzine. They are finalists for the award again in 2019.
The backbone of Galactic Journey is within its staff writers. The Staff is composed of 20 diverse individuals who are passionate about writing for the Journey. It starts with the editor Janice Marcus, she is responsible for correcting 95 percent of the grammatical errors before publication. She also moderates panel discussions during the Journeys live events.
Tammi Bozich serves as the Journey's curator. Mrs. Bozich ensures that all the works presented in the Journey are acceptable for distribution. Eric Frank works as the Journey's archivist; she has been instrumental in ensuring that all of the literature is readable and presentable.
The rest of the staff os composed of various associate writers and one fashion columnist. Rosemary Benton is an expert on the early cold war years; you can read some of her posts here. Ashley Pollard is a professional writer and frequent contributor. Mrs. Pollard resides in the United Kingdom and you can read her post for the Journey here. Victoria Sliverwoff writes magazine reviews for the Journey; read herposts on Fantastic Magazine. Lorelei Marcus is the youngest member of the staff; her articles consist of movie and TV reviews. John Boston writes on many different fan topics and reviews the SF digest Amazing. Vicki Lucus post articles on many esoteric topics; read her posts here. Mark Yon is also a resident of the United Kingdom and writes posts in the New Worlds magazine. Ida Moya is very unique—an engineer and librarian at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. She possesses an immense amount of information on computers and other technical matters that she shares with the Journey. Cora Buhlert resides in Germany and has written posts on science fiction from both sides of the Iron Curtain. Her articles bring a perspective that is not often seen by most Americans. When she is not writing for the Journey, Cora works as a teacher and translator. Margarita Mospanova is a translator for a gaming company and writes book reviews. She is a resident of St. Petersburg, Russia and thus familiar with stories from the old Soviet Union. Jessica Homles is not only a writer for the Journey, but she is a talented artist as well. When she is not writing her own novels, she is reporting on the TV series Doctor Who. Jason Sacks is the go-to person for all things comics. Jason possesses extensive knowledge of the comic book universe after having written several books of the subject along with an immense number of articles as well. Read his post and book reviews here. The last associate writer is Natalie Devitt who reports on SF TV shows of the period. Mrs. Devitt is a film school graduate with extensive knowledge of both sci-fi and horror genres. In that regard, she posts on iconic sci-fi TV shows such as The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits.
The last staff writer is Gwyn Conaway who posts about fashion of the period. She brings her experience as a professional costumer for the film industry to the Journey and conveys what space age fashion is all about.
One unique thing about Journey is their live presentations. The members of the Journey are often asked to present their perspective on history and science, which includes attention to overlooked people and events. They have given live presentations at schools, conventions, bookstores, and other venues.
This video was recorded on June 22, 2018, during a live presentation at the Wavelength Brewery in San Diego, CA. The Traveler lectures about the first manned space missions during the early days of the space race. This was designated as Project Mercury and it involved the selection of seven astronauts, of whom six flew. He discusses each Mercury flight in great detail along with a summary each of each astronaut. However, the presentation starts with the young traveler singing several hit songs of the period.
In this presentation, located at the same establishment, the Traveler talked about the legacy of JFK's administration and how it was carried on by the Johnson administration. The one thing he does not discuss are any conspiracy theories related to JFK.
Why I Like Reading the Journey
I first discovered the Journey one day while on my Twitter feed when a follower had retweeted one of his links and I read the accompanying story. I can't exactly remember what it was, but I recall he was discussing events from the late 50s, which at the time would have been 55 years in the past. I then continued to read other tweets and read some of the blog posts. As I went along, I liked what I saw. The subject matter included many topics that I have always been interested in. Whether it was an article on science, science fiction, the space race, or even world events, I would find something to satisfy my curiosity.
I follow Galactic Journey on their Twitter account and watch for daily mobile text alerts. The Traveler tweets nearly every day on some topic of interest related to the date or era. It could be a historical event or some snapshot of life such as a vintage ad or picture of how people were living at that time. The Traveler has even done live tweeting of historical events such as the manned space flights of the early 60s. He would tweet the exact times when an astronaut would launch into earth orbit or during re-entry. It is best to follow the Journey via Twitter.
I also enjoy video presentations as well. They are quite excellent and there is plenty to look at on his YouTube channel. The blog has plenty to read and is very in-depth on the subject matter. The cover of popular science fiction magazines is always displayed, as well as inside pictures along with an individual review on each short story. The movie reviews are equally as excellent as the magazine reviews.
Where to Find the Journey
You can log on and read as well as comment on the Journey at their website or follow on social media:
If you like the content of this article, here are some more posts that might be of interest to you.
If you enjoyed reading this article, you can read about some related topics in these previous posts on Vocal.
Here is the link to my post on Perry Rhodan, a German pulp hero first published in the early 60s and covered by the Journey.
Also of interest is my post on the X-Minus-One radio drama that aired during the 1950s.