Even better, it’s Pride in a (mostly) post-pandemic year! Oh rapture! 🙂 There was no question that I’d be writing about Pride Month, the time for especial celebration of all things queer (LGBTQIA++++) this week. After all, pretty much everyone who works here is some flavor of queer, and we’ve been waiting more than a year! But I didn’t quite expect that the event would prove such a personal revelation.
When I started Journey Press, I didn’t intend for it to be a “queer press.” It’s just kind of turning out that way. Originally, Journey Press was an offshoot of Galactic Journey, a time machine to 55 years ago in science fact and fiction. The publishing house was created specifically to “rediscover” the lost classics we kept finding that weren’t in print anymore. That’s how Rediscovery: Science Fiction by Women (1958-1963) came to be.
Of course, nothing said we couldn’t release modern books, too, so the next release was Kitra, my YA space adventure. It made sense thematically — it’s really a Heinlein/Norton-style “Juvenile” updated for the 21st Century. Kitra also stars a queer protagonist of color, but that’s sort of part and parcel with being a modern book reflecting modern demographics. It wasn’t really part of an agenda.
Then we had the great good fortune to license Tom Purdom’s 1964 masterpiece, I Want the Stars. It’s not only riproaring space opera, but it explores a huge number of complex issues: the search for meaning in a utopian world; complex, polyamorous relationships; understanding what it means to be a mature sentient species. It’s reminiscent of works by fellow Philadelphian SF legend, Samuel R. Delany. Fans of Delany’s Babel-17, Nova, etc. will definitely appreciate I Want the Stars — and it came first!
Oh, and it’s also the first science fiction novel ever to portray a queer relationship in a positive and non-judgmental light. But that wasn’t the main reason we picked it up, just one of many amazing points of this classic.
At the end of March 2021, we released The Eighth Key. The Eighth Key is a terrific high fantasy novel with some of the best worldbuilding you’ll find. It’s got mystery and magic and a richly detailed realm at the twilight of existence, suffering a drought of mana that is slowly strangling its people. Corwin the Shadow mage and Lucian the bard are compelling, thrilling fantasy heroes.
More importantly, it’s a gay romance. A male/male, steamy, slow-burn, happily ending love story. One that is equally a hit with straight and queer audiences.
Hmm. I am seeing a trend here.
I mean, I guess it’s not that much of a surprise. As I said, we’re mostly queer, both at Journey Press and Galactic Journey .
Beyond that, from the beginning, both Galactic Journey and Journey Press have spotlighted marginalized creators. Even today, being queer can be pretty darned marginalizing.
So, I guess this month marks Journey Press’ “coming out” as a queer press! That is not to say that all Journey Press titles will be by queer authors or feature queer characters/themes, but it’s looking like a lot of them, maybe most of them, will. That’s pretty cool. It makes me happy.
I hope it makes you happy, too! If you’ve been looking for good books to enjoy this post-pandemic Pride month, you’ll definitely find something to love in our collection.
Have a great June!