Her Majesty’s Secret Servant celebrates its 15th anniversary this month. The Web site began as the “toy train” of founders/co-publishers Paul Baack and Tom Zielinski. The duo decided it’d be “rather fun” if some of the regular posters on the old alt.fan.james-bond newsgroup could contribute to an “e-magazine” centered around the special world of James Bond.
The format, then as now, was to divide the site into sections: Editorial (one or more commentaries, similar to the editor or publisher’s letters at the start of a print magazine), Films, Books, the Bond Market (all about collecting 007 items), Lagniappe (“a little something extra,” including THIS EXAMPLE done during the period when Die Another Day hadn’t gotten a title yet), F1rst Person (personal experiences with some element of 007) and the Other Spies.
Why the toy train analogy? It was always meant to be fun. Nobody is making a living off this corner of cyberspace (not unless THE HMSS SHOP suddenly takes off). Its contributors even have opinions that can vary greatly except for one thing: an affection for the world of James Bond.
Over the years, Raymond Benson presented photographs he took in Hong Kong when he was preparing his first 007 continuation novel, 1997’s Zero Minus Ten. Tom Zielinski interviewed the 007 screenwriting team of Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. The site also featured a Mark Henderson interview with Jeffery Deaver, author of the 2011 007 novel Carte Blanche. Outside of 007, the site ran an interview with film and television music expert Jon Burlingame about The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and the years he put in to produce original soundtracks from the 1964-68 show.
There’s a lot more to look back on. So, a “best of” issue of HMSS is in the works.
Since the first issue, HMSS has expanded with this weblog, which debuted in October 2008, a Facebook page and a Twitter feed. Still, the main site remains the heart and soul of the operation, especially Paul Baack’s distinctive design work.
So, 15 years later, here’s a note of thanks to the founders on behalf of everybody they’ve let play with their toy train.
Filed under: Her Majesty's Secret Servant, James Bond Books, James Bond Films, The Other Spies | Tagged: Carte Blanche, Facebook, Her Majesty's Secret Servant, Her Majesty's Secret Servant's 15th anniversary, HMSS Facebook page, HMSS Weblog, HMSS Weblog on Twitter, James Bond Books, James Bond Films, Jeffery Deaver, Jon Burlingame, Neal Purvis, Paul Baack, Raymond Benson, Robert Wade, Tom Zielinski, Twitter, Zero Minus Ten | 3 Comments »