BOOKS | Exploring Space City! is on the way!

“This lovingly crafted compilation captures the spirit of the New Left and the counterculture.” — Historian Robert Cottrell

Exploring Space City! Cover design by Carlos Lowry; Cover photograph by Jerry Sebesta.

By Thorne Dreyer | The Rag Blog | November 18, 2021

Our much-awaited book, Exploring Space City!: Houston’s Historic Underground Newspaper — in the works for two years — has been published and is currently being released.

Edited by Thorne Dreyer, Alice Embree, Cam Duncan, and Sherwood Bishop, it is a 376-page, 8½ by 11 book published by the New Journalism Project in Austin, Texas (ISBN: 978-1-312-16267-9).

Read more about the book itself below in this post.


Details are available on the menu bar for The Rag Blog at Space City!

Zoom Book Launch: Exploring Space City! will be officially released with a book launch event on Zoom, Tuesday, Dec. 7, at 7 p.m. For those interested in being part of the Zoom event, please send an email with “Zoom” in the subject line and we will send you the link to join.

Houston Launch Event: Please join us at an informal gathering at Johnny McElroy’s Irish Pub & Patio, 1223 Waugh Drive, in Houston’s Montrose on Saturday, Dec. 11, from 3-6 p.m. Among those attending will be three of the book’s editors joined by former staffers and friends of Space City! All are welcome. Food and drink will be available and copies of Exploring Space City! will be on sale. RSVP optional at this Email.

Austin Launch Event: Please join us Wednesday, December 8, from 1-3 p.m. at Batch Craft Beer and Kolaches, 3220 Manor Road.   Among those attending will be book editors, artists, former staffers and friends of Space City!  All are welcome.  Food and drink will be available and copies of Exploring Space City! will be on sale. RSVP optional at this Email.

Buy books in Austin at BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd., and at BookWoman, 5501 N. Lamar Blvd #A-105 in Commerce Square as soon as they arrive from the publisher. Outlets in Houston will be announced soon.

Radio Shows with the Editors: Rag Radio, KOOP 91.7-FM, and streamed at, in Austin. Friday, Dec. 3, 2-3 p.m. (CST) and hosted by Thorne Dreyer; Open Journal, KPFT 90.1-FM and streamed at in Houston. Wednesday, December 5, 12-1 p.m. (CST) and hosted by Duane Bradley.

Purchase Exploring Space City! now online at

There will be more events and book outlets. This post will be updated with specifics.

Editors of Exploring Space City!: From left, Cam Duncan, Alice Embree,
Sherwood Bishop, Thorne Dreyer.

“Pushing past bombings and Klan attacks, Space City! ranks among the best-reported and fondly-remembered underground papers of the Sixties and early Seventies, and this book does a fine job of explaining why.” — Abe Peck, author of Uncovering the Sixties: The Life and Times of the Underground Press

Space City! was an underground newspaper published in Houston from June 5, 1969, to August 3, 1972. Though it was relatively short-lived, the paper – which was continually under assault from the Ku Klux Klan — was widely acknowledged to be one of the very best of the ‘60s-70s underground newspapers that had significant impact on mainstream journalism.

Space City! covered news not otherwise reported and helped pull together a widespread and diverse counterculture and New Left community in Houston.

Exploring Space City! features both articles and artwork from the original Space City! as well as essays written specifically for the book by its editors and others, designed to look back on the historical importance of the paper and to add contemporary perspective.

The original Space City! included coverage of the mushrooming counterculture, the emerging “rainbow coalition” of Black, Chicano, and white activists, the police shooting of Black leader Carl Hampton, the war in Vietnam and the movement against it, and the women’s and gay movements. The paper did in-depth power structure research on who ruled Houston and extensive coverage of the cultural scene with features on Janis Joplin, Muhammad Ali, and the Rolling Stones, and a two-part interview with Jane Fonda.

It it was all done with a lot of humor — featuring the cartoon work of Kerry Fitzgerald, the comix art of the legendary Gilbert Shelton, and the classic design work of Bill Narum.

And it’s all in the book.

[Thorne Dreyer , an editor of Exploring Space City!, was also an editor of Celebrating The Rag, published in 2016. Dreyer is an Austin-based writer, editor, broadcaster, and activist. He was a founding editor of the original Rag in 1966 Austin and Space City! in Houston. He was a programmer at and general manager of KPFT-FM, Houston’s Pacifica radio station and he now edits The Rag Blog, hosts Rag Radio, and is a director of the New Journalism Project. His book Making Waves: The Rag Radio Interviews, will be released by the Briscoe Center for American History through the University of Texas Press, early next year. Contact Dreyer at]

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1 Response to THORNE DREYER :
BOOKS | Exploring Space City! is on the way!

  1. Allen Young says:

    Congratulations to Thorne and everyone involved with this project. I look forward to holding this book in my hands and reading it. Good luck!

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