REALITY BYTES: OUR DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES
Welcome to Planet Magazine, electronically
published in the heart of Brooklyn's
Science-Fiction-Magazine District and available free on America Online (and maybe
elsewhere). Planet is intended to be a quarterly or semiannual on-line magazine focusing
on short fiction and poetry generally in the realms of science fiction (hard or soft),
fantasy, horror, weird, wacky, or just plain likable. We want to publish stories by
unknown or little-published writers who have talent, determination, and love to read and
write this genre stuff. What can I say. So what's our angle? Quite frankly, we get a
charge out of doing our own magazine, and if we can encourage new writers, heck, why not?
Since this magazine is likely to be
a money-loser at best, we've gone electronic, which is a
relatively low-budget, quick, and kinda trendy route (it's like trail mix for the
Information SuperDirtPath). The state of our finances also means that we can't afford to
pay contributors anything except the currency of free publicity and general good vibes.
We've also tried to lay out this magazine in such a way that it will look good on screen and
also print out somewhat coherently, so you can have a nice paper copy to read in the
bathtub, if that's your bag (watch out for that non-waterproof ink).
This premier, collector's-edition issue
was put together by Andrew G. McCann (who is, at
this moment, referring to himself in the third person ó the editorial oui, as the French
say), a part-time writer himself, as you will see. If you'd like to contribute to this
paperless publication, see "submissions policy" in the Masthead department. Feel free to
distribute Planet to anyone, or to print a copy for your own use (put three, evenly spaced
staples down the left-hand side to make the experience even more magazine-like).
However, we ask that you don't alter or excerpt any part of this magazine.
To summarize, our goals are as follows:
* To have fun.
* To provide talented but unpublished or little-published authors with encouragement by
printing their stories in a real periodical (however low-budget, sporadic, or narrowly
* To help disseminate SF, fantasy, and horror stories.
We sincerely hope you enjoy reading
this on-line magazine. Please feel free to send any
comments or questions to PlanetMag on America Online (internet: PlanetMag@aol.com).
Andrew G. McCann
They laffed at me at Heidelberg.* They
prodded me with cheesecake. They banned my
unorthodox experiments on swine. Then I waited. Alone. At night. Now is the moment I
have chosen to emerge into the unpitying light of righteous "day." My weapon? This
column, which at this moment I control absolutely, harshly, with squinted eyes and
slightly flared nostrils. You are reading the verbal equivalent of an enormous Death-Ray
howitzer perched crazily atop a Swiss alp and locked on to certain, classified brain-wave
patterns. I am immortal.
Do you see this scar? No, no. This
one; the one that runs like a deathís-head grin from
my pince-nez to my lip-ring. It is but one of the reminders that I carry of every glove
that has laid me down or cut me till I cried out in my anger and my pain: "I am eating, I am
eating," but so much potted pork product still remains.
Never mind the scar. Iím over it. It
means nothing to me. I now crave justification: When
I gained control of this half-page I pushed the editor to name this publication "Porkchops: A
Journal of Loining." But the stubborn fool dug his heels in. So, I "relented," thinking: "No,
donít tip your hand. Draw them in, draw them in."
* Heidelberg Agricultural College,
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Dear Editor: I would like to contribute
to your magazine. Such as it is. Below is the first
paragraph from a piece I'm currently onworking, which is about some financially
successful young people who suddenly realize they're deeply out of touch with their
feelings and probably need therapy (don't worry, it's got a Sci-Fi "twist"):
Linford was on the deck barbecuing
otter steaks when Bran pulled the map-blue station
wagon into the garage; Lily, the golden retriever, came suddenly bounding out of that thin
space between the rear-right quarter-panel of the car and the worn-gray planks of the
New England saltbox-style garage, followed abruptly by the pallid investment banker (a
man whose psyche was like an active volcano under twenty thousand feet of granite) who in
two weeks everyone assumed would be married to Eunice. Sharon stood in the kitchen ó
paring knife hovering, unmoving, above the charred-fennel appetizers ó looking out the
window at these two men, boys, really, and she felt as if she were standing on a tightwire.
Was her spiritual advisor right? Was her discomfort more than just normal "boundary
issues"? Was it something more sinister: Had she really been abducted by Them in the
harrowing, early still of the morning? Could it really be repressed memories of an alien
If that's no good, if that's not what
you're looking for, don't worry. I've got other styles
with which I'm familiar. Howzabout something more "radical/street":
"CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE NASTY KIND"
HOMELESS GUY SMASHED THE BOTTLE OF
SPODI-ODI AGAINST THE
STREAKED BRICK WALL. YELLED: AT THE CREATURE IN THE SILVER SUIT COAT HOLDING
THE KRAZY PIECE: WHADDYA MEAN LEADER? I DON' FOLLO NO ONE!" HOME'S GIRLFREN
FELL BACK LIKE SHE HADDA BULLET THRU THE BRAIN ó BUT SHE WAS JUS' TOO HIGH, OR
MEBBE IT WAS THE RAY GUN.
Er . . . What about a poem?
This is my manifesto:
I do not believe in manifestos.
But it does not make me a philistine
Nor a Phyllis Diller.
The wind sermonizes the straining trees;
Thin whiplashes against a vast, frozen porkchop.
Anyhoo, lemme know. Please call my
literary representative, Chip N. Theshoulder, who
happens to have the same phone number (that ain't no agent, that's my wife!).
Mywercks de Rivative
P.S.: If you need me on staff, Iíve
downloaded my personality onto an interactive CD-ROM,
which is yours gratis.
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