Editorial & Letters
Planet: Now super-charged with Scifene and Fantasol! Same great taste!
Protect Your Health & the Health of the Public!
Read Science Fiction...
at the start of your day,
and especially after:
- Handling raw fools
- Crashing any workstations (PC or Mac)
- Returning from a bar crawl
- Coughing, sneezing, or "pooting"
Or any other action that could cause contamination.
This has been a public service announcement (in lieu of a Planet Magazine editorial, which makes it twice as beneficial) from the following supra-galactic agencies or their patsies:
Commander Biedermeier X. Leeuewenhoek,
Dept. of Science Fiction - The Earth Protectorate
Thithp of Blipp MCVII, Executive Director
Public S.F. Programs Agency, DoSF - T.E.P.
"Lord John Smith", Official Friend of The Humans(tm)
Honorary Planetary Commissioner of Science Fiction
Andrew G. McCann, Editor of Planet Magazine
Ministry of Truth - The United Nations & Worlds
Posted: November 2001
Letters To The Editor
Dear HuMan Editor: We aliens of planet Zak wanted you to know that one of our FAVE HuMan authors -- Tony Chandler, whose tales regularly appear at your fine and prestigous Zine, now has his first novel in paperback!!! ZOUNDS! Not only is Tony a most intellgent, thought-provoking writer, but he is darn good-looking too (to a HuMan, that is). Here is our blurb:
MotherShip by Tony Chandler is now at BarnesAndNoble.com, and soon at Amazon.com. All sites carrying MotherShip as ebook or paperback are listed on the main page of www.tonychandler.com. "The T'kaan have brought their never-ending war to the human race... as they face final defeat, a group of scientists integrate Artificial Intelligence into the ultimate warship designed to defeat the T'kaan ships. The 'M' ship is victorious, but it is too late to change the tide of the war. As Earth is destroyed, the last survivors of the human race, three children, escape on-board the AI starship. Soon, they begin to call the ship Mother..."
Tony's stories of high-adventure among the stars have thrilled us Zakkians for several planetary cycles. We have even thought about abducting him and taking him with us back to Zak, but were afraid of an Earth attack, Jack. The Great Gonzo Zak does have a big cheesy request: more Kragon, D'tang, and Chase -- what ever happned to them, HuMAN?? But read MotherShip NOW!, a story whose heart is 'family, courage and love'. Even an old battle-axe like Zak lacked it.
Live Long and Have MUCH Fun.
Dear Editor: I'm a fan of horror and science fiction stories... I've recently read the tale "The Night Wire", by H. F. Arnold, but when I tried to look for some biographical information on him... there was absolutely nothing on the entire Web... Do you or your readers know something about his life? Thanks for your help... and best regards from Argentina!
[Editor's Note: If anyone has info on this author, please send it to us, and we will forward it to the reader above. The story in question can be read here: http://www.sff.net/people/DoyleMacdonald/l_nightw.htm].
Dear Editor: I would like to take this opportunity to introduce the "Interstellar" range of science fiction adventure stories. I feel that they will appeal to a wide range of people, and provide hours of entertainment for adults and children alike. There are currently six stories in the series, which appear as chapbooks or on CD-ROM, and full details are available from my Web site: www.amazola.fsnet.co.uk I have already received an enthusiastic response and I feel that a mention in your magazine would greatly help to promote them further.
Dear Editor: I have just finished reading "Qarzaak" by Tony Chandler and I will definitely be buying his novel when it comes out on the basis of how good the short story was. Stories like Qarzaak are the reason I read sci-fi: for real, character-driven moral and ethical issues, not just an exposition on cool gadgetry or hard-science (I can read "Scientific American" or talk to my husband's cousin the physicist for that). The whole part of the main character wondering if there was really an Earth was great, and the dilemma over what to tell the Qazaark authorities about his fellow human Merk, and the climax of his humanity triumphing in a great, quiet way left me craving more. What's going to happen when this guy sees women? What has been happening with the women? I feel like I have all these questions and I'm left with one option: write you and tell you to request the author for another Qazaark story with Enon. Pretty please with the Milky Way on top?
Hoping, Hoping, Hoping,
Dear Editor: The Baltimore Science Fiction Society has linked to your site at our site of http://www.bsfs.org/bsfszine.htm Please list us on your links page back to our site at http://www.bsfs.org As you can see we have many resources of interest to science fiction fans and we are a non-profit educational organization, so helping us to find other folks who love SF is a good deed. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Dale S. Arnold
Dear Editor: We have launched the first in a series of nine novels called 'The Ennead'. Although we shall later publish a print counterpart, we chose to release the first novel in this series, Rogue Titan, online at http://www.roguetitan.com. The online novel's site introduces our company, Lucid Foundry, to the general public. This is a statement of who we are, what we do, and what can be expected from us in near future.
Dear Editor: Just wanted to say thanks. With the recent events here in the States I needed a bit of escape-time. Your site has more than filled that need with its diverse and wonderful assortment of stories. And thanks again for providing the artists a forum in which to show off their talent.
Letters to Confirmed Allies of The US
Dear San Marino: My 20-year experiment is over. And I have been able to prove that no two dishwasher loads are ever exactly alike (assuming uniform detergent, wash/rinse/dry cycle, dishwasher brand, etc., as well as consistent number of food particles, and allowing for substitution of any utensils or dishes as they wear out). My statistical database is actually quite small, and Im looking for my results to be quickly confirmed -- ideally through a computer simulation that models a typical households eating and dishwashing patterns. Please alert me as soon as your simulation finishes its run, as I want to get my application in ASAP for next year's Nobel Prize in Dishwashing Sciences. I know youll enjoy the experience, as Planet Dishwasher Magazines interest in dishwashing methodologies is well-documented. In the meantime, Ive got to get back to the kitchen and start cleaning. Heck, Ive only done one load of dishes in the past two decades (hence my confidence in the purity of my results), and that means a lotta stacks o' dirty dishes to wash!
Dear Andorra: I have seen the face of evil, and it looks like my housemate Rick! This morning, at 7:52 a.m., approximately, he ate the last sesame bagel we had from The Bagel Haus. That bagel was mine! Plus, he drank the last of the apple juice, which would have gone a long way toward fixing this hangover of mine. So, to me, that is the face of evil, I guess. Anyway, we still have some Lucky Charms left.
O. Sam 'Abe' Enlauden
Dear Disneyland: My name is Eno (no, not the funny-looking guy who played keyboards for Roxy Music and later produced U2, although I do like to play piano from time to time), and I live in a place called The Matricks (no, not "The Matrix" from the movie of the same name, although coincidentally my world is also a computer simulation in which people encased, asleep, in alien pods dream their so-called "normal" lives). I have just discovered that I am he who is known as "The Eon" -- that special individual who my people have been awaiting for years. The Eon is a person who, while living inside The Matricks, has the ability to rise above and beyond the virtual world and to control it to some degree. Unfortunately, the abilities of The Eon are strictly limited to opening file folders in the underlying OS of the virtual world and to navigating the folder and file hierarchies. I don't seem to be able to open any documents or apps within these folders, much less re-code anything, as The Eon apparently doesnt have the required helper apps, conversion filters, or even root-level permission built-in to his powers, not to mention knowledge of alien programming languages (too bad I'm not fighting those PowerBook-friendly invaders in the movie "Independence Day"). Still, it's fun to open the file folder of the virtual agents when they are chasing me and watching, for example, gun.exe open, which then clues me in to hit the floor. So it seems I cannot help my people much after all. But that's OK, because they are also waiting for someone named Oen, a wino who is also expected to be "The Noe" -- an individual who can rise above and beyond this cyber-world in which we are trapped and reorganize it into a decisive Japanese Noh-type play, mixed in with a bit of Christmas spectacular-type imagery. I expect that will have some kind of use for my people, somehow. Oh no! Here comes another cyber-agent! Gotta run! Hey, looks like he's opening an app called traceemailtoplanetmagazineletterscolumnandkill.exe, located within a folder called "Chump". Interesting.
Dear Mac User Group of Southeast Ohio: My girlfriend of more than two months has stated that I am arrogant and boring and has, in her view, "left me for good". Now this is a ridiculous claim, and I shall endeavor to refute it. To begin with, let me illustrate my preamble with a short Web-enabled presentation of several Powerpoint charts that summarize the log of relationship events that I scrupulously kept during my courtship of my erstwhile girlfriend. The first pie chart, ironically, will show how she never cooked me a single pie -- even though our dating contract stipulated this and emphasized that pies are my favorite food, whether meat, fruit, vegetable, dairy-based or "other". So, let us start. Slide, please. OK, this will take a moment. The first slide, please! Hello!? Hmm, nothing's happening. Are there any Internet officials running this slide show, or what? This is truly, truly a shame -- it's quite a good chart. Very clear. Well... it looks as if I will have to postpone the rest of this letter until the next issue.
I.M. Pei LoVerre
Dear Shangri-La: Ho, there! I am also absolutely juiced about "The Fellowship of the Ring" movie thats fiercely bearing down on us like a Giant Intelligent Eagle from the days of yore! But Im writing in to tell you that Ive done a little bit of digging with my sources online and found out some great news for fans! The entire Fellowship itself -- brave little Frodo, his simperin sidekick Ringo, and all the members of the various Middle-Earth races (specifically, Spiderman of the Super Elves, Han Solo of the Rebel Forces, Harry Potter of the Wizardfolk, Commandor Data of the Androids, Shrek of the Ogres, Darth Maul of the Sith, Laura Croft of the Babes, as well as a Lotto bonus number of 53) -- will be chuggin down Mountain Dew during the whole flick! This is the fave beverage of me and my crew, so this is practically the best news to cruise down the pike since the Diablo Expansion Pack! Whats extra kewl is that the Dew cans will have special powers in the movie when wielded by the Ring-Bearer -- theyll be able to shoot from his hands, kill enemies by punching bloody holes through their chests, and then whip back and pour some gold-green nectar down the throat of the sweatin, ripped Frodo as he sprays off round after round from his plasma-bullet rifle! Hey, sure, none of this stuff was in Tolkiens books (although Ive never read them), but some guy online told me he read somewhere that it doesnt matter. Awesome!! Do the Dew, FroDew!
Smell Ya Later,
Dear United Casino Tribes of North America: Now that Hollywood is airbrushing out all images of the World Trade Center from movies, will book publishers have to recall and rename all copies of the second book of the Lord of the Rings trilogy (i.e.,"The Two Towers")? Anyway, it should really be called "The Four Towers", since youve got Cirith Ungol, Orthanc, Minas Mordor, and Minas Tirith -- if I remember correctly the Middle Earth geography class I took at the California School of New Learning & Crystal Shoppe. And no, I don't think I'm very funny either.
Mary Lee Tolkien (no relation to J.R.R.)
Dear Powerpuff Girls: I'm a Bully-in-Training and am seeking some guidance. My teachers cannot help me with my problem, and I have nowhere else to turn. Here are the painful facts: Every time I am facing a potential victim, I become paralyzed with indecision. Do I 'pants' the victim, or do I give the victim a 'wedgie'? And as I stand there dithering, inevitably the intended targets makes good his or her escape. Since the first method of intimidation involves removing an article of clothing, and the latter involves actually forcing an article of clothing to adhere ever more closely to the victim's body (in this case to the vertical concave aperture separating the two semi-spheres of the glutius maximus), I am afraid my hesitancy represents some underlying ambivalency about becoming a professional bully. Frankly, my emotions are a-flutter 'n' my thoughts are a-twirl. Please help me, Obulli-wan, you're my only hope.
[Editor's Note: If we could only give you a cyber-swirly, we would -- just to swirl some sense into your head! Your situation seems extremely silly and unlikely. Plus you've written to the fake letters section of Planet Magazine! Doesn't that give you a clue? You're a fictional character, for the love of Darth! Still, it doesn't mean you can't live a happy life... except that I've just given you a pants-ing and a wedgie at the same time! Yes, just now I did. I am The Yoditor, I can do many impossible things. Yes. Do these I can. Even so, The Fist in you is strong, young Skye, but you have much to learn yet from us ancient Jesti Knights!!]
Dear Iceland: I have read that your pop star Bjork is an athiest who does not even believe in Bjesus. How can this bje? She is so talented and bjeautiful. I feel bjetrayed.
Dear Freedonia: Hello-hello-hello. I just-just-just wanted to write-write-write and say how much-much-much I enjoy-joy-joy reading your magazine-zine-zine. We live in a very rural area-area-area and are unable to get many-many-many Web sites-sites-sites down here in Echo-Echo-Echo Canyon-Canyon-Canyon.
Dear Rivendell: This police profiling is wrong. Recently, I was stopped at JFK airport because I "fit the profile", according to the cops who dragged me out of the ticket line -- where I was minding my own business, playing the Pokemon Crystal edition on my custom-painted GameBoy -- and into a small brightly lit room off the main concourse. They sat me in a chair and said it was clear from my Bill Gates haircut and 'I Love Oni' T-shirt that I was a "serious Sci-Fi fan" and likely run an RPG-fan Web site as well as own either a home-built PC or a tangerine iMac. All of these elements of what they call "The Nerd Profile" may be true in my case (although I pointed out that the proper term is 'SF', and it's a graphite iMac!), but I asked them why they thought I could be a danger to anyone. They said I clearly wasnt a danger at all, and that the only reason they were pulling me aside is because they were bored that day and knew that I was a 'wuss' and wouldnt do anything about it. I clearly remember the seargant sitting lumpily on the desk in front of me and saying with a sneer, "So... Wheres your friend Gandalf now, punk?", while his accomplices all guffawed. Then they gave me a five-alarm noogie and released me. On the bright side, though, the whole unpleasant incident inspired me to do a little 'Pokemon profiling' of my own -- and I was able to capture all of the little fellows myself before my flight landed. BTW, I am not the editor of Planet Magazine writing under a pseudonym; I'm some other guy.
Watt A. Takky-Houks
Dear Mole People: I'm a large coconut-layer cake being displayed in the middle of a bakery window in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. All day, people have been coming by and staring at me through the plate glass. Just staring, mouths open. Staring and staring and staring. It's starting to drive me a little loco-nut, if you know what I mean. And it pisses me off, too. The gaping eyes, the slack mouths! I wanna take them all on, I just want to scream, "C'mon, you wanna piece of me?" But I can't do that, can I? Not if I want to... live. It's been a real slice of hell.
With Layers of Meaning,
KoKo "Nutt" Cayk
Dear Wiccan Federation of Antartica: Dere wuz dat article dat video games hurt yer brane. I dont fink so. Dey never hert my brane. I kouldnt spel befor anyways. Im ackersherlly usin diktation softwear to rite this lettir and eatin a peenut budder n jellee sammich at de same time n got peenut budder all over my fingirs.
Hugh "Mongous" Gobb
Winner, Nathan's Peanut-Butter-Eating Contest, 2001
Dear Editor: I dont know why that judge ordered me to take defenestrative driving classes, when its clear that all of my troubles have been caused by other drivers unfairly ganging up on me, by trying to pass me or go faster than me. When they do that, of course I throw things out my car window (i.e., defenestrate items) at them. Wouldn't you? So if thats not defenestrative driving, I dont know what is. And I dont. Hey judge: Chomp Dis, which is Latin for "bite me"!
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