Editorial & Letters
Planet says: The Internet sure was great while it lasted!
Colonel of Truth
Over the years a small-but-zealous personality cult has developed around me, the mysterious editor of Planet Magazine, of whom no known accurate likeness exists, except for the Face on Mars. Such hero worship is an inevitable consequence of the perfection of Planet Magazine combined with the natural curiosity that surrounds my Salinger-esque desires to remain hidden in the background and to let my published words speak for themselves. But perhaps this admiration is the simple result of my personal greatness unavoidably leaking out and captivating readers with its deliciousness. So, to satisfy the constant demands for more information about me, I have decided to introduce myself fully to my growing fan base.
My full name is Col. Andrew G. McCann. And I am now reaching out to you, my dependable and trustworthy readers, hopefully of foreign nations, to provide you with information about me. But here I will also make a request that may seem strange and unsolicited -- yet I crave your indulgence and pray that you view it seriously. I am one of the close aides to the former president of the Super Civilization of Airegin Major, which dominates the surface of the Planet Xaoh. Bless the memory of President Ognoc, and may his soul rest in peace.
Due to the military campaign to force out the mind-enhanced Altairian rebels on my planet, I and some of my governmental colleagues in the Airegin Ministry of Truth were essentially instructed by the late Ognoc, whom we accidentally killed, by the way, to go to Earth to purchase arms, legs, and ammunition worth twenty-million, five-hundred-thousand Gold-Plated Latinum bars. However, since Gold-Plated Latinum bars are copyrighted by Paramount Pictures, we converted these bars into United States Dollars, equaling US$20,500,000.00 (very conveniently, the exchange rate is 1:1 right now) at the American Express office in the capital city of Airegin, known as Srekcus. We intend to use this dollar-based hoard to fight the Altairian rebel group from our planned beachfront-condo headquarters in your Bermuda, using Plantraco Miniature Tracked Vehicles (http://www.plantraco.com) modified for our native planet in conjunction with a yet-to-be-constructed wireless deep-space-based signal-amplifying system to carry our commands. Our sales reps at Worldcom tell us this network should be up and running "very soon".
After we were indirectly given this money privately by Ognoc, without his knowledge or the knowledge of other Cabinet Members (since how could they know anything if they were all accidentally killed earlier that day?), he unfortunately found out about the money by walking in on our celebration in the Palace Cafeteria. Ognoc was then quickly killed in a bloody shoot-out committed by the guns we were holding -- guns that we later sentenced to Death by Melting for their crimes. However, before we were able to travel off-planet to Bermuda and take possession of our new HQ, the Altairian rebels gained much ground around the capital city, or else took over the only functional launchpad that remained in our hands, or something like that, whatever sounds more believable to you, and we immediately decided to put the funds into a private security company here on the planet Airegin for safe-keeping.
In view of this, we need a trustworthy and impulsive foreign partner to assist us in moving this money off-planet. We have sufficient contacts here and on Earth to move the funds under diplomatic cover in your name, although, granted, that seems to make no sense since diplomatic baggage does not pass through normal custom/airport screening and clearance, so why do we need your name, and how could your Nobody Status possibly carry any weight with any officials anywhere? Still, there it is. And we'll also need your bank account number, home address, and Social Security (or equivalent) number.
Our inability to move this money off-planet is based on our lack of trust in our supposed good friends in the government who suddenly became hostile following the abrupt deaths of those around them after meeting with us and the coincident disappearance of a large amount of funds from the Planetary Treasury. As loyal readers of Planet Magazine, however, we anticipate your sincere assistance, and we note that this deal has absolutely no risk in it (in the strict sense that the letters "r", "i", "s", and "k" do not appear in the word "deal").
For no particular reason, I must use this opportunity and medium to implore you to exercise the utmost indulgence to keep your mouth extraordinarily shut about our offer. Whatever your decision, we await your prompt response this very day. Thank you and God Bless.
Oh, and one more thing: please send us 100,000 U.S. Dollars as an e-mail attachment to show your good faith.
And if you're strangely not interested in the above deal, please note that we also sell a Viagra-like substance that we will FedEx to you overnight for as little as US$69 per 10 tablets! You can also smoke this substance to obtain a legal "high".
I hope you enjoyed reading about me. Ognoc (may his bullet-ridden soul rest in peace) knows I enjoyed writing it!
Ministry of Truthfully,
Col. Andrew G. McCann, Editor
Letters to the Editor
Dear Editor: Jean Marie Stine, former editor of Starblaze Editions and Galaxy magazine, is editing, under the Futures-Past Classics imprint, a series of classic science fiction and fantasy novels for release in e-book form. Please see my Web site for more information.
Jean Marie Stine
Dear Editor: Just thought we would drop you a line and let you know that we've placed a link in our Web site to yours... hope this will encourage more readers your way....
Otherworlds Sci-Fi / The Connection
Dear Editor: I was published in Planet No. 32, "Open Twenty-Four Hours" (http://www.planetmag.com/pm32/24hours.html) and in Planet No. 34, "New York Minute" (http://www.planetmag.com/pm34/newyork.html) and wanted to let you know that my story, "Lair of the Lesbian Love Goddess" is scheduled to appear in Sharon Lee and Steve Miller's new anthology, "Lowport", to be published by Meisha Merlin Books and released September 2003 at Worldcon. In the nonfiction world, my article "Setting the Tone, the Art Techniques of Schelly Keefer" was accepted for the November edition of Pastel Journal http://www.pasteljournal.com/. That's a lucky seven (plus one nonfiction) publications for me, and I'm sending out my thanks to all those who have either helped me with publications or advice, particularly Andy McCann and Planet Magazine. I hope your readers will pick up the book, too, if they get the chance.
Dear Editor: A new fantasy market is available at www.sintrigue.org. This is a nonpaying market, publishing fantasy fiction (including serials) up to 15,000 words.
Dear Editor: Muse It has been closed for almost a year now, but will reopen on January 1, 2003. I am soliciting for submissions until then. If you will spread the news about this solicitation I will be grateful.
Dear Editor:The First issue of "Night Shopping" (http://www.geocities.com/nightshopping/) is now on sale. It runs $4.50 an issue in the US and that includes shipping. Issue one features fiction from Stoker-winning author Brian Keene, Greg Gifune, Eric S. Brown, and more, including art from Mark Mclaughlin.
Eric S. Brown
Dear Editor: I created the cover art for your last issue and wanted to announce that I will be taking on the role of technical editor and writer for Renderosity Magazine. So please keep your peepers peeled for future issues coming soon to your favourite book store. I also created the cover art for the Science Fiction Anthology (Published by Tor Books)... also coming soon to a bookstore near you. I am also busy finishing off the cover for a collection of short stories by Mason Powell, titled "Telling Lies About the Wolves"
Dear Editor: Just checked out your site and wondered whether you might like to check out one from the other side of the pond? Keep up the good work.
Letters to Secret Societies
Dear Rosicrucians: Because your Hotmail account has exceeded the 2 MB storage limit, your account size is now critical, and you may not be receiving all of your spam. Therefore, you must take one of the following actions: 1. Increase your storage limit, or 2. Increase your storage limit. If you do not take action within the next five days, some of your spam will be automatically deleted by the Hotmail Janitor, Mr. Svensson, who is quite a cranky old man, as he lives in the Hotmail HQ's basement next to the boiler, which is going full blast even during the summer. Once these spams to you are deleted, they cannot be recovered. We strongly recommend that you upgrade, for just $19.95 plus taxes per year, to a 10 MB Hotmail Account, which will allow you to receive even larger spam messages from e-mail marketers (although no doubt they will soon fill up that 10MB, and you'll have to upgrade to your 30MB account, and so on! Oh, well, what can ya do.). Think about it: Why spend hours wading through spam to find the occasional worthwhile e-mail messages from people you actually know, when you can spend HOURS and HOURS of your precious life trudging through, and deleting, even greater volumes of fraudulent and criminally offensive messages. Remember, the days of the free Internet are over, and we at Microsoft believe that You're Going to Have to Pay a Lot for the Privilege of Receiving Spam from the E-Mail Marketers to Whom We Sell Your Personal Information! And you can take that clunky service-marked phrase to the bank! (We certainly will.) Finally, here is a tip for reducing the size of your Hotmail account: Close your Hotmail account. Oh wait, we don't allow that. Guess you'd better pay for the upgrade.
Steve Ballmer, President
Dear Freemasons: I'm ready to take the Internet to the next level of e-commerce! Starting today, my new Web site, whose URL I will have forgotten to put into this letter, mainly because I'm fictional anyway, will start selling shipping fees directly to consumers. That's right, I've gone completely virtual. I've dispensed with the actual products, which involve all those annoying constraints of the physical world, and I'm selling only the shipping fees themselves. That means, once you pay us with your credit card via PayPal, we deliver nothing. The delivery process itself, in a sense, is occurring, or could be considered to be occurring, so you are being provided with a service, or so my lawyers have told me to say. Conveniently, though, nothing is actually delivered, physically or electronically. Not even an e-mail receipt. So you don't need to check your e-mail and you don't even need to be home. No more arriving at your front door after work to see a big yellow Post-It from UPS telling you that they could not leave your latest Wizards of the Coast paperback because you weren't home! And to sweeten the deal further, for a limited time there is free shipping on all of our shipping fees! (Please note that the shipping fees themselves are not free.)
Dear New Order of the Golden Dawn: Did you ever notice that the Supreme Court judges never remove their robes in public? That's because if they did, anyone would be able to see that the robes are empty, and then the Nine Riders would be forced to mount their undead steeds and hightail it back to Mordor.
Baggins & Son
Attorneys-at-Law and Ringbearers
Dear Theosophists: I have a riddle for you. What do you get when you mix graham crackers, chocolate bars, and marshmallows with the leader of the human rebels in "The Matrix"? The answer is: S'Morpheus. And now that you have heard this joke, you are a slave to its power. Like everyone else who has heard it, you are in bondage, a prison that you cannot smell or taste or touch. A prison for your mind... Unfortunately, no one can be untold this joke. You have to forget it for yourself. This is your last chance. After this there is no turning back. You eat the bleu cheeseburger, the joke ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You eat the red-hot chili pepper, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.... Remember, all I'm offering is a series of excruciatingly bad jokes, nothing more... Follow me...
Via Your BrainPort,
Dear Neo-Gurdjieffians: I am the author of "Who's NOT on First?", an existential sketch that was an important part of the Anti-Comedy Comedy Movement. The goal of this movement was to be completely unfunny yet retain an audience. It was an excellent training ground for my current job as editor of a free science fiction e-zine. Kirk out.
Once Again Via Your BrainPort,
Dear Illuminati: Ahhhh, yes. Tatooine... Land of Sand! Desert World! Silica Shangri-La! The Poor Man's Dune... How I regret blowing it up. But what could I do? Those damnable, smelly little Jawas. Next time they'll think twice before blocking my space yacht with their leaking, rusting sandcrawlers! Not that there will be a next time.
Baron Pier A. Pantts
The Emperor's Official Weak, Evil Nephew
Dear Trilateral Commission: I have the ability to perceive future events -- for example, I predict that within the next several weeks, a computer "white-hat" hacker, acting alone, and probably living in Finland, will discover a serious security flaw in Microsoft software, most likely Internet Explorer or Outlook, but possibly any of its server-related software. I further predict that within several days after that, Microsoft will issue a software patch that will appear to address the problems. Yes, my powers are amazing, indeed. Yet the fools in the media still refuse to hound me! Well, gotta run. 'Cause ya know, like Tom Cruise said, everyone runs.
Minn "Orr" I.T. Rapport
Dear Bohemian Club: I am a Jedi who is writing to you from inside Part XII of the Star Wars saga. From your perspective, this is a not-yet-filmed movie from the future that will use such high-tech digitization methods that the movie itself becomes alive and is essentially free to move throughout time and space. Hence my ability to e-mail you. I just wanted you and your readers to know that with this e-mail the movie has now bled into real life in your space-time continuum. There is very little you can do about it, and as Star Wars fans you probably wouldn't want to, anyway! Still, we Knights will do our best to defend you from the wily ways of the Dark Side. As always, The Jedi Are Redi!
Signed With a Laser Pen,
Boba Skywalker II
Dear Men In Black: I believe there is a huge conspiracy going on, involving thousands of people, and I am here to expose it for the first time. Apparently, there is an "Internet within the Internet" being deployed and regularly used. No, I'm not talking about Internet 2, the high-speed network for academic and military usage -- we already know all about that conspiracy. Here's what I'm talking about: Many times, when I am out walking or shopping, I overhear people discussing "the Innernet" (i.e., The Inner Net), which I can only conclude is a "secret Internet" being created for unknown, nefarious purposes. Frankly, I'm surprised that down here in the Southern U.S. so many of my fellow Americans would be caught up in this tangled Web of deceit known as "The Innernet".
Dear New York City Nightclubbers: In my experience, repulsor rays are a two-edged sword (not literally, of course). I am a single guy who likes to hang out in bars, which can get quite lonely, but the problem is that my repulsor ray keeps going off all the time! At least, I think it's my repulsor ray that's going off. I'm not really sure what it is. However, on the plus side, the repulsor ray also keeps away my enemies, I guess.
I. "Ron" Mann
Dear Blue Oyster Cult: I have a real Yen right now for some Japanese currency! Which is great, as one unit of my desires is currently trading at 1:1 parity with Japan's monetary unit on the Anything Exchange, much like the current exchange rate for Gold-Plated Latinum/U.S. Dollar, as noted in the editorial at the top of this page.
Forr N.X. Chaynge
Dear Editors: If you ever wander accidentally by Medusa's cave and happen to catch her attention, my best advice, other than I hope you remembered to bring a mirror, which isn't really advice, is to drop your pants and make the goofiest facial expression you can. That way, although you've been turned to stone, you will be mooning and leering at her for an eternity outside her cave entrance. It's vengeance of a sort.
All the Best,
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