EDITORIAL AND LETTERS

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LETTERS TO MYSELVES

As Cyclops, that famous character out of Greek legend, once said, "Who is this 'Eye' saying 'Who is this I?'?" Well, the answer is, as I just noted, Cyclops. And no, the proper response isn't Psychlops, his mind-reading cousin from La Jolla, nor is it his biker pal Cycle-Lops from the West Side of Cleveland. Nor is it even Si Klopps, the renowned 1940s Times Square booking agent for the Catskills magicians' circuit. It wasn't even his third cousin, the itinerant "Ol' Blind Eyepatch Tim, the Chicken Eater" -- anyway, he's a character out of Geek legend.

Even so, like Cyc' himself, we have not answered the question. But should we care who the fictional Cyclops "really" was?

No.

And so, as always in this space, the reader ends a brief verbal whitewater trip to dock his or her little raft at the Island of Little Me Who Edits a Zine, where, it is hoped, there might be some sustenance and provisions -- and not a rock-throwing, one-eyed giant. Well, let's have a look around. For we (meaning I) get hundreds of those "emails," and none of those "snail mails," each day, asking, "Who is that 'We' editing Planet Magazine who always seems to ask: 'Who is this We?'?"

The answer is complex, tragic, and, at times, annoying. The truth, put plainly, is this: We, meaning I, are, meaning am, Not Of This Planet (meaning the Earth, not the zine).

Now, at this point, the reader might be thinking: "OK, here we go again with one of those 'aliens among us' broken-DVD jags that this guy gets on. Let's just see what's in the Fake Letters section."

And you'd be right.

So, for those of you still reading, shall we continue?

You see, not all characters of myth and legend, including the urban ones, are imaginary. Some are also NOTP! The "real" legends, like us (i.e., me), hail from the planet Mys, which is just to the left of Orion's pituitary gland -- known to the Ancient Mystic Orientals as "The Third Eye" (not to be confused with "The Third Leg").

In days now lost in the Breakfast of Time, we Mys Folke traveled to your planet to set up a symbiotic extortion racket with you humans. By and by, though, the Great Religions came along, and most of my folk eventually returned home, disillusioned. I decided to stay, however, anticipating even then the need for an SF-based graphical e-zine long before the advent of the first 128k Mac. As the years passed, I neglectfully lost contact with the Ol' Home World and my transmission codes expired. I occasionally attempted contact -- after all, I've got a nice piece of property along the Nirdd Sea there -- but haven't quite got a response yet.

So, there you have it: I am actually one of the Lost Fey, the "Reznique," of the Elven Folk of Planet Mys. Indeed, I am one of the "Mys Elves," whose letters home have gone unheeded or unreceived. Hence the title of this editorial.

Which, with a bit of straining, brings us back to Cyclops, whose singleness of vision and sheer ineptitude -- as he tries, and unbelievably fails, to kill a bunch of toe-high humans -- stand as symbols to us Living Legends as we "March Onward Toward a Shining Future Back Home, We Hope!"

Uni-Orbedly Yours,
Andrew G. McCann
Elven Lord and Knicks Fan
April 1996

 

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Dear Editor: ...I got to see Planet. I want to tell you what a damn fine magazine I think it is. Horace Gold would have loved it. (Especially because the format would make it so easy for him to rewrite people's copy!) Congratulations on a labour of love....

Though God knows the style books for online magazine fiction, poetry and art layout have yet to be written, I suspect that when they are, you will be mentioned. Stylish without sacrificing readability: a hard mix to hit....

Thanks for your time and attention, and the best of luck with Planet.

Figuratively yours,
Spider Robinson

 

EDITOR'S NOTE:

Planet Magazine tied for First Place in the Literature category of RD Novo's About This Particular Mac e-zine (Issue 2.01; "The Best e-Zines of 1995." The overall winner was MacSense). We quote:

Planet Magazine. Andrew G. McCann, Publisher. That's right, there's a tie. Planet Magazine is a quarterly (that's four times a year) magazine in DOCMaker format, concerned mostly with science fiction and horror, but blessed with poetry and rather pleasing artwork, too. The stories are top notch, and the whole is presented without much fluff, but with a certain degree of self-awareness I find refreshing. As with Poetry Ink, you can tell that the publisher and his staff are real fans of the genre. While the topic may not be as cultured as that of the competition, the magazine is a high quality affair that deserves recognition....

 

LETTERS TO THE LOVE GODS

Dear Eros: Love your magazine -- not! It's well designed -- knot! I hope you're duly rewarded for all your work -- naught! I always travel by bus -- stop! (Oops, wrong joke.)
Clinton in '96! -- Newt!
Don -- Knotts!
Retired Astro -- Naut!

Dear Cupid: I thought I was gonna be the Final Destroyer, the Great Doom. I trained for it all my existence; I worked hard; I fought for it. And one day, the Big Red One tells me, "Sorry, you're not good enough. Next!" And that was that. Now I spend my days being confused for a partial fake phone number.
Bitterly,
Mr. 555
BlackCrag Home for Rejects
Molten Road
The Lower Reaches of Hell

Dear Valentino: The Web is dead! Within the next 12-16 weeks, I foresee the Internet collapsing under the weight of ham-handed neo- fascist government reform, only to be supplanted by a robo-neuro- biological immune response generated by the now ether-interconnected brains of millions of brilliant young anti-gender computer hacquers. These electronic community-tribes will slash and burn such staid illusions as "national borders" and "orderly markets" and will raise crops of information along the InfoSuperHiWay's endless berms -- spreading memes like digital DNA that will replicate exponentially and feed millions of newly wired school-age mutant digi-warriors in every small town across E-Merica, with everything funded perpetually and magically through self-generating monetized cyber-fluids comprising a whole new paradigm of LAN/WAN Intra/Internet multi-tectonic architected decentralized MDU/DVD-based monolithic data-transmissal structures that exist on the desktop and everywhere and nowhere and in Redmond all at once. Everything is data. This zine is data. My girlfriend is data. Basically, everyone will have pico-wires going directly into their eyes or temples, and you'll go to parties where everyone will sit around gesturing in the air (like that movie, "Johnny Mnemenneneminonmic," starring Ted) as they manipulate enormous, interesting electronic manifestos that will determine the course of the new e-nation just now germinating behind my sweating, fevered brow. And then, six months later, I'll have to come up with something else -- maybe the Rebirth of the Web!? Ya better believe it, baby!! Anyway, that's $12,000 for this latest forecast, please.
I thank you (my ex-wife thanks you!),
Phil N. Auditoreum
Futuriste & Prognosticateur
AOL@htpp.internet.com (Is that right?)

Dear Elvis: Kids today think they're pretty hot stuff with their World-Wide Web and such, but, ya know, we had such things back in the late 1940s, when I was a boy. I remember getting my GE Eniac Jr., with Vacu-Tube technology that could hold up to one paragraph of text, depending. And then there was my Motorola 1 bps Atomo-Modem. As for Internet programs, there were Astro-Browser, Blaster-Mail, and ElectroFTP, among others. But none of it ever really took off. What killed it? Lack of content -- all those pages like "My Favorite Victorolas" or "Timmy's Planetary Science-Fiction Journal."
I mean, please, who cares?
Rock A. Teir
Mechanicsburg, OH

Hi Elizabeth: I'm Bob Dole and Bob Dole wants to be your president and is gonna beat Clinton this fall. So look out. And to help Bob Dole become president, I'm announcing that each voter voting for Bob Dole will get a free, bundled copy of Microsoft's Internet Explorer upon leaving the polling place -- pending DOJ approval, of course -- and I'm told this browser can be used to browse Bob Dole's Web site, which has no smut and is free of child porn, unlike that phony Bob Dole site. Hey, I'm the real thing! I'm from Dole, Kansas! We also thought about giving everybody a copy of Microsoft Bob -- a special Dole version, maybe -- but I'm told they've already been landfilled and the Bob boxes are no doubt covered with dirt, and we're against filth of any kind, especially in connection with computers. So that's out. But Bob Dole also wants you to know that as president, he'll be compatible with all official HTML 2.0 and Microsoft Internet Explorer tags, unlike that Clinton fellah, who's Netscape-only with his nonstandard <blink> and <pause> and <hoarse> tags. So you can be sure that Bob Dole will be interacting with all of you, even in terms of plug-ins like streaming audio and maybe 3-D VRML, which I'm gonna take a look at in the next few days and kinda figure out, to further the Bob Dole mandate in the Executive Branch, Congress, and the Courts -- that is, as soon as we determine what Bob Dole stands for.
Dolefully,
Bob
prez@whitehouse.gov (effective 1/14/97)

Dear Brigette Bardot: Howdy, just want to let your readers know that we offer a one-hour* photo service via the "Internet." Just scan your developed negatives into your computer, and then digitize it all, compress it, and create an ASCII file, which you can fax-modem to us; after that, we scan the fax paper and reconstitute the file. Then, it takes us only an hour to e-mail the ASCII files back to you, after which you can recreate the photo-negatives at your end (somehow, I guess), which you can then convert into actual pictures yourself (requires that you have a complete darkroom in your home).
Snappily,
The Photo Store Formerly Known as "Prints"
* In other words, a standard 36-picture roll of film would take only 36 hours to develop! All for only $99.99! Say "Cheese it, the Fuzz!"

Dear George Hamilton: Now I was reading in this book today what somebody gave me instead, cuz they couldn't pay da bill. It's about topology, and they gives this example. See, da topology o' donuts and coffee cups is simple. Ya figure, it's cheaper, what? I'm just talking. But if donuts and coffee cups are the same, then ya can save a dollar. Buy the coffee, which is cheaper, ya take a bite, turn it into a coffee cup, ya takes a drink of coffee, change it back into a donut, and so on. Now to keep it simple, you can buy a coffee (make sure it's in a cup), ya drinks the coffee, change the cup into a donut, and eat it. But don't finish the donut before you finish da coffee, or it shows up again and spills on the counter. And don't bite the donut hole before you finish da coffee, or you won't have a handle. Now don't confuse the waitress, neither, or she may pour a buncha little donuts into your cup. I'm just saying. It's like the theory of relativity, what many people don't know. But it's simple: The train is going this way, and you walk down the aisle the oppposite way, and that's the theory of relativity. It's like jumping up in an elevator when it's going down.
Same thing.
Dell E. Owneur
123 Lotus St.

Dear Demi Moore: Can you post my resume for me? Thanks! Goal: I want a job. Excellent! Experience: Oct. 94-Apr 96 -- Partied!!! September 1994 -- Old BuzzKill Rehab Centre, Brickwall, N.Y. Aug 92-Sept 94 -- Partied Down!!!!!! School: Went some. References: None still living.
Kewl, thanx!
Jon Kee
c/o Attic Room, My Step-Mom's House

Dear Dr. Ruth: Hey, we're all busy here interlacing French fries and tagging sesame-seed buns. Don't give me that more-swamped-than-thou attitude with your Cheeseburger Plug-Ins and Java apple-pielets.
Jeff, at the Virtual Fryer station
Old McDonald's Web Site

P.S. Don't ask me what the aitch I'm talking about because I'm just a young fictional character with cyber-acne who was created solely to write one, stupid, fake letter.

Dear Editor: I'm in "a lot of pain" today. In fact, I'm in a "really bad space." I feel like everybody is always staring at me. And laughing. Why me? Who knows! I guess life is just chaos. Well, thanks for letting me "share."
Moping,
Fat-Nose the Clown
Center Ring, The Big Top
*

 


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