|Editorial & Letters|
Magazine: Suckering, er succoring, readers since 1994!"
Hi. I'm wearing a casual sweater and corduroy pants while standing by the side of the Information Superhighway, soon to become just another lost highway if I’ve got the say-so -- and you'd better believe I’ve got the say-so. My left hand is in my pocket, which is body language for “I’ve got a secret,” and I’m sporting a new, almost-handsome haircut, mitigated by the cryptic half-smile of a dangerous nerd. Now my hand comes out of my pocket, flapping in simulated speech, because it/I want(s) to let you in on something big: My visions of the future. Here goes.
Scenario 1: Sometime in the near future, a space plane lands at a port on a Caribbean Island. Some gala-colored tourists disembark. Meanwhile, one of the local peasants sits alone on a nearby beach, bored and rather angry – that’s because it's now illegal to work. However, he’s got a banana-government-issued Microsoft-brand FingerPC e-wallet that’s running WinCE 5.whatever; he flops it open, and the balance reads exactly $0.00. Meanwhile, I’m back in Seattle telecommuting from a car’s dashboard that’s been installed in the Master Library (paper books supplied by Books-By-The-Yard Inc.) of my home, which is fully armored.
Scenario 2: Sometime in the near future, a planet is terraformed with the look of Disney's Fantasia (appropriate trademarks fees paid, etc.). There are knights, castles, bioengineered dragons, and so forth; however, after a few generations the resident "employees" begin to forget that they were put there originally to amuse parti-frocked tourists. They begin killing the vacationers, and in the most gruesomely imaginative ways. At the same time, I’m at home in my Seattle fortress, breathing recirculated atmosphere that’s saturated with life-prolonging drugs; in the background, the flat-panel-display walls murmur (business news stories, each a $0.05 micropayment).
Scenario 3: Sometime in the near future, the world is a global, wildlife-free parkland punctuated by super-dense, ultra-tall cities (picture the Emerald City in “The Wizard of Oz,” as seen from the field of poppies, but not so obviously a painting). These cities are self-contained, self-absorbed, insular, tribal, and, as a result, frequently at war with one another; over time, these wars increase in their creative use of violence. For example, the Los Nevada arcology breeds people-ripping ants the size of bears and looses them inside Denver’s weather-control ducts. Denver, though, has tapped its rival’s power grid and is inflicting a series of crippling blackouts (picture an elevator free-falling 300 stories). By the way, everything, including the bear-ants, is powered by the latest version of Windows CE. Concurrently, I brood alone in the art deco dungeon laboratory of my Seattle Keep -- the only home in the world running WindowsNT version 8.something-or-other.
But I've said too much already. The point is, I expect the future to be a great time. And if you’re currently "unwired," don’t worry. Sometime in the near future my associates will bring the Internet directly to you and to everyone else in the world -- by force, if necessary.
to the Road Ahead,
ACTUAL LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Hi, I'm Allan Cole, the SF/Fantasy author. I just happened on
your site and was most impressed. And I thought it was only right
to take a moment and say so. When I update my homepage early next
year, I'll be sure to include your URL. Keep up the great work!
Places like yours are sorely needed in this too-ordinary world.
To The Editor: I'd
like to present to you my trilogy adventure series, Tales of King Dunen.
Originally written for young people, it has been widely accepted by adult
readers. Ever since reading my first fiction, The Hobbit, when I
was about 10 years old, I became a lover of fantasy and science fiction.
Ever a dreamer, I began to write the stories that rolled in my mind.
This series is not the last of my writing. I am working on a prequel
to Tales of King Dunen and hopefully a fourth book in the series.
The series is fast-paced, thought-provoking, and emotional. I invite
you and your readers to join me in my worlds.
The Editors: Your
readers are cordially invited to drop in to <http://members.aol.com/KWOrca/>
for a look at this mainstream novelist's first venture into the realm of
science fiction. My novel THE ROSWELL INHERITANCE was inspired by
a chance meeting with an elderly Roswell resident and fellow pilot who
had an entirely different take on what may have transpired there back in
1947. As a former science writer, pilot and film documentarian, I
think I can say with some confidence that you'll find the piece relatively
well-researched and the theory positively fascinating.
Dear Editor: I
found Planet Magazine quite by accident, but it is a very good site.
I have read three stories so far and they were all very good. In
fact the whole thing was damn good, and quite beyond a lot of the poor
show out there.
Editor: I am interested in having you review my site and/or book:
Incredible, deceptively simple post-modern sci-fi art mystery site explores
new dimensions in website design. For Your Edification and Amusement,
the Schwa Corporation is Pleased to Present The MOST THRILLING ALL NEW
SITE of its kind... From incredible Wonders to singular Constructions
of pixel and bit, The Schwa Corporation's Advanced Training Center promises
to keep its guests amazed with hours of Amusement... See the 4,250-foot
tall Scale Model Of The Solar System by CDI Industries, where one pixel
equals a thousand miles! Enter the Name The Solar System Contest, scroll
the18.6-Mile-Wide Light Ruler, view the mysterious Radia, lounge in the
The Schwa Corporate Theatre and eventually you will come to THE WORLD's
LARGEST WEBPAGES!!! Take a breath before you attempt to navigate
their 47,961 SQUARE MILES of Vast Space! Install a new hard-drive
to satisfy the hunger of web pages 219 miles on a side! After you've done
all that, see if you can run the Schwa Control Room and gain access to
the Schwa Classified Area... It's all there and it's free at www.theschwacorporation.com.
Don't miss it. Please reply if you would also like a copy of my new
book the "Schwa World Operations Manual" to review. Published by Chronicle
Note: We respectully informed the entities at Schwa that we don't
do reviews or carry ads, but we did agree to run their letter in this issue
as a favor. Moreover, we mentioned to them that, personally, we ourselves,
and speaking just for us, believe that aliens are real, are our mortal
enemies, yet should be fully cooperated with now to ensure a good job post-invasion.
Schwa was kind enough to respond and imply that we are already doing a
good job. Thumbs up!]
LETTERS TO GODLESS MONSTERS
Dear Undead: What's
the big deal about the Leader of Our Nation fondling a couple/few interns?
Hey, me and my football buddies groped President Clinton Himself back in
high school during a field trip to D.C. And you don't see him run
blubbering to Ken Starr-Chamber about it.
Dear Cthulu: I
hate it when someone comes up to me on the street, in restaurants, or what-have-you,
and says something like, “Excuse me, but WHAT are you?” or “My wife and
I were just wondering WHERE you are from?!” And then when, or IF,
I tell them, they’ll say something like: “Hey, then say something in Swedish,
or maybe English, or Spanish, or whatever!” It’s so depressing.
Why can’t they see me as just another U.S. citizen? I can’t help
it if I’m different. Boy, things really have changed on Earth since
that multi-planetary alien invasion force landed last week and killed every
human but me (just lucky, I guess! The Liqua Virus doesn’t seem to
have any effect on me at all!). To comfort myself, I just remember
back to how my three-foot-tall, horned, bright-red friend Schglorftt from
the planet Brzinkfreeooooowappp -- at that time, the only alien on Earth
-- must have felt. High school really was hell for him, and not just
because he looked like Satan! ‘Course, now I sheepishly realize he
was the not-too-deep-cover vanguard of the invasion force. Duh!
Dear Anne Rice:
I am searching for funding for my scientific (or, as I call them, "scien-terrific")
experiments. Rest assured that I have changed my ways and am quite
legitimate now. To this very day I regret that time I created a superhuman
army -- actually a race of giant bio-robots -- that, unfortunately, required
a diet of ranch-style homes in order to survive. Boy, did I have
a lot of explaining to do down at the local precinct. Well, I'll be off
now in my home-built flying saucer, which is powered by a perpetual-motion
Dear Ken Starr:
Greetings, Cyber-Friends! I am a computer-generated "netbot,"
sent out to determine your likes and dislikes! I am also capable
of writing letters to zines, as you can see! Remember, let us know
everything about you, so that we can generate one-to-one "push" marketing
to meet all of your consumer needs!
Dear Socks and Buddy:
Well, well. You "people" at Planet Magazine seem to be pretty
damn sure of yourselves. A little “proud” -- maybe too proud, if
you ask me. Well let me just tell you a little something about pride.
Pride is getting to work every day at 5 a.m., even though the workday starts
at 8:30 a.m. Pride is covering for your lazy co-workers. Pride
is turning down your paycheck and watching your family go hungry.
Pride is giving your car away to a random teenager -- even if the little
punk already has a car! Pride is throwing your rent money in the
garbage can. Pride is drinking a quart of vodka in one sitting and
NOT SHOWING THAT YOU’RE DRUNK! Pride is disappearing in the middle
of the night to embark on a cross-country adventure of killing a series
of strangers! Now that’s Pride, dammit. Or am I confusing
“pride” with something else?
Dear Liam Gallagher:
Thank you for publishing that e-mail alert on spam in your last issue.
Well, have we got something for you -- spam that knows it's spam and is
damn proud of it
Dear Spice Girls and Boys:
If I could be any character in Lord of the Rings? Hmm.
I think I'd like to be that skeleton in the Paths of the Dead whose sword
is wedged in a stone doorway. That guy is kewl.
Dear M&M Candies Characters:
Chemistry is indeed important in a relationship. But no more
so than biology, math, the social sciences, or any other part of a high-quality
educational curriculum. Oh, the light that I could have brought to
the world -- if I only I hadn't suffered that career-ending lack of talent.
Art Modell: In my opinion, any adult who drives around with a
cup of hot coffee between their legs deserves to get burned. And
any burnee who brings a lawsuit in such a case deserves not millions of
dollars but a judicial reprimand for not buying a cheap, plastic cupholder
or simply waiting to drink the coffee later. Meanwhile, why hasn't
McDonald's been sued for creating the ArchDeluxe, which is neither "arch"
nor "deluxe," in my humble opinion as a fictional character. But
an over-"arching" issue, as I see it, is how do we prevent people from
injuring themselves when they spill hot auto parts inside McDonald's Restaurants?
And perhaps even more important, why haven't I won the Lotto? Am
I being punished by New York State and by McDonald's just because I refuse
to buy a lottery
Intel "Bunny People" Disco Clean-Room Workers:
couldn't help but notice that the previous writer mentioned the Mac/PC
debate, of which not enough has been written. Please note that not
one of my Mac servers, end-user systems, end-users, bio-robots, or terraformed
computer-controlled worlds has EVER crashed (not even a hiccup), and all
of them have been running MacOS round-the-clock since at least the mid-14th
Century, by the reckoning of your planet's Western societies. (I
know, I know, how could I have had an operating system that long when it's
only existed for a decade or so -- please, let's not get into that tired
time-travel-is-impossible debate right now.) However, I will also
note that I had a couple of those Class M stars running Windows NT, but
they locked up and went supernova just last week. Generally, I find
plain old UNIX the best operating system for stars ranging from red giants,
to neutrons, to even Kevin Costner. Speaking of which, don't ask
me about black holes -- they run only CP/M, which is not my field of expertise.
Dear Editor: I’d
like to make an announcement to those glorious convict-volunteers scheduled
to board the cryogenic "Sardine II" space ark, whose mission is to cruise
the universe at half-light speed for an Earth-like planet, and then manually
terraform it: If any of you need to go to the bathroom, leak now,
or forever hold your pee. Ha-ha! No, seriously, we’ve got catheters
‘n’ junk like that in every sleep coffin, I mean, container.