Editorial & Letters
"Planet Magazine: Suckering, er succoring, readers since 1994!" 

ROUTE 666 

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. 

Here's to the Road Ahead,   
Andrew G. McCann, Editor 
Planet Magazine    
March 1998  


Dear PlanetZine:  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. 
Happy Holidays, 
Allan Cole 

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. 
Arthur Miriello 

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. 
Keep up the good work. Planet is a great and entertaining resource.  
F.M. (Michael) O'Rourke 

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. 
All de best.  Good stuff. 
Dave Brown, Technician 
via e-mail 

Dear Editor:  I am interested in having you review my site and/or book: <http://www.theschwacorporation.com>.  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 Books. 
[No Signature] 

[Editor's 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!] 


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. 
Much Later, 
Owen "Ann" Eksplanacion 

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! 
Please, Please Supersize Me,  
“Mac” Donald M. Ployee  

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 engine. 
Prof. "Moocho" DeNiro 
(brother of Robt.) 

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! 
Dunne & Dunne, 
Cyburp Inc. 

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? 
Lemme Know, 'kay? 
Bing Cherry 

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 All, I just received this spam from a friend of mine in my office.  Please respond to it.  It will just mean employing a little bit of time and won't cost you a penny.  All it needs is the heart for you to send this mail.  PLEASE pass this spam on to everybody you know.  It is the request of a little girl who has been a victim of the terrible problem called REVOKED COMPUTER PRIVILEGES AT THE HIGH SCHOOL LAB.  Thank you for your effort, because this isn't just a chain letter, but a choice for all of us to help a little girl that's dying to create a memorable spam (but Asst. Principal Jenkins won't let her hack the school's PCs anymore!).  So please send this to everyone you know...or  don't  know.  This little girl has six months left to go under her banishment from the Computer Lab, which is forever when you're a teen, so she wanted to send a chain letter telling everyone to live their life to the fullest, since she never will, or not for a few months, at least.  She'll never make it to the prom this year (she's a sophmore), graduate from high school (ditto), or get married and have a family of her own (until she turns 18, and Stu has to ask her first, anyway).  By you sending this spam to as many people as possible, you can give her a little hope, because with every name that this is sent to, The American Spam Institute will donate 3 cents per name to buying this little girl a refurbished Presario and an unlimited AOL account (for 50 hours, at any rate).  One guy sent this spam to 500 people!!!!  So, I know that you could send it to at least five or six.  Come on, you guys...and if you're too selfish to take 10-15 lousy minutes scrolling this and forwarding it to EVERYONE, then you are just one sick, uncaring person.  Just think, it could be YOU one day without a computer.  Hey, it's not even your _money_, it's just your time!!! 
Tim Panee 
Stu De Lamb 

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. 
Madge Icke 

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. 
With One Eyebrow Arched, 
A. Professor  

Dear 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 
ticket or an ArchDeluxe?  And why are Big Macs so much better than Big PCs? 
Jess "Josh" Ing 

Dear Intel "Bunny People" Disco Clean-Room WorkersI 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. 
That's That! 
Sir Ver Soffwehr 

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. 
No Worries, 'Mates 
Yuri Narybloch   * 


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