Planet Magazine No. 3 - Editorial & Letters


Like other publications that wallow in the very thing they condemn, we take exception to
the unchecked availability of free electronic magazines that focus on SF, fantasy, humor,
and the like. And it's this very comment of ours that is part of a larger, recurring
problem in journalism today all of the so-called editorialists who have nothing better to
do than manufacture some "controversial" issue when they actually have, as I just stated,
nothing better to do. It's the proverbial storm in a teacup masquerading as, say, a
Nor'easter in a Frost Giant's tankard. (An actual storm in a teacup, though, would be worth
writing about: lightning like broken toothpicks, clouds like a kitten's hairballs, rain like
a spritz from a bottle of Calvin Klein's Maternity ["One Spray and You're Pregnant for
Men or Women"].)

Of course, the most egregious example of journalists who manufacture opinions are the
Noze-Boxians of the Tahbloyd star system, who, as everyone must know by now,
communicate solely through anti-celebrity gossip on an all-band telepathic signal. I
mean, who appointed these self-appointed experts? These "exo-journalists" spend their
days pretending to be in a state of high dudgeon over the activities of whatever actor du
jour, solely because they feel the compulsion to "fill space." Perhaps these
over-commentating windbags believe what they are doing is all in fun (the editorial
"wheeee," as my young nephew says), or maybe they believe it's all true and necessary.
Whatever the Noze-Boxians' reasons, I say their sort of activity must stop.

This brings me to the real issue at hand I hereby call upon the combined
member-planets of the Galactic Council to quickly set up a task force to begin looking into
whether or not to recommend considering some sort of non-binding suggestion to encourage
the diminishment of the aforementioned behavioral manifestations, eventually even looking
into the Noze-Boxian problem, perhaps. As such, I humbly add that I would be available to
chair that august body and am more than willing to set down the task force's conclusions in
a brief quintilogy of novelized autobiographies filmed in 4-D VR that I envision completing
by my 65th birthday.

I think I've made my point.

Andrew G. McCann, Editor
September 1994


(Editor's note: Letters will be edited for clarity, brevity, and because of our deep-seated need to control the thoughts of others.)

Dear Editor: Really enjoyed this last issue. In particular, I really liked Brian Burt's
"Climbing Jacob's Ladder" and would like to see more of his work. The others that stood out
were the bizarre little story by Steve Ross, Cortes' poem with the reincarnation theme,
and Andy McCann's story on Konen's therapy session.
Way to go,
Brian M.
via AOL

Dear Editor: I thought your first issue was great (the best S.F. on-line magazine I've
seen yet). Is issue No. 2 out?
via AOL

[Editor's note: See "Where to Find This Magazine" in the Masthead section.]

Dear Editor: NICE ZINE!
via the Internet

Dear Editor: Great second issue guys! I am still impressed. I also have a thought on how
to improve the 'zine just a bit. (It's free, so I am sure not complaining, believe me.)
From time to time I've seen programs with bookmark capability. If it's not too tough to
do?... It would sure be a benefit to someone like me who is too busy to sit down and read the
'zine all the way through. I put it down and pick it up a week later... and can't remember
which story I left off with. Anyway, just a thought. Great job!
via AOL

[Editor's note: This suggestion was passed on to Mark Wall, author of the DOCmaker
software program that Planet uses.]

Dear Editor: Brian Burt's "Climbing Jacob's Ladder" was a really fast-paced story that
was disturbingly realistic. If we don't all want to live in that world, we'd better start
trying to make changes right now. Re Margaret McCann's "Hints From Hazel," my favorite
was "The neighbor's three rambunctious boys...." I enjoyed your second issue very much,
and am looking forward to No. 3.
via AOL


Dear Editor: Given Jupiter's enormous mass, I think it's quite likely that the denizen's
of that planet's ancient and distinguished democracies are quite wide and low in terms of body type. Thus, it is doubly a tragedy that, given these individuals' large "areas," so many
were no doubt slaughtered in that terrible, brief reign of Carmaker-Chevy, the cometary
body whose fragments sewed death and destruction everywhere amongst the Golden-Espired
Cities of the Great Bruised Spot. Now I imagine that, in the wake of this horror, a tyrant
usurper has gained control of the Jovian Imperial Senate. I ask you, then, who better than
the citizens of the U.S.A. to contribute cash, via me, to help these suffering Freedom
Fighters of Jupiter in their just cause to topple the Dictator Or-Tegah (or whatever its
name is that's probably in ruinous power). OK? So send your money via e-cash to
Yours in Galactic Personhood,
Fay Kappeal

Howdy, Kid (shifts stance slightly and squints into the rising sun; a bead of sweat rolls
down furrowed forehead to drop off left eyebrow; right hand hovers lightly over holstered
pistol; fingers flex once, stop. Far overhead, a lonesome dove calls for the mate it will
never find. A young boy, standing near the door of McGoon's hardware store, suddenly
crunches down loudly on a mouthful of Ruffles® potato chips.): Didn't mean no harm. Yuh
made yerself real plain. Ahm jes' talkin' to th' lady. I understand she's with you. I got
no problem with that. I'm a happily relationship-ified man. Now, I'll jes' be movin' along
and gittin' outta yor'n way. No hard feelin's. I understand. Oh, yeh, 'n' here's muh piece
(extends gun handle-first, but spins it suddenly and shoots, hitting the Kid squarely in the
heart at nearly point-blank range and killin' him stone-daid). Oh yeh, 'n' there's muh
bullet, too. Har-har.
Backin' slowly away,
Pork City Slim
The West

Esteemed Editor (scattered, throaty chuckles from the audience): As one of the stage's
greatest actors (sudden, respectful silence), it was most interesting to receive your
rejection letter (abrupt roar of laughter). I have given some thoughts to your comments
(single bark of mirth from balcony, dropping to sustained titter) on my autobiography
(general applause rises and fades; sole titterer continues). However, I am angry (body
topples from upper tier; a scream is suddenly cut off). And don't think for one, bloody
minute that I'm enjoying any of this (tightens tie with a swift jerk; face reddens). After
all (hush settles over audience; faint whimpering recedes as usher hustles out wounded),
WHO ARE YOU? (Thoughtful, sustained applause, segueing to standing ovation). Thank
you, thank you (roses, handkerchiefs, book contracts, bratwurst tossed onto stage;
curtains close, house lights go up, and audience departs, with armed guards emerging from
the wings to clear out stragglers.)
As Ever,
M. Point d' Epée

Dear Editor: You might not believe this, but last night I saw President Clinton in my
living room. He just walked in, stood in front of my red couch from Ikea, and began
discussing his vision for universal healthcare. After a while, he left. That's it. Anyway,
charming as he is, it was just as well he took off because I wasn't in the mood for technical details about anything, as I was in the process of coming down from a two-day binge of
vodka and Despair, the new designer-drug for the mid-90s. However, I think I did hear
our President say something about retaining funds for low-Earth-orbit detox wards, a
notion that I strongly support.
Ava Goode-Weekend
Hell's Kitchen, New York

My Dear Maharajah: Thank you for the amusing letter written in the Cockney Style.
Your "Leopard" alias seems most fitting, as it brings to mind our "big cat" hunt of
November last, which, excepting the tragic loss of Fiona and Crispin in the Vale of
Mosquitoes, was absolutely grin-filled. Your missive also recalls the infamous Feather
Incident back at Eton no, but I shan't embarrass you with the details!
With Kindest Wishes for the Health of You, the Royal Family, and Courtiers,
Junior Lance-Corporal Lancelot Korpirell, Jr., HMRAF

Dear Editor: Thank you for your recent letter and resume. At this time, we do not have
any administrative positions open in any of our prefectures on Mars or the Moons of
Saturn. For these jobs, in particular, we prefer to promote from within, as a certain
combination of judgment and diplomacy, tempered by unique experience (such as the
recent, successful repression of the cyborg revolt at the Titan ammonia mines) is a must.
Nonetheless, with your experience, we encourage you to apply directly to the Outer Planets
Division of United Galaxy Inc., where we could very well find something administrative for
you in the Division's Planetary Governing Bureaus. In this way, after a few years of grit
and determination, you might be able to work your way up to a governorship on the Moons,
or perhaps even a small-town mayoralty on the red planet itself. Good luck and best
Magneto X. Henchperson, Asst. Director
UGI Personnel Div., Center City, Phobos, Mars M0010   

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