Editorial & Letters



Didja ever notice how everyone wears clothes? Didja ever wonder where they get them? Well, where they get them doesn't matter; don't worry about it. The point is this: Clothes are not a one-time cost. They're not worn just once, and then discarded. (Excepting the paper-dress craze of the 1960s -- Ed.) All of those clothes you see people wearing every day have to eventually be cleaned. That's right! Every single article of clothing that every single person on this, our planet-under-alien-siege-that-we-call- "Terra" has to, at some point, be washed and dried. But that's not my message here.

My message is this: Who so "kindly" provides all of these cleaning services? That's right, the appliance, detergent, and drycleaning companies. HOWEVER, who owns these "necessary" companies -- WITHOUT exception? That's right again: the government of a certain "SECOND planet from Sol." Moroever, who supplies all of the "needed" detergent and drycleaning fluids -- specifically, perchloroethylene - which can NOT be manufactured by any technology known on Earth this century, and which occurs naturally only in the torrid Swamps of Venus. AND, finally, who receives the proceeds from these sales, the cash upon which a certain non"Terran" war effort depends?

I think you now see where this is leading. But for those of you who just WON'T see, repeat a catchy little phrase after me: Free Earth! Free Earth! Wear Your Clothes Covered with Dirth! Or maybe: Who Cares About the Health Boards/Down with the Venusian Overlords. OK, gotta "run." Can't stay in one "place" for too long.

Signed, Biedermeier X. Leeuwenhoek


Sharing Our Wares: A "Special" Editorial for Our Treasured Readers

So many people have come up to us in the cyber-saloons to ask, "Now that you've successfully completed a year of publishing your Planet Magazine, sometimes garnering tens upon ones of readers, shouldn't you start charging for it? Please?" Upon reflection, we couldn't agree more, and now we are offering our readers the opportunity to hack up $30, no $60, cash, for each issue of this "zineware" -- no, make that $85 for each story of every issue, retroactive -- so that we at Planet Magazine can have the money to buy a PowerMac PowerBook 9991 (with skulljack and pituitary-ware) and a Snuffmaster Pro tonguepad. Come to think of it, how about making it $165 per issue -- better yet, $250 per story per issue -- as we also need to buy the Mystenstein 4- D and Power Rangers vs. Flying Barney Assault CD-ROM games.

To give you some background, we note that we seriously considered various other payment plans that would benefit readers before we finally settled on the zineware concept - which, as we said, comes to a meager cover price of $550 per word, for which the reader is repaid billions of times over, at the very least. For your consideration, we list a smattering of the "ware" concepts that we weighed (hey kids, invent your own!) and subsequently trashed over an intense 10-minute period:

Airware: The reader sends us some air; seemed pointless.

Bearware: Too dangerous.

Careware: Too "nice."

Dareware: We don't want to get involved in any hijinks.

Earware: We can't "Gogh" with that idea.

Fairware: We like carnivals, but this's too inconvenient.

Gereware: Got any Cindyware?

Hairware: We're already wigged out.

Irware: Doesn't work with Terran computer systems.

Jeerware: We get too much of that already.

Kirware: I'd rather have a draft.

Leerware: Depends who it is.

Mareware: Too much like deerware, which is everyware.

Nearware: Incompatible with our farware.

O'Hareware: Planely, we don't need this.

Pearware: Only if from "Tom and David's Orchard Software."

Queerware: No thanks. Not that there's anything wrong with it!

Rareware: Maybe, as long as it's rare because it's good.

Searware: Ouch, no thanks.

Tearware: No. We already use ripware and sobware.

Uareware: Can't be used in non-ammonia atmospheres.

Veerware: We already do this, without any 'ware.

Wareware: Too redundant, not to mention repetitious.

Xareware: Works only with the Xarian's picto-language.

Yearware: No. Takes too long to boot up.

Zaireware: No. Rhodesia-ware didn't work well, either.

So, there you have it. Just more evidence of how hard we work to please you (raises moist eyes mournfully toward heaven, reminiscent of Warner E. Sallman's painting "Head of Christ," with no disrespect meant toward anyone's religion, human or alien). So, again, please send in your scamware fee of a pittancely $780 per letter, including punctuation. Is that really so much to ask? No, of course it isn't.

As an aside, we'd like to sorrowfully mention that, tragically, our high expenses mean that we still will not be able to afford to pay the struggling writers who contribute so faithfully (starts chopping onions) to make this zeen what it is... (double-clicks on sound files labeled "Bawl," "Wracking Choke," and "Sniffles"). Sorry, we...we can't talk about it anymore.

With Endurance, Boldness, and Vision, I remain,
Andrew G. McCann, Editor
December 1994

P.S. If you fall for this, and actually send money, please use only e-credits and the following address in the Galactic Data Core: planetmag@zines_sf_fantasy_humor_ poetry_horror.english.earth.solsystem.milkyway.datacore.don _t rump. *



(New Policy: Letters will be edited to make them longer and harder to understand.)

Dear Editor: Just a word of congratulations on the outstanding mag you are producing. I've been sending it along to the Channel 14 BBS in my town (414/453-0545 FC system) where it is getting downloaded a bit. I also edit a DOCmaker mag, Sci Fi Tattler, and have been getting very little correspondence from readers. Have you guys been getting a lot of response? I hope so, since it is a heck of a good mag.
Tim Kretschmann
Muskego, WI

[Editor's Note: Thanks Tim. Your zine is excellent, which of course I never told you until you sent your e-mail. I think that people are more likely to write in to a publication when they're exercised about something. And if people think that's a cynical view, well, they would think that, wouldn't they? Anyway, I rather enjoy writing fake letters for our fake letters column. You might try that. (To find Sci Fi Tattler on AOL, go to the Science Fiction & Fantasy Forum. The keyword is SCIENCE FICTION; the path is Science Fiction & Fantasy: The Science Fiction Libraries: Member & Club Magazines.)]

Dear Editor: I found Planet 3 on AOL and enjoyed seeing it. A friend is thinking of getting into electronic publishing and wanted to see what's being done. Yours is one of the best!
via CompuServe

Dear Editor: I know that you are awaiting my answer to your recent missive. Please do not fear. I am very excited in anticipation of the reply which I know I will be composing to you before very much more time has elapsed. Here's the problem... Ever since I incorporated myself and registered all identifications of myself (past, present, and future) for copyright purposes, I must first consult with my attorneys before I can send out any of my trademarked thoughts, comments, ideas, etc. You see, since there will undoubtedly be a presidential library named after me, it is very important that all of my public and private utterances be catalogued, filed, and sold to the highest bidder when the price is right. I cannot frivolously "give it away" as they say. I am sure you appreciate the delicacy of my position and the potential legal imbroglio we could both be in if I do not get legal approval before I answer. I want you to know, however, that I hold you in the highest regard, and I wish you all the best luck in the world in all your endeavors. You are a very special human being whose worth cannot be minimized. Regards and cheers.
Quentin de la Pascalito con Fumare
(for Mr. David Leibowitz)

P.S. This form letter was sent in lieu of a personal response, since Mr. Leibowitz has no knowledge of the correspondent, nor does he wish to.

[Editor's Clarification: The preceding is an actual letter from a fake person, as well as a fake letter from an actual person, whereas the following are fake letters from fake people, albeit written by an actual person.]



Dear Editor: I dream of a world someday where everyone has a number instead of a name. Ha! Just kidding. You'd actually have to have a combo of numbers AND letters, like license plates,* otherwise, the "names" would get ridiculously long and difficult to memorize -- "Hi, 234,449,226, how are you?" "Oh, fine, 235,992,011; thanks for asking. See you at the on-line VR arcade tonight." THEN where would we all be?
With kindest regards,
C.D. Romm

* Of course, we'd have to disallow all-alpha "vanity" names; otherwise, Mr. 3,550,344,402, for example, could register the name "Bob," defeating my whole purpose of architecting a new social order. On the other hand, I suppose I'd have to permit "Bob1," for instance, wouldn't I? And that's none too different, I suppose. Listen, let me think this through again and then get back to you. Meantime, please, whatever you do, don't publish this letter. (Hey, I hope you didn't get bored while you were reading about my idea and skip that last sentence there. Just kidding again!)

Your Ladyship: I beseech you to not feel any obligation to respond to my messages. It's not that you haven't been helpful, it's just that, well, you're quite frankly a boar. And it's been particularly difficult at the various balls I've held this year (such as the St. Pancreas' Purging Day Fete). The reason: Your tusks keep catching in the yards of silk and taffeta that comprise all the princesslings' gowns. Much tearing, followed by many tears. This can't go on.
Yours, nonetheless,
Sir Amic "Chip" Mugg

Dear Editing Unit: Yes, we do currently have an opening at our office; unfortunately, we are using it as a door just now and don't foresee that situation changing at any time in the near or distant future. In the very distant future, however, around about the year 3414, we do intend to convert this doorway into a high-paying administrative job in the Bzorgian City bureaucracy on the dark side of Mercury (a bit cooler there, I believe). One drawback to this position, I must tell you, would be the requirement that applicants demonstrate the ability to breathe in a vacuum and to withstand the Sun's coronal temperature of about 1 million degrees Kelvin, or whatever -- all without a space suit of any kind. Sorry about this, but the Bzorgian race, which of course has the long-term contract to run Mercury Mining Inc., insists on these capabilities, and there's really very little we can do about it. Nonetheless, I'm sure you can do it if you just show a little backbone and apply yourself. There you go.
All the best,
Prof. Ken Tankerous
Research Chief, UGI Mining Division

Dear Editor: I've long been known for my uncanny ability to forecast trends: Witness my prediction of last summer, that silicon-based AIs -- from a future so far off that the very stuff of the universe has decayed into molecular oatmeal -would be seen on every runway from Paris to the Blue-Egg Trellises of Andromeda. So here's The Concept for 1995: Exhaustion! I predict that tout la monde will be on the brink of collapse this spring. Those Pretty Young Things of Tribeca and Tokyo will be called The Walking Skels, spilling hot coffee on themselves at 3 a.m. in some chic spot with no name and a door buzzer. Everyone from supermodels to environmentally conscious movie stars will be appearing in ads and at openings with black circles under their eyes and a tendency to burst into tears.

OK, so what's the concept behind the concept? Simple: When you're breaking down physically, not to mention mentally, you're telling people: "Yo, I care enough to burn the candle at both ends. By spending all my time in a spiritual quest to become all things to myself, both emotionally and financially, I'm telling people that I am 'wired' in every way, that I'm in the moment, and that my money is working for me. Because this is a world of opportunities, and if you're not No. 1, you're not even in the game." You heard it here first.
Mac N. Tosh,
President Digital Fragrances, Inc.

Dear Editor: Hi! I'm Ted, 'n' this is my wife, Gina. We live in Palisades Park and were just tapping into the 'Net to look for the nail-care and carwax forums. We found the Espresso Forum, where we met Tomas and Marte, who were surfin' in to post their "Ode to Tompkins Square." As American citizens and rightful consumers of on-line services, we're worried that the end result of activity such as ours will be a huge datapit of electronic blather (such as your publication) that accelerates entropy, and thereby the destruction of the universe.
R. "Ted" Founder
President, Lost-Our-Lease Inc.
Chairman, Going-Out-of-Business & Sons

Dear Seeker: Nay, I have not "passed beyond," for I still live electronically to guide you in your Life's Quest. Follow me, and I will show you The Way! By the way, now, for only a $49.95 introductory price, you get three, free ritual ceremonies (observer status) and a special offically printed I.D. card that gets you free electronic paycheck deposit in The Semiautomatic Church of Exalted Cronies' bank account.
Gazing Intensely,
Luc RaTive
Cult Leader, Small-Arms Dealer and Swiss Confectioner *


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