Header by Jim Garrison

Alright, everybody -- we're back at it again. That's despite our Cap'n fighting a flu bug and his computer sufferin' a bug of its own.
Gonna start off with a letter from a great author who is also a darned good artist, name of George Karagiannis. Take it, George!

Dear Lt. Luna,
__I was all the most pleased to see the new issue of “Planetary Stories” getting published after a relatively long period of quiescence. Planetary Stories is a remarkable effort that makes us keep believing that the golden era of science fiction (designated from late 40s through 60s, when this particular genre actually flourished) hasn’t died out yet, nowadays. The new issue of “Planetary Stories”, along with the published issues from the so-called Sister Magazines “Pulp Spirit” and “Wonderlust”, instigates the feeling of the space opera as it was originally conceived, and offers a wide variety of well-written and thought-provoking stories to its readership.
__First of all, I was particularly happy to see another story by Gerd Maximovic, one of the most prolific Science-fiction German authors, to-date. After enjoying “Autoexec.BAT” and “The Fire Chief and Margharita” in the previous issue, I was really stunned by his new story: “The Planetoid Plunderers” from start to finish. Only a few Magazines put themselves into trouble in translating stories written in other languages into English. Fortunately, Planetary Stories understands the need to minimize the distances among authors around the globe, and makes certain exceptional authors, such as Gerd Maximovic, known to a greater readership. I would personally be unaware of him, since most of his works are published in the German language, and Planetary Stories gave me an opportunity to meet his standards.

Appreciate the compliment about the translation, George, but it's undeserved. Gerd sent us the story already translated. Hey, we're really sharp on our ship, but not that sharp!

Also, I’d like to spend a few lines to denote a few suggestions to make this effort more fruitful. Kindly consider these remarks as purely friendly recommendations rather than actual complaints from my side.
__When’s the next issue up? Planetary Stories needs to establish a stable publication schedule. A magazine should always respect the readership that supports it, by delivering as promised. This is also a matter of anticipation, as numerous fans - including me - would like to know exactly when to expect the next issue to come out. Sometimes it takes months before we see an update from Planetary Stories, which makes us wonder whether the magazine is still publishing or not.

Thanx for your interest, George. True, there was an unfortunate gap in our publication, but we're (hopefully!) back to schedule now. Our schedule is March, July and November.

__Who are all these great authors? It would be fantastic if a story was followed by a brief bio-sketch of the author. Sometimes, we bump into so phenomenal a story that we either wish to come in contact with the author and congratulate him/her, or simply find more of his/her published work online. A 4-5 line bio-sketch could solve this issue, and would definitely create a more robust network of people connected to Planetary Stories.

You really got the Cap fired up, George! He's been doin' that now and again, but (as you'll see when you read this issue) now he's making a habit of it. He even put a bio of himself at the bottom of the Contents page!

__Do I really get the “big” picture? I have noticed that some of the short stories are not illustrated or poorly illustrated. For a magazine with the caliber of Planetary Stories that brings into life the Space Opera from the 50s, this could work against rather than in favor of a story. We all have seen archived issues of old magazines from that era and know that colorful interpretations were really the key at those times. Illustrations should tell the story on their own; in other words, they should be self-explanatory. I think that the current “Planetary Stories” illustrators should give more effort to capture moments from the storyline and put them into colors, rather than simply orchestrate a still-life or an abstract impression of a character or an object from the story. Illustrations that depict “action” are what the readers would really love to see. Also, the more illustrations the merrier; they always give more pleasure to the reader, and can captivate the interest of potential readers.

Now you got that right, George! The Cap'n is real gung-ho about illos! The only thing holding him back is it's hard to find enuf good artists who have the time to produce for us, seeing as how we only pay with appreciation, which don't buy bread.
__By the way, I see you've produced some good illos yourself. Really appreciate that!

To this end, I’d like to kindly thank you for sharing this magnificent piece of electronic art and also for providing this column, which gives voice to readers/authors.
__Yours Sincerely

George S. Karagiannis

Thanx again for your great letter, George. And, what a coincidence, you mentioned Gerd -- and here we have a letter from him!

__I read Pulp Spirit 24.
__Looking around the stories and pictures you publish, there is always a tickle (an appeal) to it. There is Len Dobsons's "Old Father", a story wherein revenge is postponed. Clear, hard story telling, no modern artificial writing.
__And there is Mark Nassutti's "Murder on the Old Santa Fe Trail". Some sort of humor, well and strongly told (attractive illos as well). Discussion in the saloon good, like people are really talking. Also the bio is interesting where Mark explains he is not writing only for himself alone but as well for others who might judge his writing worth reading. A writer always writes for himself (hopefully doing his best) and for his public.
In Mark's story there is a hunt for "TJ", we learn, "TJ" is already dead. But indeed, there are creatures - in this story and maybe in reality - who knew it before. Because in the story there are mules and horses shying away from the dead "TJ" before the hero himself knows what happened. There arises one question: wherefrom do animals know there is lying a corpse? Indeed, what Mark hints on can be true.
__Dogs for instance "know" much more than men. So often times they, barking, sound alarm. Is this only so because they smell someone? There are verified stories, the dog's master comes home untimely, but the dog, already scratching at the door, knows it. Regarding the distance, this cannot be due to the sense of smell. But wherefrom knows the dog his far distant master - untimely - is coming? Mind reading? Soul reading? For sure, something like that.
__One more example for animals' abilities. I'm living here at fifth floor, bright view over the roof of the next house towards the dome. Sometimes swarms of birds are gathering there. They - all together - fly up and down, left and right, thousands, ten thousands of birds, almost faultlessly, they make curves and turns, like in the ballet, like exercised on stage. Please, tell me: how can 10 000 birds fly like one body? How? So-called scientists "explain" this, they say, the birds touch their wings, and so they rise and turn, in an incredible way as swiftly as they can. Do you really believe they touch their wings? Or should we not better think, for such a compact body, there is contact soul to soul, making those birds turn and curve? Poor modern "scientists", who only believe in technique, being thus far away from nature, they do not even try to understand! Look at a swarm of birds, and tell me, how and why!
__As always, the artwork of Jim Garrison was just right. Yes, Jim Garrison is a great artist. I like his illos. I dislike "modern" art. For instance Picasso is rated as the greatest "modern" artist. He was talented. In his beginning (as a youg man) he painted normal, and not so bad. Later, becoming famous, he made, they say on TV, someday about 2000 or 3000 master pieces a day. EACH DAY! They are kidding us? 2/3000 master pieces a day? So you see, the later work of Picasso mostly was poor nonsense, work of a child or of an imbecile? Maybe you tell Rembrandt in the future there would come an artist creating 2/3000 master pieces each day. Don't you think Rembrandt, again, would die laughing?
__ Therein we find Matthew Senkowski: 'Alien Banana Creatures'. Well narrated story. 'Classical' I would say. So, this is compliments, Matthew. But, beg your pardon, what about munching banans thereafter? Do you think your readers dare eating them having read your story? What would happen when my next bananas are going haywire, developping their own rites in my mouth? Please, be kind enough, NOT to write such a story about apple trees. Why? You know the saying: 'An apple a day keeps the doctor away!' So please do not hinder my eating apples. I need my daily apple for my health as well as I need Emile Coué and his great discovery.
__Planetary Stories 34 has Richard Logan: 'A Pocket Full of Tricks'. This is a hard boiled classical action story. We like to read it. In it you pose the question how to detect a spy? Well, in Science Fiction, like in the story, you send a message to his mind, and so you find out who he is because he will certainly show some reaction. But, is it true, is it only so in SF? May I inform you on the famous German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. He, in his writings, tells us: when a stranger is standing in front of your door, guard your thoughts, because maybe he will read them. Look at Schopenhauer, he is no poor SF author, but a famous philosopher who writes this!
__Shelby Vick: 'Time After Time' (Part Two). Good fun this story, something to laugh about. Well, dear author, you know, now you are telling about the real problems voyaging through space. It is not suns bursting out. It is not aliens threating you. Or things like these. Here we learn the real problem, space travelling creates. Rick Suddenly, the hero, lands on a planet, 'suddenly' he learns he is married, a fact he didn't know before. Married to a wife, I guess. Well, you never know. But space and time curvature is tricky, so he must be married to a lot of women (without knowing it). And here begins the real problem. Of course, Rick Suddenly must have fathered a lot of children. And the women awaiting him, what do they demand? Maintenance, big sums of maintenance Rick 'suddenly' will have to pay. So you easily see, space travel is far more expensive than even NASA thought.
__Russ Bickerstaff: 'A Date on Earth'. Date with an alien out of the movies. Good atmosphere.
__Jose Sanchez: 'Star Wars Returns'. Only pictures, but well done. We like this mixture. And we like the illustrations contributed by Tim Riley (in Shelby's story).
__Martyn Osmundsen: 'The Dust, Like Stars'. They are attacking through a tunnel. Also interesting to see the danger lurking there.
__There are short bios at the end of the stories. Well done, Shelby, we like to see this extra information, and good, you are recruiting new writers for your eMagazines.
__I did read Pulp Spirit 24.
__Looking around the stories and pictures you publish, there is always a tickle (an appeal) to it. There is Len Dobsons's "Old Father", a story wherein revenge is postponed. Clear, hard story telling, no modern artificial writing.
__And there is Mark Nassutti's "Murder on the Old Santa Fe Trail". Some sort of humor, well and strongly told (attractive illos as well). Discussion in the saloon good, like people are really talking. Also the bio is interesting where Mark explains he is not writing only for himself alone but as well for others who might judge his writing worth reading. A writer always writes for himself (hopefully doing his best) and for his public.
__In Mark's story there is a hunt for "TJ", we learn, "TJ" is already dead. But indeed, there are creatures - in this story and maybe in reality - who knew it before. Because in the story there are mules and horses shying away from the dead "TJ" before the hero himself knows what happened. There arises one question: wherefrom do animals know there is lying a corpse? Indeed, what Mark hints on can be true.
__Dogs for instance "know" much more than men. So often times they, barking, sound alarm. Is this only so because they smell someone? There are verified stories, the dog's master comes home untimely, but the dog, already scratching at the door, knows it. Regarding the distance, this cannot be due to the sense of smell. But wherefrom knows the dog his far distant master - untimely - is coming? Mind reading? Soul reading? For sure, something like that.
__One more example for animals' abilities. I'm living here at fifth floor, bright view over the roof of the next house towards the dome. Sometimes swarms of birds are gathering there. They - all together - fly up and down, left and right, thousands, ten thousands of birds, almost faultlessly, they make curves and turns, like in the ballet, like exercised on stage. Please, tell me: how can 10 000 birds fly like one body? How? So-called scientists "explain" this, they say, the birds touch their wings, and so they rise and turn, in an incredible way as swiftly as they can. Do you really believe they touch their wings? Or should we not better think, for such a compact body, there is contact soul to soul, making those birds turn and curve? Poor modern "scientists", who only believe in technique, being thus far away from nature, they do not even try to understand! Look at a swarm of birds, and tell me, how and why!
__Gerd Maximovic

Thanx to everybody who took some of their personal time to write us! Now let's look forward to our next issue.
Lt Luna

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