Heading by Jim Garrison

Well, the good ship Planetary Stories has hit the magic issue number 10, and the Captain sure is excited. That milestone has put him in such a good mood that when Three Headed Jake’s second head talked the other two into a mutiny, Cap only spaced one of them.

Speaking of being in a good mood, I want to point out that the new header by Jim Garrison actually does me some justice. The little guy up there with me is my new assistant Lorf. He’s new around here so we’ll have to go easy on him – at least for now. But enough about fun things, let’s get to the letters. We’ll start with Howard Hopkins.

--Lt. Luna --

Dear Lt. Luna,

Didn't have time to really read through much, other than the ed right at the moment -- work plus snow shoveling and uncle passing away the other day to have had much pleasure reading time. I have read a bit of Bobby's but honestly I don't like to get very specific on things unless I am reviewing them for something. I'll try to take a look at Assassin.

Read it, enjoyed. A nice twist on the going back to kill Hitler concept. Very well written, too. It just dawned on me, this isn't the same Jerry Page who did some stuff for Golden Perils and had a number of his own zines back in the 80s, is it? (back when GP was a print mag and not online.)

Howard Hopkins

Yep, it’s the very same Jerry Page who wrote for your pulp journal Golden Perils, as well as Tom Johnson’s Echoes and Doug Ellis’s Pulp Vault – as well as his own Spicy Armadillo Stories and Flashback. He’s been writing science fiction since 1963 when he sold his first story to John W. Campbell Jr., for Analog.

Lt. Luna:

Here’s a letter from John Thiel.

A time difference here has kept me from paying as much attention to Planetary Stories as I would like. We live in an infundibulum and the days are only about ten minutes long, if that. During that short time period I've been kept busy with Surprising Stories, as well as with keeping my computer running at all. Then there's been keeping up with the televised sf. But by heaven, when I do get around to Planetary, I read it!

Glad to see you did not let Christmas pass un-noticed. I read the Christmas section of the newest issue first and thought Gerald Page's poetry actually improved the season. Also it was very fannish of him to use a reader as a character in one of the verses. I'm glad also that you found room for Shell's story.

Garrison is a fine illustrator of fantasy. I think you have a real find there.

Certainly there have been a lot of recent losses in fandom and sf; as you suggest, I think Shelby has what it takes to be with us for quite some time. I was more concerned about the death of Richard Brown than with Wilson Tucker's death; Brown and I did a lot of fanac together, and the loss is not easy to reckon. But...there'll be new people coming along.

A good issue, but I hope there'll be more fiction in the next.

John Thiel

Lots of fiction this time around, John. Hope you enjoy it! Here’s a letter from Robert Lichtman. --For some reason he sent it to Cap. Doesn’t he know that I run the letter column around here?

Hi, Shelby--

And happy holidays to you! Just finished poking my way through the latest PS and was delighted to run across that letter from Gregg Calkins on page 52. In response to his comment about LeeH you wrote: "Many fans were unaware of the fact that Lee was a young woman, and when she showed up at the World Science Fiction Convention in 1952, it was quite a surprise to some of them." Those "some" must have been stragglers completely out of touch with the doings of fandom, because as I "recall" LeeH was outed at the Nolacon in 1951. If you have it handy, go read pages 65/66 of Harry's A WEALTH OF FABLE.

Also, in that list of writers for QUANDRY you left out Max Keasler, who had a piece in the 15th issue and was a *presence* throughout the run.

(Date was a typo, and -- AHAH! I now have a Lichtman LoC for Planetary Stories! -- SV)

Yep, you sure do!

Liked Taral's art, but then I usually do. Didn't think an awful lot about the pomes. For the most part I find fanzine poetry on the weak side, with some exceptions.

Are you fishin' for a full LoC, Shelby!? Sorry, ain't gonna happen. I did think, however, that it was very cool of you to incorporate Guy Lillian's latest Zine Dump into the issue -- since PS appears to have a readership via the Web that goes well beyond the boundaries of what we think of as (per Arnie) "Core Fandom," this could well bring some new people on board, or at least nibbling around the edges.

Now I gotta get back to finishing up *my* fanzine.....

Best wishes,

Robert Lichtman

There’s been some speculation that Donald Sullivan might just be a mythological being, but those of us who really are mythological beings (think Aphrodite, boys) know better. Here he proves it with a nice letter.

Dear Lt. Luna,

Once again PS gives us a great ish filled to the brim with excellent stories, artwork, and other great features.

The Garden, by Bobby Nash. Great story inspired by The Original Garden. Great artwork provided by Jeff Austin and Rusty Gilligan.

Raiders of the Scattered Worlds, by Leo Tifton. Nice adventure story inspired by a photo of The Babe and The Bug Eyed Monster (The Bashful Bum musta been hiding in the trees).

The Assassin, by Gerald W Page. A fascinating time travel /alternate history tale. The ending to this one was a complete surprise--never saw it coming.

The Marshal of Jimson Weed, by Benjamin Shell. An exciting western for a nice change of pace. Loved it.

All the poetry was super. Dr Nesheim, Dr Nesheim --Assistant for Santa--Carrie vs. the Space Spiders. All told with good rhyme and rhythm.

The artwork on both covers, PS by Ross Chamberlain and Wonderlust by Wm Michael Mott was super.

Stories for Wonderlust:

The Were Creature, by Kenneth Pembroke. Another great story with a most unexpected ending. This is definitely a new twist on werewolf stories. Nice illo by Jim Garrison

The Muse, by Taral Wayne (who also provided some outstanding artwork). Not only writers, but artists also must field the age-old question "Where did you get the idea…?"

Smoke, by Leo Tifton. Nice piece of flash fiction. Very well written and enjoyable reading.

As with PS, the poetry here was super. The Surprised Party and Ravin' were outstanding.

To take a classic like Poe's The Raven, and write a take-off with the same tempo and rhythm was a notable feat.


Thanks Sully – and we’re all keeping a “Wolfseye” out for your new story in this issue.

It’s a little short, this issue’s letter column. Don’t let that happen again. It’s most easily prevented by simply sending in a nice, long letter of comment.

Lt. Luna


Do you think you’ll have to search for something to read in three months? Wrong again. All you’ll have to do is look up the next issue of Planetary Stories. That Curran and Elge story we were talking about last issue is definitely on deck for the next one. It’s called “Crimson Lightning” and will be lavishly illustrated by Mark Fults. There will be another adventure of Nadir McGuirk and Captain Shivers, and Boofer and Evil Aunt Toody will be back with “Boofer and the Shiny Tin Badge.” And you won’t want to miss the second issue of the new Pulp Spirit. See you three months from now!

Illo by Roy Coker