Conducted by Lt. Luna

Well, it's time for another installment of "The Vibrating Ether," and it's about time. This ship runs smoothly but it's slow -- it takes three earth-months between issues. Originally we were going to be published on Fooshang, out in the Antares system, and a three month wait between issues there was just about right. A year on Fooshang is about seventeen days, and even with the fraction of a day to figure in, four issues a year was a great number. But on a planet like earth that takes 365 days to circle just one puny star, the time between issues really drags. Some of our writers are starting to do more than one draft of their stories just to fill up the time.

It's a good thing we get all those letters you keep sending us, just to keep up the literary quality of this zine. We have a good supply of them this issue, too, though the captain noticed some empty space in the aft hold, where we could easily squeeze in a few more. He still says we should expect at least one letter of comment from every reader, every issue -- sometimes more than that, because Planetary Stories and its partner Pulp Spirit is getting better all the time. Are you doing your part?

But before we get to the letters, the Captain has a special announcement.

Dear Luna,
This time the PS stands for not only Post Script, but also Planetary Stories and Pulp Spirit.
We have always been a changing medium, making changes after the original issue. This time the change is fantastic (not to mention astounding, thrilling and wonderful). And they were added to PS issue 14, after it went online.
To begin with, Ron Wilber just sent us some very outstanding illos for Bug-Eyed Monsters that you shouldn't miss. In addition, a new item has been added to the Editorial we think all will enjoy. . .and Johann Kuester has added to his contribution to Ether.
Well worth checking out. then slide down to each of the Planetary Stories entry #14. (And don't forget Pulp Spirit 5.)
The Captain.

PS (the old-fashioned kind). Now let's get to the real letters.

First up is Walker Martin, writing on the email list, PulpMags (and he starts off quoting ShelVy, of all people).

--- In PulpMags@yahoogroup, Shelby Vick wrote:
Planetary Stories #14 and Pulp Spirit #5 are now available.
Take a look at www.planetarystorie and click on Planetary Stories Issue 14 and Pulp Spirit Issue 5.

-----May I second the advice of Shelby and recommend that the members of this group visit Both online magazines have plenty of pulpish fiction told with wit and humor, artwork, letters and reviews of stories from the original pulps. I found the pulp reviews to be of great interest and different from the usual emphasis on characters from the hero pulps. The reviewers actually discuss stories published in SHORT STORIES, BATTLE STORIES, BLUE BOOK, ALL STORY, ARGOSY, etc. Highly Recommended for all lovers of pulp.

---Walker Martin.

That great sf artist Clif Jackson found a surprise in Planetary Stories.

Thanks, Shelby, for using me in Ballpeen Murders - I feel HONORED!! It's really a great little story. I always enjoy the writing on Planetary Stories.

I hope you had a very happy Easter. We took a little extra time off for the holiday, and I haven't been on line until now...


It's always good to hear from you, Clif.

And it's always good to hear from Bob Kennedy, and this time he forwards a fan letter his alter ego Erwin Roberts received:

Hi Guys,

Received the email below from someone I met on the Rick Brant Science-Adventures Yahoo group. Am forwarding it for your use with his permission.

With his approval he also said:

"I try and read at least a few stories in either Planetary News or Pulp Spirit daily. As I said before, I appreciate the action and it is a relief not to get bogged down with laborious descriptions. Thank you for your recommendation. I have sent the website to other friends of mine with similar interests back in Richmond."
Original email: --------------------

From: "Bruce Simon"

Hey Erwin:

I finally read your new story in Pulp Spirit 5. The Voice is an ingenious character with chameleon like abilities I really appreciate. The story moved at a brisk pace and had all the precision of a well orchestrated commando operation.

The way The Voice altered his face and appearance reminded me of the song "Eleanor Rigby" in which she kept a face in the jar by the door (Who is it for?).

Anyway this story displayed a great imagination, so continue on with this hero. The Voice is a true pulp protagonist. I have read some of the other stories in past issues. They are truly a pleasurable throwback to a time where good and evil were sharply defined as opposed to the murkiness we find in literature and life today.

By the way, I hope you get to try the Ken Holt series. There are fun bits of pulp scenarios and culture which I think you will more than like.

Be blessed,



It is certainly nice to be appreciated!


We're glad you feel that way, Bob, because you're certainly appreciated around here. And so is Bruce Simon.

Incidentally, we heard more from Bob. See next letter.

HI Guys,

Off to ConQuest 40 tomorrow. I've got two things to show off. My copies of Jim Anthony Vol. 1 came in today.

I'm on several panels including one titled "Can a Blog be a Fanzine?" Anyway I will be wearing the attached image as a badge.And I printed up some small Planetary Stories handouts based on the image.



And who better to write our next letter than John Thiel?

Lt. Luna:

The UTube innovations were really great! On top of everything, they had a sense of wonder and were among the only advertising I've seen that was well worth watching. The same goes for Planetary Stories---not only is it satisfying now, but it's well worth watching. You seem to come up with something new every issue.

I liked the art by Koszowski; I didn't know he was still doing sf illustrations. Always glad to see something new by him.

I thought we had exchanged links on a permanent link basis, but I don't find a link to Surprising Stories on your links page any more. I'm sure delighted if any of your readers check us out, and hope you'll put in a link to Surprising again.

John Thiel

Dunno how we lost our Surprising Stories link. Even searched past files and couldn't find it! Please send us either a banner or just the link itself, anf we'll fix that! The Captain

And who better to follow that up, thanJohann Kuester?
Lt. Luna,

I just finished reading, Bug-Eyed Monsters, by Rob Shelsky. It really was like Edmond Hamilton's stories only, I think, it was better. The Bum saved the world, the girl was saved and the BEM's defeated. Very cool. Just finished one of Ed Hamilton's books, Crashing Suns, a collection of five novellas written in 1928, '29, and '30. That was a while back and so many things were not exactly correct with the knowledge we now have but still very entertaining. Hope to read more stories by Rob soon. Thanks for the stories.

One question: Is Shelsky, Rob's real name? It sort of sounds like a fictitious, 'Skywalker'.


Johann T. Kuester

Rob Shelsky does indeed write under his real name. He's proven to be very popular around here, too, so we're hoping he'll continue to do so for a long time.

Whoa! At the last minute, came anotherletter from Johann--

Just finished reading; The Star Poet, by, Gerald W. Page, and loved it. It made me stretch my thinking and thoughts though I'm not certain I understood the ending. Still, it was quite well written and interesting all the way through. And the opening illustration was terrific. Loved that robot hand reaching into space. I suppose I'll have to read it again to get the true meaning out of it.
Thanks again,
Johann T. Kuester

We also got this letter from Rebecca Brayman:


Luna, what was the point of this story?


On that note we have to end this issue's installment of "Vibrating Ether," but there'll be more next time. And it will be in another great issue filled with great stories by top writers. --Oh, yes: Don't forget the following --

BOOK SOURCE Press Release

Before they found their way into hardcover, Ray Bradbury, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett labored for the pulp market. One of the leading forms of entertainment from 1900-1950, pulp magazines were home to Tarzan, Zorro, Buck Rogers, Sam Spade and The Shadow prior to their appearances in books or comics or on radio or the silver screen.

This summer, PulpFest 2009 will be host to hundreds of collectors of pulp magazines and other paper collectibles including dime novels, vintage paperbacks, first edition hardcovers and series books. Additionally, there will be space for B-movies, serials and vintage comic books.

Besides the buying and selling of pulps and other collectibles, there will be expert panels, presentations, auctions and an interview of the convention's guest-of-honor, Otto Penzler, the proprietor of New York's Mysterious Bookshop. Winner of the prestigious Edgar, Raven and Ellery Queen Awards, Mr. Penzler is the editor of the recent anthology The Black Lizard Big Book of Pulps.

PulpFest 2009 will be held at the Ramada Plaza Hotel and Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio from July 31 through August 2. For further information, please visit the convention's website at While there, you can register for the PulpFest's email updates on the home page of the site.