Catch thisgang:

Here's a (GASP!) Admission of Guilt from the Cap!

Lloyd warned me! One thing he said, over and over, 'Copy your email and save it somewhere else. For a while, I was real faithful in doing the; would forward the letters to Yahoo. Then I started getting lax about it, and suddenly my email changed to somethin' else, keeping practically NOTHING. One of the letters I lost was a great one from Tom. I told him, and he -- kind soul that he is -- rewrote it and sent it to our new Gmail account, where I have OODLES of space.

Sorry, Tom!

Well, Cap says we gotta start on the letters, even tho #5 hasn't been out very long; don't want the letters to get cold!

Let's start, of course, with that letter from Tom Johnson:

Wow! First of all, I love your covers. Some day, I can imagine a bigbook being published with the history of

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PLANETARY STORIES, and pageafter page of covers in color. So, maybe the interior art isn't always mycup of tea, and in some cases, I think it could be better. Still, thecover art makes up for any let down the interiors may produce.

A great line up of writing talent too! Just a side note here. Irecently picked up a paperback SF anthology edited by Gerald W. Page toadd to my paperback collection! However, I think my favorite story thistime around is "Goddess of The Golden Forest" by Eric Lee. In reading thestories, I sense a use of pseudonyms at times, and would be surprised ifall your writers are real.

Okay, so the cover of WONDERLUST blew me away! Damn (pardon myFrench), I would love to have print magazines with covers like these!Hard to pick the best story in WONDERLUST, so let me just say that Ienjoy anything by Rick Brooks, and let it go at that.

Sigh. I still want to collect all of your covers some day!

Thanx, Tom! A collection of our covers, huh? Well, there's a new project for Cap!

Now, let's get on with that accomplished artist, Rebecca Brayman:


Dear Lt. Luna,

I am really enjoying your latest issue, great stories, fantastic art work, and a fun contest. I can't wait to see some of the contest entries. I especially enjoyed reading "John Carter of Outer Space", "Goddess of the Golden Forrest" and "The Captain of the Tempest". The more I see of Jerry Burge's art the more I love it. The cover is fantastic, also the colorization by William Jackson. I can't help but wonder though, with such a great cover, why was there not a corresponding feature story?

I love the themed issues, keep them coming.



Appreciate the compliments, Rebecca, and we all really appreciate your artistic endeavors!

Lemme add that we appreciate criticism as well. Can't tell how to improve without your feedback, positive and negative.

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That was Rebecca's first letter to us, and we're following it with another first from Johnny Sachu:

I just read your Wonderlust Site and loved the cover illustration and found the story, Dolphin Girl, well enough done to enjoy but truthfully, it needed more polishing. It seemed a bit choppy and a bit too simplistic, but, still, as I've said, I did enjoy it. Thanks. You got me wondering if I should submit a little something.

Johann Sachu

Submit, Johnny-boy! The Cap is always interested in new talent.

Now, I said we like criticism as well as complaints. Here's a guy who is liberal with his criticism, that popular writer, Mr A Nonny Muss --

Hi; Got back to Wonderlust today, and finished it. Comments follow

DOLPHIN GIRL by Rick Brooks.

Old hat plot and development, and while the writing shows promise, there are several examples of poor construction here.

Definitely not pro standards, but if the writer can improve his craft . . .


KINGS MAY DIE Part One by Carleton Grindle Only skimmed this and next>p>KINGS MAY DIE Part Two by Carleton Grindle

NIGHTLIFE by Richard W Brown. In the sense of how he composes and uses words to create text, Rich's was the best story in the issue. It had a basically good plot and story structure, though nothing new (The movie "Wolf" with Jack Nicholson was uncomfortably similar.) Rich was a better, more experienced writer than the rest of your contributors. The virtues of the story, though, were overshadowed by its faults. which were considerable. For starters, it's simply way too long. For seconds, the fact it's well-written doesn't excuse its verbosity and preoccupation with inner thought and self-examination to the detriment of moving the story forward. And finally, the theme of strong, dominant wolf, living life to the fullest, doesn't really jibe with the weak, vacillating man we see here, who in the end doesn't want to live at all.

(And seeing what I've written here, it makes me realize the major characters were all well-drawn.) In the movie, the human drew strength from the wolf part of him, and it made his human life better. In this story there is no such connection apparent. Nor is there any chance the protag's death will send him to the other world to live full-time as a wolf, since it's clearly stated these are only vivid dreams. The ending is a downer, one not justified by

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the preceding story -- not even counting the fact it's kinda' difficult to tell a story in first person when you kill yourself at the end.

FALLING by Ian Covell Obviously the purest fantasy here, and while imaginative, and with a very good hook opening, eventually devolves into something of an illogical mess. How a woman the protag created from scratch somehow becomes a powerful witch is never explained. The anything- can- happen- because- this- is- a- fantasy syndrome is in full sway here (as opposed to most good fantasy, where rules are there, even if sometimes hidden, and limitations apply). Where anything at all is possible, nothing at all is believable. The Jerry Burge cover and interior illo for this story were the best parts of it, in my opinion. Still, the imaginative qualities were good, and the writing shows promise; opens with a good hook, closes with a surprise ending.

Hey! In defense of rich's story, you've gotta remember the hero only thought the wolf life was a dream! Like, it was a fantasy, remember. Since the story went on after the guy's death, then -- which was real?

But thanx for the well-written critique; we'd like to see more!

Now, for a remark from one of our writers, Ian Covell:

. . .hey, I just noticed the Burge cover art (illustrating my story)actually existed before you got the story!


I will guess it was actually the female nude, to which a certainbackground has been added? Skilfully done, and it certainly fits!

..that "King" story really _was_ good.. great dialogue..

Thanx for the comment, Ian. Actually, the Cap didn't do much at all to the picture; it just fit really well!

Oooops! I'm slipping; Ian had a longer letter. I'll run it next:

..shows my attention span, I only just realised that WONDERLUST (with mystory) is there! Nicely done, and the illustration is cute.

The other stories are very good -- there is a mixture of fantasticalimagery, neat plotting and sly humour which reminds me of a certainmagazine from the '40s...

Night Life, which I suppose might besubtitled "The Wolves of Wall Street" develops in ways I hadn'tsuspected and though (as you well know) I have done a variation on thetheme, it shows there are innumerable ways of looking at the concept - Iwouldn't call it fun, but I would call it good..

Kings May Die -- Ithink the word "dark" should be somewhere in that title, at least once;I can see a few people asking for a longer version of this -- Terihm's"raison d'etre" (or "de n'etre"?) is a condition that cleverly changesevery character

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around him just by existing.. The nomenclature (Terihm,Gom, Arjhis) might be looked at, and"Kalesthenes" is just a _bit_ closeto "Calisthenics" for my liking, but the dialogue is supple and subtleand cynically accurate, and the whole is a vicious and horrific tale,very well written.

Now a very well thought out letter from John Thiel

I found WONDERLUST an outstanding fantasy magazine. It does indeed have a sense of wonder to it, a fantasy sense of wonder that was most evident in Ian Covell's story, set in a never-never land beyond our reckoning (though there are clues in the naming of the characters; one gets the impression it may be a Greek-Norse mid-world). Rich Brown's "Nightlife" brought interest through a feeling of sincerity--it differs from modern fantasy in being written with conviction. It brought, too, introspection to lycanthropy, made appropriately sinister by its corporate setting, which also contributes to a feeling of wonder. That's good writing so far, and Rick Brooks didn't prove disappointing with "Dolphin Girl"; a regular reader of sf will know a lot about dolphins and this one was ground-breaking. I'd thought they were there as decor, but for the title, and it was a real slammer to discover the girl was (spoiler alert) a dolphin. As for the "Kings May Die" two-parter, I'm not sure that's the ending--is there to be further work on this theme? May die?


That's just caught up to me--they'll go along with everybody else when their time has come. But the story disputes this somewhat. It gives one thought.

You can be sure you've attracted at least one regular reader to your new fantasy magazine--I surmise you'll be getting plenty of them.

A fan after my own heart! Thanx and double thanx, John!

Now we have another newbie -- Donald Sullivan!

Dear Lt. Luna,

I'm a newbie to PS, and have a comment or three on this outstandingezine. First of all, I scanned a couple of the previous issues in order to compare and put in my two cents worth about the new improved version.To be honest, I found that I like them both equally well.

The columns are great for pulp atmosphere, but are just a shade harderfor me to read (but still easy enough). That's probably because of my old decrepit computer.

Next, I'd like to comment on another comment. Two or three issues back,someone wanted to know why us old farts enjoyed

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this old and outdated crap. My reply is that it's a heckuva lot better than the dull, boring crap that's being published nowadays.

The stuff they publish these days keeps me going to the used book stores,libraries, and ezines like PS looking for the really good scifi, horror,and fantasy. Give me the likes Brackett, Norton, Burroughs, van Vogt, Heinlein, and Doc Smith over over the boring crap of today.

Here's a comment or two on the ones I've read. Goddess of a Golden Forestis a great action-packed, page turning, well written story. Enjoyed the read.

One Time in a Gap is a great blend of scifi, fantasy, and action with agenerous sprinkling of humor. Very entertaining.

Drum Beat has an interesting plot and was well written. The story was enjoyable and held me right up until the end, but I thought the ending could have been better. In that respect, it's just me. Some like unresolved endings, but I like all's-well-that-ends-well-happy-ever-afterendings. (I think real life hands us enough crappy endings.)

The Captain of the Tempest was an exciting read. Only a couple of minorcomplaints. The points of view had me just a little confused at times,and also I thought there were too many names at the start to keep upwith. But then, I'm easily confused. All in all, though, very


enjoyable. And Strange at Ecbatanan, McGuirk. A lighthearted, nonsensical read thatgave me lots of chuckles. A fun read.

Charon and Charybds. An exciting space opera. Our hero is faced with an apparently unsolvable dilemma, but uses his wits to persevere. Ithoroughly enjoyed this one.

And finally, hows come I never had a lieutenant like you when I was inthe army?



Just another case of bad luck, Donald! Sorry bout that.

As you know, Cap sent out a questionnaire, and it got good response. (Thanks to those that responded -- SHAME of them what didn't!) Some added comments, such as the one below from Steve Upham:

Sorry for the delay in replying to your questionnaire, but it's been an insane few weeks at this end! Been busy getting the printed SD book venture up and running. See here for what's in progress if you are interested:

I think you are doing a fine job with Planetary Stories so please

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keep up the great work! I will also get around to including the ad for you in the eZine soon as well. Now Iíve got to get back to the eZine yet. Will keep you posted on how things go with that though.


Always glad to help, Steve! And I might add, any of you out there who haven't visited Screaming Dreams have really missed something!


And now a note from the editor of Visions of Paradise, Robert Sabella:

i like planetary stories and intend to keep reading it. of course, the last time i tried writing a story for it it turned into a mystery instead, so i self-published it as an installment of visions of paradise. i can't promise that i will succeed any better next time, sorry.


Just keep tryin', Bob! We intend to stick around a while. LETTER TO THE LUNA-TICS --

Well it's another fine voyage our friends have gotten us into, this time. Our friends, of course, are the artists and writers we all love and you'll have to agree they've come through for us again. I mean that. Oswald the Howitzer says if he hears any dissension on that point, he'll be round to visit.

Frog-ears and the other members of the stoking crew raise a question about the contest we were so proud to announce last time. Since this issue is out so quickly after # 5, do we really have a winner yet?

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To refresh your memory, let me remind you that the contest is open to all our readers and the rules are simple. Send us a photo of yourself and a couple of friends that illustrates the concept of the Babe, the Bum and the BEM. You know, the Unholy Triumvirate readers used to find on the covers of their favorite science fiction magazines. You know, the beautiful heroine (Babe), the stalwart hero (Bum), and the menace (Bug Eyed Monster). If you can't find enough people, use a floor lamp for the Bum. But send us your photos.

Winners will receive a very special prize. They will be featured as characters in a new story published in Planetary Stories. How special is that?

Be sure to e-mail your entries. In the e-mail carefully identify the people in the photograph, and who is actually submitting the entry. (Include your e-mail address so we can notify you when your prize appears.) You can enter as often as you like but each photo must be submitted in a separate e-mail.

We want to have fun with this contest so we're looking for imagination. You don't need to wear elaborate costumes or makeup (though we probably should stress some sort of clothing should be worn). Be serious, be humorous, be silly, be inventive. Don't bother with monster makeup because if you go back and look at those classic cover paintings of artists like Earle K. Bergey and Allan Anderson and Rudolph Belarski and


Kelly Freas, you note that while the hero and heroine sometimes wore makeup, the monsters never did.

So the contest is still on. And, since we have an unlimited supply of stories to be written as prizes, we reserve the right to award as many prizes as we can get away with.

And no deadlines. When we get tired of it or when you get tired of it, we'll end it.

Till then, keep those cards and letters coming in.

+ + +

Well, gang, we started this while the fifth ish was still hot-off-the-press. Now, it's nearly time for Number Six! Lotsa good responses -- and always remember, let us know what you DON'T like, as well as what you DO! That's how we learn.

See ya in Number Seven!


Pick your illo, Don! Go back to ish 5 and tell us which you choose.

click here to write us

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