import_contacts Planet Magazine

reviewed by Kimberly Villalba Wright

Published in Issue No. 15 ~ August, 1998

Sure, the icon looks strangely like the Sci-Fi channel logo. But let’s keep that a secret from the cable company, shall we? Otherwise they might sue – and we might be deprived of an entertaining zine.

Planet Magazine contains “Wild Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Humor and Poetry” by new and unknown writers. I’m not a big reader of Science Fiction. However, my mother and brother are, so I referred one particular story to the specialists. Since my brother is away, I had my mother read “Ramaas, Planet of Adventure,” by Tony Chandler. She enjoyed it, even though bits of it contained alien toilet humor that caused her to grimace. To her, the ending of the story felt like it was part of a serial, and she’s looking forward to reading more of the series.

Even though I’m not a big Godzilla fan, I thought “Monsterku” was brilliant. It was a stroke of genius to combine a Japanese poetic form with Japanese movie creatures such as Godzilla and Mothra. All poetry and Godzilla fans need to read these. They even have a story for those who like baseball and fantasy fiction. “Made in the U.S.A.” tells the story of a futuristic, high stakes baseball game with robots. Of course, it was no surprise to me who the winner would be.

Even the “Letters to the Editor” section is interesting. Here, one can find links to zines, websites, and sci-fi stories. “Letters to Agents of Destruction” is wacky and fun, consisting of fictional letters to famous people, such as Courtney Love and Oliver Stone.

There were a few details that troubled me. I wish the editors would drop their practice of bold-facing the first sentence of every other paragraph. Plus, making the word blood red every time it appeared in “How Time Flies” seemed excessive and slightly cheesy. I thought “How Time Flies” was a bit derivative, just another town taken over by vampires. It sounded like every other gory movie from the 1980’s. Hint: Vampires have been done to death in movies, television, and fiction. The only unique vampire show that has been done recently is Forever Knight. It’s hard for even professional writers to find a new angle on such a worn down subject.

Despite my quibbling about minutiae, Planet Magazine pleased me. Reading the fiction featured here is a great way to kill an evening (no pun intended). My brother will probably add it to his bookmarks when he returns home.

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Kimberly Villalba Wright was born in Hollywood, Florida, and has spent most of her life in Mobile, Alabama. She earned a BA in English at the University of South Alabama in 1997. Her poetry has appeared in the Epiphany, Arrowsmith, Doggerel, Dicat Libre, El Locofoco, as well as Poetry Café. This fall, Wright will begin working toward an MFA in creative Writing at the University of Memphis. Wright currently resides in Kennett, Missouri.