Posts Tagged ‘Science Fiction Poetry Association’

It came down to this, finally,
the fight of all fights,
Godzilla against the King. . . .

So begins the poem as published in DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES for May 2016 (cf. August 6, et al.), “Godzilla vs. King Kong.”  Then, today, came another missive:  Congratulations on having been nominated as a candidate for the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s 2017 Rhysling Award, given by king_kong_vs_godzilla_1962member vote for the best speculative-genre poem first published in 2016.  While the award does not include a monetary prize, those included in the anthology receive a contributor’s copy, a 50% discount on further copies, and may join SFPA at half the normal rate.  The email went on to explain the details, the poem would be published in this year’s RHYSLING ANTHOLOGY, I would get a copy of it but no extra money for reprint rights, the anthology, in turn, would be distributed to SFPA members for use in voting.  And, one should add, even just being a nominee carries a certain amount of prestige so, the bottom line, I sent back my permission for the republication.

The Rhysling Award is actually two annual awards, one for shorter poems, one for those fifty lines long or more (at 26 lines, my poem will be in the short division).  These are voted on by SFPA members, by analogy to other genre awards like the Nebulas and Stokers(R), but with this one difference, that every nominee is distributed in the anthology, so every voter will have a chance to have read all the candidate poems.  More on the Rhyslings can be found on the SFPA site by pressing here.

As for who won the fight, however, Godzilla or King Kong, the answer will be in the poem itself and, even if not yourself a SFPA member, there will be a chance to buy the anthology when it comes out.

Well, more of a lovers’ spat really, but it was enough to doom what might have been the greatest romance of the Twentieth Century!  Fay Wray and King Kong!  But as the poem “On the Other Hand” 2016Rhyslingreveals (cf. March 20; September 5, March 30 2015), a long term relationship between them most likely would not have lasted anyway.  And yesterday afternoon, what should arrive but the 2016 RHYSLING ANTHOLOGY (see also March 17) with “On the Other Hand,” as originally published in August last year on the British e-site GRIEVOUS ANGEL, as a nominee in the short poem section.

The Rhysling itself is an annual award for best speculative, science fiction, fantasy, horror, surreal, etc. poem of the year, in two divisions:  Long and Short, voted on by members of the Science Fiction Poetry Association.  Mentioned here many a time before, for more information on the award from the space-horse’s mouth (in a manner of speaking) one can press here.

Saturday was writers group day (in which yet another “Casket Girls” story was on the griddle) after which, lurking in my mailbox back home, what should I find but the Winter 2015-16 issue of FOCUS (see February 7)?  This is the British Science Fiction Association magazine oriented toward writers, but which also contains, on page 34 as an on-board sticky note alerted me, Poetry Editor Charles Christian’s column “Poetry From the Stars” in which is, as first of seven poems and a sixteen entry “Scifaiku” section, my poem “On the Other Hand.”  “On the Other Hand” is my take on why fay1a marriage between King Kong and femme fatale Fay Wray could never have lasted, and was first published by the BSFA in the August 2015 GRIEVOUS ANGEL.

“On the Other Hand,” incidentally, is also a finalist in this year’s Rhysling Poetry Competition, sponsored by the (US-based) Science Fiction Poetry Association in the “short poems” division (see March 17,  just below), of which more here as it becomes known.  And, as for FOCUS — a nicely put together issue and one I look forward to reading more thoroughly —  as the editors have explained, an actual appearance a month or so after the date on the cover is not that rare a thing.

Here’s one of those lists where I’m not sure I’ve run across many (or any) of the items on it.  How about you?  But it does seem interesting, “10 Films You Need to See Before You Die . . . Literally! bStarLine39.1smy Howard Gorman on SHOCK TILL YOU DROP, brought to me courtesy of Mike Olson via Facebook’s ON THE EDGE CINEMA.  To check it out for yourself press here.

Meanwhile in today’s physical mail STAR*LINE 39.1 arrived, for Winter 2016, with my mermaid poem in it (cf. January 8, November 28).  This is an untitled three-line, haiku-styled piece about . . . well . . . a mermaid, but one perhaps with a special talent.  STAR*LINE is the official publication of the Science Fiction Poetry Association.

The poem can be found tucked demurely in the lower right corner of page 13, while more on the SFPA can be found by pressing here.

I don’t usually call them haiku myself, though some euphemize them with genre portmanteaus like “scifiku” or Horrorku” — rather I think of them, in English, as 3-line epigrams that just happen to borrow an approximately 5-7-5 syllable count (which isn’t really exactly what defines the Japanese form either).  As such I generally title them too,

A Mermaid - John William Waterhouse (1849 - 1917)

A Mermaid – John William Waterhouse (1849 – 1917)

which purists would not do with real haiku.  But, hey, it’s having fun, no?  And if a title gives it another half-twist (or even not), well, what’s the harm in it.

Thus it happens that I e-sent five of these 3-liners to STAR*LINE a little while back.  And then, today, only four returned, the first retained by Editor Jeannie Bergmann, but with this proviso:  “I like the first poem quite a lot, but would you consider replacing the first line with the title?  I’m not crazy about titled haiku, and not attached to the 5-7-5 form either.  . . .  Let me know if that works.”  Or, in a sense, make it a little more like an actual haiku (though not with a seasonal tag or a sharp descriptive image), a least in form.

Well, in this case, okay so I sent back my nod.   The missing line gave an opening description of sorts but one implied by the rest of the poem, the titleless form fits with STAR*LINE style . . . so what’s the harm in it, eh?  Other than that, all I will say is, as noted above, it has to do with a mermaid or mermaids.

Also, being a horror poem, its conclusion is not nice.

Two quick items for today, the first being that THE 2015 RHYSLING ANTHOLOGY has arrived.  This is the book of nominees for the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s annual Rhysling Aw2015Rhyslingard for short (50 lines or less) and long poetry, in which I have one entry in the short category, “Beware of the Dog” (see March 16, et al.), a tale of werewolves and working-class values originally published in GRIEVOUS ANGEL in September 2014.

Then, in the electronic mailbox, the contract came for “Bubba Claus Conquers the Martians,” a jolly Christmas tale (with zombies) to be published in Upper Rubber Boot Books’s upcoming “anthology of fiction and poetry,” THE MUSEUM OF ALL THINGS AWESOME AND THAT GO BOOM (see February 16).  “Bubba Claus Conquers the Martians” originally appeared in Yard Dog Press’s HOUSTON, WE’VE GOT BUBBAS in 2007.

It’s that season again, with the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s new RHYSLING ANTHOLOGY (cf. November 4, April 12 2014, et al.) going into final preparation, and so Sunday night the official proof of my poem was received.  This is the ann11septangelual sent to members for voting on the best short (50 lines or fewer) and long poems of 2014 and, yes, as in recent years I have one poem nominated in the short poetry section.  This year it’s for the werewolves, “Beware of the Dog,” a sort of working class view of the creatures and how to cope with them, published in the British e-zine GRIEVOUS ANGEL for September 11 2014 (see also this blog including, with luck*, a link to the poem itself).  Also as in recent years the poem probably will not win, but if it does — and, indeed, simply when the anthology itself is obtained — you can be sure it will be announced here.

For a preview of sorts of the Rhyslings, a list of all poems nominated this year can be found on the SFPA site by pressing here.


*If without luck (that is, the link may no longer be active) you can also find the poem at — click on “September 2014” in the ARCHIVES list on the right, then scroll down to 11-9-14

The one two punch of books received!  Today’s mail brought a much anticipated copy of LYCAN LORE (see July 29), new publisher Source LycanLoreCoverPoint Press’s selection of werewolf poetry and short fiction.  My dogs in this pack are in the poetry section, “Running” concerning the joys of “going native” and “Cruella” about old habits dying hard.

Then yesterday afternoon the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s 2014 RHYSLING ANTHOLOGY had arrived, having taken some time in preparation, with my vampire poem, “The Specialist” (cf. April 12), originally published in the June 2013 DISTURBED DIGEST.  In this poem a vampire explains her true purpose in The Great Scheme of Things.

The RHYSLING ANTHOLOGY has its own special purpose as a presentation of nominees for the Rhysling Award that SFPA members can use in their voting.  However, the anthology is also offered to the general public, with more information available here.

Maybe it means I need to get a life, though as a horror writer there may be irony there too.  But I do watch a lot of movies and have a fair lot of VHS tapes and DVDs, so I instantly checked out the Huffington Post’s “13 Scimagesary Movies You’ve Likely Never Seen Before,” passed on via Facebook’s The Horror Society courtesy of Anthony Crowley and Scott M. Goriscak.  Might there be, maybe, just one or two I actually had seen at one time or another?

Actually, yes, though I think there are at least two of the thirteen I haven’t seen.  CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST is one I recall I felt might not be that appealing, while KILL LIST, I’ll confess, is new to me.  Also I can’t be absolutely sure which versions I’ve seen of BLACK CHRISTMAS and THE HAUNTING, both of which would have been some time ago, although I think in the case of the latter it was the original.  But as for the others. . . .  Well, some of them may in fairness be rather obscure, and the list is a good one of films one should see or at least be acquainted with.  Also included are a few sentences on each as a sort of mini-review, as well as trailers.

So maybe it’s worth a look — how many of these films have you seen?  To find out, presStarLine10_11_14s here.

Meanwhile Saturday afternoon’s mail brought the Fall issue of STAR*LINE, the quarterly journal of the Science Fiction Poetry Association.  My entry in this, especially apt for the Halloween season, is a speculation on the true meaning of albino pumpkins called “Paranormal Botany.”  More on STAR*LINE and the SFPA can be found here.

Members of the Science Fiction Poetry Association who failed to get their DWARF STARS votes in by Friday (see August 11), take heart!  The announcement came yesterday afternoon that they’ve extended the deadline for voting to the end of the month, August 31.  My poem in this is “The Werewolf Explains,” tucked in at the top of page 21.  Telling you in only four words all you need to know should you meet a lycanthrope, it’s also the shortest poem in the book (full disclosure:  if one counts in the title, making a total of seven words, there is an untitled haiku-type poem that comes in a bit shorter, but that takes three lines while my poem has just two).  But many of the poems are worth reading even if you’re not a member of the SFPA.

Nevertheless, if you are a member but failed to vote in time, you now have a second chance.  More information can be found here.

Also Fox Spirit Books has announced that Book 2 of THE GIRL AT THE END OF THE WORLD is now out in print format.  This is the one that takes up the happenings post apocalypse, while my story “The Borrowed Man” (cf. August 8, et al.), set in my far future dying-Earth world of the “Tombs,” is in the opening section of Book 1.  However, if you read that volume and enjoyed it, and yearn for more, it can now be obtained by pressing here.

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