Posts Tagged ‘Star*Line’

Two items today, the first that the current issue of STAR*LINE arrived Friday afternoon with a three-line mermaid-vampiress poem, “Wet Work,” by me on page 12.  Hidden, where one would not expect her, look for her down in the depths on the right.  STAR*LINE is the publication of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA) which also runs an annual Rhysling competition for speculative poetry.  More information on that and STAR*LINE can be found on their website by pressing here.

Then ASTOUNDING OUTPOST (for more on which see just below, December 1) announces that a Kindle edition of NEURAL NETS, UPLINKS, AND WETWARE is now up and on sale for 99 cents for a limited time.  They don’t say for how long the sale will last, so to take advantage one should press here now.  Also don’t forget you can vote for my story, “No Place to Hide,” by using the link in the post below and, as a bonus, as it’s third in the contents in the Kindle edition one can read it in its entirety in the sample pages at the Amazon site (much more readable there than in the original web publication, which one can also find linked to at the end of the post just below).

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The Autumn issue of ILLUMEN, received with Friday’s street mail, brings a new policy along with essays by poet and artist Marge Simon and by me.  As Editor Tyree Campbell explains, the focus remains on poetry, obviously.  But beginning with this current issue, in addition to poems, art, and articles, I’ll present writings addressed to readers, inviting them into — or further into — the joys and sorrows of reading poetry.  I firmly believe that one reason folks avoid poetry, or at best illumen-25-tyree-campbell-200x300tolerate it, is that they don’t understand it, or are afraid they won’t understand it . . . a fear of being found out by their peers. . . .  A failed understanding, he goes on to suggest, that he feels may be nurtured by the way poetry is introduced to schoolchildren, as early as the third or fourth grade.

And so, now there will be a series of essays written by poets themselves to, as he continues, “demystify” poetry, some addressed to more experienced readers, some intended to reach a younger audience.  These essays will present the case for poetry; that answer The Question:  Why should I read poetry?

I was one poet Tyree reached out to for a possible essay (see October 8, August 31), Marge Simon — who also is a previous editor of the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s STAR*LINE — another, and so we are both featured in this issue.  Tyree bats first, ending his editorial with a short reflection on reading and language, then Marge with “Illuminating Poetry:  Why Bother” on how we may “know” poetry more than we thought, with examples from her own work on how it can speak to certain classes of readers, children, lovers, lovers betrayed, or mothers and sons.  Then, finally, my essay “It Begins With the Sound” recommends reading poetry aloud, reveling in the sound of the words and how they can amplify the meaning, and ends with two poems of mine, “Metal Vamp” with dancing and jazz (plus a review from STAR*LINE by Daniel C. Smith) and “La Méduse” (also, to give a quick plug, the foreword to my collection THE TEARS OF ISIS) with its series of s-sounds to, hopefully, echo the serpents that compose its subject’s hair.

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.

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.

On July 29 I noted, bemusedly, that this summer has been a particularly good one for me for poems about werewolves.  Today has proved the exception as this afternoon brought an email from STAR*LINE (cf. August 5, July 10, et al.), the first poem acceptance for the month of August, for one about . . . vampires.  The poem is actually a prose poem of about 75 words called “The Vampire Inventor.”  However, in the spirit of full disclosure I should add that it does mention werewolves too.

Then, speaking of werewolves, for any members of the Science Fiction Poetry Association who may be reading this, don’t forget that the deadline for voting for the Dwarf Stars Award for best 10-line-or-less speculative poem of 2013 is this Friday, August 15.  Directions for voting are in the box at the bottom of page iv in the DWARF STARS 2014 anthology (note that “dwarfstars” in the address is one word, with no hyphen) and, if I may mention, at the top on p. 21 is my entry “The Werewolf Explains.”  More information on STAR*LINE, DWARF STARS, and the SFPA can be found here.

Visiting my mailbox this afternoon was the waited for package from thds14sme Science Fiction Poetry Association containing not just the latest STAR*LINE but, with it, this year’s DWARF STARS 2014.  The latter is the anthology of nominees for best ultra-short poem published last year, of ten lines or fewer, for which I have one entry originally published in NIGHT TO DAWN called “The Werewolf Explains” (cf. July 12, June 27).  Then the former, the quarterly journal of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, is also graced with one poem of mine in it, also a small one of ten lines or fewer, called “Sign Me Up As Well, Quickly” (see June 1 ).

As for what they’re about, well, the werewolf one is sort of self-explanatory, that is after all what the title says, but the poem being only two linesSL_37.3sm long anything added would be a spoiler.  The STAR*LINE one is longer, though, a full three lines in length, and is sort of vampiry with implications of American ingenuity and, if only for the moment, the triumph of capitalism.

For more information on STAR*LINE, DWARF STARS, or the SFPA, one can press here.

Billed as “The debut anthology from Nocturnal Press,” TORCHED is, um, set for a July 26 release date, according to Editor Eden Royce.  But let her explain:  “Our relationship with fire is an intimate one.  From the intrigue of the warmth to the draw of the light, it spans history — yet who tamed the beast was never recorded.  From the Norse funeral to the Pagan celebrations, fire hTorched-200x300as burned its way through our lives, a passing mark on some, an indelible scar on others.  Within this tome lie 18 authors from across the globe, each with their own burning tale to tell. . .

“HAVE YOU SEEN WHAT BURNS?”

My flambeau in this fire pit is the story “City on Fire” (see May 23).  Originally published in SHADOWS OF SATURN for April-May 2005, this is one in my series of “Tombs” stories set on a far-future, dying — and in this case apparently inflammable — Earth.

For more on TORCHED one can visit the Nocturnal Press Publications website by pressing here, or for their Facebook page (including, right now, a link to a trailer for the book) pressing here.

Then in a bit of fast work, proof sheets for the Summer edition of STAR*LINE arrived today with my shortie poem, “Sign Me Up As Well, Quickly,” ensconced on page 12.  This, we may remember from June 27th’s posting, below, is a three-line ode to insurance . . . and blood.  More on STAR*LINE and the Science Fiction Poetry Association can be found by pressing here.

They’re not really haiku nor do I usually call them such, but I am fond of writing three-line epigrams with syllable counts approaching, though not necessarily exactly, 5-7-5.  These are fun and, especially, seem from time to time to find homes in STAR*LINE (cf. April 15 this year, May 18 2013, others).  So this afternoon it has happened again, with a three-line mini-epic called “Sign Me Up as Well, Quickly” exploring the borderland between vampirism and the insurance industry accepted for a future issue.  The actual issue it will appear in is not yet decided, but when word comes it will be shared here.

In another item, Isis — that is, THE TEARS OF ISIS — in honor of her turn on the stage as a Stoker® Fiction Collection nominee, is scheduled to come out with an all-new cover reflecting that status.  This may come about fairly quickly according to Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing’s Max Booth III, perhaps as soon as about the beginning of July, but at latest, hopefully, in time for some copies to be shown at NASFiC, the North American Science Fiction convention for those who can’t make it to WorldCon in London this year.  More on this also as it becomes known.

Mid-April, taxes paid, and today a new poem accepted.  It’s even sunny (if chilly) outside. Not a bad day at all.  Well, the taxes actually went in a few days early, but the poem acceptance was today, from STAR*LINE (see July 25 2013, et al.) Editor F .J. Bergmann for the October issue, for a haiku-styled horror called “Paranormal Botany.”  It even has a seasonal reference!

STAR*LINE is the official magazine of the Science Fiction Poetry Association and I understand will be having another short poem by me, “You Never Can Look Back,” in its upcoming issue.  More information on both the SFPA and STAR*LINE can be found here, as well as just below, April 12, on the SFPA’s annual Rhysling anthology and competition.

Twelve days into this November’s Poem-A-Day poem-athon (or whatever one calls it, cf. November 1), I’ve made my first sale of one of the results.  This was the one based on the Day 3 prompt for a “The last time I was here” poem — to imagine one “returning to a spot (physical, emotional, psychological, etc.).”  So I wrote a shadorma and a few days later sent it to STAR*LINE, from whence it returned with a note to the effect that Editor F. J. Bergmann liked the sentiment but not the form, inviting me to rewrite and re-send it.  So I cast it in a more minimalist style, reducing it from six lines to four, and sent it back a few more days later.  And yesterday evening it was accepted, nine days after its initial writing!

So look for “You Never Can Go Back,” about changes for the worse in the new Transylvania for those who remember its good old days, in a future issue of STAR*LINE.  Or the moral:  See?  There’s a point to the month-of-poems madness, that some will be saleable, and even for those that aren’t the practice is worth while.

On a prosier note, Grey Matter Press has announced today that it is giving away ten copies of the print edition of SPLATTERLANDS:  REAWAKENING THE SPLATTERPUNK REVOLUTION (cf. October 22, et al.) on Goodreads between November 13 and December 13 2013.  Needless to say, I have my own offering in this, as the publisher puts it, “collection of extreme horror with a point that is SPLATTERLANDS,” a blue collar noir tale of aesthetics and love called “The Artist.”  For more information or to enter the drawing readers can  press here.




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