May 30, 2020

2012-2013: The Year in Science Fiction Poetry

An excellent collection!

Some years ago, we toyed with the idea of writing a post on Science Fiction poetry. As it came up in the queue, we pondered if there would even be enough to write an entire blog post about. We’d encountered a few examples of sci-fi poetry over the years, but it still seemed to be very much beyond the purview of the mainstream…

Ah, how naïve we were.

Flash fiction. Drabbles. Twabbles. Scifiku. Slipstream and Hypertext. We’re happy to report that the realm of science fiction poetry is alive in thriving in 2013 AD, on the planet Earth and beyond.

The bi-monthly Star*line magazine continues to be the flagship of the Science Fiction Poetry Association (SFPA). Founded in 1978, the SFPA continues to showcase the best in all that is science fiction poetry and more.

Also be sure to check out the 2012 Dwarf Stars anthology, edited by science fiction author Geoffrey A. Landis and Joshua Gage, featuring the best in speculative poetry of 10 lines or less.

Rhyslings and the Elgin Awards are also available for viewing, featuring the best in all that is science fiction. The nominations for the 2013 Rhyslings are now closed, although you can currently see the list of nominated poems. In the case of the Elgin Awards, the nomination deadline passed on May 1st, and the voting deadline passes on July 1st. Be sure to also check out the SFPA’s outstanding site and check out works by such science fiction poet laureates as Ursula K. LeGuin, Tim Pratt, Ray Bradbury and much more!

Some great examples of sci-fi poetry from the last year include:

Special Delivery from an Unnamed Quadrant by Jason Matthews (Star*line April 2013) Getting in trouble the intergalactic way… but you can always call your parents.

Three Transits by Ann K. Schwader (Star*line October-December 2012). Topical, with all the exoplanet discoveries flying about the news.

Extinct Species by Glen Meisenheimer (Star*line January 2013) What, you talkin’ ‘bout us?

Also, be sure to check out the SFPA blog Eye to the Telescope as an online compendium if you can’t wait for bimonthly fix of Star*line… also consider becoming a member of SFPA… it’s 30$ well spent!

Grassroots organizations such as the SFPA and sci-fi podcasts such as Escape Pod and the Drabblecast are very much the cutting edge of the science fiction/speculative fiction market. You’ll hear it/read it here first, decades before it ever reaches the SyFy channel.

As a budding wannabe Sci-Fi writer, we’re also starting to discover that the science fiction poetry genre is a great way to make a minor beachhead into the vastly flooded market. We frequently use poetry and flash fiction as a great way to “warm up’ the ole mental juices for a rapid fire round of fiction writing.

We’re also excited to say that in the past year, the Drabblecast and Star*line have thrown some love our way, so we can finally place ourselves in the ‘published’ category. Can the Hugos be that far behind?

Next week: We explore the Galactic Rim worlds with Jonathan Grimes with A. Bertram Chandler’s magnum opus Galactic Courier!



  1. Nice post! I have an alert set up for Science Fiction Poetry or I would never have seen it. Those are excellent poems you chose to highlight. Ann K. Schwader is probably my favorite SF poet.

    And yes, I would agree that looking into SF Poetry is like opening Pandora’s Box! There’s so much more than you would ever imagine. There’re tons of online mags and journals which feature and include SF or Speculative/Fantastic Poetry: inkscrawl, Goblin Fruit, Stone Telling, Strange Horizons, Innsmouth Free Press.

    And in addition to fiction StarShipSofa also ran/runs poetry on occasion (these days in the form of my own occasional segment called Poetry Planet).

    Has your poetry already appeared in Star*Line or is it forth-coming?

  2. David Dickinson says:

    Thanks… I’ve landing a couple poems in Star*Line in the past year… thanks also for the Starship Sofa tip. Have listened to them occasionally.

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