2020 Rhysling Awards

Jessica J. Horowitz and Rebecca Buchanan are the winners of the 2020 Rhysling Awards presented by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA).

The winners were chosen by SFPA members, with 112 votes cast.

The 2020 Rhysling Awards

Short Poem Category

First Place

Second Place

Third Place (tie)

  • “Creation: Dark Matter Dating App” • Sandra J. Lindow • Asimov’s SF, July/August
  • “The Day the Animals Turned to Sand” • Tyler Hagemann • Amazing Stories, Spring

Long Poem Category

First Place

  • Heliobacterium daphnephilum” • Rebecca Buchanan • Star*Line 42.3

Second Place

Third Place (tie)

  • “The Macabre Modern” • Kyla Lee Ward • The Macabre Modern and Other Morbidities (P’rea Press, 2019)
  • “Ode to the Artistic Temperament” • Michael H. Payne • Silver Blade 42

[Via Locus Online.]

2020 Rhysling Award Nominees

The Science Fiction Poetry Association has finalized its 2020 Rhysling Award candidates, reports David C. Kopaska-Merkel. Eighty-four members nominated.

The Rhysling Award is given in two categories. “Best Long Poem” is for poems of 50+ lines, or for prose poems, of 500+ words. “Best Short Poem” is limited to poems of no more than 49 lines, or prose poems of no more than 499 words.

SFPA members have until June 15 to vote on the winners.

Short Poems (77 poems)
“Abeona, Goddess of Outward Journeys, Pilots the Interstellar Ark” • Nisa Malli • Apparition Lit 7
“Aliens declutter” • PS Cottier • Scifaikuest, August
“All-Father” • Vince Gotera • Dreams and Nightmares 111
“Alternate Galatea” • Amelia Gorman • Liminality 21
“Area 51 Custodian Gets Coffee” • Juleigh Howard-Hobson • Star*Line 42.4
“Blood Moon” • Sara Backer • Polu Texni, November 24
“The Book of Fly” • John Philip Johnson • Rattle 63
“The Certainty of Seeing” • Michelle Muenzler • Polu Texni, 3 June
“Collie Dogs In Space” • Debby Feo • A Poet Explores The Stars, ed. J. Alan Erwine (Nomadic Delirium Press)
“Continuum” • G. O. Clark • Analog, September/October
“Creation: Dark Matter Dating App” • Sandra J. Lindow • Asimov’s SF, July/August
“Crimson Faces” • Maxwell I. Gold • Space & Time Magazine 135
“The Day the Animals Turned to Sand” • Tyler Hagemann • Amazing Stories, Spring
“Disassembly at Auction” • Robin Wyatt Dunn • Mobius: The Journal of Social Change 30:4
“Don’t Open the Box!” • Kyla Lee Ward • The Macabre Modern and Other Morbidities (P’rea Press)
“drag strip drag” • Francine P. Lewis • Eye to the Telescope 32
“Eldritch Horror” • Katie Manning • Bowery Gothic I
“Encore” • Tim Jones • Big Hair Was Everywhere (ESAW)
“Fallen But Not Down” • Sarah Cannavo • Liminality 20
“Fallen Star” • Clay F. Johnson • Eternal Haunted Summer, Summer Solstice
From “Moon Sonnet” • Lily Zhou • Poetry, May
“The Ghosts of Those” • Ron Riekki • Star*Line 42.2
“The Girl who Loved Birds” • Clara Blackwood • Amazing Stories 3
“Goddamn These Minotaurs” • Persephone Erin Hudson • paintbucket, November 10
“haiku” • Juan M. Perez • haikuniverse, June 8
“Halsted IV” • Jeff Crandall • Fantasy & Science Fiction, September/October
“How to Care for Your Yesterday’s Camel” • Christina Olson • The Last Mastodon (Rattle Foundation)
“How to Colonize Ganymede” • Mary Soon Lee • New Myths 48
“How To Dance With Dark Matter” • Mary Soon Lee • Uppagus 37
“Huitzilopochtli” • Lorraine Schein • Eternal Haunted Summer, Winter Solstice
“If All the Seas Were Blood” • D. L. Myers • Oracles from the Black Pool (Hippocampus Press)
“The Journey” • Deborah L. Davitt • Polu Texni, April 1
“Lady Macbeth’s Green Gown” • Jacqueline West • Liminality 19
“Mary Agnes Chase (1869–1963)” • Jessy Randall • Strange Horizons, December 9
“Mary Poppins, 2100” • Cathy Tenzo • Typehouse 18
“The Mother Searches for Her Own Story” • Mary McMyne • Strange Horizons, November 11
“Mothsong” • John Philip Johnson • Liquid Imagination 42
“My Ghost Will Know The Way” • Beth Cato • The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, July/August
“New Stars” • F. J. Bergmann • Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest
“The Night the Unicorn Leapt from the Tapestry” • Kate Pentecost • Liminality 19
“No Fairy Tale World” • Lisa Timpf • New Myths 47
“The Nonpareils: As Told by the Woman in the Gingerbread House” • Kathleen A. Lawrence • Star*Line 42.4
“Objects of Desire” • Gerri Leen • Dreams and Nightmares 113
“Óòjí Íjè [Kola Journey]” • Uche Ogbuji • FIYAH Literary Magazine 11
“The Planets? Sweet …” • Harris Coverley • Star*Line 42.4
“Phobos and Deimos” • W. C. Roberts • Chrome Bairn 82
“Prayer on a Friday Morning” • L. R. Harvey • American Diversity Report, December
“A Purring Cat is a Time Machine” • Beth Cato • Daikaijuzine 1
“Regarding me” • Michael H. Hanson • HWA Poetry Showcase VI
“Reparation” • Christina Sng • Spectral Realms 11
“Revisiting the origins of language” • Terrie Leigh Relf • Space & Time Magazine 133
“Robert Goddard at Roswell” • Alan Ira Gordon • Star*Line 42.4
“The Root King’s Winter” • Jessica P. Wick • Enchanted Living/Faerie Magazine, Winter
“A Rose Waits” • Adele Gardner • Dreams and Nightmares 113
“The Ruined Library” • Bruce Boston • Asimov’s SF, May/June
“The Sacrifices” • Mike Allen • Sycorax 2
“Samsara” • Jason O’Toole • The Scrib Arts Journal, Fall
“Seven Reasons to Have Hope for a Better Future. Number Five Will Really Get You!” • Catherine Kyle • Quail Bell, February
“shoals of Miami” • Greer Woodward • Troutswirl, December 4
“Singing Ghost” • Catherine Kyle • Quail Bell, February
“The Snow Globe” • Marge Simon • Polu Texni, 8 December
“The Solace of the Farther Moon” • Allan Rozinski • Weirdbook Annual 2
“Sphere” • Francis W. Alexander • Scifaikuest XVI:1
“Steampunk Christmas” • David Clink • Star*Line 42.4
“Styx” • Christina Sng • Spectral Realms 11
“Taking, Keeping” • Jessica J. Horowitz • Apparition Lit 5
“Ten-Card Tarot, Pentacles Wild” • F. J. Bergmann • Eye to the Telescope 32
“Three of Swords, King of Cups” • Ali Trotta • Fireside Fiction, July
“To Skeptics” • Mary Soon Lee • Fantasy & Science Fiction, July/August
“The Unseen” • Fran Wilde • Fireside Fiction, March
“Wake Up, Little Stevie” • Christina Olson • The Last Mastodon (Rattle Foundation)
“What You Hear When Your Best Friend Falls for a Supervillain” • Beth Cato • Star*Line 42.1
“when my father reprograms my mother {” • Caroline Mao • Strange Horizons, Fund Drive
“Where Have the Space Heroes Gone?” • Darrell Schweitzer •  Amazing Stories 77:1
“The Wishing Clock of Gassytown” • Deborah Wong • Frozen Wavelets 1
“Witch” • Mary Soon Lee • Polu Texni, October 21
“The Wolfman and Space Girl” • Neil Sloboda • Neon 48
Long Poems (49 poems)
“Afterlife” • F. J. Bergmann • Shoreline of Infinity 14
“Borrower” • Cislyn Smith • Strange Horizons, July 29
“Bright Record” • John W. Sexton • Polu Texni, April 8
“Cannibal Rex” • Allan Rozinski • Anatomy of Hate, ed. Karen Otto (Alban Lake Publishing)
“Childhood Memory from the Old Victorian House on Warner” • Beth Cato • Uncanny 27
“Children of the Trees” • Deborah L. Davitt • Polu Texni, March 11
“The Cinder Girl Burns Brightly” • Theodora Goss • Uncanny 28
“The City That Changed Hands” • Maya Chhabra • Strange Horizons, December 23
“Consumption” • Emma J. Gibbon • Eye to the Telescope 33
“Crop Circles” • Lori R. Lopez • Deep Fried Horror, Mother’s Day Edition
“The Daily Freak Show” • Bruce Boston • New Myths 47
“Driven” • Marcie Tentchoff • Outposts of Beyond VII:1
“Eight Simulations for the Missing” • T. D. Walker • Small Waiting Objects (CW Books)
“Envoy” • F. J. Bergmann • Polu Texni, October 28
“For My Daughter Who Will Ask for a Seismograph Implant” • T. D. Walker • Small Waiting Objects (CW Books)
“Fune-RL” • Emma J. Gibbon • Strange Horizons, 15 July
“Green Sky” • Herb Kauderer • Influence of the Moon, ed. Shannon Yseult (518 Publishing)
Heliobacterium daphnephilum” • Rebecca Buchanan • Star*Line 42.3
“If Love is Real, So Are Fairies” • Cynthia So • Uncanny 29
“In The End, Only The Gods” • Christina Sng • Tales Of The Lost Vol. 1, eds. Eugene Johnson & Steve Dillon (Things in the Well)
“Inside My Belly” • Alessandro Manzetti • The Place of Broken Things (Crystal Lake Publishing)
“Keep My Course True” • Gerri Leen • Dreams and Nightmares 112
“Lines Written by Moonlight at Whitby Abbey” • Clay F. Johnson • Influence of the Moon, ed. Shannon Yseult (518 Publishing)
“The Macabre Modern” • Kyla Lee Ward • The Macabre Modern and Other Morbidities (P’rea Press)
“Maculation” • F. J. Bergmann • Spectral Realms 10
“The making of dragons” • Herb Kauderer • Altered Reality Magazine, January 30
“The Mining Town” • Holly Lyn Walrath • 2019 SFPA Poetry Contest
“My Stories Are Hungry” • John C. Mannone • American Diversity Report, April 10
“Nan-e” • Leon Mackenzie • Neon 49
“Nocturnal Embers” • Lori R. Lopez • The Sirens Call 43
“Obsidian” • Fungisayi Sasa • New Myths 46
“Ode to the Artistic Temperament” • Michael H. Payne • Silver Blade 42
“Reincarnation” • John C. Mannone • Abyss & Apex 69
“A Ride through Faerie” • Clay F. Johnson • Enchanted Conversation, September
“The Scarecrow’s Lover” • Alexandria Baisden • Abyss & Apex 72
“The Scroll of Thoth” • Frank Coffman • The Coven’s Hornbook and Other Poems (Bold Venture Press)
“Scylla and Charybdis” • Wade German • Weird Fiction Review 9
“Sea Witch From the Deep” • Ellen Huang • Apparition Lit 7
“The Storm Witch” • Colleen Anderson • Eternal Haunted Summer, Winter Solstice
“Stormbound” • Marsheila Rockwell • Polu Texni, February 11
Sycophantam astrum” • Rebecca Buchanan • Eye to the Telescope 34
“Tarot Times” • Bruce Boston • Illumen, summer
“tetrahedral edifices of a sticky rice realm” • D. A. Xiaolin Spires • Mithila Review, November 20
“Treason” • Shana Ross • Liminality 20
“the undrowned” • Catherine Kyle • Crab Fat Magazine, January
“why not?” • Gerri Leen • New Myths 49
“witches we” • Adele Gardner • Bluff & Vine 3
“The Wolf Isn’t The Only One Who Hides in Human Clothes” • Natalie Wang • Corvid Queen, January 5
“The Woman Who Talks to Her Dog at the Beach” • Geoff Inverarity • Geist 113

[Thanks to F. J. Bergmann for the story.]

2019 Rhysling Award Nominees

The Science Fiction Poetry Association has finalized its 2018 Rhysling Award candidates, reports David C. Kopaska-Merkel. Eighty-nine members voted.

The Rhysling Award is given in two categories. “Best Long Poem” is for poems of 50+ lines, or for prose poems, of 500+ words. “Best Short Poem” is limited to poems of no more than 49 lines, or prose poems of no more than 499 words.

SFPA members have until June 15 to vote on the winners.

Short Poems (86 poems)
3D-Printed Brother • Millie Ho • Strange Horizons 9/25/18
Acceptable Documentation • Sonya Taaffe • Sycorax Journal 1
After Her Brother Ripped the Heads from Her Paper Dolls • Beth Cato • Mythic Delirium 4.3
Alien Interview Questions • Mary Soon Lee • Dreams and Nightmares 109
An Alien Visits an Earth Psychiatrist • John Grey • The Pedestal Magazine 82
“as if …” • LeRoy Gorman • Atlas Poetica: 25 Science Fiction Tanka & Kyoka, eds. Julie Bloss Kelsey & Susan Burch
beseeching the kitchen gods • M. C. Childs • Grievous Angel 5/20/18
Cardiad • Virginia M. Mohlere • Mythic Delirium 4.4
A City Built on Bones • Ann K. Schwader • Abyss & Apex, March
Colorless Reflexion • Cindy O’Quinn • Poppy Road Review 8/29/18
Concerning President Carter and the UFO Sighting • August Huerta • Strange Horizons 3/19/18
Consumption •  Jennifer Ruth Jackson • Eye to the Telescope 29
The Crimson Witch • K. A. Opperman • Eye to the Telescope 30
Curse of Waccasassa Lagoon • John Reinhart • Dreams and Nightmares 109
Data Value • Patricia Gomes • Star*Line 41.2
Dead-Eye Girl • Holly Lyn Walrath • Liminality 17
Dear Creator • Mary Soon Lee • Fantasy & Science Fiction, January/February
The Dissolution of Icarus • Michelle Muenzler • Liminality 18
Divinatory • Rose Lemberg • Sycorax Journal 1
Down in Windy Hollow • Jenny Blackford • The School Magazine, June
Dream Catchers • Steve DeFrance • The Poet’s Haven poetry gallery
drop some amens • Brandon O’Brien • Uncanny 21
Echoes of Light from Orbit • Megan Engelhardt • Asimov’s SF, November/December
Engineered •  Bruce McAllister • Analog Science Fiction and Fact, March/April
Entanglement • David C. Kopaska-Merkel & Kendall Evans • Entanglement (diminuendo press)
Esprit d’Escalier • May Chong • Apparition Lit 1
Excalibur’s Lament • P.S. Cottier • Eye to the Telescope 27
Flat Dyson • Francis W. Alexander • Spaceports & Spidersilk, July
Forest Mother • Christina Sng • The Ladies of Horror Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge
Fortune Favors the Cold • Katherine Inskip • Abyss & Apex 68
From Her Tower, the Lady of Shalott Sees the Ice Age Come • R. Mac Jones • Eye to the Telescope 27
Galahad Returns from the Holy Wars • David E. Cowen • Bleeding Saffron (Weasel Press)
Generation Ship • David Barber • Kaleidotrope, Summer
The Girl and Her Wolf Dog • Christina Sng • Spectral Realms 8
Golgothan (Shit Demon’s Sonnet) • David F Shultz • Deadman’s Tome Shit Fest, ed. Jesse Dedman (?)
Heart’s Desire • Lynn White • The Sirens Call 41
Hey Man, Nice Shot • Gretchen Tessmer • Strange Horizons 2/26/18
Intruders • Cindy O’Quinn • Star*Line 41.2
The Ladies of Lancashire • Clay F. Johnson • Eye to the Telescope 30
Laika • Holly Day • Dreams and Nightmares 109
Lament of the Four Moons • Kendall Evans & John Philip Johnson • Asimov’s SF, ?
Lost Memories • Bruce Boston • The Literary Hatchet 19
The Maenad to Her Artist Friend • Amal El-Mohtar • Strange Horizons 2/12/18
Mars Must Remember • Denise Dumars • The Pedestal Magazine 82
Mining Time • P.S. Cottier • Not Very Quiet 2
Monster, Creature, Human • Herb Kauderer • Dreams and Nightmares 109
My Little Vampire • Adele Gardner • Dreams and Nightmares 110
The Mysterious Hermit • Krystal Volney • krystalvolneyfanssite
Neuroweb • Logan Thrasher Collins • Abyss & Apex 67
The Nightmare Thing • Sandra Kasturi • Eye to the Telescope 29
O Siren • Ashley Dioses • Liquid Imagination 38
Ode to the Gorgon • K. A. Opperman • Eternal Haunted Summer, Summer Solstice
Okuri Inu, or the sending-off dog demon • Betsy Aoki • Uncanny 22
Our Lady of the Winter Squash • Jenny Blackford • Polu Texni 10/29/18
Pan’s Descent • Bruce Boston • Artifacts (Independent Legions Publishing)
Past Is Present • Deborah L. Davitt • Modern Poetry Review 8
The Patron Saint of Alien Abductees • Noel Sloboda • Evansville Review XXVIII
Pinocchio Plays the Cotton Club • Alan Ira Gordon • Star*Line 41.3
Planck Length • David F. Shultz • Dreams and Nightmares 108
Planetary Lensing • Herb Kauderer • Dreams & Nightmares 109
Planktivorous Fish and the Structure of Pelagic Plankton • David Clink • Juniper 2:2
Pouring the Pennyroyal • Andrea Blythe & Laura Madeline Wiseman • Priestess & Hierophant 5
Quetzalcoatlus roboti Heads Home • Vince Gotera • Multiverse, ed. Russell Jones (Shoreline of Infinity)
Relic • Kari Flickinger • Riddled with Arrows 2.3
The Sea Horse Isles • Michael H. Hanson • Untimely Frost: Poetry Unthawed, eds. Suzie & Bruce Lockhart (Lycan Valley Press)
The Sea Never Says It Loves You • Fran Wilde • Uncanny 21
Seraphima • Hal Y. Zhang • Liminality 15
Son of Aswang • Vince Gotera • The Philippines Graphic, October
The Southern Lady • Marge Simon • War (Crystal Lake Publishing)
Spatial Arrangement • David F. Shultz • Abyss & Apex 65
“Stand and Wait” • Herb Kauderer • Scifaikuest print, August
Station Rain • Erik Burdett • Apparition Lit 4
Stephen Hawking • Greer Woodward • Haikuniverse 3/24/18
That’s one small step for (a) man … • Russell Jones • Dark Matters (Tapsalteerie Press)
Things That Go Bump and Smile in the Night • Kathleen A. Lawrence • Altered Reality Magazine ?
This Sacred Earth • Deborah L. Davitt • Abyss & Apex 67
Thunderstorm in Glasgow, July 25 2013 • Amal El-Mohtar • Fireside Fiction broadside
Trips to Impossible Cities • Sandra Kasturi • Amazing Stories Magazine 2
Try the Veal • Robert Beveridge • Vastarien 1
Universal Immigrants • Ann K. Schwader • Star*Line 41.1
Unstole It • Jim Davies • Altered Reality Magazine ?
Venusian Arachnoids • David F. Shultz • Star*Line 41.1
Waterworld • Terry Persun • Space & Time Magazine 131
What Is Dead • Kristin Garth • Luna Luna Magazine 4/13/18
What Loves You • Jeff Crandall • Fantasy & Science Fiction September/October
Wraiths • Wade German • Vastarien 1:1
Long Poems (54 poems)
3-Minute Future • F. J. Bergmann • Unlikely Stories V
After the Wolf • Jeff Crandall • Fantasy & Science Fiction March/April
Alima among the Trees • T. D. Walker • Projector Magazine 1
Atomic Numbers • D. A. Xaolin Spires • Analog Science Fiction and Fact, January/February
Cassini’s Mini-Packets Home • Jessy Randall • Strange Horizons 7/2/18
Cataclysm Days: Arizona Conservatives Revert to Old Forms of Worship • Chuck Von Nordheim • Liquid Imagination 37
The Cat’s Daughters • Nitoo Das • Uncanny 20
Cinderella’s Pumpkin • Colleen Anderson • Polu Texni 5/28/18
The Collaborator • Cassandra Rose Clarke • Illumen, Spring
Commemoration of the Divine Passion • William Cook • Eye to the Telescope 30
Conditions of the Curse • Herb Kauderer • Exploits in the Adirondacks, eds. (pub518)
Dragon Mountain • Mary Soon Lee • Heroic Fantasy Quarterly 35
Drug Wars • Marge Simon • War (Crystal Lake Publishing)
The Fairies in the Crawlspace • Beth Cato • Uncanny 21
Finding Hecate • Clay F. Johnson • Eternal Haunted Summer, Summer Solstice
five sigils • David F. Shultz • Eye to the Telescope 27
Getting to Mars • Roger Dutcher • The Pedestal Magazine 82
If you would seek a Seeress • Rebecca Buchanan • Star*Line 41.1
In the Vaults • Adele Gardner • The Pedestal Magazine 82
It Took Some Time • David C. Kopaska-Merkel • Devilfish Review 20
The Kind Thing to Do • Kurt Newton • Polu Texni 4/23/18
The Last Transport • Frank Coffman • Abyss & Apex 65
Lorelei • Ali Trotta • Uncanny 22
Lost Girls • Rachel Verkade • Liminality 15
Misstep • David C. Kopaska-Merkel • Star*Line 41.4
Mother • Deborah L. Davitt • Eternal Haunted Summer, Summer Solstice
Mother Giant • Peri Fae Blomquist • Mythic Delirium 4.4
nakajiru • D. A. Xiaolin Spires • Mithila Review 10
The Nightmares • Wade German • Spectral Realms ?
Nixon’s Planet • Peter Ullian • Secret Histories and Exobiologies (Poet’s Haven)
Om Economics • Sandra J. Lindow • 2018 SFPA Poetry Contest
Our Minds Are Jewels of Uncertainty • Terrie Leigh Relf & Kendall Evans • Star*Line 41.3
Past Far Gone • Toby Macnutt • Arsenika 3
The Poisoning •  Jessica Drake-Thom • Eye to the Telescope 29
The Prophet’s Vision • W. C. Roberts • Polu Texni 10/15/18
The Protest: Ant Work Ethic • Michael H. Payne • Civilized Beasts III, ed. Vincent Corbeau (Weasel Press)
Ragnarök: A Prism • Alexandra Seidel • Sycorax Journal 1
Rapunzel • Christina Sng • Dreams and Nightmares 109
Rex Arthurs • Deborah L. Davitt • Eye to the Telescope 27
The Sea-Wolf of Brittany • Deborah L. Davitt • Liminality 17
The Search • Deborah L. Davitt • Zetetic, May
Seven Witches • Alexandra Seidel • Eye to the Telescope 30
Skathi’s Spite • Deborah L. Davitt • Eternal Haunted Summer, Winter Solstice
Snow: White; White: Snow • Erin Robinson • Liminality 18
The Space of One Paragraph • Mark McCutcheon • Riddled with Arrows 2.2
The Stars Are Not Eternal • Kendall Evans & David C. Kopaska-Merkel • Entanglement (diminuendo press)
Third-Floor Bookstore • Herb Kauderer • Altered Reality Magazine 12
Thirteen Ways Of Looking At A Monster • Bruce Boston • Birthing Monsters: Frankenstein’s Cabinet of Curiosities and Cruelties (Firbolg Publishing)
Two Dozen Restaurant Concepts for a Gentrified Mixed-Use Vacancy • James Ebersole • The Cockroach Conservatory Vol 1: The Working Zealot’s Guide to Gaining Capital in Pre-Apocalyptic America
Ursula LeGuin in the Underworld • Sarah Tolmie • On Spec: The Canadian Magazine of the Fantastic, April
Verdant • F. J. Bergmann • Dreams and Nightmares 110
The Visionary • Ian Futter • Spectral Realms 9
White Siege • Alessandro Manzetti & Marge Simon • War (Crystal Lake Publishing)
The Witch’s House • Jeana Jorgenson • Liminality 15

David C. Kopaska-Merkel is the 2019 Rhysling Chair. He edited Star*Line in the late ’90s and later served as SFPA President. His 29th book, the speculative-poetry collection Metastable Systems, was nominated for the Elgin award. He edits and publishes Dreams and Nightmares, a genre poetry zine in its 33rd year of publication. In 2017 he was named an SFPA Grandmaster.

Call For 2019 Rhysling Award Nominations

The Science Fiction Poetry Association members have until February 15 to nominate eligible poems for addition to the Rhysling Award longlist.

Poems already recommended are listed here. (More will be added as nominations come in.)

The Rhyslings were first established in 1978, named for the blind poet Rhysling in Robert A. Heinlein’s short story “The Green Hills of Earth.” Rhysling’s skills were said to rival Rudyard Kipling’s. In real life, Apollo 15 astronauts named a crater near their landing site “Rhysling,” which has since become its official name. Winning works are regularly reprinted in the Nebula Awards Anthology from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Rhysling Awards are considered in the speculative literature field to be the poetry equivalent of the awards given for prose— achievement awards given to poets by the writing peers of their own field of literature.

David C. Kopaska-Merkel is the 2019 Rhysling Award chair.

Pixel Scroll 7/5/18 Trigger Scrollfile – Pixelman

(1) AVENGERS REASSEMBLE. The Society of Illustrators in New York will display “The Art of The Avengers and Other Heroes” from July 5 through October 20.

The Museum of Illustration at the Society of Illustrators is pleased to present an exhibition of original artwork showcasing characters from the Marvel Universe featuring the Avengers and other heroes. Artists include John Buscema, John Cassaday, Don Heck, Joe Jusko, Jack Kirby, George Perez, John Romita, Marie Severin, Walt Simonson, Barry Windsor Smith, Jim Steranko, Herbe Trimpe, and others, on display from July 5th through October 20, 2018.

The exhibition includes vintage, original comic artwork from all years of Marvel Comics history. The selections illustrate how Marvel’s innovative creative teams initially led by legendary creators Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, kept the Marvel Universe evolving with the times.

(2) B&N EXEC GONE, BUT WHY? On July 3, Barnes and Noble announced it had fired CEO Demos Parneros for unspecified policy violations, adding that he would not receive any severance package. Publisher’s Weekly has the story.

In a brief statement released late Tuesday afternoon, the retailer said CEO Demos Parneros was terminated for “violations of the Company’s policies.” While not saying what policies Parneros violated, B&N said his termination “is not due to any disagreement with the Company regarding its financial reporting, policies, or practices or any potential fraud relating thereto.” In addition to being fired immediately, Parneros will not receive any severance, B&N said. B&N said Parneros’s removal was undertaken by its board of directors, who were advised by the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.

(3) CAUTION, I BRAKE FOR SINGULARITIES. When Daniel P. Dern read that “SpaceX delivers AI robot, ice cream, mice to space station” he immediately thought, “Boy, that sounds like a ‘what could possibly go wrong?’ tv episode waiting to happen…”

The International Space Station got its first robot with artificial intelligence Monday, along with some berries, ice cream and identical brown mice.

SpaceX’s capsule reached the station three days after launching from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Station astronaut Ricky Arnold used a large mechanical arm to grab the Dragon capsule as the spacecraft soared above Quebec, Canada.

The nearly 6,000-pound (2,700-kilogram) delivery includes the round robot Cimon, pronounced Simon. Slightly bigger than a basketball, the AI robot from the German Space Agency is meant to assist German astronaut Alexander Gerst with science experiments. Cimon’s brain will constantly be updated by IBM so its intelligence — and role — keep growing.

(4) SMOFS ON THE AIR.  Bids for future Westercons, Worldcons, and NASFiCs gave presentations and answered questions at Westercon 71 in Denver on July 5.

Kevin Standlee sent a link to the YouTube playlist of videos where you can watch the appearances of representatives from the SeaTac in 2020 Westercon, Utah in 2019 NASFiC, New Zealand in 2020 Worldcon, and DC in 2021 Worldcon bids.

(5) RHYSLING AWARD FOLLOW-UP. In the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association press release about the winners of the 2018 Rhysling Awards, SFPA President Bryan Thao Worra said:

My deep and personal congratulations to all of the winners and all of the nominees. The SFPA thanks everyone who nominated these poets and those who took the time to vote this year. Every year the awards are filled with great excitement, even as it is often deeply challenging to choose the best poem among so many styles and talented voices from around the world.

We’re looking forward to many more decades ahead of our members celebrating profound possibility, inquiry and imagination through verse.

First established in 1978, the Rhysling Award is now in its 40th year. Science Fiction fans may recognize the name. The Rhyslings were named for the blind poet Rhysling in Robert A. Heinlein’s short story “The Green Hills of Earth.” Rhysling’s skills were said to rival Rudyard Kipling’s. In real life, Apollo 15 astronauts named a crater near their landing site “Rhysling,” which has since become its official name.

The Rhysling Awards will be formally presented at DiversiCon 26 on Saturday, July 28th at 3:00pm in St. Paul (Bandana Square Best Western) by SFPA President, Bryan Thao Worra and other members of the SFPA executive committee. All members of the SF community are welcome to attend the ceremony. For scheduling at updates, visit www.diversicon.org.

(6) CALLING DESMOND MORRIS. How did Bambi’s distant ancestors bite the dust? Ars Technica turns to the professionals for an answer: “Archaeologists armed with spears demonstrate how Neanderthals hunted”.

Pleistocene CSI

At the Neumark-Nord site in Germany, Neanderthals 120,000 years ago hunted along the shores of a lake surrounded by dense forest. It’s a tough environment to make a living in, even for modern hunter-gatherers.  Here, archaeologists found two textbook examples of hunting-spear trauma. A fallow deer vertebra bore a circular wound from what Gaudzinski-Windheuser and her colleagues described as “a well-placed lethal injury” to the deer’s neck, not far from the trachea—probably from a spear thrust.

A pelvic bone from another fallow deer had a circular hole punched through the thinnest part of the bone, toward the front and close to the spine. The bone hadn’t begun to heal, so the injury, although likely not fatal in its own right, probably happened in the moments before death.

In micro-CT images, Gaudzinski-Windheuser and her colleagues could see that the wound had a tapered shape, wider on the outer face of the bone where the spear had entered. This pushed bone fragments inward, but things were narrower on the inner surface where the spear tip had come out the other side and pushed bone fragments outward. Such a clear injury is a rare find, and it offered Gaudzinski-Windheuser and her colleagues a chance to analyze Neanderthal hunting methods in detail.

(7) AND HAVING WRIT, MOVES ON. Someone corrected this blue plaque in Cambridge.

(8) COMICS SECTION.

  • Mike Kennedy learned from Basic Instructions (a rerun from 2011) how to bring science fiction characters back to life.

(9) FLIPSIDE. At Galactic Journey The Traveler fills in some missing info about his friend the Australian computer: “[July 4, 1963] Down Under to the Worlds of Men (Woomera, Part 2)”.

A few months ago I wrote about my friend Mary Whitehead, who works as an Experimental Officer in Australia. She recently wrote me back with some corrections, that I will pass on to you, in order not to mar the historical record.

For example, I said that Mary lived at Woomera, which was not the case. I was conflating the rocket testing range with the place where most of the computing work got done. She actually lives near the Weapons Research Establishment (WRE), which is located in Salisbury, a small town about 15 miles north of the big city of Adelaide. Woomera Rocket Range is in the isolated outback another 300 miles north of that.

In 1949, Mary, who studied mathematics in college, got a job in the Bomb Ballistics Section of the WRE. At that time, Mary was the only professional woman at Salisbury. Her first work was to lead a team of female Computers. At first, they used mechanical calculators like the noisy Friden’s and then Marchant’s like we used at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory.

(10) HE’S MAD. In “A new editor. A new home. But Mad magazine still takes sharp aim at Trump and Roseanne”, the Washington Post’s Michael Cavna interviews MAD editor Bill Morrison, formerly with Bongo Comics, about how he is keeping his magazine fresh and topical after it moved to Los Angeles last year.

“We wanted to come up with a ‘summer fun’ cover and looked to things like beach parties, county fairs and amusement arcades for inspiration,” Morrison says of the cover illustrated by Mark Fredrickson. “Art director Suzy Hutchinson thought an image of [Mad mascot] Alfred playing Whac-A-Mole would be fun, and mocked up a surreal cover of Alfred whacking mini-versions of himself.

“Then,” the editor says, “we turned on the news and decided that taking a whack at some notorious celebrities would be not only fun, but therapeutic.”

(11) LITIGATION. Don Quixote is feeling better. “Terry Gilliam: Legal Battle Over ‘The Man Who Killed Don Quixote’ Won’t Stop Film’s Release”The Hollywood Reporter has the story.

Terry Gilliam says the legal battle over the rights to The Man Who Killed Don Quixote will not prevent the film’s long-awaited release.

Nearly a quarter of a century in the making, the film that premiered at Cannes and screened out of competition Wednesday at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival in the Czech Republic, has been dogged with challenges worthy of Cervante’s noble hero.

After false starts and many rewrites, ex-Monty Python member Gilliam finally completed the film only for a legal dispute with a now former Portuguese producer Paolo Branco to threaten to derail it.

Branco’s threats were sufficient for Amazon to pull out of a deal that would have ensured a 90-day cinematic release in the U.S. before it was available for streaming. Even Cannes chief Jerome Paillard was rumored to have had the jitters before its festival screening in May.

But that decision, Karlovy Vary’s screening and an upcoming competition screening at the Munich film festival appear to have strengthened the French distributors Kinology’s hand, despite a Paris court ruling last month granting the film’s rights to Branco.

“It is about to be released broadly in Holland and Belgium,” Gilliam told The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday. “I think Cannes changed things. Paolo just went too far – ‘I will tell the festival not to show it’… It seems things are floating along nicely, although he did scare a lot of people away at one point.”

(12) NOT CANALS, BUT… From Nature: “Mars’s river valleys whisper of a rainy past”.

Fast-flowing waterways on ancient Mars carved river valleys much like those on modern Earth.

Although Mars is cold and dry today, channels on its surface look as if running water shaped them, leading researchers to think the planet was warm and wet in the past. But scientists have struggled to determine whether that water fell from the sky as rain or seeped upward from the ground.

To discern the water’s source, Hansjoerg Seybold at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich and his colleagues analysed the geometry of Martian valley channels. The channels branch off at relatively narrow angles, as do waterways in arid landscapes on Earth, such as the US Southwest. More-humid landscapes with a lot of groundwater — the Amazon rainforest, for example — host river channels that branch at wider angles.

(13) BELATED BIRTHDAY. Born on the Fourth of July – no, not George M. Cohan. ScreenRant celebrated with its post: “Today is MCU Captain America’s 100th Birthday”.

We know Cap’s exact date of birth thanks to a scene early on in Captain America: The First Avenger, when pre-serum Steve Rogers attempts (not for the first time) to sign up for the army. The doctor dismisses him due to his long list of ailments, and in the process gives the audience a look at his medical records, which include his date of birth. Naturally, he was born on Independence Day.

The comic book version of Captain America, meanwhile, is actually 101 years old, having been born on July 4, 1917. His birth date is often incorrectly cited as being July 4, 1920, since that’s the date given on his Wikipedia page. However, The Adventures of Captain America #1 (the source for Wikipedia’s claim) states that he was born in 1917.

(14) JULY 4TH LEFTOVERS. NPR’s astronomical salute to the holiday: “LOOK: Hot, Young Stars Form ‘Celestial Fireworks'”.

If you squint, the image above bears a pretty strong resemblance to what you might see at a July 4 fireworks display.

But it’s actually, dare we say, far cooler. Or hotter: The image captured by the Hubble Space Telescope is a cluster of “huge, hot” stars called NGC 3603, about 20,000 light years away in the constellation Carina.

The glittery image was captured in 2009, and NASA posted it on its website on the eve of today’s Independence Day celebrations. The swirling purple clouds of gas and dust, it says, are the “raw material for new star formation.”

(15) DISSERTATION DEFENDER. Congratulations to Shaun Duke, of Skiffy and Fanty, who earned his Doctorate today.

[Thanks to Carl Slaughter, Andrew Porter, Cat Eldridge, ULTRAGOTHA, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Martin Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy, Chip Hitchock, JJ, Daniel P. Dern, Steven H Silver, Eric Franklin, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Ingvar.]

2018 Rhysling Awards

Mary Soon Lee and Neil Gaiman are the winners of the 2018 Rhysling Awards presented by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA).

The winners were chosen by SFPA members, with 140 votes cast in the short poem category, and 93 in the long poem category.

Short Poem Category

First Place
“Advice to a Six-Year-Old”
Mary Soon Lee • Star*Line 40.2

Second Place
“How to Grieve: A Primer for Witches”
Sara Cleto • Mythic Delirium, May

Third Place
“Gramarye”
F. J. Bergmann • Polu Texni 12/26/17

Long Poem Category

First Place
“The Mushroom Hunters”
Neil Gaiman • Brainpickings 4/26/17

Second Place
“For Preserves”
Cassandra Rose Clarke • Star*Line 40.4

Third Place
“Alternate Genders”
Mary Soon Lee • Mithila Review 9

The 2018 Rhysling Anthology can be ordered through the SFPA website. The editor and 2018 contest chair is Linda D. Addison. The book design is by F.J. Bergmann, Cover image is “Dark Mermaid” by Rowena Morrill.

[Thanks to Mark Hepworth for the story.]

2018 Rhysling Award Finalists

The Science Fiction Poetry Association has finalized its 2018 Rhysling Award candidates, reports the group’s publication StarLine 41.2. Ninety-three members voted.

The Rhysling Award is given in two categories. “Best Long Poem” is for poems of 50+ lines, or for prose poems, of 500+ words. “Best Short Poem” is limited to poems of no more than 49 lines, or prose poems of no more than 499 words.

SFPA members have until June 15 to vote on the winners.

Short Poems (87 poems)
“Advice to a Six-Year-Old” • Mary Soon Lee • Star*Line 40.2
“After Midnight” • David Clink • Compostela: Tesseracts Twenty eds. Spider Robinson & James Alan Gardner (Edge, 2017)
“The Alchemy of Arsenic” • Neile Graham • Liminality 13
“All-Purpose Spell for Banishment” • Lesley Wheeler • Salamander 45
“An Announcement” • Sara Cleto & Brittany Warman • Uncanny 19
“Apologies from the Moon” • Lynne Sargent • Wild Musette: The Sin Eater
“Astro-Archaeologist’s Log” • Vince Gotera • The Poet’s Haven Digest: Strange Land
“The Astronaut Nightmare” • Michael H. Hanson • When the Night Owl Screams (MoonDream Press, 2017)
“Astronomers” • Ace G. Pilkington • The Horror Zine, November
“Baalberith” • Robert Beveridge • Priestess & Hierophant 2
“Baba Yaga: Her Almost Origin Story” • Minadora Macheret • Bramble & Thorn, ed. Nicci Mechler (Porkbelly Press)
“Beware” • Juleigh Howard-Hobson • Songs of Eretz Poetry Review 22/9/17
“Birth, Place” • Brandon O’Brien • Uncanny 18
“Black Star” • Adam Bolivar • The Lay of Old Hex (Hippocampus Press)
“Circe’s Guests” • Amelia Gorman • Liminality 12
“Cosmovore Searches the Animal Shelter” • Kristi Carter • Cosmovore (Aqueduct Press)
“Dark Solstice Cold and Deathly” • Richard L. Tierney • Spectral Realms 6
“The Dead Boy Teaches Me About Godzilla” • Lana Hechtman Ayers • Escape into Life
“Dead Bride Philosophy” • Sara Tantlinger • Space & Time 128
“The Dead Languages of the Wind” • David Clink • Compostela: Tesseracts Twenty eds. Spider Robinson & James Alan Gardner (Edge, 2017)
“Dear Shotgun City” • Holly Lyn Walrath • Eye to the Telescope 25
“The Devil in Boston” • A. J. Odasso • Barking Sycamores 12
“early years of transdimensional travel” • John Reinhart • New Myths 38
“Egress” • Marge Simon • Star*Line 40.4
“The Empty House” • A. J. Locke • Sycorax’s Daughters, eds. Kinitra Brooks, Linda D. Addison & Susana Morris (Cedar Grove Publishing)
“End-Times Tables” • Margarita Tenser • Star*Line 40.1
“Endeavour” • G. O. Clark • Asimov’s SF, May/June
“Enthusiasts of Ruin” • Margaret Wack • Liminality 14
“first date” • David F. Shultz •  The Literary Hatchet 18
“Flowers for Asimov” • William Shaw • Star*Line 40.4
“Giger’s Children” • Saba Syed Razvi • Machine Dreams 1
“Goodnight” • David F. Shultz • Polar Borealis Magazine 4
“Gramarye” • F. J. Bergmann • Polu Texni 12/26/17
“Grand Guignol” • G. O. Clark • Longshot Island 12/19/17
“Guttersnipe” • WC Roberts • Chrome Baby 63
“How to Grieve: A Primer for Witches” • Sara Cleto • Mythic Delirium, May
“Hubble’s Constant” • Marian D. Moore • Asimov’s SF, January/February
“In the Business of Things That Don’t Earn You Much” • Ziad Gadou • Strange Horizons, Arab League community and diaspora special issue
“late to work” • Julie Bloss Kelsey • Jersey Devil Press 91
“The Lovers and the Labyrinth” • Sara Cleto • Faerie Magazine 41
“Lycium Barbarum” • PS Cottier • Umbel & Panicle 5
“March Madness” • Francis W. Alexander • Night to Dawn, April
“Medusa in Her Mirror” • Hillary Lyon • Eternal Haunted Summer, Summer Solstice
“Messiaen Among The Dinosaurs” • Tim Jones • takah? 89
“Midwest Wonder Expo” • Amelia Gorman • Star*Line 40.4
“The Mushroom Siren” K. A. Opperman • The Audient Void 4
“The Mutant Rat” • K. V. Volney • krystalvolneyfanclub.blogspot.com
“My Little Green Secret” • Clay F. Johnson • Horror Writers Association Poetry Showcase 4
“My Response to Your Mayday Call” • David Clink & Herb Kauderer • Dreams and Nightmares 105
“A Net to Snare a Unicorn” • Beth Cato • Mythic Delirium, January
“O Terrible Bird” • Sandra Kasturi • Black Feathers: Dark Avian Tales, ed. Ellen Datlow (Pegasus Books)
“One More Attempt at Disaster Preparedness” • Jeannine Hall Gailey • American Poetry Journal
“Other People’s Tragedies” • Jennifer Crow • Mythic Delirium, August
“Pine Song, Robin Song, Star Song” • Holly Lyn Walrath • Liminality 11
“Pleiades”• Jenny Blackford • The Loyalty of Chickens, Pitt Street Poetry
“Poisoned Apple” • Ann Thornfield-Long • Abyss & Apex, March
“Quantum Socks” • R. Gene Turchin • Eye to the Telescope 25
“Radiant Things” • A. J. Odasso • Noble Dissent (ed. Rebecca Jane Bilkau, Beautiful Dragons Press)
“reanimated …” • Susan Burch • Scifaikuest, print
“Save Our Souls” • Karen Bovenmyer • Silver Blade 33
“scent of blackened” • Greer Woodward • Star*Line 40.1
“The Scratch inside Your Chest” • Layla Al-Bedawi • Strange Horizons 10/30/17
“Scorpio” • Jo Walton • Patreon 11/23/17
“Sea Legs” • Milo Gallagher • NonBinary Review 14
“Secret Identities” • Davian Aw • Strange Horizons 2/6/17
“Shadowfolk” • John Philip Johnson • Devilfish Review 19
“She traveled back in time” • Terrie Leigh Relf • Outposts of Beyond, April
“Small Town Witches” • Kate Pentecost • Liminality 13
“Some Things Never Change” • Alan Ira Gordon • Star*Line 40.1
“Song of a Changeling” • Adele Gardner • Balticon 51: The BSFAN, May
“Starlight” • Christina Sng • Space & Time 129
“A Streetcar Named Happily Ever After” • B. J. Lee • Illumen, Autumn
“Supper with the Sphinx” • Carolyn Clink • Canadian Ginger (ed. Kim Clark & Dawn Marie Kresan, Oolichan Books, 2017)
“Surreal Bucket List #3” • Bruce Boston • Mithila Review 9
“Sycorax’s Daughters Unveiled” • Linda Addison • Sycorax’s Daughters, eds. Kinitra Brooks, Linda D. Addison & Susana Morris (Cedar Grove Publishing)
“Syncing Minefields” • Karen Bovenmyer • Strange Horizons 2/20/17
“Table of Contents from a Lost Book of Divination” • Dean Kostos • Star*Line 40.2
“The Talking River” • John W. Sexton • Star*Line 40.2
“Titan’s Magic Islands: Transient Features in the Hydrocarbon Seas” • Geoffrey A. Landis • Asimov’s Science Fiction, July/August
“Vaginoplasticine” • Alison Rumfitt • Star*Line 40.4
“Vampirette” • Kathleen A. Lawrence • Star*Line 40.4
“Villain L” • Azriel Johnson • The Poet’s Haven Digest: The Distance Between Insanity and Genius
“Vul Ravin” • D. L. Myers • Spectral Realms 6
“Wayfaring King” • Beth Cato • Star*Line 40.4
“When the Aliens Come to Tea” • Mary A. Turzillo • The Poet’s Haven Digest: Strange Land
“The Witch Woman” • Alexandra Seidel • Polu Texni 7/17/17
“Yellow Spiders” • John C. Mannone • Altered Reality Magazine 4/28/17

 

Long Poems (63 poems)
“Alternate Genders” • Mary Soon Lee • Mithila Review 9
“The Android Who Gave Herself Away” Rohinton Daruwala • Eye to the Telescope 23
“Apocalyptic Mass” • Alessandro Manzetti • No Mercy (Crystal Lake Publications)
“Atop the Crystal Moon” • Ashley Dioses • Diary of a Sorceress (Hippocampus Press)
“The Ballad of the de la Poers” • Adam Bolivar • Spectral Realms 7
“Castaway” • John C. Mannone • Anak Sastra 28
“Chrysopoeia & Isagoge” • Saba Syed Razvi • Beside the Muezzin’s Call & Beyond the Harem’s Veil (Finishing Line Press)
“A Cleaner Times Square” • Vanessa Kittle• Chrome Baby 61
“Commentary Track” • Troy Jollimore • The Plume Anthology of Poetry 5 ed. Daniel Lawless (Plume Editions)
“Dab3 (Mount Hermon, 1998)” • Sara Saab • Strange Horizons 10/30/17
“Daunted” • Mary Soon Lee • Dreams and Nightmares 105
“Don’t Forget the Tinderbox” • Jennifer Lynn Krohn • NonBinary Review 14
“A Dream of Milk and Blood” • Alessandro Manzetti • No Mercy (Crystal Lake Publications)
“The Drum Star (Orion’s Ghost)” • Ryu Ando • Strange Horizons, Fund Drive Special
“The First Battle of the Puffer War” • Herb Kauderer • Outposts of Beyond, July
“For Preserves” • Cassandra Rose Clarke • Star*Line 40.4
“Four Moons” • John Philip Johnson • Mithila Review 9
“Frida’s Monsters” • Alessandro Manzetti • No Mercy (Crystal Lake Publications)
“Ghosts of 1816” • Clay F. Johnson • Spectral Realms 6
“The Hawthorn Muses” • Shannon Connor Winward • Timeless Tales 8
“Hot” • Cislyn Smith • Strange Horizons 5/29/17
“The Huntsman” • Lora Gray • Liminal Stories 4
“In the Labyrinth” • Allan Rozinski • Eternal Haunted Summer, Winter Solstice
“Instructions for Astronauts” • Michael Janairo • Mithila Review 8
“Just Rosie” • Kathleen A. Lawrence • Eye to the Telescope 23
“Kindred Spirit” • F. J. Bergmann • Dreams and Nightmares 106
“Let Me In” • Tonya Liburd • Alligators in the Sewers (Unnerving Magazine chapbook)
“Little Red” •  Christina Sng • Polu Texni 9/4/17
“Little Red: Morning” • Sally Rosen Kindred • Bramble & Thorn, ed. Nicci Mechler (Porkbelly Press)
“Looking Back to the Stars” • Vince Gotera • Altered Reality Magazine, October
“Lotus Moon” • Mary Soon Lee • Mythic Delirium 4.2
“Maintenance Call” • Ken Poyner • Abyss & Apex 61
“Masques and Mayhem” • Jennifer Crow • Mythic Delirium, September
“Moonlight in the Playground” • Christina Sng • Spectral Realms 6
“The Mushroom Hunters” • Neil Gaiman • Brainpickings 4/26/17
“O Ippos” • Mari Ness • Through Immortal Shadows Singing (Papaveria Press)
“On a Dreamland’s Moon” • Ashley Dioses • Black Wings VI (PS Publishing)
“Opposition Night” • Christina M. Rau • Liberating the Astronauts (Aqueduct Press)
“The Patron Saint of Lost Causes” • Chris Castro-Rappl •  Abyss & Apex, September
“Pre-Raphaelite Girls” • Delbert R. Gardner & Adele Gardner • Buckshot Magazine, 7/12/17
“Protestations Against the Idea of Anglicization” • Cassandra Khaw • Uncanny 19
“Quietly, on the way to Mars” • Bronwyn Lovell • Cordite Poetry Review, September
“The Rain that Falls in the Mutant Rain Forest” • Bruce Boston • Visions of the Mutant Rain Forest (Crystal Lake Publications)
“Rapunzel and Medusa” • Colleen Anderson • Polu Texni 9/25/17
“The Raven’s Hallowe’en” • Shannon Connor Winward • Wild Musette, 10/26/18
“Romance of Possible Contrasts” • Alison Rumfitt • Strange Horizons, 12/18/17
“The Seal Wife” • Signe Pike• Faerie Magazine 38
“The Secret Life of a Toaster” • Mary Soon Lee • Polu Texni 10/2/17
“Shards of a Fractured Soul” • Deborah L. Davitt • The Poet’s Haven Digest: Strange Land
“She Dreams of Tigers, or Remembers” • Jennifer D’Aubergny • The Poet’s Haven Digest: The Distance Between Insanity and Genius
“The Simple Poem” • Abhishek Sengupta • Liminality 12
“Signs That the World Might Be Ending” •  E. E. King • NonBinary Review 13
“Size 15W Should Do It (after George Orwell” • Tyree Campbell • A Danger to Self and Others (Alban Lake)
“Sons of Fire and Clay” • Jesse Parent• The Poet’s Haven Digest: The Distance Between Insanity and Genius
“Starskin, Sealskin” • Shveta Thakrar & Sara Cleto • Uncanny 17
“The Story of Shen Dho, A Pirate in the Red Flag Fleet, Who Serves Ching Shih Devotedly for Many Years” • Kendall Evans • Illumen, Autumn
“tha may ask thee sen/At the Finish” • Paul Brookes • Eternal Haunted Summer, Summer Solstice
“The Trajectory of Culture” • David C. Kopaska-Merkel & Kendall Evans • Polu Texni 5/15/17
“The Tree Builder” • Christina Loraine • Eye to the Telescope 25
“Waking” • Sara Cleto & Brittany Warman • Liminality 10
“What Neighbors Do” • Herb Kauderer • 49th Parallels, ed. Hayden Trenholm (Bundoran Press)
“Whispers & Lies” • Deborah Elizabeth Whaley • Sycorax’s Daughters, eds. Kinitra Brooks, Linda D. Addison & Susana Morris (Cedar Grove Publishing)
“The Woman in the Feathered Mask” • K. A. Opperman • Skelos 3

Call For 2018 Rhysling Award Nominations

The Science Fiction Poetry Association members have until February 15 to nominate eligible poems for addition to the Rhysling Award longlist.

Poems already recommended are listed here. (None at this writing; keep checking back.)

The Rhyslings were first established in 1978, named for the blind poet Rhysling in Robert A. Heinlein’s short story “The Green Hills of Earth.” Rhysling’s skills were said to rival Rudyard Kipling’s. In real life, Apollo 15 astronauts named a crater near their landing site “Rhysling,” which has since become its official name. Winning works are regularly reprinted in the Nebula Awards Anthology from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Rhysling Awards are considered in the speculative literature field to be the poetry equivalent of the awards given for prose— achievement awards given to poets by the writing peers of their own field of literature.

Linda D. Addison is the 2018 Rhysling Award chair.

2017 Rhysling Awards

The Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association has announced the 2017 Rhysling Award winners.

Short Poem

Winner

2nd:

3rd (tie)

Long Poem

Winner

  • Rose Child” by Theodora Goss • Uncanny 13

2nd:

3rd:

Pixel Scroll 2/27/17 That’s it! Scroll Over Man, Scroll Over!

(1) ACADEMY INVITES LE GUIN. Ursula K. LeGuin has been voted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters reports SFGate. The 87-year-old Le Guin is one of 14 new core members of the Academy.

The arts academy, an honorary society with a core membership of 250 writers, artists, composers and architects, once shunned “genre” writers such as Le Guin. Even such giants as science fiction writer Ray Bradbury and crime novelist Elmore Leonard never got in.

Academy member Michael Chabon, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, advocated for Le Guin.

“As a deviser of worlds, as a literary stylist, as a social critic and as a storyteller, Le Guin has no peer,” he wrote in his recommendation, shared with the AP, that she be admitted. “From the time of her first published work in the mid-1960s, she began to push against the confines of science fiction, bringing to bear an anthropologist’s acute eye for large social textures and mythic structures, a fierce egalitarianism and a remarkable gift of language, without ever renouncing the sense of wonder and the spirit of play inherent in her genre of origin.”

(2) 2017 RHYSLING ANTHOLOGY COVER REVEAL. Hat tip to F.J. Bergmann.

(3) NEW FICTION WEBZINE. Science fiction and fantasy book imprint Strange Fictions Press will officially launch Strange Fictions SciFi & Fantasy Zine on February 28 with “This Chicken Outfit,” by Pushcart nominated author, A.L. Sirois. Siriois’ short stories have appeared in ThemaAmazing Stories, and Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine. He has also contributed comic art for DC, Marvel, and Charlton.

Strange Fictions will focus “on publishing speculative short fiction, nonfiction, art, and poetry twice a week for genre fans worldwide.”  New stories, poems, and essays will appear every Tuesday and Friday. Subscribers can sign up for email notifications whenever a new story is posted.

Strange Fictions SF&F Zine is open to submissions from both new and experienced genre writers, and details can be found at the website.

Authors of acquired pieces for Strange Fictions SF&F ‘Zine will receive a flat fee payment of $5 for stories, essays, poetry, and book reviews of 4,999 words and under and $10 for stories, essays, poetry, and book reviews of 5,000-10,000.

(4) ALOFT. Martin Morse Wooster recommends Miyazaki Dreams of Flying as “a lovely compilation of flying scenes from Miyazaki films, including an interview where the great animator expresses his love of airplanes.”

(5) DEFYING THE LAW…OF GRAVITY. In “Mars Needs Lawyers” on FiveThirtyEight, Maggie Koerth-Baker looks at the many problems of international law that have to be solved in we’re ever going to have successful Mars missions.  For example:  if you have astronauts from five countries flying in a spacecraft that’s registered in Liberia, how do you figure out which country’s law applies?

For instance, a limited number of satellites can orbit the Earth simultaneously. Put up too many, and you end up with an expensive game of celestial bumper cars. But some countries — Russia and the United States, in particular — had a big head start on gobbling up those slots. What do you do if you’re Nigeria? Today, Gabrynowicz said, the international community has settled on a regulatory system that attempts to balance the needs of nations that can put an object into geostationary orbit first with the needs of those that aren’t there yet but could be later. And even this compromise is still extremely controversial.

The same basic disagreement behind them will apply to Mars, too. And it’s at issue right now in the U.S., as lawmakers try to figure out how best to implement the U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act — a bill signed by President Obama in November 2015. That law states that U.S. companies can own and sell space resources — including minerals and water. But the details of what this means in practice haven’t been worked out yet, Gabrynowicz said. Legal experts say that those details will make the difference in terms of whether the law puts the U.S. in violation of the Outer Space Treaty.

This question of whether space should be an Old West-style gold rush or an equitably distributed public commons could have been settled decades ago, with the 1979 Moon Agreement (aka the Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies), which would have established space as part of the “common heritage of mankind.” What this would have meant in practice is not totally clear. But at the time, opponents saw it as having the potential to ban all private enterprise and effectively turn the heavens into a United Nations dictatorship. It ended up being signed by a handful of countries, most of which have no space program. But it is international law, and if humans go to Mars, though, we’ll likely end up debating this issue again.

(6) GAME WRITING. Monica Valentinelli gives an “Overview of Game Production and the Role of Writers” at the SFWA Blog.

One of the things I enjoy doing as a game developer is hiring new writers. In almost every case, writers are shocked to learn how many levers and pulleys there are in game production. This tends to hold true regardless of what kind of game a writer is contributing to; in part, this has to do with the process of transitioning from a consumer’s mindset (e.g. fan, critic, reviewer) to that of a creator’s. Sometimes, however, the process is confusing because there are aspects physical development that writers aren’t always involved with. A good example of this is that developers often regard word processing documents with an eye for production when they redline and provide comments. What’s laid out vertically on a page in text isn’t how it will be rendered in the final product, and that has a huge impact on what the writers are hired to write, edit, and make changes on. Sometimes, the number of words that fit on a page or a screen can also shape a writer’s assignment, too.

Other, lesser-known aspects of production might include:

  • Canon or Setting Bible creation
  • Systems/rules documentation
  • Marketing copy and sell sheets
  • Outlining and project management
  • Mock-ups and proofs for manufacturing
  • Playtest or beta editions

(7) DISNEY’S DUDEFRÉRES. Another clip from the live-action Beauty and the Beast shows LeFou singing “My, what a guy, that Gaston!” With Luke Evans as Gaston and Josh Gad as LeFou.

(8) VOIR DIRE STRAITS. Shadow Clarke juror Jonathan McCalmont followed his introductory post with an entry on his ownblog, Ruthless Culture “Genre Origin Stories”.

A couple of things that occurred to me upon re-reading the piece:

Firstly, I think it does a pretty good job of capturing how I currently feel about the institutions of genre culture. To be blunt, I don’t think that genre fandom survived the culture wars of 2015 and I think genre culture has now entered a post-apocalyptic phase in which a few institutional citadels manage to keep the lights on while the rest of the field is little more than a blasted wasteland full of isolated, lonely people. One reason why I agreed to get involved with shadowing the Clarke Award is that I see the Shadow Clarke as an opportunity to build something new that re-introduces the idea that engaging with literary science fiction can be about more than denouncing your former friends and providing under-supported writers with free PR….

McCalmont’s post includes a high overview of the past 40 years of fanhistory. I was surprised to find many points of agreement, such as his takes about things that frustrated me at the time they were happening, or that I witnessed affecting my friends among the LA locals who founded anime fandom.

Regardless of whether they are conventional, idiosyncratic, or simply products of distracted parenting, our paths into science fiction cannot help but shape our understanding and expectations of the field. Unfortunately, where there is difference there is bound to be misunderstanding and where there is misunderstanding there must inevitably be conflict.

The problem is that while the walls of science fiction may be infinitely porous and allow for inspiration from different cultures and artistic forms, the cultural institutions surrounding science fiction have shown themselves to be remarkably inflexible when it comes to making allowances for other people’s genre origin stories.

The roots of the problem are as old as genre fandom itself. In fact, the very first Worldcon saw the members of one science fiction club deny entry to the membership of another on the grounds that the interlopers were socialists whose politicised understanding of speculative fiction posed an existential threat to the genre’s continued existence. A similar conflict erupted when the unexpected success of Star Wars turned a niche literary genre into a mass market phenomenon. Faced with the prospect of making allowances for legions of new fans with radically different ideas as to what constituted good science fiction, the institutions of genre fandom responded with sluggishness indistinguishable from hostility. Media fandom was born when traditional fandom refused to expand its horizons and the same thing happened again in the early 1990s when fans of anime decided that it was better to build their own institutions than to fight street-by-street for the right to be hidden away in the smallest and hottest rooms that science fiction conventions had to offer.

The institutions of genre culture may pride themselves on their inclusiveness and forward-thinking but this is largely a product of the excluded not sticking around long enough to give their own sides of the story. Time and again, the institutions of genre culture have been offered the chance to get in on the ground floor when science-fictional ideas began to manifest themselves in different ways. Time and again, the institutions of genre culture have chosen to protect the primacy of the familiar over the vibrancy of the new and the different….

Cultural commentators may choose to characterise 2015 as the year in which genre culture rejected the misogynistic white supremacy of the American right but the real message is far more nuanced. Though the institutions of genre culture have undoubtedly improved when it comes to reflecting the diversity not only of the field but also of society at large, this movement towards ethnic and sexual diversity has coincided with a broader movement of aesthetic conservatism as voices young and old find themselves corralled into a narrowing range of hyper-commercial forms.

I thought that was well said. Unfortunately, I also read the comments.

(9) BELATED BIRTHDAY BOYS

  • February 24, 1909 – August Derleth
  • February 26, 1918 – Theodore Sturgeon

(10) THE STRAIGHT POOP. “Do Cats Cause Schizophrenia? Believe the Science, Not the Hype” advises WIRED.

The link between schizophrenia and cats goes back to the 1970s, when psychiatrist E. Fuller Torrey learned that viruses from dogs might trigger multiple sclerosis—a neurological condition—in humans. “That got me thinking about which animals host which infectious agents,” he says. Soon, he learned that cats host the most successful infectious bacteria in the world: Toxoplasma gondii. Looking into previously published research, he found plenty of studies showing that schizophrenics often had higher levels of toxoplasma antibodies in their blood than people without the mental illness.

Then he started surveying schizophrenics about their life history, and found that many had indeed lived with cats. But what’s important isn’t just if, it’s when. See, Torrey’s theory isn’t merely that T. gondii causes mental illness, it’s that it somehow alters the development of a person’s brain during crucial periods of brain development—and probably only if that person is genetically predisposed to schizophrenia. It’s a complicated hypothesis, and even after four decades of study, Torrey says he’s still not totally convinced it’s fact. Hence, his continued research on the subject.

Still, every study he publishes—his most recent, dropped in July of 2015—attracts the media like nip. Same with refutations, like the one published this week. The authors analyzed a dataset of 5,000 UK children, looking for a correlation between cat ownership during critical ages of brain development and behavioral indicators of later psychosis (like dark thoughts) at the ages of 13 and 18. Their statistical analysis of the results showed no correlation. Most (but not all) news websites ran with some variation of “Relax, Cats Don’t Cause Schizophrenia.”

But that’s not what the study said.

(11) GUESS WHO. From 2015. David Tennant’s NTA Special Recognition – his reaction: “Actor Sees A Tribute Video On Screen. The Realizes It’s For Him And He Can’t Believe It”

(12) TELL YOUR FRIENDS. Carl Slaughter says, “This documentary convincingly demonstrates how the Batman movies/trilogies reflect the cultural era in which they were produced.”

  • 60s Batman  –  prosperity
  • 70s  –  disillusionment  –  no Batman movies
  • Batman  –  escapism
  • Batman Returns  –  anti rich
  • Batman Forever, Batman & Robin  –  safety
  • Batman Begins, Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises  –  fear
  • Batman versus Superman  –  extremism

[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster, Carl Slaughter, Cat Eldridge, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Peer Sylvester.]