Volume 35, Issue 3
July–September 2012

Star*Line 35.3 cover
Cover: © 2012 Max Bertolini

Wyrms & Wormholes
Fun, Fun, Fun

As a result of a snarky (but appropriate) comment that I posted, the Locus Roundtable online recently featured essays, most by SFPA members, discussing speculative poetry. The series began with a podcast with editor Karen Burnham, Mike Allen, and yours truly. Peruse the archives at locusmag.com/ Roundtable/2012/05/.

Each of us, as editor, poet, and/or reader, has varying definitions of what constitutes genre. I tend toward excluding work unless internal, rather than referential, narrative is present. Story is what engages the reader. I do not believe that merely alluding to genre tropes or using them metaphorically is sufficient to qualify for genre identification.

For me, the primary objective of speculative fiction—and, by extension, speculative poetry—is entertainment, and the sine qua non of speculative work is narrative, albeit a tale incapable of existing in present reality. While that narrative may be only implied, as the name of our organization suggests, fiction is a necessary component of speculative poetry.

The basic requirement of marketable literary work is engagement of the reader, and the narrative thread, or one that the suggestible reader is induced to construct, is the most successful method of focusing their attention, so that writers are driven to be observers and raconteurs of action. In poetry, my ideal is an image that inherently suggests a story.

As Kurt Vonnegut is said to have told his creative-writing students, “We’re in the entertainment business.” Recreation. But do not forget that the word can also be spelled re-creation: remaking, making anew. Or, Make it new (to appropriate Pound).

Speculative writers make new worlds. Sometimes an existing world is destroyed or altered and the new one built on its smoking ruins; sometimes the new world appears to be generated from its own Big Bang or divine breath.

I’ll leave you with this quatrain from the Rubaiyat:

Ah, love! Couldst thou and I
      with Fate conspire
To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire,
Would not we shatter it to bits—and then
Re-mould it nearer to the Heart’s Desire!

May you find in speculative poetry at least part of what your heart seeks.

—F.J. Bergmann
Star*Line Editor

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Star*Line Staff:

Editor: F.J. Bergmann
Layout: Robert Frazier & F.J. Bergmann
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Table of Contents


  • The 2012 Rhysling Awards • Lyn C. A. Gardner
  • Wyrms & Wormholes • F.J. Bergmann
  • President’s Message • David C. Kopaska-Merkel
  • A Tribute to Ray Bradbury • Marge Simon et al.
  • From the Small Press • David Summers, John Garrison, Edward Cox Full reviews
  • From the Small Press • David C. Kopaska-Merkel, Joshua Gage
  • Stealth SF • Denise Dumars
  • Xenopoetry • Alfredo Álamo; translations by Fred W. Bergmann


  • Crackling Octopus • Jessy Randall
  • Rapture of the Zombies • Robert Borski
  • Proper Perspective • James S. Dorr
  • Uncertain Principle • Neal Wilgus
  • “warm glow of altruism” • Shelly Bryant
  • Regrets Only • Jeanie Tomasko
  • How I Would Like to Die • Gary Every
  • Last Transit: 2012 • Marge Simon
  • “tiny robot mice” • Deborah P Kolodji
  • “no life on Mars” • LeRoy Gorman
  • Growing Up • Dennis M. Lane
  • Casting the Future • Serena Fusek
  • Against Twinkling • Ron Czerwien
  • Grow Alien Mermaids • Deborah Walker
  • Et in Arcadia egoAlicia Cole
  • Xochipilli • Lee Clark Zumpe
  • The Warrior with the Hundred-Year Warranty • Margaret Benbow
  • War Robots • Ken Poyner
  • Overview • Timons Esaias
  • “the robot’s funeral” • LeRoy Gorman
  • Intelligent Design • David C. Kopaska-Merkel
  • The Circuit Rider • Frederick Pollack
  • 2.0 • David C. Kopaska-Merkel
  • “rips tearing the sky” • Simon Kewin
  • Imperial Mercy • Alec Austin
  • inquest • Timons Esaias
  • “transmat status” • David C. Kopaska-Merkel
  • “gates of multi-verses” • Yunsheng Jiang
  • Hazardous Work Environment • Alan Haider
  • “two roads diverged on an ochre plain” • LeRoy Gorman
  • Lunatick • Robert Borski
  • Sneezing in Zero-G • Melissa Frederick
  • The Duelists • Mike Allen
  • “singularity” • Geoffrey A. Landis
  • e-ldritch • Joe Nazare
  • Dance Floor • Robert Borski
  • “she touches my skin” • Simon Kewin
  • “unrequited love” • LeRoy Gorman
  • Every Planet Wears a Ring • Kurt MacPhearson
  • Egg Foo Young • Terry Garey
  • A Fairy-Tale Excuse • Ian Hunter
  • Time Shift 27 • Denny E. Marshall
  • The Passage • Matthew Y. Yasuoka
  • The Insomniacs • Alessio Zanelli
  • Café Tables of Canberra • P. S. Cottier
  • Promethea • Barry King
  • Miff-ology • Juan Perez
  • Search Party • Denny E. Marshall
  • In the Year 2525” • LeRoy Gorman
  • Why I Love Star Trek • Vincent F. A. Golphin
  • Ain’t that Nice • Neal Wilgus (correction from 35.2)
  • Winter on Paradise One • Francis W. Alexander (corr. from 35.2)
  • Lost in Space • Aaron DeLee


  • Wired for Destiny • Randy Moore
  • Future Spark • Randy Moore
  • Space 7 • Denny E. Marshal
  • The Portal • Denny E. Marshall
  • Double Plus Nothing • Randy Moore
  • Mountain Top View • Joshua Gage

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