Volume 36, Issue 3
Summer 2013

Star*Line 36.3 cover
Cover:The Tower
© 2012 Dina Djabieva

Wyrms & Wormholes
How to Spread the Infection to Humans

First, a heads-up: the editorial e-mail address was incorrect in the last few issues of Star*Line; it’s starline@sfpoetry.com [now starlineeditor@gmail.com] (no asterisk)! If you have submitted and received no response, my deepest apologies, and please resend.

Everybody can use some help with their writing from time to time. I participate in several critique groups, two of which are fleshly, live-action wetware-in-meatspace. Not only is this invaluable in my own work, but I am slowly corrupting my fellow crit poets. Six of them (so far!) have appeared in Star*Line—and two in Strange Horizons—who ne’er dreamt before our ill-augur’d meeting that I would Bring Them Over To The Dark Side; that is to say, they had never before considered writing speculative poetry. They’re still reeling in shock at getting paid.

Not only are poets and readers who don’t consider themselves genre fans far more enthusiastic when brought face to face with speculative poetry than we (or they) realize, but those of us who are speculative poets have as much to gain from interacting with them as they do from being exposed to our work. Any decent poet, genre or not, can tell us when our syntax or spelling is flawed or when our meaning is unclear, and as they grow to appreciate our work, they tend to develop an interest in attempting speculative poetry themselves—I speak from experience.

Much of the speculative poetry community is self-isolating; the rationale seems to be that non-genre poets Don’t Understand spec po or are not receptive to it. Some speculative poets even take pride in being part of what they envision as a small, exclusive clique. These attitudes are not constructive and do not benefit us as individuals, as an organization, or as a genre. No human group thrives as a closed biome—and it’s hard to get by on taking in each other’s laundry.

6. Nights like these she flipped a little golden switch. That was when the rooms would open up before her.

      —Kristina Marie Darling, from The Moon and Other Inventions

I’m very proud of the quality of poetry and artwork I’ve been able to acquire for Star*Line. Even so, I would love to have more submissions—and a much larger readership! To that end, I work at distributing each issue. Several bookstores in my area now carry Star*Line, and I make a point of selling copies at conferences, readings, and open mikes. If all member poets promoted SFPA publications (including the free pamphlets offered on the Promos page) at SF cons, bookstores, and readings, we’d gain many more readers and members.

Demonstrably, the general populace is currently fascinated with SF, fantasy, and horror, and has been for some time. As Denise Dumars’ Stealth columns have proven, many “mainstream” poets are using genre tropes and writing frankly speculative poetry. And this receptivity is not confined to poets alone: a significant number of nominees for the Rhysling, Dwarf Stars, and Elgin awards came from non-genre publications or presses. Those editors too, it seems, are falling under the spell of our deviant doctrine.

Reach out to the larger poetry community in your area. Prod them with the metaphorical trident whose prongs are SF, Fantasy, and Horror. I believe that you will be pleasantly surprised by the quality of feedback and camaraderie you encounter. And if you draw these poets into our sphere, SFPA can only benefit from increased membership and … fresh blood.

Sometimes I count the seconds before I fall asleep.
I never make it past the shape of your teeth.

      —Carrie Rudzinski, “The Moments I Could Not Turn Back”

Yours, under a waning Supermoon,
—F.J. Bergmann
Star*Line Editor

Buy this issue of Star*Line for $3.00 plus $2 U.S./$3 international shipping.

To order, send a check made out to the SFPA to:

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Alameda CA 94501

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Star*Line Staff:

Editor: F.J. Bergmann
Layout: Robert Frazier & F.J. Bergmann
Production Manager: F.J. Bergmann

Star*Line Reviews
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Table of Contents


  • Wyrms & Wormholes • F.J. Bergmann
  • President’s Message • David C. Kopaska-Merkel
  • In Memoriam: Stephen M. Wilson • Linda D. Addison
  • From the Small Press • Sandra J. Lindow, John Philip Johnson Full reviews
  • Stealth SF • Denise Dumars


  • The Road to Ozymandias • Mary Cresswell
  • “even if you want to be alive” • Simon Perchik
  • Cracks • Megan Arkenberg
  • “about 600 light years” • Dietmar Tauchner
  • The Spacer’s Hand • Kurt MacPhearson
  • Why I Will Not Attend Your Wedding • Anne Carly Abad
  • This Bus Stop Was a Coral Reef, Once • Megan Arkenberg
  • After the War • Matthew Wilson
  • “quantum drive failure” • C. William Hinderliter
  • The Map Is the Territory • David C. Kopaska-Merkel & Kurt MacPhearson
  • Reincarnation • Mary Stebbins Taitt
  • WorldCon 2160 • David C. Kopaska-Merkel
  • Panspermia • David C. Kopaska-Merkel
  • Doppelgängers • Robert Borski
  • Caterpillar Man • Anne Carly Abad
  • A Lullaby • Jason Matthews
  • Pulling Weeds • Alan Ira Gordon
  • “black glass mane” • Richard Magahiz
  • The Florist Departs • Sarah Grey
  • Unicorn Tea • J. Mirio
  • self-portrait: a modern romance • John Amen
  • Amour Skynthétique • Albert W. Grohmann
  • “robot invaders” • Denny E. Marshall
  • “no wonder we eat brains” • James S. Dorr
  • Regarding Portable Unicorns • Beth Cato
  • The Dextrous Tree Squid • R. Virgil Ellis
  • Hometown Cosmology • David C. Kopaska-Merkel
  • Dragon with the Girl Tattoo • Robert Borski
  • “a slain dragon” • LeRoy Gorman
  • The Thing on the Wing • Alan Ira Gordon
  • Lost in Holographic Storage • Robert Frazier
  • That Fabulous Evolution Show • David C. Kopaska-Merkel
  • FTL homecoming • LeRoy Gorman
  • Big Island Sunset • Chad Hensley
  • Field Trip • Matthew Wilson
  • Dead as a Doornail • Robert Borski
  • Settlement • JD DeHart
  • Our Lady of Perpetual Insanity • Mora Torres
  • Nebula • Lisa Megraw
  • Celestial Mechanics • Ted Holzman
  • The Collected Thoughts of God • Ian Hunter
  • The Oracle of Tuckahoe • Glenn Meisenheimer
  • “designing” • Lauren McBride
  • Sea Monkeys • Jason Matthews
  • Intergalactic UPS • Jeffrey Johannes
  • Millennium Stroll • Martha Kaplan
  • The Narrative of Existence • J. J. Steinfeld
  • Aliens At Last • David C. Kopaska-Merkel
  • Four Addenda to Home Owner Association Rules • Beth Cato
  • “dystopic future” • C. William Hinderliter
  • An August Interlude • Marge Simon


  • From Another World • Denny E. Marshall
  • Stone Plains Face • Denny E. Marshall
  • The Shuttle • Denny E. Marshall
  • Wide Load in the Road • Denny E. Marshall

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