Volume 38, Issue 1
Winter 2015

Star*Line 38.1 cover
Cover: Space Mariner
digital image
© 2012 Kali Ciesemier

Wyrms & Wormholes
Minions Wanted

Yes, friends, bubbly is still flowing at the vast, fortress-like Star*Line editorial enclave! For the first time in nearly twenty years, we are proud to have published a Rhysling Award winner, Mary Soon Lee’s long poem Interregnum from S*L 36.4.

Also, our color covers will continue for a while, thanks to Mary Soon Lee and an anonymous donor who each gave $100 to, um, cover covers, and to Shirley Valencia, who gave $10. Thanks, you guys! We’ll try to spend it well. Subscriptions to the Magazine of Speculative Poetry and Dreams and Nightmares are offered as perks to $100 donors.

Despite perennial rumors that the SFPA status quo is maintained by a cabal of hidebound dinosaurs, along the lines of the preserved brains in Alexandra Erin’s “Institutional Memory” on p. 8 of this issue, in actuality SFPA is controlled by its volunteers, of whom there are never enough. Most key volunteer positions are lucky to have even one qualified candidate with the necessary skills, availability, and willingness. Here, ideally, I’d blather on about electing officers who have proven themselves through prior service, but the truth is that the SFPA officers also are generally comprised of whatever hardy souls dared to offer themselves for immolation, or newbies who were inadvertently sucked into a clutch of tentacles. And so are the other positions.

        … You would think they
        had never had freedom, despite the rather long
        leashes employed.

        And it took several sharp jabbings and
        shockings most dire to garner their
        obeisance, dragging them somber and dejected
        to earth.

                  —Max Ingram, “Aerosol Tight”
                     from The Endless Machine

Originally, I was asked to step in as webmaster / designer for sfpoetry.com, then the same for eyetothetelescope.org, then as the editor of this very publication, then mailing it, then doing layout for it, the directory, Dwarf Stars, occasional Rhysling Anthologies (not this one, though!), and finally the membership database. Thankfully, the Star*Line and Dwarf Stars mailings have been mostly taken over by the capable Brian Garrison. All those other tasks, however, were originally within the purview of at least four different individuals, rather than just me. I could use some help—and it is unwise to repose so many functions under the aegis of a single frail mortal. The website needs a revamp, which my Jurassic training is not up to speed on; I intend stepping down as Star*Line editor in 2017, if not before; and we’d like to have backup layout people, given that three different SFPA publications require these skills (familiarity with InDesign and book-layout conventions strongly recommended).

You too, Reader, can easily rise to power as an éminence grise, verte, or whatever hue you favor, just by taking on a few—or even one–of the many duties that maintain the function, such as it is, of SFPA. Approach our president to volunteer. Wave your prehensile forelimb on the sfpanet@yahoogroups.com listserv (still our best venue for presenting ideas to the largest segment of the organization gathered in one place, and the only one where general discussion among members occurs) to not only volunteer but to make—and evaluate the merits of—suggestions for improving SFPA. I hope to encounter you and your bright and shining evolutionary visions there. But don’t go too far in castigating your stodgy predecessors. The original éminence grise, Cardinal Richelieu, is reputed to have said “Give me six lines written by the hand of an honest man, and I shall find therein some reason to hang him.”

          and the dreams came back
          floating and film-covered in sewage,
          but we’re
          getting re-acquainted.

                    —Max Ingram, “Merry Christmas”
                       from The Endless Machine

In hopes for the new year,

— 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:

PO Box 1563
Alameda CA 94501

or pay SFPATreasurer@gmail.com via PayPal. Credit-card payments are accepted through PayPal.

Better yet, become a member and never miss an issue!

Star*Line Staff:

Editor: F.J. Bergmann
Layout: F.J. Bergmann
Production Manager: F.J. Bergmann
Mailing: Brian Garrison

Star*Line Reviews
Star*Line Archives
Star*Line History


Table of Contents


  • Wyrms & Wormholes • F.J. Bergmann
  • President’s Message • Bryan D. Dietrich
  • From the Small Press • Joshua Gage, John Philip Johnson, Alex Plummer Full reviews
  • Xenopoetry • Obsolescencia Programada de los Prodigios (Planned Obsolescence of Wonders) ~ Valeria Rodriguez Mar, trans. Fred W. Bergmann


  • My Brother in a Space Capsule ~ Marijane Osborn
  • “I sit zazen …” ~ Robyn Groth
  • “zazen to frozen” ~ LeRoy Gorman
  • Preface to an Investigation ~ John Amen
  • Institutional Memory ~ Alexandra Erin
  • My Nano Ain’t Fixin’ to Waste Its Time on That ~ David C. Kopaska-Merkel
  • The Ride ~ Mary Soon Lee
  • true selves ~ Herb Kauderer
  • Waterless Waterfall ~ Lauren McBride
  • “I have made a museum” ~ Matthew Wilson
  • Demon Eclipse ~ Mary Soon Lee
  • “clocking in early” ~ C.R. Harper
  • Garden of Stars ~ Joan Wiese Johannes
  • A Spacer’s Heart • Glenn A. Meisenheimer
  • The Process of Reduction ~ Claudine Nash
  • The Echo Devours the Echo ~ Marc Pietrzykowski
  • The Time Traveler’s Diagnosis ~ Beth Cato
  • “we still don’t have the energy …” ~ David C. Kopaska-Merkel
    Sister Creature ~ Laura Bernstein
  • Machlay
  • Loophole ~ Beth Cato
  • Ultraviolet ~ Robert Borski
  • “no, not this planet” ~ David C. Kopaska-Merkel
  • Life Cycle of the Fish ~ JD DeHart
  • Pocket Universe #611 ~ Alan Ira Gordon
  • From Above ~ Jeffrey Park
  • “her tentacles crossed” ~ LeRoy Gorman
  • “From the inside …” ~ Jeffrey Park
  • Alternate History ~ Benjamin Schmitt
  • I Get Mine Deducted Automatically ~ David C. Kopaska-Merkel
  • Robot Uprising!!! ~ Benjamin Schmitt
  • Kali ~ B.R. Strahan
  • Notes for Next Week’s Sermon ~ David C. Kopaska-Merkel
  • Airship ~ Gary Every
  • Standing Watch ~ Jeffrey Park
  • Gardens of the Pleiades ~ Banks Miller
  • The Ships that Sang ~ Jessica J. Horowitz
  • “the staring eye of Jupiter” ~ Fuson
  • In a Field at Night ~ Fuson
  • Falling asleep on a Cambrian beach … ~ Michael Kriesel
  • Reasons Not to Bother a Dragon ~ Mary Soon Lee
  • “wireless technology” ~ Fuson
  • “five o’clock shadows” ~ C.R. Harper
  • The Shuttle ~ Matthew Wilson
  • “Hotel Mobius” ~ David C. Kopaska-Merkel
  • The Border Cowboy in Fairyland ~ Beth Cato
  • “a Sirius Bloody Mary” ~ Lauren McBride
  • “fingerprint” ~ Fuson
  • The Border Cowboy’s Smile ~ Beth Cato
  • Moon Swan ~ Mary Soon Lee
  • Imperfect Storm ~ Robert Borski
  • The Singularity ~ William Cullen Jr.
  • Tachyon Muffin ~ Cornelius Fortune
  • “captain dead …” ~ David C. Kopaska-Merkel
  • Death’s Cameras I ~ Laura Madeline Wiseman
  • Zombie Cuisine ~ Glenn A. Meisenheimer
  • A Tale of the Old Country ~ David C. Kopaska-Merkel & Wade German
  • 40 Parts per Trillion ~ Claudine Nash
  • Surreal Couple ~ Bruce Boston
  • How a Dog Saved Us from Zombies … ~ Angela Williamson Emmert
  • Bring Something Red ~ Jeanie Tomasko
  • His Caviar Mama ~ David C. Kopaska-Merkel
  • The Months after the End ~ Gerri Leen
  • “where have all” ~ LeRoy Gorman
  • wolfman’s lament ~ LeRoy Gorman
  • “teens dare each other” ~ David C. Kopaska-Merkel
  • “nuclear holocaust” ~ Bruce Boston
  • “crumbling castle” ~ Greer Woodward
  • “engagement woes mount” ~ David C. Kopaska-Merkel
  • Cooking with Extinction ~ John Reinhart
  • The Big Crunch … ~ David C. Kopaska-Merkel


  • Frog Prince ~ Lillian Kopaska-Merkel
  • The Future of Steeplechasing ~ Leona Bergmann

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