Thursday, September 5, 2013

Review of Star*Line Summer 2013

Ten poems are particularly worthy of note in this summer's Star*Line (the Journal of the Science Fiction Poetry Association).  They are reviewed below in the order in which they appear in the journal.

"The Spacer's Hand" by Kurt MacPhearson is the ultimate palm-read.  As a physician, I can attest that one may tell a great deal about someone by a careful examination of the hands.  Mr. MacPhearson uses this medical fact to paint a vivid and imaginative picture.

"quantum drive failure" by C. William Hinderliter is a clever scifaiku, a good blend of science fiction and serious humor.

"self-portrait:  a modern romance" by John Amen uses dragons as an elaborate metaphor for the loss of magic and fantasy in the modern world.  The poem ends with just enough hope to make it an uplifting read.

"The Dextrous Tree Squid" by R. Virgil Ellis is a short poetic essay on the paths that evolution might take--an interesting and imaginative piece.

"Dead As a Doornail" by Robert Borski is a tongue-in-cheek humorous piece typical of this poet's repertoire.  While typical, it is still fresh and original.  For another example of this poet's work, please see the August 2013 issue of Songs of Eretz Poetry E-zine.

"Our Lady of Perpetual Insanity" by Mora Torres is a modern horror story that is (or at least appears to be) inspired by some of the more goose bump raising old household tales, only in the form of a poem.  And speaking of goose bumps, I'm getting them just writing this review.

"Sea Monkeys" by Jason Matthews is a delightful short poem, a kind of poetic justice for the little brine shrimp.

"Four Addenda to Home Owner Association Rules" by Beth Cato is a humorous and yet sobering piece that pokes fun at HOAs.  I have no doubt that HOAs set in Ms. Cato's sci-fi/fantasy world would behave exactly the way she portrays them.  This one reminded me of "HOA," an unpublished short story of mine.

If you are not one who reads the back cover of magazines, then you will miss two more wonderful poems:

"dystopic future" by C. William Hinderliter is a clever haiku-like poem that, sadly, is probably true in certain parts of the world today.  I was reminded of my unpublished short story, "Poetic License."

"An August Interlude" by Bram Stoker Award winner Marge Simon is a dreamy, lyrical piece that I will read over and over.  The mood is magical, and the language sensual, almost seductive.  The reader is lulled as if by lotus flowers, hardly aware of the deliciously quiet horror that awaits.

Also noteworthy is the fine article by Denise Dumars on the topic of "Stealth SF:  Finding Speculative Poetry in Non-Genre Magazines."  The piece is entitled "I'll Make a Tattoo from My Lover's Blood."  Ms. Dumars presents an interesting and informative essay about the landay form of poetry.  As a bonus, she gives many memorable examples, including the poem that provides the title for her piece.

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