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You got poetry in my science fiction!
April 19, 2006 6:38 PM   Subscribe

The nature of science fiction poetry is the subject of vigorous debate even among its own practitioners. Nonetheless, it has its own annual awards, the Rhyslings. What wins? The first victor in 1978 was Gene Wolfe's The Computer Iterates the Greater Trumps, while Tim Pratt's Soul Searching was the most recent winner. Bruce Boston, Robert Frazier, and Andrew Joron are generally considered the masters of the field. Many more poems here, as well as an in-depth bibliography, and, of course, the periodic table of science fiction haikus about the elements. Don't like science fiction? Cowboy poetry is also a thriving genre.
posted by blahblahblah (17 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
SciFaiku
posted by i love cheese at 6:44 PM on April 19, 2006


Gendsundheit!
posted by loquacious at 6:50 PM on April 19, 2006


I always liked Haldeman's double sestina, Saul's Death.
posted by jellicle at 6:54 PM on April 19, 2006


What - No Vogons?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:04 PM on April 19, 2006


It didn't fit in the post, but there is also some interesting poetry and chants built into science fiction and fanstasy novels, such as discussed here (about Stanislaw Lem), the use of St. Patrick's Breastplate ("At Tara today at this fateful hour") in Madeleine L'Engle, Susan Cooper's long poems, and Cordwainer Smith's odd Ballad of Lost C'Mel:

She got the which of the what she did,
Hid the Bell with a blot, she did,
But she fell in love with a hominid.
Where is the which of the what-she-did?
posted by blahblahblah at 7:07 PM on April 19, 2006


Gaiman's magnificent "The Day The Saucers Came"
posted by the theory of revolution at 7:09 PM on April 19, 2006


I don't care for poetry of any kind, but I am a SF fan, and Gene Wolfe is the best SF writer alive, hands down.
posted by zardoz at 7:18 PM on April 19, 2006


you know, I'm a huge fan of poetry, and a huge fan of scifi. but I hate what scifi poetry I've read in the mags. this is a decent starting point to find what good there might be in the industry. thanks.
posted by shmegegge at 8:13 PM on April 19, 2006


I had a little froggy.
posted by Aknaton at 8:26 PM on April 19, 2006


John M. Ford, an excellent fantasy and SF author, has written some amazing poems, both sci-fi-related and not. One of his best is "Winter Solstice, Camelot Station" (which I can't find online, but which won the World Fantasy Award). The poem he wrote after 9/11, "110 Stories" still moves me.
posted by cerebus19 at 9:17 PM on April 19, 2006


I just found John M. Ford's poem "Troy: The Movie" online. It's far, far better than the actual movie.
posted by cerebus19 at 9:19 PM on April 19, 2006


What a great post. Thanks, blahblahblah.
posted by mediareport at 10:41 PM on April 19, 2006


I'm not really a fan of SF poetry, but I just wanted to point out Greg Beatty's Reading the Rhysling series in Strange Horizons (Greg's a poet himself), which features some classic SF poems as well as review and discussion.
posted by camcgee at 11:40 PM on April 19, 2006


Wanna know why the awards were named the Rhyslings? Sure you do.
posted by booksandlibretti at 5:02 AM on April 20, 2006


John M. Ford, an excellent fantasy and SF author, has written some amazing poems, both sci-fi-related and not. One of his best is "Winter Solstice, Camelot Station" (which I can't find online, but which won the World Fantasy Award). The poem he wrote after 9/11, "110 Stories" still moves me.
posted by cerebus19


Thank you for that link, I hadn't read that before. Yes, it moved me, too.
posted by jokeefe at 11:12 AM on April 20, 2006


Eight, sir; seven, sir;
Six, sir; five, sir;
Four, sir; three, sir;
Two, sir; one!
Tenser, said the Tensor.
Tenser, said the Tensor.
Tension, apprehension,
And dissension have begun.
posted by Sparx at 2:32 PM on April 20, 2006


The above is, I believe, from Alfred Bester's The Demolished Man. One of my two favorite SF novels. The other being Bester's The Stars My Destination.
posted by JeremyT at 11:38 AM on April 21, 2006


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