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SCIFAIKUEST ONLINE

May 2024

 

 

Leaf Man – a sculpture by Beth Campbell

 

EDITORIAL

Greetings, and Happy May Day! I hope your Spring has finally sprung! As we leave winter behind, let’s remember to be as kind as the soft breezes of Spring!

 

I’m honored to present to you, our Door artwork, Leaf Man, by Beth Campbell.

Our Featured Poet is Albert Schlaht, and you won’t want to miss his wonderful poetry! Don’t forget to check out my Favorite Poem by our newest contributor, Goran Lowie!

 

Scifaikuest finally has it's own ISBN!!! Please inform your local book stores and library that they are now able to ORDER SCIFAIKUEST!!! You can always find us here, at Hiraeth Books at:

https://www.hiraethsffh.com/home-1

 

If you don’t have a subscription to our PRINT edition, they are available at:

https://www.hiraethsffh.com/product-page/scifaikuest

 

And, if you would like to join the select group of contributors by submitting your poetry, artwork or article, you can find our guidelines at: https://www.hiraethsffh.com/scifaikuest

 

Pssst! Looking for something good to read?

You can get t.santitoro’s newest novella, Those Who Die, at

THOSE WHO DIE by t. santitoro | Hiraeth Publishing (hiraethsffh.com)

You can also order t.santitoro's latest novella, Adopted Child, at:

https://www.hiraethsffh.com/product-page/adopted-child-by-t-santitoro

You can also get a copy of her novelette, The Legend of Trey Valentine, at: https://www.hiraethsffh.com/product-page/legend-of-trey-valentine-by-teri-santitoro

 

A huge Scifaikuest Welcome to our newest ONLINE contributor: Goran Lowie!

 

lunar May Day

nothing blooming

except my cold

 

(xeno-unit)

 

***

 

SCIFAIKU

 

harvest moon

swamp creature footprints
glow in the mud

 

Stephen C. Curro

 

*

 

now trending—

a selfie with Bigfoot
gone horribly wrong

 

Stephen C. Curro

 

*

 

drizzly morning

gathering lead flakes
for the alchemist down the road

 

Stephen C. Curro


*

 

satyrs make bets

I drag race my Pegasus

against a gryphon

 

Stephen C. Curro

 

*

 

reaching skyward
swirling lights
space elevators

 

Roxanne Barbour

 

*

 

risking life and limb

rocking the cape and cowl

superhero life

 

Randall Andrews

 

*

 

soccer fever spreads

alien cultures compete

the Galaxy Cup

 

Randall Andrews

 

*

 

Mars landing—

the children

run ahead

 

Greg Schwartz

 

*

 

Martian sunset

the red

in her eyes

 

Greg Schwartz

 

*

 

near death experience

instead of Shiva

I meet an alien

 

Amitava Dasgupta

 

*

 

true barista 

 

coffee house goddess
from a distance she can read
not minds but tastebuds

 

Herb Kauderer
 

*

 

not a lot of stars missing 

solar detective
pressed into special duty
searching for lost moon

 

Herb Kauderer
 

*


filming on location 

in an empty room
the cinematographer
flies drone on Venus

 

        Herb Kauderer

*

 

veiled moon reflecting
passerby meteor storm
our final date 

 

Goran Lowie

 

*

 

in secret meetings
we rewrite our history
big dreams in small eyes

 

Goran Lowie

 

*

 

fractured gate
an elfin sword
left behind

 

Goran Lowie

 

*

 

moonlight fishing

wine and flowers

mermaids not biting

 

Brian Rosenberger

 

*

 

dead stars

tracing the last

remnants

 

Thomas Tilton

 

*

 

butterflies touch down

soft wings caress the flowers

three suns shining high

 

Stefan Thomas Boales

 

***

 

SENRYU

 

giant armored face

projected on the sky

sell everything

 

David C. Kopaska-Merkel

 

*

 

unobtainium

trying to get back

what we lost

 

Thomas Tilton

 

*

 

HORRORKU

 

darkened palace
faint echoes from lonely ghost
“God save the Queen”

 

Gary Davis

 

*

 

thirsty new patient
sees dentist at night
fang implants

 

Gary Davis

 

*

 

witching hour

she carves her initials

in his soul

 

Greg Schwartz

 

*


grave situation
in cemetery
residents rising

Guy Belleranti


*

 

emotional winter 

shiny old photos
dead lovers still embracing
forever frozen

 

Herb Kauderer

*

 

my beardless child  

shaving anyway  

down to the jawbone  

 

Benjamin Whitney Norris

 

 *

 

hot blood fills her  

claw-foot tub  

taking a Bathory  

 

Benjamin Whitney Norris

  

 

by jack-o-lantern light

resurrected trick-or-treaters

no interest in candy

 

Brian Rosenberger

 

***

 

TANKA


urban slowdown 

dead metropolis
looks up for solar power
instead face covered
in a coat of nuclear ash
the corpse of the city cools

 

Herb Kauderer
 

***
 

JOINED POEMS


Joined Fibonacci

our
long
travels
deep in space
lead to something new
a terrific discovery
of aliens who
look like me
and the
rest
of  
my crew
and as we
celebrate our great
space travel breakthrough our new friends
celebrate with us
because they
have found
us,
too

Guy Belleranti

 

***

 

ARTICLE

 

DISSECTING A LIGHTNING BUG, LOOKING FOR LIGHTNING

Robert E. Porter

 

You hear it all the time:

         Science fiction becomes science fact.  Our kind of stories predicted the atom bomb, flip phones, satellites, robots, self-driving cars...

But…

Can’t fake “sci” make scifaiku?

In science, we make predictions that can be put to the test, and we test them, showing our work as well as the results. We’d learn nothing if we don’t know or acknowledge when we’re wrong. Or how often we’re wrong. Even the broken clock is right twice a day, etc.

How does science fiction compare?

Let’s see…

Check out the first volume of The Science Fiction Hall of Fame.   Inside, you'll find a good representative sample -- 26 of "the Greatest Science Fiction Stories of All Time," according to the Science Fiction Writers of America:

 

*"A Martian Odyssey," by Stanley G. Weinbaum*

A red-planet ramble with a bouncy badminton birdie, mind-bending tentacular bushwhackers, and a healing crystal. (Chuck Jones directs. Voices by Mel Blanc.)

 

*"Twilight," by John W. Campbell*

Humans in the far future must be saved by their time-traveling ancestor.  (“Listen up, you little whipper-snappers!  Why, in my day...”)

 

*"Helen O'Loy," by Lester del Rey*

A robot falls in love with her master and can't "live" without him. 

 

*"The Roads Must Roll," by Robert E. Heinlein*

Conveyor-belt roads break down under civilization’s weight. (Why bring milk to the table when you haul your kitchen to the cow?)

 

*"Microcosmic God," by Theodore Sturgeon*

The hero of this story creates life and socially-engineers a civilization far more advanced than his own -- in a petri dish.  (Spoiler alert: their magical tech is his Deus ex machina.) 

 

*"Nightfall, " by Isaac Asimov*

When the stars come out, people don't go to bed -- they go crazy!

 

*"The Weapon Shop," by A. E. van Vogt*

Gun shops appear out of nowhere.  Now armed bears can take on H.L. Goldilocks.  Stick 'em up, Galaxy! 

 

*"Mimsy Were the Borogoves," by Lewis Padgett*

Toys from the far future alienate today’s children from their parents.  (This story – via Bradbury’s “Veldt” -- inspired the holodeck, not Benjamin Spock.  Live prawn and lobster!)

 

*"Huddling Place," by Clifford D. Simak*

Overcome by agoraphobia, a human psychologist won't leave earth, even to save his ET friend from dying mad.  (Quack, heal thyself!)

 

*"Arena," by Fredric Brown*

The fate of two empires hinges on single combat, and the hero can only cross the DMZ -- and save humanity -- by knocking himself out. 

 

*"First Contact," by Murray Leinster*

Humans and extraterrestrials are so much alike they both laugh at Leinster's punchline.  (Inspired by O. Henry’s “Gift of the Magi”?)

 

*"That Only a Mother," by Judith Merril*

Poor baby -- in a society that hates physical deformities, who's going to appreciate your mutant smarts?

 

*"Scanners Live in Vain," by Cordwainer Smith*

Cyborgs fight to remain numbskulls.  Our hero regains morality with his senses.  (Murder?  That stinks!)

 

*"Mars Is Heaven!" by Ray Bradbury*

Alien invaders find their own homes and loved ones faithfully recreated by cunning, mind-bending natives. (Bradbury died in 2012, years after his Martian Chronicles takes place.)

 

*"The Little Black Bag," by C. M. Kornbluth*

Life-saving tools from the distant future drop into the hands of a quack, who puts them to good use -- temporarily.

 

*"Born of Man and Woman," by Richard Matheson *

A wall-climbing monster, locked in the basement, turns on his human parents.

 

*"Coming Attraction," by Fritz Leiber*

Cops rocket through downtown Manhattan in hot pursuit.  (Rockets can turn on a dime? And Newton’s RPM in his grave provides all of London’s electricity!)

 

*"The Quest for Saint Aquin," by Anthony Boucher*

Godless commies have outlawed religion, but a lying robot keeps the faith.

 

*"Surface Tension," by James Blish*

Microscopic humans try to escape the puddle they're stuck in.  (Just another day for those kids on the Magic School Bus.)

 

*"The Nine Billion Names of God," by Arthur C. Clarke*

Once you finish your math homework, it's not lights out -- it's the end of the world!

 

*"It's a _Good_ Life," by Jerome Bixby*

A spoiled brat with God-like powers terrorizes those around him, and they can't even think of trying to stop him. 

 

*"The Cold Equations," by Tom Godwin*

In this future, Godwin couldn't deliver his shocker and space the girl if he ran a tight ship.  (Try stowing away aboard a nuclear sub, see how far you get.)

 

*"Fondly Fahrenheit," by Alfred Bester*

When an android throws temper tantrums, won’t its master wind up in hot water?

 

*"The Country of the Kind," by Damon Knight*

Since violence creates more problems than it solves, only violent people are creative! 

 

*"Flowers for Algernon," by Daniel Keyes*

Brain surgeons boost our hero’s low-IQ to genius levels, but a crash follows that artificial high.

 

*"A Rose for Ecclesiastes," by Roger Zelazny*

Human stud impregnates Martian! Revitalizing her people and their culture.  (A mule has no descendants.  But a human and a Martian can reproduce?   To hell with biology!  This is science fiction!)

 

         Were these writers trying to predict the future? If so, they were divorced from reality. "Irreconcilable differences." 

         But if they set out to write stories that sold to certain magazines and appealed to fans of a certain genre, they couldn't have been more realistic.

They blazed a trail for our later science fiction, SF poetry and scifaiku.

 

 

POSTSCRIPT

 

Asimov and Clarke’s nonfiction contributed to science literacy, obviously.

F&SF editor Anthony Boucher helped debunk the Past Lives of Shirley MacLaine.

Ray Bradbury promoted space flight -- while grounded by a fear of flying.

Lester del Rey was a frequent guest on Long John Nevel’s late night radio show, discussing UFOs and paranormal phenomena – the entertaining skeptic, perhaps?

Cordwainer Smith, AKA Paul Linebarger, wrote the book on Psychological Warfare.

Astounding/Analog editor John W. Campbell provided a launchpad for L. Ron Hubbard’s Scientology cult.

AE van Vogt, one of my favorite SF writers, literally couldn’t see through a quack remedy for near-sightedness. “I don’t need glasses!”

 

***

 

FEATURED POET ALBERT SCHLAHT

 

first snowfall

in the Martian colony

a child's smile

 

 

Earth-rise

first woman on Mars

pours her coffee

 

 

crowded tents

across the Mare Erythaeum--

terran refugees

 

 

rising heat

her tongue snaps up a fly

cleaning its wings

 

 

vacation-bound

those lining up for first shuttle

to the Moon colony

 

 

another day . . .

my android off to work

after its first coffee

 

 

leaving Earth

for the last time, I reflect

on our first kiss

 

 

under twin suns

a child gives new pets, water--

sweating humans

 

 

on the Moon

land is barren, sky cloudless

reminds me of Earth

before I married

 

 

miners' strike--

androids toss away hard hats

and shut down

 

 

dark-side of the Moon

light shows astronauts the way . . .

and the tracks

 

 

barking dogs

androids pursue their makers

into snow-covered hills

 

 

rising sun

removing the collar from his alien slave

former human master

 

 

signing papers

holding her human child for first time

tears stream from four eyes

 

 

android police

patrol city streets 24-7

no doughnut breaks

 

 

after the war

computer program continues to run--

human holograms

 

 

lunar encampment

even here, drone-video

reveals their flag

 

 

gray cloud

they come to take her . . .

again

 

***

 

INTERVIEW WITH FEATURED POET ALBERT SCHLAHT

 

How long have you been writing poetry?

 

I have been writing poetry since the 1980's when I attended college—although my first two poems were in the 1970's (and published in the local paper) --however, it wasn't until the 2000's that I finally began to refine my writing to the point I felt I could share them to a wider audience.

 

Did you begin writing haiku before you branched out to scifaiku?

 

In recent years I began reading translations of the haiku masters, and became hooked on the minimalist form, but soon my imagination led me to writing haiku with a speculative ingredient—including scifaiku.

 

How did you learn about scifaiku?

 

After incorporating science-fiction in my haiku, I then began to read what others had written, and that the writing community labeled it scifaiku. I was pleased to find it gaining in popularity, as it continues to do so.

 

Where did you learn to write scifaiku?

 

I began to write speculative haiku before ever reading any. With my emphasis on imagination, it was a simple task to include a speculative nature within the haiku form, and scifaiku was a natural fit.

 

Do you write poetry other than genre poetry? If so, what kind?

 

My writing motto is: write down whatever bursts forth from the imagination, so others may see what you have seen, consequently, I will just as readily pen free-verse, and quatrains, or simple thoughts, historical-based poems, or poems of a speculative nature.

 

Whose poetry has influenced you the most?

 

I have learned from writers like Clark Ashton Smith and Richard Wright, that a writer need not adhere to the medium's current mode of expressing yourself--just look at the archaic, but colourful language used in Smith's poetry, and the sentence structure of Wright's haiku. Both writers were highly successful in delivering a satisfying vision, but with their own unique approach, that is timeless.

 

Who is your favorite poet?

 

A most difficult question to answer, as I have many favorite poets, but I have a preference for Victorian poets, such as Christina Rossetti, William Allingham, and Fitz-James Obrien, as well as Poe, Longfellow, Clark A. Smith, and Richard Wright.

 

What/who is your main inspiration?

 

Mr. Imagination is responsible for enticing me to bring to paper what I have seen within the realms of my mind; and with further encouragement from the reading of those who've already recorded their visions, I commit to a splattering of ink to parchment.

 

What poetry magazines do you read/contribute to?

 

I contribute to and read Shamrock Haiku Journal, Seashores Haiku Journal, Copperfield Review, Mainichi Haiku, Haiku Corner, Under the Basho, and Scaifkuest.

 

*

 

Albert Schlaht’s BIO:

 

A native of Big Sky country, I reside in the Rockies where I enjoy hiking, fishing and cool mountain breezes. I received my English degree in Creating Writing at the University of Montana, but wouldn't you know, my first publication following my degree was The Schlaht Family History. It wasn't until three years later that I published my first book of poems, Singers in the Skull. Since then, I have had several short verses appear in various web-zines and print, including, Prescence, Irish Haiku Journal, Copperfield Review (historical), Scifaikuest, Tales from the Moonlit Path, Blood Moon Rising, and Mainichi Haiku, to name a few. I also enjoy penning flash fiction. My writing at times is of a fairy blue nature, but occasionally, an ink of darker nature spills out from the dark reaches of my mind . . . and there's no escape.

 

***

 

FAVORITE POEM by editor, t.santitoro

 

fractured gate
an elfin sword
left behind

 

Goran Lowie

 

I’m not usually a fan of fantasy, but this little poem is delightful and says so much! Very concise and a great ah-ha moment at the end. Well done!--teri

 

***

 

BIOS:

 

Randall Andrews is a speculative fiction writer and poet from southern Michigan. When not writing, he can be found wearing the soles off a pair of running shoes, listening to his favorite John Williams soundtracks, or hand-feeding his loyal flock of wild songbirds. 

*

Roxanne Barbour is a writer from Burnaby, BC, Canada. She has written numerous novels: An Alien Collective; Revolutions; Sacred Trust; Kaiku; Alien Innkeeper; An Alien Confluence; Alien Innkeeper on Particle. She also writes speculative poetry, and has published in Scifaikuest, Star*Line, Polar Borealis, Polar Starlight, Dwarf Stars, and many other magazines.

*

Stefan Thomas Boales is the author of several books of children's poetry, whose heart is as light as his mind is dark. He has yet to give up his childhood dream of writing mystery novels and being a ninja.

*

Beth Campbell loved working in various types of artistic expression, including acrylic painting and sculptures in clay. The wife of Hiraeth’s Managing Editor, she passed away in late December 2019.

*

Stephen Curro hails from Windsor, Colorado.  Along with Scifaikuest, his short fiction and poetry has appeared in The Fifth Di... and Daily Science Fiction, among other venues. His sci-fi novelette The Spark is also available through Hiraeth Publishing.  In addition to speculative fiction and poetry, Stephen writes educational materials for the nonprofit Taproot Guru.  When he isn't writing, he works as a high school paraprofessional.  When he isn't working, he enjoys scuba diving and plotting to trick his dad into watching Lord of the Rings.  You can keep up with his shenanigans at www.stephenccurro.com."

*

Herb Kauderer thinks about future science while walking through forests.

*

Goran Lowie is an aro/ace high school teacher of humanism in rural Belgium. He writes poetry in his second language.

*

Brian Rosenberger lives in a cellar in Marietta, GA and writes by the light of captured fireflies. He is the author of As the Worm Turns and three poetry collections - Poems That Go Splat, And For My Next Trick..., and Scream for Me.

*

Greg Schwartz works in a cubicle or his basement, depending on whether there's a worldwide pandemic at the time. In a past life, he was the staff cartoonist for SP Quill Magazine and a book/magazine reviewer for Whispers of Wickedness.

*

Thomas Tilton was our Featured Poet for the AUGUST 2022 PRINT edition!

___________________________________

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