SCIFAIKUEST ONLINE

NOVEMBER 2021

 

 

Frankenstein’s Bride by Sandy DeLuca

 

EDITORIAL

 

Happy Autumn!

 

I hope you had an awesome Halloween, full of treats and maybe a few tricks.

 

As the world continues on in the cautious phase of covid recovery, I'm hoping that you are all safe and well, and ready to spend some spooky time with us here at Scifaikuest.

 

Our door artwork is Frankenstein's Bride by Sandy DeLuca, and we have some scary interior illustrations, Laser Index and The Landing by Denny Marshall and Hatchet by Denise Noe. We also have an interesting essay, KING LEOPOLD AND THE FRONTAL LOEB, By Robert E. Porter.

 

 

Scifaikuest finally has its own ISBN!!! Please inform your local bookstores and library that they are now able to ORDER SCIFAIKUEST!!!

 

You can now find us 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 to read? You can order t.santitoro's latest novelette, The Legend of Trey Valentine, at: https://www.hiraethsffh.com/product-page/legend-of-trey-valentine-by-teri-santitoro

Her newest short story appears in the Hiraeth Book's anthology, No Greater Love: Martyrs of Earth and Elsewhere, edited by Robert Krog at: https://www.hiraethsffh.com/product-page/no-greater-love

A huge Scifaikuest welcome and thank you to our newest contributors: Margarida Brei, Tyler McIntosh and Lindsey Wright!

 

 

Martian twilight

bat analogs

taking flight

 

(xeno-unit)

 

***

 

SCIFAIKU

 

 

multi-purpose 

magnetic footfalls
hull gives joggers exercise
space station soundtrack

 

Herb Kauderer
 

*

 

distant roar

I make myself small

in the kaiju’s footprint

 

Stephen C. Curro

 

*

 

broken lock

a scientist devoured

by the creature he made

 

Stephen C. Curro

 

*

 

confirming self-destruct…

at least I’ll take

the lunar pirates with me

 

Stephen C. Curro

 

*

 

genetic makeover

today I’m a brunette

with silver eyes

 

Stephen C. Curro

 

*

 

marriage proposal

minutes from meteor impact

together forever

 

Ngo Binh Anh Khoa

 

*

 

"New Worlds"

 

traffic light stop

confused at purple bulb

flying cars go only?

 

Matthew Wilson

 

*

 

invasive species

they come from outer space

call themselves humans

 

Lindsey Wright

 

*

 

beyond Neptune's orbit

the height of stellar fashion

Kuiper Belt

 

T.R. Jones

 

*

 

mist evaporates

tarnished ancient alien craft

suspends earth time

 

Margarida Brei

 

*

 

earthling strolls on

lonesome plasma coated beach

his lonely thoughts

 

Margarida Brei

 

*

silvery android

his fearless rusty feet

like kisses on mars

 

Margarida Brei

 

*

 

scientist minds

gradually terraforming

homely


Margarida Brei

 

*

 

forgotten beings

birthing oh so slowly

living samples in a petri dish 

 

Margarida Brei

 

*

 

wildflower bloom

solar petals unfurl for

spring reboot

 

Tyler McIntosh

 

*

 

after the cure

driving old streets

we hire bone sweepers

 

Tyler McIntosh

 

 

feline comfort

passing 4257 Ubasti;

purring as I plug her in

 

Tyler McIntosh

 

***

 

 

 

Laser Index by Denny Marshall

 

***

 

SENRYU

 

unreal estate
ghost houses unsold
the white paint flaking

 

William Shaw

 

*

blood on the dancefloor
a drunken uncle
at dracula's wedding


William Shaw

 

*

 

don’t need trampolines

on the surface of the moon

kids can bounce for free!

 

Richard Stevenson

 

***

 

HORRORKU

 

her flight cancelled
witch stuck home on Halloween
Roomba ate her broom

 

Gary Davis

 

 *

 

husband’s hissy fit
house filthy on Halloween
wife out riding broom

 

Gary Davis

 

***

 

cheap real estate

the agent never mentioned

the ghosts that linger

 

Ngo Binh Anh Khoa

 

*

 

first wife's gravestone

I hear a voice call my name

but no-one's around

 

Ngo Binh Anh Khoa

 

*

 

unending embrace

face flushed with heat

twin punctures drip blood

 

Lindsey Wright

 

*

 

tap tap on window

fluorescent talon scratches

Shattering our nerves

 

Margarida Brei

 

*

 

ghost town

voices in the wind

warn of danger

 

Joanne Morcom

 

 

nursery school

dolls with twisted limbs

lie face down

 

Joanne Morcom 

 

*

 

abandoned farm

scattered in the hay field

skulls and bones

 

Joanne Morcom

 

***

 

 

 

Hatchet by Denise Noe

 

***

 

TANKA

 

cold traveling 

normalization
aliens packed in a box
natives read labels
deposit each immigrant
in expected location
 

Herb Kauderer
 

***

 

FIBONACCI

 

Actaeon’s Moment 

his
proud
antlers
ride high but
he cannot recall
the man he once was
the man who
taunted
a
god

 

Herb Kauderer
 

***

 

CINQUAIN

 

changing another 

even
after doctors
implanted a new brain
she still hates me & she’s still
crazy

 

Herb Kauderer
 

*
 

funding research 

photos
of Jupiter’s
storms bring donations from
old men fascinated by the
weather

 

Herb Kauderer
 

***

 

JOINED POEMS

 

FIRST GLIMPSE OF HELL

pummeling down
to the surface of Venus

crash landing
after our hull

is eaten by bugs
in Venus’ cloud deck

 

Christina Sng

***

 

 

 

The Landing by Denny Marshall

 

***

 

ARTICLE

 

 

KING LEOPOLD AND THE FRONTAL LOEB

By Robert E. Porter

 

The man playing Mephistopheles was godfather to Bram Stoker’s son Noel. One day, backstage, he made the seven-year-old boy up in his likeness.

“However amusing,” said David Skal in his biography of Stoker, “there is also something profoundly ambivalent in the act of literally demonizing a child, especially a child whose parents already gave him so many mixed messages about their affections. As if underscoring the point, Stoker published a ferocious short story about demoniacal children in the 1887 Christmas issue of the Theater Annual. Called ‘The Dualists: or, The Death Doom of the Double Born,’ the tale concerns two little psychopaths, Harry Merford and Tommy Santon, morbidly and mutually obsessed with knives – more than a decade before Sigmund Freud began talking about the symbolism.” (Skal 262-3)

Most of that Freudian stuff holds water like the leopard slug in a salt mine. Sigmund could make Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend out to be anything -- but a comic strip. But not even he could miss the point of a Bullock dagger. Instead of a guard or quillon, it has a pair of cojones.

 

Talk about nerve.

Or getting up the nerve.

In Stoker’s tale, the Double Born work themselves up from mutilating other children’s dolls to killing dogs and cats in the neighborhood. They climax with a “playful” murder.

The author describes a process that comes down to us from the cradles of civilization. Tyrants and their standing armies have so often taken “lebensraum” from others. Their pop culture provides excuses, reinforcing stereotypes and prejudices. Would-be killers dehumanize their victims long before the actual killing of “snakes” or “cockroaches” begins

Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb took that well-worn path. By the end of May, 1924, they had picked up Loeb’s cousin Bobby Franks, bashed his head in, and dumped the body. They left behind plenty of evidence, which cops traced back to them. So much for the “perfect” crime. Yet it was billed as the Crime of the Century. Leopold and Loeb became symbols of the American Dream gone horribly wrong. Much was made of their being intellectuals – too smart for their own good. They were a godsend to fire-and-brimstone preachers and opinion-mongers.

Their defender Clarence Darrow also hoped to profit. Both Leopold and Loeb came from very rich families. Darrow though was a man of integrity. He hated murder, including state-approved murder in the electric chair. He’d do everything he could to save Leopold and Loeb. The trial took place in Chicago over July and August of 1924. It must have been hot in that courtroom, and the arguments only grew more heated.

The case takes up a chapter in John Farrell’s biography of Darrow. “Leopold and Loeb smoked cigarettes,” he said, “lighting one from another, as they waited to enter the courtroom.” How did the boys see themselves? “In fantasies, Leopold saw himself as a strong and handsome slave, willing to fight and die for a masterful king. In Loeb he found that master – a superior intellect like himself, but with the physical gifts that Nathan lacked.” While Loeb imagined himself as “a criminal mastermind, often beaten and imprisoned, but able to outwit his captors. He was obsessed with criminal behavior, stalking strangers and enlisting Nathan in acts of vandalism, auto theft, arson, and burglary.” (Farrell)

An expert witness for the defense, psychiatrist Harold Stacey Hulbert of Michigan, summed them up:

 

“Each boy felt inadequate to carry out the life he most desired unless he had someone else in his life to complement him, to complete him,” Hulbert declared. “The psychiatric cause for this is not to be found in either boy alone, but in the interplay or interweaving of their two personalities.” (Farrell)

 

Patrick Hamilton’s Rope appeared five years later, in 1929. In this play, characters inspired by Leopold and Loeb murder a classmate and hide his body in a trunk. They throw a party with the trunk in place of “honor,” as if it were a game. Would they play out beyond the bounds of good and evil, for Nietzschean stakes? Things came unraveled in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1948 film version with Jimmy Stewart. They got tied up at the end and/or left hanging.

Leopold and Loeb had their polar opposites in another folie à deux. Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster didn’t kill anyone. In 1938, they realized their idea of a Nietzschean superman – with a capital “S,” no less. A comical guy, pulling red briefs up over his blue tights and wearing a bright yellow belt. Bullets couldn’t stop him, and he could stop a freight train. He could even become inconspicuous by putting on a pair of ordinary eyeglasses.

Years later, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby too avoided the monstrous, destructive path of Leopold and Loeb. They followed in the footsteps of Siegel and Shuster instead, cranking out a parallel universe of Marvels in equally silly costumes. The incredible Hulk, for ex., had the power to turn any ordinary pair of pants into much larger, indestructible shorts.

During the recent pandemic, we learned how ineffective masks are at concealing our identities from our Lois Lanes and James Rhodes. Our own paths are largely chosen with our partners. One guides the other to create, or to destroy, some part of the world around us. In the heat of the moment, we can easily be mistaken. But you can’t go wrong with a two-person rengay. Taking turns. Finding a way down the page together, through minimalist poetry. 3 lines, 2 lines, 3 lines, 3 lines, 2 lines, 3 lines. It doesn’t take long, and there’s no harm done. If it doesn’t turn out quite right, it’s not even a waste of time. It’s good practice. No regrets.

 

WORKS CITED

Farrell, John. A. Clarence Darrow: Attorney for the Damned. Vintage Books, 2021.

Skal, David J. Something In the Blood: The Untold Story of Bram Stoker, The Man Who Wrote Dracula. Liveright, 2016.

 

***

 

FAVORITE POEM by editor t.santitoro

 

confirming self-destruct…

at least I’ll take

the lunar pirates with me

 

Stephen C. Curro

 

A complete story told in three lines! This poem evokes such a colorful scene! Wonderful job! Kudos!

 

***

 

 

 

WHO?

 

Margarida Brei: I am a British dog lover who thinks in crazy couplets.

*

Stephen C. Curro: "Stephen is a total nerd from Windsor, Colorado.  Along with Scifaikuest, he has published or forthcoming work with Acorn and The Fifth Di..., among others.  He also 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."

*

T.R. Jones lives in northern Texas, where he writes both mainstream and genre prose and poetry.  His work has appeared in Lalitamba, Scifaikuest, Spaceports & Spidersilk, Star*Line, and elsewhere.  He is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA).

*

Herb Kauderer is an obsessive poet with over one thousand eight hundred poems published.  He is also an obsessive scholar with seven college degrees, many of them related to speculative literature.  There may be a theme here.

*

Tyler McIntosh was born and raised where the mountains meet the valley to the south of Jackson, Wyoming. He is an environmental scientist, skier, and map-lover now based out of Boulder, Colorado.

*

Joanne Morcom is a poet and social worker who lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  Her website is www.joannemorcom.ca

*

Ngo Binh Anh Khoa is currently teaching English at Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology (HUTECH), Vietnam. In his free time, he enjoys daydreaming and writing dark verses for entertainment. His poems have appeared in Scifaikuest, Weirdbook, Spectral Realms, ParABnormal Magazine, and other venues.

*

William Shaw is a poet and blogger from Sheffield, England. He has been writing haiku for eight years, and science fiction for as long as he can remember. You can find him on Twitter @Will_S_7

*

Lindsey Wright is an Orlando-based writer/college student who enjoys hanging out with her dog. On the rare occasions she can bear to leave her beloved son at home, she can be found taking photos with friends and spending too much money on food.

frankensteins bride.jpg
laser index.jpg
hatchet.png
the landing.jpg
owl.jpg