AboutSF YouTube Channel

One resource we're going to try and expand in the coming year is the AboutSF YouTube Channel.

Culling the family album by David Kopaska-Merkel

This poem is an interesting take on the future of family history. He is the State Geologist of Alabama, publisher /editor of the leading speculative poetry magazine DREAMS & NIGHTMARES and has published 1000 poems in 25 years. Wow what is it with genre writers

yet another recording
of great grandma
on the swing
as a little girl back on Mars

out it goes

the simulacrum's
pleading rises thru
the vocal register
as the code unravels,
ending with a despairing
helium shriek


'Star Casting' by Anthony Bernstein

The poem below is a look at two major icons in hard science fiction; AI and space exploration. This combination often gets a negative image in sf cinema. The poet, Anthony Bernstein shows us a more positive view of this matter. Bernstein has been active as a sf poet and prose writer for 15 years.

The caress of ages
upon mechanized mind
renders our calendar moot.
These travelers marks a new brand of time.
Our fears are not theirs to fathom.
Their futurity not ours to master,
only to map by star and sail.

December Update: Website Coordinator and Donald Wollheim Collection

The past few weeks have been full of activity for AboutSF. The position of a website coordinator has been added to the AboutSF staff. Patrick Flor, a graduate student at the University of Kansas, will be working to make the AboutSF website—including the Speculation Speakers Database—more user friendly. If you have any questions or suggestions for Pat about the website, please contact him. Knowing more about what our supporters and users are enthusiastic or concerned about will allow us to focus our efforts and resources on those key areas.

"The Holo-House Opening " by Terrie Leigh Relf

The poem below explores the future of real estate sales.

The realtor said it was a steal.
so we hired an empath to scan
her to determine multi-layered
meanings, hyperbole ratio, and
other means of obfuscation

There we read the brochures,
spoke to the bank, hired one
of those transgalactic attorneys
on the vid screen, you know the one's
they claim to be able to detect
and interpet the smallest bit or byte
of any contract code violation.

Have you given away a book today?

As I mentioned in a previous post, AboutSF is working with Reading for the Future (RFF) on a science fiction workshop to be presented at the Worldcon taking place this coming August in Reno, Nevada. I've been working closely with David-Glenn Anderson of RFF and reading about RFF's efforts to promote SF education on the RFF: Talking Reading for the Future Yahoo! group (if you're not a member, check it out at

"Beyond the airlock door" by Terrie Leigh Relf

The poem is about an important setting in hard sf films and print but yet gets ignored by poets until now. BTW if you are interested in having one of your speculative poems posted, get in touch with me at sgreenatgrolen [dot] com .

time surely stands still
as it moves between
the syncopated flash
of red and yellow lights
the interstitial pulse

"Unspoken" by Karen Newman

Karen Newman is an emergeing presence in sf/f/h poetry both as a poet and as an editor with Sam's Dot Publishing, a publisher of several sf/f/h print and web magazines. Each title cover a particular segment of speculative poetry. The poem below first appeared in the magazine AOLIFE'S KISS which focuses on high fantasy and s/s prose and poetry. It has elements that hearken back to Poe plus a spoonful of 30's and 40's WEIRD TALES for spice.

Conferences and the SF Classroom

I traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, last weekend to present a paper on the intersections of science fiction, fantasy, and folklore in Nalo Hopkinson's Midnight Robber at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA) Conference. As a doctoral student in the English Department at the University of Kansas, I've traveled to a number of national and regional humanities conferences over the past few years, and I've been pleased to see several SF-related panels featured at each conference—though that's not to say

'If Confucius Rose from the Grave ' by Marge Simon and J. Cloudman

The poem below is a speculative poem written in the context of a Confucian universe.

If Confucius rose from his grave,
He would look up to heaven and sigh deeply.
Confucius regards music as
A humanizing influence on barbaric behavior
What is today's society about ?
Music has become discordant noise ;
Sounds no longer please the soul
Since musicians became hired artists
For propaganda.