|Volume 39, Issue
Cover: Communing with the Ancestors
© Hasani Claxton
30" x 24" oil on linen
Wyrms & Wormholes
Hello Out There
All too briefly, aliens were real. For just a few days, many of us were thrilled by reports of an alien signal. We hope for and in some cases fear the existence of all sorts of aliens—not just ETs, but fairies, ghosts, and other currently irreal beings. And some of us generate them and their worlds.
I haven’t played computer games since the days of Obsidian and Myst, mainly because I know myself too well (TIME SINK ADDICTION), but I have been tempted by No Man’s Sky, which is effectively an infinite universe inside our universe—which may itself be a hologram created by entities in another, external universe. We wonder at what point Reality ends and Imaginary begins.
Recently, there’s been some discussion among members as to what constitutes a rigorous definition of “speculative” poetry—and it appears that all of us have different criteria. The definition of our founder, Suzette Haden Elgin, includes science poetry, which to me would mean non-fictional, and even the definition of what is science rather than science fiction is open to discussion—I take issue with the idea, in the current Stealth column on p. 25, that something like The Martian could possibly be considered science rather than hard SF. Based on scientific knowledge, certainly, but there are major obstacles to be overcome before travel to Mars becomes reality. It seems to me that the irreal—what cannot exist at this time, or maybe ever—is what we’re all about. Hovever, speculative writers have predicted the unforeseeable successfully for centuries!
In the northern hemisphere of our current planet, where most SFPA members and contributors reside, fall is inexorably advancing, making the butterflies and hibiscus blossoms of the cover painting only a memory—but others live where spring is in full bloom, or the eternal summer of the equator, and who is to say how many more summers dwell within us?
Wishing you all infinite universes to write and read in.
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