Volume 41, Issue 4
Fall 2018

Star*Line 41.4 cover
Cover: Autumn Migration
© 2018 F. J. Bergmann

Dragons & Rayguns

Dear friends in speculative poetry, greetings! This issue of Star*Line closes the SFPA’s 40th anniversary. It’s been a marvelous year of poems!
Our cover’s whimsical fall fantasia in colored pencil is by previous Star*Line editor F. J. Bergmann, so once again cover art by a poet. We have several interesting forms represented in this issue: an ovillejo chain by Mindy Watson (a centuries-old Spanish form popularized by Cervantes); a terzanelle by Deborah L. Davitt (the terzanelle is a terza rima–based form invented by Lewis Turco); linked cherita by David C. Kopaska-Merkel and Ann K. Schwader (the cherita is a narrative form in 3 stanzas—1 line, 2 lines, then 3 lines—originated by the poet ai li); and also fibs by Lauren McBride and David C. Kopaska-Merkel (in a fib, from line to line the syllable count follows the Fibonacci sequence). Roxanne Barbour gives us a sci(na)ku tanka and a reverse sci(na)ku tanka—a hay(na)ku variation Roxanne invented and premiered in Star*Line a couple of issues back.
I neglected earlier this year to thank Mary Chipman, my editorial assistant for issues 41.1 and 41.2 (Winter and Spring 2018). Mary performed this service as my graduate assistant at the University of Northern Iowa. Many thanks for your great work, Mary!
Starting with this issue I’m very pleased to have a new editorial assistant, Seth Thill, who is, like Mary, a graduate student in creative writing at UNI. Welcome, Seth!
Friends, I hope you enjoy these poems. Why don’t you try out writing an ovillejo or a terzanelle, a cherita or a fib, or a sci(na)ku tanka even!

—Vince Gotera, Star*Line Editor

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Star*Line Staff:

Editor: Vince Gotera
Layout: Vince Gotera
Production Manager: Vince Gotera

Star*Line Reviews
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Star*Line History


Table of Contents


  • Dragons & Rayguns • Vince Gotera
  • President’s Message • Bryan Thao Worra
  • From the Small Press • Luke Forney • Rebecca Buchanan • Herb Kauderer
  • Stealth SF: Wouldst Thou Like to Live Deliciously? • Denise Dumars
  • Publishing Speculative Poetry: Rejectomancy and Rejection Rates • Herb Kauderer
  • XenoPoetry: Cebuano Ekphrastic Poetry • Jonel Abellanosa
  • In Memoriam Steve Sneyd • Andrew Darlington


  • [pinprick] • Roxanne Barbour 
  • Lupus Familiaris • Deborah L. Davitt 
  • [gardens] • Roxanne Barbour 
  • [spawn of earth] • Roxanne Barbour
  • [last Christmas lights] • LeRoy Gorman
  • [Christmas on Phobos] • LeRoy Gorman 
  • Repairing • Kimberly Nugent 
  • Buried in the Lee • Lauren McBride 
  • Robot Scifaiku.1 • Alzo David-West 
  • Days of Prehistoric Futures Past • Robert Borski 
  • Prehistoric Provisions • Beth Cato
  • Advice Columnist Replies to Mrs. Frankensteinsmonstersbride • Sarah Brown Weitzman 
  • Spider Star • Josh Pearce 
  • Hail Mary Pass • Benjamin Whitney Norris 
  • [flying through the stars] • Marcus Vance 
  • Ghost Dunes • Ann K. Schwader
  • [one moon sky] • Deborah P Kolodji
  • After the Seas’ Rise • Deborah L. Davitt
  • Nearsighted in the Mushroom Cloud • Stephanie M. Wytovich 
  • The Marvel of Us • Lisa Timpf 
  • When the Wild West Meets the Frontier • Lisa Timpf
  • The Swarm • Deborah L. Davitt 
  • Louisiana Dragon • Melody Steiner 
  • Maybe Tomorrow • Beth Cato
  • The Warrior Mephala • Christina Sng
  • How Do They Do That? • Gerri Leen
  • How to Be Invisible • Mary Soon Lee 
  • The Bar-Fly Dilemma • Ken Poyner 
  • [gearing up for Christmas] • Greg Schwartz 
  • What They Took • Mary Soon Lee 
  • [Rice Krispies—] • Susan Burch
  • [brooms burning in the square] • John Reinhart 
  • [fantasy football league] • F. J. Bergmann
  • Misstep • David C. Kopaska-Merkel and Ann K. Schwader
  • Wherefore Art Thou? • Kathleen A. Lawrence 
  • [might be a good time] • Denny E. Marshall 
  • Alien Nursery • Gretchen Tessmer
  • Recent Excavations in Amerika • David Barber
  • [some] • David C. Kopaska-Merkel
  • Herding Comets • Robert Borski 
  • Lost souls • Matthew Wilson 
  • Hangry • Deborah L. Davitt 
  • boulder moves • Allan Rozinski
  • [The moon has a big icy blotch,] • Robert Dawson 
  • There was an A.I. from Key West • Robert Dawson
  • Cretaceous Zoo • Gary Every 
  • A Terrible Meat-Eating God • Holly Lyn Walrath
  • Claimant • F. J. Bergmann 
  • [electric savior] • Brian Gene Olson
  • [cold tentacles] • LeRoy Gorman
  • Date Night • John Grey 
  • Fate • Marge Simon 
  • iSpell • John Reinhart
  • [dystopic future] • C. William Hinderliter
  • Transformation • Jacob Skillings 
  • Wind Chimes • G. O. Clark 
  • [asteroidinosaurecall] • LeRoy Gorman
  • [first frost] • F. J. Bergmann
  • [New from the Quantum Physics Book Club:] • Robert Borski
  • [full autumn moon—] • Susan Burch 
  • Wish You Were Here • David C. Kopaska-Merkel and Kendall Evans
  • [lost my gun] • Brian Gene Olson 
  • [grandma died last night] • Ngo Binh Anh Khoa 
  • [four arms are better] • Marcus Vance
  • [spaceship window] • Lorraine Schein 
  • Drones & Dragons Disaster • Robert Borski 
  • [time stream convergence] • C. William Hinderliter
  • The Septenary World • Kimberly Nugent 
  • [alien infant clutching tightly] • John Reinhart 
  • The Time Traveler’s Proposal • Phoebe Wagner 
  • Earworm • Benjamin Whitney Norris 
  • [santa sees bright flash] • Denny E. Marshall
  • [growth spurt] • Billy Antonio 
  • A Rondeau on the Televised Launch of the First Rotating Wheel Spaceship • R. Mac Jones 
  • [for the first time] • Billy Antonio 
  • The Space Helmet Hand Dryer Where the Science Fiction Writers Meet • Ian Hunter 
  • unarmed • Justin Short
  • Designated Responsibilites for Spokesparticles • Sandra Lindow 
  • Arthur the King • John C. Mannone 
  • [moonlit sea] • Greg Schwartz 
  • [earth’s gravity dies] • Denny E. Marshall 
  • Moon of a far planet • Mark A. McCutcheon
  • (Under)worlds Collide • Mindy Watson 
  • [the alien’s suit] • D. A. Xiaolin Spires 
  • [hid his voodoo doll] • William Landis 
  • Icarus • Benjamin Whitney Norris
  • [time travel retail] • LeRoy Gorman 
  • [autumn bonfire] • F. J. Bergmann 
  • Mining Solo • Lauren McBride
  • wOLF FLOw • Oliver Smith 
  • [whirring of wheels on asphalt] • Lisa Timpf 
  • [two particles] • Marcie Lynn Tentchoff
  • Don’t Step in the Same Reality Twice • Soren James 
  • [the deep vibrato] • Alzo David-West 
  • [black hellebore in Hades’] • F. J. Bergmann 
  • Diana’s Own Black Sky • Kendall Evans
  • [alien ruins] • Brian Gene Olson 
  • [brain operation] • Denny E. Marshall
  • Pasipala • Jonel Abellanosa 
  • Blasphemy • Jonel Abellanosa
  • Cybernetic Harvest • Deborah L. Davitt, Gretchen Tessmer, and D. A. Xiaolin Spires 
  • Legacies • Christina Sng


  • Autumn Migration • F. J. Bergmann
  • Halloween Cat • Jade Foo 
  • Furry • Denny E. Marshall 
  • Fate • Marge Simon
  • Happiest Childhood Memories • Christina Sng
  • Little Animals • John Reinhart

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