Volume 37, Issue 1
Winter 2014

Star*Line 37.1 cover
Cover: Elemental Dragon Hatchery
© 2011 Hideyoshi hideyoshi-ruwwe.net

Wyrms & Wormholes
Content vs. Intent

I was listening to Jimi Hendrix performing “Hey Joe” and thinking about song lyrics: not necessarily poetry, but the two fields often overlap indistinguishably. Although that particular song has never lost its gut-level appeal for me, I wonder why I like it so much: it can be understood as profoundly misogynistic, given that it’s about a guy who murders his wife for infidelity—and there are many songs, too numerous to name, that I hate specifically because the lyrics offend me.

The very old songs in English, the Childe ballads and others, are often tragic. But they do not, I believe, function as role models for behavior; why do we tend to assume this about contemporary lyrics and be offended by them? Many songs and poems recount narratives that are deeply emotional; true love, false love, murder, war, treachery, and a panoply of lesser agonies. When we hear or read these tales, we experience what we think the people described must have felt; we relive their experiences, real or imaginary, out of the mists of history or from a far-flung future or a fantastic world that never was.

Reading a novel has been described as “trying someone’s life on for size.” Perhaps reading a poem is the act of trying someone’s feelings on for size: experiencing the emotions of a person or entity you might never have envisioned becoming, and finding out—if the poet can draw you in and make you believe—how they felt. Among the poems in this issue are some affecting experiences you won’t encounter anywhere else. Please, try them on one at a time, and see how they fit. I’ll be right back; I’m just going to go slip into “2,000 Light Years from Home.”

Bound for a star with fiery oceans,
— F.J. Bergmann
Star*Line Editor

Side note: the-toast.net/2014/01/03/every-felony-committed-decemberist-albums/

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Star*Line Staff:

Editor: F.J. Bergmann
Layout: Robert Frazier
Production Manager: F.J. Bergmann

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Table of Contents


  • Wyrms & Wormholes • F.J. Bergmann
  • President’s Message • David C. Kopaska-Merkel
  • All the News
  • From the Small Press • Denise Dumars, John Philip Johnson, j. mirio, Alex Plummer Full reviews
  • Stealth SF: Unselected Poems • Denise Dumars
  • Xenopoetry • Sofía Rhei, translated by Lawrence Schimel


  • By the Light of Ancient Suns • David Barber
  • Lucky • Anna Sykora
  • My Unexpected Demons • Jocko Benoit
  • Black Lilies • Stephanie M. Wytovich
  • The Time of Last Scattering • Lynette Mejía
  • “a butterfly flaps her wings” • Yunsheng Jiang
  • Soup or Supper • Wilfredo Guzman
  • Hate Snow • Jessy Randall
  • Shooting Star • Gary S. Watkins
  • Sonnet 65,000,000 BC • Mary A. Turzillo
  • Leap • Grace Seybold
  • Waiting for the Apocalypse • Chad Hensley
  • Dream of the Forge • Alicia Cole
  • The Virgin and the Unicorn • Mary Soon Lee
  • “after the long sleep” • Eric Otto
  • The Combat Simulator in Sleep Mode • Noel Sloboda
  • The Patron Saint of Plagiarists • Noel Sloboda
  • Arrival Deferred For the Ancient
    Voyagers • John W. Sexton
  • What Isn’t in the News Yet • Marge Simon
  • River Bed Discovery, Mars • Les Merton
  • “though the princess was beautiful” • Matthew Wilson
  • The Hundred Falling Worlds • David Barber
  • Paradox • Wilfredo Guzman
  • Thrall • Kendall Evans & David C. Kopaska-Merkel
  • Shoggoth Revolution • Lee Clark Zumpe
  • Life for Poets on Other Planets • Richard J. O’Brien
  • “a black hole grows” • Fuson
  • Bête Blanche • Robert Borski
  • “Dreams cost so much” • Matthew Wilson
  • Crossed Wires • Claudine Nash
  • Time Traveler’s Woe • Beth Cato
  • Santa Claus Triptych • Sandra Lindow
  • High Road • David C. Kopaska-Merkel
  • Climate Change • Alan Ira Gordon
  • Outtakes • Jane Røken
  • Infected by the Sentience of the Mutant Rain Forest • Bruce Boston
  • Name is the Net • Corinne Gaston
  • Three witches walk into a gay bar • Chris Philpot
  • Petition to Ban Gershwin • Neal Wilgus
  • After Eating Magic Sushi That Made Me Shrink, I Now Live Among the Bacteria Where My Wife, To Us, Is the Goddess of the Harvest • John Arthur
  • The Emperor • Joe Nicholas
  • Morning Brew • Shannon Connor Winward
  • The New Radio • Alicia Cole
  • In the Uncanny Valley • Joan Wiese Johannes
  • Incubator • Sarah Shirley
  • Beasts That Perish • Robert Laughlin
  • So’ Tahdi Nidaabaa, A Battle in the Land of Stars • Gary Every
  • rest day, in transit to Centauri Prime • Beth Cato
  • Ultraloop 66 • Carl Grafe
  • Overhead • Holly Day
  • Blue Hour • Jonel Abellanosa
  • from Beautiful Rush (i) • Marc Vincenz
  • “have reached Earth 2” • Lauren McBride
  • A Tanka for a Trekkie • William Cullen, Jr.
  • I. Notes from a Bradshaw’s Guide • Becca De La Rosa
  • Keep the Deviants Satisfied • T. R. Click


  • In Its Eye • Richard H. Fay
  • A ghost in the rue de l’école de médecine • Ivan de Monbrison
  • Large view of the Montparnasse graveyard • Ivan de Monbrison
  • Old fashioned• Ivan de Monbrison
  • untitled • Chris Friend

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