25 February 2010

Science Fiction Author Haiku

Although I'm the co-editor of a science fiction poetry anthology, I have a great deal to learn about the many intersections of poetry and science fiction.

Scott Green, a past president of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, sent me a review copy of his ebook anthology Private Worlds: A Revised Atlas, which contains short poems - mainly haiku - about science fiction, fantasy and horror writers and performers. Some of these poems appealed to me more than others, and Scott has kindly allowed me to share a few of my favourites with you.

Le Guin's World

Universe is a forest,
each path full of danger where treasure is sought,
each path full of treasure where danger is sought.

(This makes me think of Ursula Le Guin's The Word for World is Forest, one of the works often cited as an influence of James Cameron's Avatar.)

Lovecraft's World

A cold wind moves
between suns

Leviathans playing obscure
using humanity
in hidden moves.

Sladek's World

Eyes followed him
across the room
on tiny, padded feet.

I like the way in which these poems catch the essence of each author: Ursula Le Guin, H.P. Lovecraft and the sadly under-appreciated John Sladek. If you know your science fiction authors, then I think you'll get quite a bit out of Private Worlds.

The eBook, which is also available in mobipocket format for handheld devices, is available exclusively at Abbott ePublishing online (http://www.abbottepub.com), which is a publisher located in Scott's hometown of Manchester, New Hampshire. It sells for US$2.49.


HelenL said...

I, too, thought of Le Guin's "The Word for World is Forest" when I went to see Avatar, but was even more strongly put in mind of Louise Lawrence's "The Warriors of Taan".

Tim Jones said...

I've never heard of "The Warriors of Taan", Helen - thanks for drawing my attention to it.

Someone, I can't remember who, suggested that the narrative arc common to many of James Cameron's movies - of humans dropped into alien worlds, or non-humans adapting to human worlds - is a fictionalised version of a Canadian's process of adjusting to the US, and that the particular sensibility of his movies has to do with the "wilderness" narrative of Candian settlement in contrast to the "frontier" narrative of US settlement. I think that someone might have a point.