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The Magazine of Speculative Poetry Volume 9.1

The Magazine of Speculative Poetry
The Magazine of Speculative Poetry (MSP) was founded in 1984 by Mark Rich and Roger Dutcher. Mark Rich published one the first speculative poetry magazines, Treaders of Starlight. Roger Dutcher published Uranus, another speculative poetry magazine. Finding themselves in the same city, they decided to collaborate on a new magazine. MSP went 13 issues with both as editors when Mark Rich, having found success in his writing, decided to "move on," both literally and figuratively. MSP has been edited by Roger Dutcher since then. Mark Rich continues as a contributing editor, providing reviews, essays and cover art. David Memmott is also a contributing editor. Magazine of Speculative Poetry
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Ultimate SF Poetry Guide

A review by Sandra Scholes

From the front cover, readers will think that the poets inside this small sized digest think outside the box, and they would be right. These poems are all based on the imaginings of poets who have in them an interest in science fiction whether it is about spaceships, far off galaxies or robots.

One would have thought that many of these poems needed an afterward, or comment below them, but only one, it seems deserves any comment at all; Andrew Nightingale's "Marriage of Powers," as it serves as the longest poem in the entire magazine. He originally won the Data Dump Award for best SF poem when it was published in the UK as part of a selection by Steve Sneyd. It was printed in Tenth Muse, edited by Andy Jordan.

The rest of the poems are as follows, and these are part of the ones I considered special in some way that could be of interest to readers.

"Crossing Guard," by Holly Day

In the future, Holly Day assumes all crossing guards will be robots designed to withstand the cold weather, and some battery from others, and she shows the reader a moment in time when someone who is close to them gives the crossing guard a wave as if they are human after all.

"Love in the Time of Alien Invasion," by Joanne Merriam

All things end, even life as Joanne Merriam tells us in this piece. A dying woman is being cared for by the man she loves as he watches her degenerate. There is hope though, that the alien invasion leaves them in peace... enough to be able to die with dignity.

"Falsebook," by Mark Rich

This poem finds someone thinking about how they look, and wondering if they take too much notice of their looks despite what is going on in the world around them. Readers can assume that whoever this person is, they have had extensive work done on their looks, but the beginning should give away what kind of person it is. "Falsebook," is very descriptive and uses some great science fiction words.

"On Certain Long Nights," by Ann K. Schnieder

No man has ever been just an island, nor will he ever be, and he certainly isn't one in Ann K. Schnieder's poem. She uses some of the most unusual words to describe what her mind does on long nights.

"Stardrive," by Yoon Ha Lee

Ever wanted to be in a spaceship? One that travels far and wide, one that excites and inspires you to see new galaxies, worlds and civilizations? It's not just the reason Kirk and Co. went round the entire universe, it's the reason why the person in this poem wanders the vast star systems looking for the amazing. Yoon Ha Lee's poem is short, yet gives one a yearning for travelling so fast and searching for new worlds.

"Tuning," by Yoon Ha Lee

I felt I liked to give Yoon Ha Lee another mention as the one above, and this one is among the best poems in this collection. Her description of a conversation about someone's viola being out of tune makes for an out of the world experience here:

  "She tuned to the magpies
Cackling from the telephone wires,
Bearers of good fortune, the stork
Clapping its wings on its winter visit."

All the poems in this magazine have given such an impression that it is hard to choose a particular favourite from any one of them. I did choose though, and I think so will the reader. Although the magazine may look like a fanzine, and has the production value of one, inside it is easy to see that there are a lot of talented folk featured inside and would encourage potential readers to get one and see what I mean.

Copyright © 2011 Sandra Scholes

Sandra Scholes has just watched The Three Musketeers and can't believe how camp Orlando Bloom has acted and how Milla Jovovich thinks she's still in the Resident Evil movies, yet playing Milady. Weird. She likes her movies, but also writers for Active Anime, Love Romance Passion, and Love Vampires.

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