My Life as a Poet

I am now a published poet! Here’s how it happened:

Many moons ago, my good friend John Scalzi announced that he was guest-editing an issue of Subterranean Magazine. His theme? Big Old Honkin’ Science Fiction Clichés!

Or as John explains:

Rocketships and orinthopters, Little Green Men and Amazon Women on the Moon, master computers flummoxed by simple logic, worlds where everyone wears the same silver tunics, everyone eating meals made from pills, people named “Ted-35” and “Jill QR7.” Yes. As writers we’re trained to run from them, because they’ve been done to death . . .

And yet John wanted a whole magazine full of stories based on sf clichés! But why?

You know how people get when they’re told they can’t touch something. It makes them want to get their grimy little paws all over that thing.

Hmm. It’s an interesting challenge: Can you take an old idea and make something new and fresh out of it?

Of course, done-to-deathness is a subject close to my heart. After all, I’ve written a vampire novel, a trilogy about a world where everyone looks the same, and another where time freezes. These are all sf/fantasy clichés, but I’ve enjoyed trying to breathe new life into them.

So I decided to submit a few science fictional haiku. But why poetry? And why haiku? Well, because:

(a) I’m chronically overworked, and haiku are short, and . . .
(b) “haiku” and “cliché” are both foreign words. Or something.

In any case, the issue is out now, and as you can see it is beautiful.

It contains eight haiku by me as well as 17 other stories, inlcuding works by Elizabeth Bear, Tobias S. Buckell, Allen Steele, and Jo Walton.

Here’s Scalzi talks more about the lineup. And here’s where you can order a copy of your own.

So in honor of this issue, all comments on this post MUST BE IN HAIKU. (That’s 5 syllables, 7 syllables, then 5 again.)

That is all.

38 thoughts on “My Life as a Poet

  1. That is quite funny
    To put haiku and cliche
    Into sci-fi stuff.

    Publishing stuff, wow!
    I wish I could read the poems,
    That would make me laugh.

    Commenting like this
    Is a little challenging,
    But haikus are fun!

  2. Gee wilikers Scott
    Inquiry I have for you
    ’bout the conference

    July twenty-first
    Is there a fee to see you?
    please reply at once!

  3. These hikus are odd
    And mine is close to sod
    How are you doing?

    Arms plauged by
    poision, is hard to type
    but is shall try here

    Thanks for all the books
    I really like them all, quite
    And now I am done

  4. Cliches are funny
    Green men on mars and stuff
    bust so are haikus.

    I often spend math
    Composing haikus instead
    Algebra is dumb.

  5. Kate: your first line had
    only four syllables when
    it should have had five.

    Sorry, I just had
    to point that out after I
    noticed it–sorry.

    You wrote a poem!
    I can’t wait to read it, Scott!
    But I won’t subscribe…

  6. that is really cool!
    i will buy the magazine
    also won’t subscribe….

    i am still sad though
    now i will go mourn away
    Brazil lost the cup……….:(

  7. true, ’tis soccer talk
    brazil lost, my heart ’twas sad
    now just europe stands

  8. This is very wierd,
    Want to order a copy,
    Of the magazine.

    Hope everyone has,
    A great fourth of July and,
    Sees some fireworks!

  9. ‘Tis quite amusing,
    To think I am a poet,
    Who can’t write Haiku.

    Anyway, Scott,
    I must buy one now.

  10. I love poetry
    Even more when it’s sci-fi
    Scott is my hero

    I feel like Rosie
    She writes poems on her blog
    O’Donnel, that is

    Because I’m not good
    I am counting syllables
    Now I feel goofy

    Well this is the end
    Of my delightful haiku
    Going to sleep now!

  11. Westerpoetry!!
    Scott, you really rock outloud.

    If I had more dough
    I would get a copy of
    this wonderful thing.

    Sad, yes, I am poor.
    But I will get my boyfriend
    to buy it for me.

    That sounds horrible!
    I know it’s true, but I guess
    it’s good he likes you!

    I got him addicted
    to your most recent trio-
    aren’t you proud of me?!

    Have fun on the fourth!
    I will probably be bored.
    Blow stuff up for me??


  12. Are you serious?
    That’s a pretty tall order,
    writing in haiku.

    I guess I could try.
    But what could I talk about?
    I haven’t a clue.

    How about vampires?
    You’re right – it’s been done to death.
    I need something new.

    Some time-stopping kids?
    That would be interesting.
    No, that’s been done too.

    A space opera?
    Like Star Wars, only better?
    Too cliché? Aww, poo.

    Looks like you got me.
    I’m fresh out of ideas –
    don’t know what to do.

    Writing’s not for me.
    I guess I’ll keep my day job –
    leave writing to you…

  13. Wow, and a poet too!
    A man of oh so many talents.

    This is supper hard.
    I am counting syllables.
    I am supper silly.

  14. poetry is, well,
    hard to write because of words,
    that won’t co-operate

    you can write poems,
    which are very very hard,
    you are way too cool

  15. your books are pretty swell
    but it’s hard for me to tell
    what is that strange smell

    true, I know- Lame!
    but with intentions I came
    to rhyme, I did aim

  16. I blatantly say (5)

    the above post was quite strange (7)

    but it’s kind of hard to count… I swear this is five syllables. (15… oops)

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