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Steve Sneyd Delves Into the World of Ghosts of the Fens Steve's epic Crowland poem The Poetry of Brian Aldiss by Steve Sneyd
Steve Sneyd Snarls in 1989! Steve Sneyd & David Jaggar - Icarus Rising CD Review
booksmusicfilmstv.com Science Fiction & Fantasy Pages Index
Data Dump 100+; Summaries of issues of 'Data Dump' SF Newsletter from issue 100
Editor's note: Due to the death of Hilltop Press founder Steve Sneyd in 2018, this page has now been archived.
Hilltop Press Reviews
Lilith Lorraine - Time Grows Thin
A magnificent paperback collection, with an incredibly detailed introduction/biography by Steve Sneyd. Lilith Lorraine wrote sublime poetry - irrespective of the specifics of her being, primarily, a SF poet.
Yes, Lilith Lorraine had a nuclear war obsession, but as she was living at a time when Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been obliterated by nuclear weapons, and the Cold War provoked so many concerns - which spread into the a paranoia of McCarthyism - it's easy to understand her concerns.
Steve Sneyd makes a strong case for Lilith Lorraine being due the acclaim she deserves, and it seems obvious that she has been much overlooked in the SF poetry pantheon due simply to her sex. Sci-fi's a boy thing, right? That seems to be the overall thinking anyway.
Imagery is really the strong part of Lilith Lorraine's writing. Examples of Lilith's imagery at its best include 'After Ragnarok', which is an astrological nightmare! 'The Map' has a devastating view of humanity: "...whose hands reached out/To conquer space, but could not conquer hate." Another blast at humanity comes in 'Who Laughs Last', with "...that pale fungus growth, humanity." But Lilith Lorraine is not a misanthrope, she is just merely warning us of not only the potential we have to do good, but also what could happen if we go down the wrong path. She is, above all else, a major SF poet, and the time seems right for her to be recognised as such.
- Paul Rance.
Steve Sneyd - Mistaking The Nature Of The Posthuman
Containing some of Steve Sneyd's best work, this Hilltop Press paperback of mainly science fiction/fantasy poetry runs to 107 pages. Steve's work in this collection contains a humanitarian theme, and warns of consequences for humanity in the future - if we go down the wrong path.
But probably the best poem is the non-sci-fi/fantasy poem, 'Every Generation Doesn't Know It's Born'. It's a poem with a message, wrapped up in a mystery - until all is revealed in the last line. 'All For A Silly Game Of Football' is another powerful 'message' poem - about the famous WWI football game between British and German troops at Christmas. 'Surprising Hard To Hate The Cause' is a chilling glimpse into a future we hope doesn't happen...
- Paul Rance.
Robert Cole - Manchee's Revenge
Charmingly written perspicacious collection of poetry and prose by the Cybersex author, though would have been even better without some incongruous swear words. - Paul Rance.
K.V. Bailey - The Sky Giants
Through many centuries the enigmatic story of Parsifal, knight of the Grail, has fascinated writers and readers alike. Uniquely, the poet K.V. Bailey opened for Parsifal the doors of the far Future. In a remarkable sequence of poems, the Grail-hunter adventured again through perilous times to come, in an extraordinary universe where mighty space craft spin among the stars and beautifully monstrous creations, born of science's unchecked tamperings, cavort and threaten. The vastness of the author's imagination, the powerful music of his words, added a whole new realm of futuristic wonder to the gripping mystery of the original medieval tale.
A beautifully beguiling and fantastic voyage through space and time with knight of the Grail, Parsifal. Classy b/w illustrations by Arthurian artist Ian Brown.
- Paul Rance.
Jimmie Dickie - Life in the Freezer
ISBN 0 905262 39 5
Frozen aboard their world ship, they voyage ever Outwards - where? and why? What unbelievable dreams fill their ice-bound minds? Jimmie Dickie's vivid sequence takes you to mystery's heart.
Poetry by Scottish writer Jimmie Dickie, which I received, appropriately, on a bitterly cold day. A powerful collection, with its mystical sci-fi feel and a compassionate core. One of the best Hilltop booklets, and interesting typography too!
- Paul Rance.
OLD! Out of print, but here's an old review anyway.
Dave Calder - Spaceman
JARGON Issue 1 Summer 2008
Loved 'This Way Up', an ancestor of this zine, and thanks to Steve Sneyd for passing on this new SF mag. Featuring reviews of series three of 'Doctor Who' and 'Life On Mars' spin-off 'Ashes To Ashes', the writing is of an exceptional standard, accompanied by brilliant caricatures by Richard Farrell. Neat, albeit simple, production.
- Paul Rance/booksmusicfilmstv.com.
|SCIENCE FICTION POETRY|
Ape Into Pleiades by Lilith Lorraine
Dreaming Scryers, True Deceivers
Gravity's End by Gavin Salisbury
The Lobster Quadrille Poem sequence by Andrew Darlington
|Two Cosmic Voyages
In "Ace-double" format, the space voyage section of 1837 epic poem 'The Starseer' by Bramwell Bronte's friend William Dearden, and R I Barycz' compelling 'Spin', with art by Alan Hunter.
ISBN 0 905262 29 8
"poetry, which flashes on the mind with the brilliancy of lightning" - Liverpool Mail
War of the Words - A Sampler of SF Fanzine Pomes
Monday Morning Over the World by John B. Michel
|Bus Stop by John Francis Haines & The Long Trip by Dainis Bisenieks
'Bus Stop' by John Francis Haines - there's no way back from these bizarre multiverse worlds. "Ace-double" with 'The Long Trip' by Dainis Bisenieks, classic '50s interstellar exploration poem. Featuring Gunter Wessalowski's stunning full colour art.
ISBN 0 905262 38 7
Quite dark, but evocative, poetry from SF poetry stalwart John F. Haines and American "fringe fan" Dainis Bisenieks. A notable two in one collection, and the stunning full colour cover artwork, from Gunter Wessalowski, vies with 'The Lobster Quadrille' cover art as the best artwork in any Hilltop collection.
- Paul Rance.
|ABOUT SF POETRY by STEVE SNEYD|
Laying Siege To Tomorrow - Poetry in UK Sfanzines from the 1930s to 1950s
Entropies & Alignments - Poetry in UK Sfanzines, the 1960s
In Space's Belly - Poetry in UK Sfanzines/little magazines the '70s
Fierce Far Suns - Proto SF & SF Poetry in America: 1750s to 1960s
ELSEWHEN UNBOUND - Poetry in American Sfanzines, the 1930s to 1960s
Kin To The Far Beyond - Poetry in US Fanzines: the '70s, '80s & '90s
|DARK FANTASY POETRY|
A Dark Horse Fantasy by Jimmie Dickie
A Skull For Bald Eagle by Frances Elizabeth Campbell
Vivian And Merlin by Ralph De Tunstall Sneyd
|Medusa - A Poetry Anthology
Over 40 exciting contemporary poets from Britain, America and beyond face down that stony gaze, one still haunting the hidden places of our 21stC minds.
ISBN 0 905262 37 9
Steve Sneyd Books available from Amazon.co.uk
Short Circuits/Bad News from the Stars/Two Books in One (Ocean View Doubles) In Coils of Earthen Hold (Salzburg Studies in English Literature) The Pennine Triangle (Othername Press Poets) Neolithon (Kite Modern Poetry S.) Fierce Far Suns: Proto-SF and SF Poetry in America from the 1750s to the 1960s (Data Dump) Laying Siege to Tomorrow: Poetry in UK SFanzines, the 1930s to 1950s (Data Dump) Elsewhen Unbound: Poetry in American Sfanzines - The 1930s to 1960s Dreaming Scryers,True Deceivers: Six Science Fiction Poets Road at Oxford Spidergrams Medusa: A Poetry Anthology Entropies and Alignments: Poetry in UK SFanzines, the 1960s (Data Dump) War of the Words: A Sampler of Science Fiction Pomes Ape into Pleiades (Data Dump) In Space's Belly: Poetry in UK SFanzines Etc., the 1970s (Data Dump)
SCIENCE FICTION POETRY
- Introductory FACTSHEET
Compiled by Steve Sneyd
"poets...are the mirrors of the gigantic shadows which futurity casts upon the present" (Shelley, 'In Defense of Poetry')
ORGANISATIONS: SCIENCE FICTION POETRY ASSOCIATION (& H, F, DF). Est. 1977 by Suzette Haden Elgin. Annual anthology of poems nominated for Rhysling Awards; magazine, STAR*LINE. F.J. BERGMAN, W5679 State Road 60, Poynette, Wisconsin WI 53955-8564 Email: email@example.com. On-line: www.sfpoetry.com.
EIGHT HANDS GANG - informal network of UK genre poets. N/1 HANDSHAKE free for A5 SAE from ed. John F. Haines, 5 Cross Farm, Station Road North, Fearnhead, Warrington, WA2 0Q6, England. Est. 1992.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: 'The Speculative Muse - An Introduction To Science Fiction Poetry', with biblio - by Steve Eng, in 'Anatomy of Wonder - a Critical Guide to SF', '95 (R.R. Bowker, POB 727, New Providence, NJ 07974 - 0727); 'Contemporary Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Poetry - A Resource Guide and Biographical Directory' by Scott E. Green, '89, (Greenwood Press, 88 Post Road West, Westport, Conn 06881): Poetry entry by Robert Frazier, 'Encyclopedia of Science Fiction', ed John Clute, 2nd edn, '93, '99 (Orbit); 'Seventh Heaven and How They Got There', history of photo-Sf and Sf poetry, by Steve Sneyd, in THE ZONE issues 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8 (Pigasus P, 13 Hazely Combe, Arreton, IOW PO30 3AJ - SAE for prices or see website http://www.pigasuspress.co.uk - or order from BBR/NSFA, address below); 'The Science Fiction Poetry Handbook' by Suzette Haden Elgin, (SFPA/Sam's Dot Publishing - '86, revised '05 - order from SFPANet, site above).
ON-LINE - In new on-line edition (2011-2012) of 'The Encyclopedia of SF & F Poetry (SFE)', by Jonathan Vos Post, http://sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/poetry also numerous relevant entries for individual poets, as eg http://sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/lorraine_lilith.
'An Introduction to SF Poetry', by Steve Sneyd, http://www.solpubs.freeserve.co.uk/sfpoetry.htm; 'The State of the Art: A Look at Speculative Poetry on the Web', by Stephen M Davis http://www.blackgate.com/oct00/articles/poetry.htm; 'Jody Wallace's SF Poetry Guide', http://www.sfronline.com/articles/sfpoetry.htm articles about/reviews of individual SF poets (eg Brian W. Aldiss) can be found ia on http://www.zone-sf.com & http://pandf.booksmusicfilmstv.com/BrianAldissBooks.htm. The LOCUS INDEX includes indicative genre poetry biblio in the 'Short Stories by Title' section, http://www.locusmag.com/index/.
SCIENCE FICTION FOUNDATION LIBRARY, Librarian Andy Sawyer, University of Liverpool Library, POB 123, Liverpool, L69 3DA; on-line holdings catalogue www.sf-foundation.org. Welcomes donations of genre poetry magazines, collections, anthologies - as does THE RAY AND PAT BROWNE LIBRARY FOR POPULAR CULTURE STUDIES, William T. Jerome Library, 4th Floor, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403-0170, and by THE EATON COLLECTION OF SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY & HORROR, Special Collections, University of California, Rivera Library, POB 5900, Riverside, California 92517-5900 (which i.a. holds the Archives of the S.F.P.A.).
MAGAZINES - prozine Asimov's, and many little magazines, not all genre, use genre poetry.
ANTHOLOGIES OF GENRE POETRY - a SELECTIVE list: a * indicates they can be ordered from US/UK genre publications distributor BBR/NSFA; BBR Solutions Ltd., Chris Reed, POB 625, Sheffield, S1 3GY; www.bbr-online.com/catalogue.
The pioneering FRONTIER OF GOING, ed John Fairfax, Panther '69, mass market pb, often found 2nd-hand; the seminal HOLDING YOUR EIGHT HANDS, ed Edward Lucie-Smith, Doubleday, US, '69, & Rapp &Whiting, UK, '70, by Interlibrary loan. UMBRAL ANTHOLOGY OF SF POETRY, ed Steve Rasnic Tem, Umbral P, USA, '82 - *, or from Ocean View Books, Probook, POB 9249, Denver, CO 80209. On-line firstname.lastname@example.org; POLY - *, ed Lee Ballentine, Ocean View, USA, '89. TIME FRAMES, ed Terry A. Garey, Rune P, USA, '91 - $14 cash/checks/IMOs pble T. Garey - from High Pitched Wines, 3149 Park Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55407; THE OTHERS AMONG US ('93), MILLENNIUM BLUES ('95), both ed Tony Lee, £1 each from Pigasus P (see above re The Zone - chqs pble A Lee: a third Pigasus anthology, GREAT MUTANT BRAINS, appears within Premonitions #1 - new series, '04, £4.50); A SHIP TO NOWHERE, ed Ian Redman, Zest Publications, '98 - £1 (chqs pble I Redman), 23 College Green, Yeovil, Somerset, BA21 4JR; BEYOND THESE CHARTED REALMS (SF/H/DF/F poetry), ed John Thiel, Etaoin Shrdlu P, '99, $6 (from UK add $2 postage), 30 N 19th St, Lafayette, IN 47904-2950; DREAMERS ON THE SEA OF FATE - 50 years of UK SF poetry, ed Steve Sneyd, Sol Publications (chqs pble to), '99, £2.85, 24 Fowler Close, Southchurch, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, SS1 2RD - www.solpubs.freeserve.co.uk/dreamers.htm; THE CERULEAN ANTHOLOGY (SF, outer space, F, poetry/prose poems), 2000, ed Blair H Allen, ($12.95, and add $2 post from UK, chks/IMOs pbl B A Allen), Cerulean P, POB 162, Colton, CA 92324-0162; STAR TREK - The Poems, ed Valerie Laws (SF & 'mainstream' poets' Trek responses), Iron Press (chqs pble to), 2000, £5.99, 5 Marden Terrace, Cullercoats, North Shields, Northumberland, NE30 4PD; 2001 : A SCIENCE FICTION POETRY ANTHOLOGY, ed Keith Allen Daniels, Anamnesis P, USA, $14.95: order from www.amazon.com; SCIENCE FRICTION - 2002, poetry & prose, ed Paul Rance, Peace & Freedom Press; THE ALCHEMY OF STARS: RHYSLING AWARD WINNERS SHOWCASE (Rhysling Long & Short categories winners, 1978-2004), eds Roger Dutcher & Mike Allen, $15, SFPA (order from SFPA) /Prime Books). Details - www.sfpoetry.com, Paypal orders - SFPANet@aol.com.
Substantial new anthology - WHERE ROCKETS BURN THROUGH - Contemporary Science Fiction Poems from the UK. Dedicated to Edwin Morgan, editor RUSSELL JONES, Preface by ALASDAIR GRAY - SF poetry overview essay by STEVE SNEYD. 41 poets incl. 2012. Purchase online, £9.99, from http://www.pennedinthemargins.co.uk
ON-LINE ANTHOLOGIES: Whispering Worlds: the A/A Productions H/F/SF Anthology, ed David Bain http://ravenx21.tripod.com/pdf/whispoetry.pdf*; HANDSHAKE - The First Ten Years, ed John Howard http://www.waldeneast.fsnet.co.uk/handshakeinfo.htm.
INDIVIDUAL COLLECTIONS: ongoing, particularly UK, listings in Hilltop Press' genre poetry n/1 DATA DUMP, 80p incl post (chqs pble S. Sneyd)/$2 cash/stamps).
This is the 31st update (February 2012) since the first Factsheet (July '93). It may be freely reproduced if is complete & unaltered. Information on changes/errors welcome.
* Indicates website is possibly being updated, or has moved.
BOOK-LENGTH SF NARRATIVE POEMS
AT MIDNIGHT ON THE 31st OF MARCH by Josephine Young Case (1938) - a time-slip shifts a small American town into an uninhabited continent of endless forest. The poem depicts the first year of the inhabitants learning to cope with their new enviroment; ANIARA - A Review of Man in Time and Space by HARRY MARTINSON (Swedish text 1956, Alfred Bonnier; translated by Hugh MacDiarmind & Elspeth Harley Schubert, 1963, 132 pp, Hutchinson, retranslated by Stephen Klass & Leif Sjoberg, 1999, 157 pp, Story Line Press, Ashland, Oregon). This epic sequence, which won its author the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1974, tells of a spaceship, full of refugees from Earth's final nuclear war, control of which is lost with the madness of its sentient guiding computer, Mimir, so it plunges on, endlessly destinationless, while those aboard continue to maintain mutating semblances of society and coping individuality in a hopeless situation; THE RETURN OF ARTHUR by MARTYN SKINNER (1968, 520 pp - first published earlier as 3 separate books). Post nukecaust, a scientific dictatorship plans a Mars launch for the millennium. Merlin returns, with a revived Arthur as figurehead to lead a rebellion that will disrupt the rulers' plans and liberate Albion. Perhaps more precisely science fantasy rather than straight SF; THE NEW WORLD - An Epic Poem by FREDERICK TURNER (1985, Princeton University Press, 179 pp) - set in a fragmented 24th C former USA, its resources all but exhausted, torn by endless conflict between the Riots (derelict Counties ruled by religious fanatics, and the Free Counties' armed chivalries, it tells of a young man's fraught adventures on the way to heroic leadership. Draws on Arthurian elements - (as eg the Kingfish, unhealable immortal last President of the former USA, is clearly a Fisher King figure); GENESIS - An Epic Poem by FREDERICK TURNER (1988, Saybrook Publishing Co, Dallas, 291 pp) - while terraforming the red planet, Mars colonists struggle for liberation from the tyranny of Earth; MADOC - A Mystery by PAUL MULDOON (1990, Faber & Faber). Framed by the extraction of data from the retina of a worker caught fleeing a future domed prison factory, this is a deliberately fragmented account of an alternative history 19th C America - the poets Southey and Coleridge, having founded in frontier wilderness the "pantisocratic" would-be utopian settlement which, in our history, never got past the idea stage, both undergo personality disintegration, Southey degenerating into tyrannical megalomania, while Coleridge embarks on a drugged quest for descendants of the medieval Welsh prince Madoc, purported predecessor of Columbus; THE CHRYSALIS MACHINE by STEVE LITTLEJOHN (1995, Spout Publications, Batlet, 52 pp) - a post-apocalypse quest from rural decay to ruined London to locate the device of the title, purposed to create a perfect woman to restore society.
STEVE SNEYD BOOKLET REVIEWS
AHASUERUS ON MARS £1
A booklet of amusing wordplay, ridiculously underpriced, of a magical man not too fazed by stepping onto the Red Planet. A very inventive long poem, and not a bad idea for a film! ATLANTEAN PUBLISHING, 38 Pierrot Steps, 71 Kursaal Way, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, SS1 2UY. Cheques payable to D.J. Tyrer.
THREE STAR CHAMBER 12p/25c
You can put a lot into a little space as the...no, let's not go there. I've always loved these neat little Rump booklets, and this Steve Sneyd science fiction haiku collection hits the spot, over a nice cup of tea on a grismal winter's day. The price shouldn't really put off anyone - even if most poets only buy collections including their own work. KRAX, 63 Dixon Lane, Leeds, LS12 4RR.
- Paul Rance.
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