Friday, December 21, 2012

Amazing Stories Magazine - BETA version

With everything else that has been going on, there's also been quite a bit of movement toward legitimizing my hobbies of SF Poetry and Voice Acting.

I've gotten my first paying job as a narrator. Granted it's pretty minor - I'll be reading 3 stories for an anthology called Geek Love Anthology. It's a little risque :-) But Nobilis Reed is paying me to do it, so I'm happy!

The other semi-professional improvement is that I will become one of the original bloggers for the new Amazing Stories Magazine that is launching its beta-version on Jan. 2nd, 2013. Here's the official press-release:

Amazing Stories, the world's first science fiction magazine, opens for Beta Testing of Phase 1 on Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013.

Fifty+ Writers Sign On to provide genre-related content!

Experimenter Publishing Company
Hillsboro, NH
December 20, 2012

AMAZING STORIES are just one click away!

On Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013, I will be joined by more than 50 other writers from around the blogosphere to help launch the Beta Test of Phase 1 of the return of Amazing Stories.

Amazing Stories was the world's first science fiction magazine.  Published by Hugo Gernsback, the Father of Science Fiction, the magazine created the genre's first home and was instrumental in helping to establish science fiction fandom – the fandom from which all other fandoms have evolved.

The magazine itself ceased publication in 2005; in 2008 the new publisher, Steve Davidson, discovered that the trademarks had lapsed and applied for them.  The marks were finally granted in 2011.

Phase 1 introduces the social networking aspects of the site and the Blog Team, more than 50 authors, artists, collectors, editors, pod casters, designers and bloggers who will address 14 different subjects on a regular basis – SF, Fantasy & Horror literature, anime, gaming, film, television, the visual arts, audio works, the pulps, comics, fandom, science and publishing.

Those wishing to participate in the Beta Test should request an invite by emailing the publisher, Steve Davidson.

Amazing Stories' Social Magazine platform is designed to create an interactive environment that will be familiar to fans – especially those who attend conventions or enjoy club activities – with blog content designed to encourage discussion and take things beyond the usual user-generated content model for social networks.

The Amazing Stories Blog Team will cover (for now – more coming!) fourteen popular topics – Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Literature, Film, Television, Gaming, Comics and Graphic Works, the Visual Arts, the Pulps, Audio Works, Anime, the Business of Publishing, Science and Fandom itself.

Amazing Stories' relaunch will take place in two phases. Those interested in participating in the Beta Test of Phase 1 should contact the publisher at Phase 2 will introduce additional interactivity and user-customization to the site. Following the completion and testing of Phase 2, the magazine, featuring both new and reprint fiction, essays, photo galleries, reviews and more will begin publication. Readers who are interested in what the magazine will look like can read two Relaunch Prelaunch issues on line, or download them from the Amazing Stories store. (Additional Amazing Stories themed product is also available here.)

How cool is that?!? My first blog post will mostly be just an introduction and a bit of a teaser to get people interested in coming back. I have several ideas for subsequent posts and I think it will be fun!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Poetry Planet No. 8 SFPA Poetry Contest 2012

It's been a while - had you noticed? My last post was actually the previous Poetry Planet! Well, we've moved. Not just moved house, but moved to a new city, a new country, a new language! We've moved from Germany to Paris. Yes, and you'll find us under the Eiffel Tower... Not actually, but nearly! We have a lovely apartment (huge, for Parisian standards) and live in a very dynamic area of town - on the border of the 7th and 15th arondissements (quarters). We are nearly out of all the boxes and have found homes for most of our stuff. Even having left most of our books and CD/DVD collections in Hannover and doing some major decluttering, we're still struggling with lack of space.

Well, that's not actually what this post is meant to be about! Wed. 19 December 2012 comes the release of a new edition of Poetry Planet! No. 9 - the SFPA Poetry Contest 2012. You can listen to it here: StarShipSofa No. 269. You'll hear the winners and the runner up poems of the contest sponsored by the Science Fiction Poetry Association. And as a bonus at the end I also read the winning poems of the Dwarf Stars Award. You can read the winning and placing poems in their entirety on the SFPA website. So without further ado, here are the links and show-notes for the show:

Dwarf length:
  • Runner up: Noel Sloboda - Dinosaur Heart. Noel Sloboda is the author of the poetry collection Shell Games as well as several chapbooks. He has also published a book about Edith Wharton and Gertrude Stein. Sloboda teaches at Penn State York and serves as dramaturg for the Harrisburg Shakespeare Festival. His forthcoming poetry collection, Our Rarer Monsters, will feature original art by Marc Snyder. Catch a glimpse here:
  • Winner: Steven Wittenberg Gorden, M.D. - Lilith. Steven Wittenberg Gordon received his BA from Amherst College and his MD from Albany Medical College. He credits his romantic Shakespearean sonnets and other love poems with his luck in wooing, winning, and keeping his wife—a lady otherwise clearly out of his league. In the past year, he has been experimenting with speculative poetry, mainly fantasy and horror. “Lilith” is his first work of short fiction to be published in a professional market. Doctor Gordon resides in Kansas with his wife, their two children, and a poorly trained Airedale terrier. He continues to practice medicine on a part-time basis. Visit him at

Short length:
  • Runner up: Cathy Bryant - Calculated. Cathy Bryant lives in Manchester, UK, and performs her poetry all over the country. Her short stories and poems have been published in every continent except Antarctica, and in 2012 she won the Swanezine Poetry Prize, the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Prize, the Sampad 'Inspired by Tagore' Prize and the Malahat Review Monostich Poetry Prize. Her collection Contains Strong Language and Scenes of a Sexual Nature was published recently and can be purchased from or any good bookshop. Fnd out more at        
  • Winner: Damien Cowger - Cold.  Damien Cowger is a writer of short fiction and poetry. His work has most recently appeared in Fox Cry Review, Midwest Literary Magazine, and Denver Syntax. He lives in Athens, Ohio where he is the Managing Editor of New Ohio Review. Damien estimates that he has swallowed about $1.20 in dimes in his lifetime.
Long length:
  • Runner up: Jade Sylvan - Rocketman Pantoum. Jade Sylvan is a writer and performance artist. She's the author of The Spark Singer and has had work published in PANK, The Sun, Bayou, Basalt, Word Riot, Decomp, and others. Read her work and about her various projects at She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  • Runner up: Bryant O'Hara - The Music is Always On. Bryant O'Hara is a programmer, poet, occasional musician, and budding maker - not always in that order, sometimes all at once. He has worked as an industrial engineer and technical writer, and is currently a software developer. Bryant started writing poetry in earnest during the mid-1990's, performing as part of the Klub Kuumba poetry collective in Atlanta, GA. After a long hiatus, he revisited many of those poems and began creating new ones. "The Music is Always On" is his first published poem. You can listen to poetry with musical backgrounds here on SoundCloud. Bryant lives in Stone Mountain, GA, with his wife Alice and two of his seven children.
  • Winner: Darrel Lindsey - The Fugitive. Darrell Lindsey is a freelance writer/ poet/songwriter from Nacogdoches, the oldest town in Texas. His haiku and tanka have won awards in the United States, Japan, Croatia, Bulgaria, Canada, and Romania. He is the author of Edge Of The Pond ( Popcorn Press, 2012), available on Amazon and from the publisher at
Dwarf Stars Awards:

News items:

Kickstarter Projects mentioned:

  • Clockwork Phoenix 4 and other stories of beauty and strangeness, ed. Mike Allen
  • Cthulhu Haiku and Other Mythos Madness, Poems and Stories, ed. Lester Smith
  • Apocalypes Now: Poems and Prose from the End of Days, ed. Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum & Alexander Lumans. 

Julie Bloss Kelsey Blog contest: Stars in my Sugar Bowl

Online Zines: Abyss & Apex, Goblin Fruit, Inskscrawl, Stone Telling, Niteblade and Scifikuest.

Please do visit the poet's sites and check out more of their work! I know they appreciate the visit. As always, feel free to comment on the show either here or on the StarShipSofa forum.

Thanks for listening!