The Ultimate Sci Phi Journal Selfie!

Sci Phi Journal’s chief editor Jason Rennie suggested that people take pictures of themselves holding up the latest issue (Issue 7). I thought that would be a little bit boring, so I did this instead:

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The Razor Blade of Approval

“Too fat! Too thin! Too glad! Too grim!
Too black! Too white! Too dark! Too light!
Too rich! Too poor! Too smart! Too sure!
How do you ever hope to gain a compliment from us?

“You mention our great enemy, yet not in pure disgust?
Here’s a list of things for you to do that might win back our trust.
Supporting last week’s noble cause? Have you no sense of shame?
This week’s outrage is what matters, this is not a game!

“Abase yourself for all the crimes your ancestors ignored!
(At least, according to the meagre records we’ve restored.)
Your shouts are far from shrill enough, denounce, denounce, denounce!
Or else it seems to us you’re one of them, by all accounts.”

I stumble from the pedestal no broader than a hair,
I’m trampled on by hundreds scrambling to climb up on there.
I stand and walk away from the shining razor blade
of their presumed approval, and as their voices fade,

I find, to my surprise, that the world doesn’t end.

 

This and other poems on the subject of wisdom, folly, everday and epic heroism and beauty can be found in Selected Verse – Heroes and Wonders

 

 

 

Improving on a Perfect Day

An impossible burden is bearable,
an obstinate obstacle moved;
a sorrow is shortened and lightened,
a perfect day is improved;

the briefest sweet moment’s eternal,
transient joy multiplied;
you’ll not stay down when you’ve fallen,
you’ll quickly get back in your stride;

a difficult journey’s adventurous,
defeat is not always the end;
mistakes are things you will learn from,
you’ll turn round that negative trend;

an evil is simpler to bring down,
likewise a village defend;
battle scars heal so much cleaner
when all these are shared with a friend.

Fourteen Years a Hero

It is my wedding anniversary today, and this is this year’s poem (my wife actually forgot it was our anniversary until I told her the poem was ready last night, so there are some bonus brownie points for me 🙂 )

Fourteen Years a Hero

Fourteen years a hero, for putting up with me,
And all we do that nearly drives you to insanity:
Noises, fights, and interruptions, not to mention screams;
Sometimes even so bad they’re invading your sweet dreams.

I’d like to think that other times can make your burdens light,
With kindnesses and cuddles and sometimes a such sweet sight
Of learning a new lesson, training a new skill;
Overcoming barriers through pure determined will.

Could I be part of making each day easier for you?
Sharing all your burdens, helping you get through,
Offering my shoulder for those times you need to cry
Or standing by your side as we enjoy a star-filled sky.

Here’s to forty more years of our love and unity,
Through joy and sorrow, times of plenty and of scarcity,
You are the greatest friend I’ve had, we make such a good team,
Together we reflect a glimpse of heaven’s holy gleam.

More reviewer praise for Beyond the Mist!

Over at the Sci Fi Catholic, D. G. D. Davidson has some very nice things to say about Sci Phi Journal, even making special mention of Beyond the Mist:

Ben Zwycky has a serial novel, called Beyond the Mist, set to conclude soon with the release of the seventh issue, which has an odd premise and a mystery element.  I’ve only just started it, but in its beginnings, at least, it reads like a science fictional Pilgrim’s Progress.  Though containing a few heavy-handed moments, it’s polished, and it’s intriguing.

to be singled out for praise alongside multiple Hugo-nominated authors Lou Antonelli and John C. Wright, not to mention be compared with a beloved classic, makes me do a happy dance. Beyond the Mist doesn’t conclude with the installment in Issue 7, though a major phase of the story is concluded there, there will be another three installments in all. After that, the story will continue in other books as soon as I can write them, hopefully I will be able to make some good progress on those by that time.