[Robert J. Sawyer] Science Fiction Writer
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Tesseracts 6


by Carolyn Clink

Copyright © 1997 by Carolyn Clink
All Rights Reserved

[Carolyn Clink on SPIN] When I was first asked to consider co-editing a volume of the Tesseracts series, I made it clear that I wanted to include lots of poetry. And we have. Still, when Rob and I were shuffling the pieces that make up this book into their final order, we debated about the placement of the poems. Some seemed to complement stories perfectly — like Peter Bloch-Hansen's "Binary Love," which follows James Alan Gardner's story "Love-in-Idleness."

But isn't it just as fair to say that it's the story that complements the poem? A poem, after all, is the compression of several tons of coal into to a handful of pure diamonds (okay — perhaps I'm biased in this matter). And, indeed, the poets are by far the best-paid contributors to this book (well, on a per-word basis, anyway . . .).

There haven't been a lot of places publishing Canadian speculative poetry. And with so many wonderful poets out there, competition is pretty fierce. So, let me tell you a secret. We must create our own markets. I'm in Northern Frights because when Don Hutchison was looking for stories, I sent him a poem. I didn't ask him first, because it would have been too easy for him to say no. He called me up and said he hadn't even thought about including poetry. Mine was the first — but now his anthology series is a market for your poetry too.

When Dale Sproule and Sally McBride began their SF&F magazine TransVersions, they realized how important poems were right off, and acquired none other than Phyllis Gotlieb as their poetry editor. Just having her name on the masthead has doubtless increased the caliber of submissions: I know I wouldn't want Phyllis to read less than my best.

In addition to such markets as Tesseracts, On Spec, TransVersions, and Northern Frights, you'll often find that Canadian speculative-fiction writers sneak poetry into their novels — just look at books by Heather Spears or Charles de Lint, for instance.

Of course, we'd still write our poems even if there was nowhere to publish them.

But it is nice to share.

More Good Reading

Table of Contents to Tesseracts 6
Introduction to Tesseracts 6
About the Contributors to Tesseracts 6
Cover Art for Tesseracts 6
Press Release

Encyclopedia Galactica entry on Canadian SF
Is Canadian SF Different From American SF?

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