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Among the Cold Colonists
Is Deepfreeze Drinkfur

Even in permafrost's
ersatz my ship carries
still I feel watchful
out of your fleshscape
thrust of heartessence,
eating spacecold like
banked white dwarf!
Starlight avoids our
passage, that is
its duty to our needcall,
to drive out of any
sector we demand
room in, even from far off,
any filthy "natural"
presence of Before

And yet It taints you:
and me. As I grimly
inhale Galactolift,
drug for Longvoyage, still
in it I sense like dead kisses
behind your ice-plant
spattered skin is


out of systems we
cleared long ago
of all such kin, still forth
looks, knifesharp, keen,
deep in your eyes the buried
clawwork, surfacing
cutting my balls to untidy
fiery tiger-cub's wool unravelling.
Coiled pain.

Freezesleeper's Reply

In this cryopalace night
the icedreams glacial reckonings
bergging into cometary scars
around the mainsequence gold
of your thermofield, your needcall
sensed like distant mechinations
auroral swirls in the
cranial north of my spacecold
sleep embrace me
as we skirt the lightyears' lengths
of rifts and starstrands.

Will you be changed
when we stand upon alien bones
next planetfall, the new skies
yet again our own and
purified with our constellations?
The furnace wind of your lifebreath
rekindle the coal of heartessence?

In permafrost ersatz slumber the
blizzardsmear of your shape your
summerbreath rakes the sculpted
tundra of my aching flesh.


Copyright © 1994 Steve Sneyd and Gene van Troyer

Reader Comments

Work by Steve Sneyd, who lives in Yorkshire, England, has appeared in over 1,000 magazines and anthologies worldwide, in 40 books/chapbooks, and on the Net, been broadcast, including BBC Radio 4's Stanza, and read at many SF and literary events. He has also many published articles and books about SF poetry. Steve has no Web site, but you can read an online interview with him here.

Gene van Troyer presently resides in Japan. He writes science fiction prose and poetry, with work published in Amazing Stories, Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, Vertex and other SF genre magazines, and is a past editor of Star*Line, the newsletter of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. His translation from Japanese of Yano Tetsu's "The Legend of the Paper Spaceship" is the most reprinted Japanese science fiction story in the in the world.

Current Issue
29 May 2023

We are touched and encouraged to see an overwhelming response from writers from the Sino diaspora as well as BIPOC creators in various parts of the world. And such diverse and daring takes of wuxia and xianxia, from contemporary to the far reaches of space!
By: L Chan
The air was redolent with machine oil; rich and unctuous, and synthesised alcohol, sharper than a knife on the tongue.
“Leaping Crane don’t want me to tell you this,” Poppy continued, “but I’m the most dangerous thing in the West. We’ll get you to your brother safe before you know it.”
Many eons ago, when the first dawn broke over the newborn mortal world, the children of the Heavenly Realm assembled at the Golden Sky Palace.
Winter storm: lightning flashes old ghosts on my blade.
transplanted from your temple and missing the persimmons in bloom
immigrant daughters dodge sharp barbs thrown in ambush 十面埋伏 from all directions
Many trans and marginalised people in our world can do the exact same things that everyone else has done to overcome challenges and find happiness, only for others to come in and do what they want as Ren Woxing did, and probably, when asked why, they would simply say Xiang Wentian: to ask the heavens. And perhaps we the readers, who are told this story from Linghu Chong’s point of view, should do more to question the actions of people before blindly following along to cause harm.
Before the Occupation, righteousness might have meant taking overt stands against the distant invaders of their ancestral homelands through donating money, labour, or expertise to Chinese wartime efforts. Yet during the Occupation, such behaviour would get one killed or suspected of treason; one might find it better to remain discreet and fade into the background, or leave for safer shores. Could one uphold justice and righteousness quietly, subtly, and effectively within such a world of harshness and deprivation?
Issue 22 May 2023
Issue 15 May 2023
Issue 8 May 2023
Issue 1 May 2023
Issue 24 Apr 2023
Issue 17 Apr 2023
Issue 10 Apr 2023
Issue 3 Apr 2023
Issue 27 Mar 2023
Issue 20 Mar 2023
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