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Sci-Faiku Review-O-Rama

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First off, if you don't know what SciFaiku is, check out The SciFaiku Manifesto, it's kind of the rule book of the genre.

Once you've done that, you may wish to check out some of Tom Brinck's SciFaiku, a sample of Todd Hoff's work, or some SciFaiku submissions from the web community. In addition, there is an unmoderated SciFaiku Forum that has submissions of varying quality.

Anyway, the point of this page is to provide you, the discerning SciFaiku consumer, with my expert reviews. This serves a number of purposes:

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Get Involved!

Submit your reviews now! I'd like to include reviews from as many sources as possible. If you'd like to share your criticisms with others, e-mail it to me. Please be sure to include the original work and its location as well as your home page (if any). You can review previously unreviewed pieces or works that have already been critiqued by others.

Send submissions to danhorn@umich.edu.

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we passed in hyperspace
no time
to notice
Author: Todd Hoff
Review: Given society's breakneck pace, this piece provides an insightful perspective on the social dilemas to come. I view this work as a precursor to the excuses of tomorrow. Today it's screening answering machine messages, and calling in sick. Tomorrow, it will be tears in the fabric of space-time. There will always be those annoying entities that we wish to avoid. It's good to have an excuse handy.
Reviewed by: Dan Horn danhorn@umich.edu
Reviewed on: 29-June-1997

Piece: Tumble, roll, and spin...
A flash of broken tether
Through helmet visor.
Author: Michael R. Gates - gatemi@rmci.net
Review: This piece lacks verbs. It seems to me that it accretes slowly, like a growing crystal, one integral element after another. It begins very abstract. Rolling what? Tumbling what? Spinning what? Where? When? Then the image of the broken tether. Suddenly we have focus. After all, SOMETHING must be associated with this tether. The last line gives us the helmet and that is the crucial link. With the helmet we suddenly intuit the location as being in space. The broken tether immediately assumes a shocking importance and gives significance to the images in line one. It is the inverted symmetry of the piece that makes it work. Only at the end of the last line does it suddenly have context and meaning, as abrupt as a slap in the face. The reader, at least THIS reader, gets a chill down the spine from visualizing the elements one after another and thus feeling that it is YOUR tether that has broken...
Reviewed by: Jim Tucker jimtauntuc@ellijay.com
Reviewed on: 21-Apr-1996

Piece: Suspended in the amniotic amber
Memories chemically-imprinted
Waiting to be born. Again.
Author: Roger Cotton - roger_cotton@qmail.lightspan.com
Review: I don't know if "amber" was supposed to be "chamber", but "amber" works quite poetically, since it suggests to me a yellow, sticky, and preserving fluid. The scene here is powerful, and the SF theme is clear and striking. The "Again" is a final punch that interprets the poem nicely.
Reviewed by: Tom Brinck - brinck@umich.edu
Reviewed on: 1-May-96

Piece: Butterfly roams free
In the cabin
Of a wandering nomad in space.
Author: Rod Stuart - stuart@aladdin.co.uk
Review: Butterflies are wonderful creatures of fancy and freedom. There's something very energetic about a butterfly in zero-gravity, about moving within the ship while the ship moves through empty space. A contrast of small insect and immense space. The spark of beauty of a butterfly in what I see as a carelessly messy ship of a lonely nomad...
Reviewed by: Tom Brinck - brinck@umich.edu
Reviewed on: 1-May-96

Piece: late night UFO movie
I leave the porch light on
for visitors
Author: John Sheirer - as_jsheir@apollo.commnet.edu
Review: The appeal of this piece seems to lie in its almost naive world view. By neglecting the boundary between Hollywood and the real world, the author gives us a fanciful glimpse at a pre-Wellsian reliance on media as a provider of fact. The piece enables readers to believe, not just in UFOs, but in that ethereal concept that is faith. A well written, subtly evokative, heartening work.
Reviewed by: Dan Horn
Reviewed on: 22-Feb-1996

Piece: Midway between stars
Abandoned here for my crimes
so alone
Author: Tom Brinck - brinck@umich.edu
Review: The resignation conveyed in this piece provides the reader with a glimpse into the depths of human solitude. The artist's use of space, placing the final two words in the appropriate horizontal location yet one line below their expected place, imbues this work with a certain isolation. The stark final words engender the very essence of the genre.
Reviewed by: Dan Horn
Reviewed on: 14-Dec-1995


Peeling an orange in zero-g
reminds me of
a galaxy

Author: Todd Hoff
Review: A rarity in the world of SciFaiku, this piece evokes a sense of almost whimsical existentialism. Where most SciFaiku tends to embrace dark themes, often conferring feelings of loss, this work examines an alternative theme. I interpret this piece as embracing a view of contextual existence. The space theme reminds the reader of our insignificance in a grander scheme, yet contrasts this with the view of human as Creator, or at least possessor of wisdom. I also like the fact that it rhymes...
Reviewed by: Dan Horn
Reviewed on: 14-Dec-1995


Destroys an ancient world,
Burns my eyes.

Author: Adam Brown - gemini@cybertap.com
Review: An oft overlooked approach to the great art. The juxtaposition of the objective and subjective aspects of tragedy is captured in an almost innocent fashion. The second and third lines can be seen as being contrasting or merely as different levels of granularity. The absence of deictic indicators of the ancient world leaves the reader to ponder the narrator's location.
Reviewed by: Dan Horn
Reviewed on: 14-Dec-1995

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