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Holding your eight hands; an anthology of…

Holding your eight hands; an anthology of science fiction verse

by Edward Lucie-Smith (Editor)

Other authors: Brian W. Aldiss (Contributor), Michael Benedikt (Contributor), Asa Benveniste (Contributor), DM Black (Contributor), John Brunner (Contributor)31 more, John Ciardi (Contributor), Barry Cole (Contributor), John Robert Colombo (Contributor), Robert Conquest (Contributor), John Cotton (Contributor), Thomas M. Disch (Contributor), Mike Evans (Contributor), Ruth Fainlight (Contributor), John Fairfax (Contributor), Anthony Haden-Guest (Contributor), John Heath-Stubbs (Contributor), Adrian Henri (Contributor), Ted Hughes (Contributor), Ronald Johnson (Contributor), David Kilburn (Contributor), Kenneth Koch (Contributor), Ruth Lechtliner (Contributor), CS Lewis (Contributor), HP Lovecraft (Contributor), Edward Lucie-Smith (Contributor), George MacBeth (Contributor), Edwin Morgan (Contributor), Jeff Nuttall (Contributor), Kenneth Patchen (Contributor), Brian Patten (Contributor), Peter Porter (Contributor), Tom Raworth (Contributor), Peter Redgrove (Contributor), John Sladek (Contributor), DM Thomas (Contributor), Jonathan Williams (Contributor)

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A 1969 anthology of science fiction-themed poetry. Well, more or less, anyway. Some of these piece are no doubt more accurately described as fantasy, and it's arguable whether others exactly qualify as speculative fiction at all. But I'm not inclined to quibble too much about genre boundaries, in any case. A lot of them, possibly the majority, are essentially tiny, self-contained stories in verse, although not always clear and coherent stories. The subject matter varies, but there's a surprising amount of religious imagery and a not-at-all-surprising number of nuclear apocalypses and other gloomy scenarios. (1969 was not the most optimistic and cheerful time for SF.)

When it comes to poetry, I'm afraid I'm very much the "I don't know much, but I know what I like" sort. I'd hoped I'd like this, as I like science fiction and have enjoyed some other SF poetry I've read. But... I don't know. Some of these, I must confess, I didn't exactly "get." Others I understood perfectly well, but they just didn't do much of anything for me. Most of them were okay, and intellectually kind of interesting, but there just weren't all that many I can say I actively liked.

Mind you, I'm not saying these poems are bad, or even mediocre. They've obviously been carefully crafted by thoughtful, artistic people. I think this is one of those cases where the editor's personal tastes and mine just don't line up all that well. Although, interestingly, I did like the two poems Lucie-Smith himself contributed better than most of them, and his introduction was pretty good.

Rating: An ungenerous and completely subjective 3/5. ( )
  bragan | Apr 10, 2014 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lucie-Smith, EdwardEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aldiss, Brian W.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Benedikt, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Benveniste, AsaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Black, DMContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brunner, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ciardi, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cole, BarryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Colombo, John RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Conquest, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cotton, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Disch, Thomas M.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Evans, MikeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fainlight, RuthContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fairfax, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Haden-Guest, AnthonyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Heath-Stubbs, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Henri, AdrianContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hughes, TedContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Johnson, RonaldContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kilburn, DavidContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Koch, KennethContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lechtliner, RuthContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lewis, CSContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lovecraft, HPContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lucie-Smith, EdwardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
MacBeth, GeorgeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Morgan, EdwinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nuttall, JeffContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Patchen, KennethContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Patten, BrianContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Porter, PeterContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Raworth, TomContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Redgrove, PeterContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sladek, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Thomas, DMContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Williams, JonathanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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