background stars background text eye to the telescope tour of alternate worlds spacer




Eye to the Telescope 26, Evolving Gender, will be edited by Sandra J Lindow.

“The King was pregnant.” This issue of the Eye to the Telescope seeks speculative poems that explore or respond to gender in nontraditional ways. In Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness, 1969, Gethenians are asexual except when they are in kemmer. Then pheromonal interaction causes them to develop male or female genitalia. In Marge Piercy’s Woman on the Edge of Time, 1976, men breast feed babies. In Geoff Ryman’s “Birth Days,” 2003, reproductive technology has advanced so that men can give birth. In Nancy Jane Moore’s The Weave, 2016, hermaphrodite aliens can choose which partner will give birth and which will nurse the child in a pouch until it is weaned. For this issue, poems can be set anywhere in time and space in this universe or in another. Magic may or may not be possible. Any form or style is acceptable, although gross horror is unwelcome. I am not looking for women with swords or men with flower beds as much as I am looking for the songs and narrative poems that reflect non binary possibilities.

Submission Guidelines


  • Please send submissions to with the subject line “ETTT sub:” followed by the poet’s name.
  • Please submit 1–5 poems in English (in body of email or attached as .rtf).
  • Include a short bio.
  • Deadline: September 15, 2017. The issue will appear on October 15, 2017.

Payment and rights

  • Accepted poems will be paid for at the following rate: US 3¢/word rounded to nearest dollar; minimum US $3, maximum $25. Payment is on publication.
  • The Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association normally uses PayPal to pay poets, but can also send checks.
  • Eye to the Telescope is an online publication. Therefore, First Electronic Rights (for original unpublished poems) are being sought.

Who can submit?

Anyone writing speculative poetry.

What is Speculative Poetry?

Speculative poetry is poetry which falls within the genres of science fiction, fantasy, and supernatural horror, plus some related genres such as magic realism, metafiction, and fabulation. It is not easy to give precise definitions, partly because many of these genres are framed in term of fiction rather than poetry.

A good starting point is “About Science Fiction Poetry” by Suzette Haden Elgin, the founder of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. Despite its title, this article is applicable all forms of speculative poetry.

Tim Jones, editor of Issue 2, had a go at defining science fiction poetry on his blog, in two parts (These blog posts date from 2009, and the Voyagers anthology has since been published. These posts do refer specifically to science fiction poetry, rather than the broader field of speculative poetry.):

What Is the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA)?

As the SFPA says on its website at, “The Science Fiction Poetry Association was founded in 1978 to bring together poets and readers interested in science fiction poetry. What is sf poetry? You know what they say about definitions—everybody has one. To be sure, it is poetry (we’ll leave that definition to you), but it’s poetry with some element of speculation—usually science fiction, fantasy, or horror. Some folks include surrealism, some straight science.”

See the SFPA site for lots more information—and please consider joining.

* * *

Interested in editing an issue of Eye to the Telescope? See the Editors’ Guidelines for information and requirements.