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Eye to the Telescope 24, Alternate Stories/Alternate Realities, will be edited by Alan Ira Gordon.

There’s a rich tradition in speculative writing of alternate reality perspectives, poetry included. I’m looking for poetry that spans the wide range of themes within the alternate genre. So send me your poems that speak of alternate timelines, differing universes and realities, histories and pocket universes. Let’s explore together into different perspectives and points of view regarding life, people, places and all manner of situations.

As the great 1980s pop singer Olivia Newton John sang in one particular alternate reality, “Let’s get alternate! Alternate! I wanna get alternate! Let’s get into alternate!” Hopefully your poems will be much better than that cheesy example, but you get the picture. Ranging from satire to sober reflection, all forms and lengths of alternate stories/alternate realities poetry are welcome.

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: March 15, 2017. The issue will appear on April 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 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 Therefore, First Electronic Rights (for original unpublished poems) are being sought.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 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.

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