Scifaikuest Nov 2017

Twin Suns John Reinhart NOV 2017 DOOR
Happy Halloween!

I hope you had a spooky, fun-filled time!

In this issue of Scifaikuest, we have tons of brilliant, creepy poems to delight and horrify you, as well as an engaging and informative article, Making the Kutt-Moore by Robert E. Porter. Our DOOR artwork is actually a haiga, Twin Suns, by John Reinhart. In our PRINT edition, we have two more articles as well as FIVE interior illustrations, and our colorful cover, Little Gremlins, by Denny Marshall.

I’m excited to say that, for the very first time, we have a Favorite Poem in the ONLINE version, as well as the one in the PRINT edition, and you won’t want to miss either of them!

If you don’t have a subscription to our PRINT edition, they are available at:

And, if you would like to join the select group of contributors by submitting your poetry, artwork or article, you can find our guidelines at:

I’d like to extend a WELCOME greeting to our newest contributors in BOTH issues: Frank Coffman, Gary W. Davis, Deborah L. Davitt, Russell Hemmell, Akua Lezli Hope, Todd Saukko and Shannon Connor Winward.

And now, let’s travel along together, on another Scifaikuest!

Halloween mishap
judging the alien’s costume
when it wasn’t one



web ghosts

social media profiles
of those long dead
still getting likes

~ Herb Kauderer

tentacles waving, reaching,
smelling, seeing, even speaking:
sapient amphibian glory

~ Denise Noe

round & round
the time-travel roundabout
no time like the present

~ LeRoy Gorman

tendrils pointing
at comms
suddenly gone silent

~ John Reinhart

writing obituaries
at light speed
before they happen

~ John Reinhart

following plasma’s whip
photons flare
sun turned destroyer

~ Deborah L. Davitt

first alien mannequin
department store clerk adjusts
its left tentacle

~ John J. Dunphy

these elixers
let you live to cut
your third teeth

~ C.R. Harper

bio-scans of alien life
same molecules
unimagined combinations

~ Lauren McBride


life within
seeding and terraforming

~ Roxanne Barbour


longevity key:
science breakthrough, broken hearts

~ Herb Kauderer


didn’t want to hear
windows software not valid
on deep space mission

~ Denny E. Marshall


solar system extinction

blink the sun into dust

~ Denise Noe


octopi superior
Denise Noe

eight limbs
to us, this sea creature’s thinking
the curious make-up of the octupi nation

undead thirst
Denise Noe

the vampire
searches for a vein
sinks his fangs in a supple throat
delirious with happiness he is drunk on blood
szeke on



floating at the edge of space
ghostly remains
of alien bodies

haunting summer twilight skies
electric blue wisps
of meteor smoke

~ Lauren McBride


potential: his
brain cannot process all
the data from his bionic

~ Herb Kauderer


Momentarily Mannerless

the alien reaching out
to shake hands
a friendly gesture

usually, but
I hesitate
seeing its claws

~ Lauren McBride


Francis W. Alexander

Richard didn’t ask to be like this. That night in Milan when a stranger turned him, Richard was heading to a villa for his favorite dish: garlic bread and extra garlic spaghetti. He had been a garlic freak. Ever since that life changing event, he lusted only after blood — until tonight.

“Darling,” Satinella said, “are you sure you want to do this?”

He sat across from her, the blue candlelight licking his face, and answered, “Yes dear.”

flames of passion —
beneath the curved chins
of Phobos and Deimos

With heavy scarf over her face, Satinella let out a mournful sigh, rose, went to the oven, retrieved the pot of spaghetti, and placed it in front of him. Then she walked to the door of the kitchen, turned, hugged the door, and watched.

Richard took a fork, lifted the lid, and plunged the utensil into the spaghetti. He placed one huge pile on the plate and then unwrapped the garlic bread. He unwound the cloth around his nose and plunged a portion of bread into his mouth. Choking, gagging, and gasping for breath, he released a moan dotted with coughs. Then he plunged the fork into the spaghetti, twirled it, lifted, and whipped it into his mouth. In spite of his misery, the food was awesome!

He watched her leave, wheezed, coughed, and then stuck the fork into the mound of red stuff.

singles’ hunt –
the very odd demands
of some applicants


Kutt-Moore jpg by Robert E Porter NOV 2017
by Robert E. Porter

For this drawing (“Kutt-Moore”) I followed in the footsteps of Paul Klee and took my lines for a walk. It can be fun sometimes to point things out, to make connections. It can be fun when the artist and writer play a duet upon the page. Like the haiga. Lyrics and their visual accompaniment.

I get a kick out of Henry Kutter and CL Moore. Terry Bisson’s “Partial People,” not so much; but it has/they have stuck with me, too.

I’ve read many things by Kuttner and Moore, or Lewis Padgett, or Lawrence O’Donnell, but I don’t know them. Writers, especially fiction writers, tend to make stuff up. Kevin J. Anderson had HG Wells in a “real-life” War of the Worlds. David Gerrold wrote “The Dunsmuir Horror” and other letters to Gordon van Gelder, which The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction published as fiction. Philip K. Dick swore the Empire Never Ended. Maybe he was right, and we are living in Roman times. But I’d rather trust my senses and this persistent “illusion” of 2017 than his say-so. Now…

Where was I? Getting carried away? Or taking a line (of reasoning) for a walk? If it’s a walk more like Richard Bachman’s than Pantera’s, that should not be a hard act to follow. But there were a hundred of us, at the start. Now we have “Nothing but Gingerbread Left.”

Like most Kutt-Moore stories, “Nothing…” had an edge; something for the gutter bleed, and the inspiration I think for Monty Python’s most dangerous joke. By comparison, Bisson’s “Partial People” stumped me. Michael Swanwick, on the other hand, stumped for Bisson:

“I dropped in on Gardner Dozois and he asked me what was new.

“‘I’m collaborating on a story with Terry Bisson,’ I said.

“There was a brief silence. Then Gardner, whose job it is to know such things, said, ‘No, you’re not.'” (Swanwick)

Why did Bisson agree to collaborate with Swanwick on a story? Who knows? He had the chops. But he couldn’t Buddy-hack it? Swanwick has successfully collaborated in the past (his “Dogfight” with William Gibson, for ex.) but it was never a regular thing with him; he was a Bisson compared to the More Than Human gestalt of Kuttner and Moore:

“They entertained each other endlessly with little gifts… They were, I think, a flawless example of what Bokonon calls a dupress, which is a karass composed of only two persons.

“‘A true Duprass,’ Bokonon tells us, ‘can’t be invaded, not even by children born of such a union.” (Vonnegut)

Ray Bradbury was close to Kuttner, and he looked up the man; if there was no “Mimsy…” there would have been no “Veldt.” But while he liked some women in SF (Leigh Brackett, for ex.) he seemed to disregard the role of Moore in Kuttner’s life and work. In his introduction to The Best of Henry Kuttner, Bradbury said:

"Kuttner had no family, but
"His children live here in this book.
"They are lovely and special and fine.
"I want you to meet them."  (Bradbury)

They are lovely and special and fine. I want you to meet them, too. But you can’t always tell from the byline if Moore, or Kuttner, or both had their hands in the writing. Like the best of friends, they shared and took turns and brought out the best in each other. Their stories come down to us like Sneeches, after the Fix-it Up Chappie has left. If it didn’t matter to Kuttner and Moore who took the credit, or which bellies had stars, why should it matter to us? Our speculations on the matter are not going to help the author(s) earn a living now. It’s too late.

“Bokonon tells us, incidentally, that members of a dupress always die within a week of each other.” (Vonnegut)

That’s BS. The University of Chicago should never have accepted Cat’s Cradle as Kurt Vonnegut’s thesis for a degree in anthropology. It is as relevant to the field as The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Foot Fetishes, or Marvel’s Iceman.

Kuttner died in 1958. CL Moore lived on for 29 years, but her career writing science fiction was over. Maybe she had come to depend on their collaboration. Maybe it was no fun anymore, without him. Maybe they had both exhausted what they had to say in the genre and moved on, before Kuttner died, and Moore continued in that direction — stopping by as guest of honor at SF cons here and there along the way out of nostalgia or in gratitude for the fans that still remembered her, and him, and their work together. I don’t know.

What I do know is that the stories remain, and we can honor the spirit of Kutt-Moore by taking them as they are, and not looking for starred bellies, or telltale hearts, or the nuclear shadow of Schrödinger’s black cat. They are stories, and we should accept them on their own merits — or not at all. But if there were a moral, it is this:

Learning to work and play together did not hold CL Moore and Henry Kuttner back. It’s not going to hold us back, either. So let’s get moving — into a haiga… a renga… a ku…. a picture-book… a round-robin novel… a shared world… all of which need Fix-it Up Chappies, like us.


“Profile of Terry Bisson.” Michael Swanwick Online, n.d. Web. 07 Nov. 2016.

Vonnegut, Kurt. Cat’s Cradle. New York: Dell, 1970. Print.

Bradbury, Ray. “Henry Kuttner: A Neglected Master.” The Best of Henry Kuttner. New York: Ballantine, 1975. Print.

MY FAVORITE POEM by editor t.santitoro

I’ve never picked a favorite poem in our ONLINE version. WHY NOT?? I guess I just didn’t think of it. Well, it’s about time to choose one! This hauntingly beautiful poem from Lauren McBride caught my eye, and was the reason for my decision to select a favorite from among our ONLINE material:


floating at the edge of space
ghostly remains
of alien bodies

haunting summer twilight skies
electric blue wisps
of meteor smoke

~ Lauren McBride

Very beautiful imagery, Lauren! Kudos!