DESCENT INTO LIGHT: Mike Allen's Home Page
DESCENT INTO LIGHT: Mike Allen's Home Page

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New Happenings

Hi, folks! Mike Allen here, poet, short story writer and editor of various science fiction and fantasy publications. Here's what's happening with me lately:


The Webzine Abyss and Apex has published a satirical poem by me, "the telePath Co. soothes a user." The poem is written in the same "technobrand" style I used for "guerrillavid inc.," published earlier this year in Eotu Ezine, and "Disaster at the BrainBankTM ATM," one of my most popular poems.


Asimov's Science Fiction reviewer Paul Di Filippo has written a laudatory evaluation of Mythic Delirium 7. Read what he had to say here.

Weird Tales, Issue 333 A new fantasy-themed poem, "Bizarremost Bazaar," appears in the latest issue of the old stalwart, Weird Tales. The poem was actually inspired by things I observed as a writer guest at Arisia 2002 in Boston. Another poem inspired by the same experience, "Midnight Rendezvous, Boston," appeared earlier this year in Eotu Ezine. (You can buy a subscription to Weird Tales here.)
Weird Tales, Issue 327 This latest publication marks my second appearance in Weird Tales. My first, "A Ghost Story," was in the Spring 2002 issue, and this year won the 2nd place Rhysling Award from the Science Fiction Poetry Association in the short poem category. 2nd Place Rhysling Award
My Rhysling Award certificates arrived in the mail the same day as the new issue of Weird Tales, so I can't help but feel like crowing a little. Charlie Saplak and I are still honored and overwhelmed that our collaboration,"Epochs in Exile: A Fantasy Trilogy," tied for first place in the long poem category. Rhysling Award

Both of my poems from Weird Tales can also be found in my new chapbook from DNA Publications, Petting the Time Shark. (see below)


Mythic Delirium 9 Petting the Time Shark
Mythic Delirium, Issue 9
has come back from the printer and arrived in mailboxes across the nation. Featuring poems by Joe Haldeman, Ian Watson, Mary Soon Lee and Christina Sng, as well as twelve other poets. You can find a complete table of contents and a link to the full wrap-around cover on my Mythic Delirium page.
Petting the Time Shark,
my second poetry collection, is now available!
Time Shark gathers 29 of my previously uncollected poems, including two collaborations with Ian Watson, three Rhysling Award nominees and one Rhysling runner-up. Read the back cover blurbs here. To order send $6.50 to DNA Publications, PO Box 2988, Radford VA 24143-2988.

RHYSLING AWARD WINNER! My poem co-written with Charles Saplak, "Epochs in Exile: A Fantasy Trilogy," has won the 2003 Rhysling Award in the long poem category! If you want to give the poem a look, it's here.

On top of that, my poem "A Ghost Story" from the Spring 2002 issue of Weird Tales was the second place runner-up in the short poem category! You can find that poem in my new book, Petting the Time Shark. And David C. Kopaska-Merkel's "Medusa's Tale" from Mythic Delirium 7 was second place runner-up in the long poem division! I'm flabbergasted, in a very good way. (For a complete list of Rhysling winners and runner-ups, click here.)

The webzine Strange Horizons has published two new (and wildly different) poems from me, Mrs. Rigsby's Fatecast and Pulse.

A review of Issue 64 of Dreams & Nightmares has a few kind words for my odd poetic eulogy "The Thing in the Gutter," which also appears in Petting the Time Shark.


2003 Rhysling Anthology
The 2003 Rhysling Anthology:
The Best Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Poetry of 2002

which reprints my poems "A Ghost Story"
and "A Million Layers Removed," plus my
poetic collaboration with Charles Saplak,
"Epochs in Exile: A Fantasy Trilogy," has been published
by the Science Fiction Poetry Association.
For ordering information, visit SFPA's website.

May/June 2003

27 Star*Line Macabre

"Seventy Times Seven,"
my third poetic collaboration with Ian Watson, appears in the latest issue of the Irish magazine Albedo!
Two new poems, "Apotheosis" and "Columbia" (a haiku tribute to the fallen space shuttle) appear in Star*Line, published by the Science Fiction Poetry Association. My horror poem,
"The Interview,"
is reprinted in
Christina Sng's Macabre.

March 2003

Best of Dreams
The Best of Dreams of Decadence,
containing my vampire poem, "The Romantic Age,"
is now on sale in bookstores nationwide!

Related Links

Leave messages for me here at Mythic Delirium's newsgroup at, or you can e-mail me as well.

I have taken over as Poetry Editor for DNA Publications' hard sf magazine Absolute Magnitude, where I am already an associate fiction editor. The new poetry guidelines are posted at Ralan's Webstravaganza, in the Absolute Magnitude entry under SF Pro Markets.

Purchase copies of my poetry collection, Defacing the Moon, or Ian Watson's The Lexicographer's Love Song here.

Partners in collaboration, and all-around cool people: Charles M. Saplak | Christina Sng | Ian Watson

Poems on-line

  • the telePath Co. soothes a user
  • Pulse
  • Mrs. Rigsby's Fatecast
  • Midnight Rendezvous, Boston
  • guerrillavid inc.
  • Planeta do Favela
  • Disaster at the BrainBankTM ATM
  • Shelley, at the End
  • Poe's Last Kiss
  • Epilogue: The Roses
  • Epochs in Exile: A Fantasy Trilogy (with Charles M. Saplak)
  • Metarebellion
  • Seventh Coming (with Ian Watson)

    If you'd like to read my first published poem, here it is.

    Other people and places of note:

  • DNA Publications, print publishers of Chronicle, Weird Tales, Absolute Magnitude, Dreams of Decadence, Fantastic and my own Mythic Delirium.
  • Ralan's Webstravaganza, the best speculative fiction market website.
  • Science Fiction Poetry Association, the only organization for writers of speculative poetry
  • Bruce Boston, SFPA's first Grand Master
  • Dreams and Nightmares, longest continuously published sf poetry journal, edited by David C. Kopaska-Merkel
  • Flesh and Blood, tri-annual print horror publication
  • Talebones, quarterly print magazine of science fiction and dark fantasy
  • Eotu Ezine, an eccentric on-line poetry and fiction site
  • Strange Horizons, an sf on-line prozine
  • Locus On-Line, informative sf news site
  • She's Dead: Exhumed, a bizarre and funny music site.

    Prowler (Moonshadow Wolf) Allen, 1992-2003

    This slightly-computer-altered picture of our cat Prowler in his winged Halloween costume appeared on the cover of the Oct. 2002 issue of The Whole Cat Journal. Anita took the picture, and she and I both tinkered with it digitally. It took a chunk of tuna to get that pose.


    Picture Born in 1969 in St. Paul, Minn., I went with my family to Guam, Chicago and a tiny Appalachian mining town before they settled in the pleasantly mid-sized city of Roanoke, Va., where I still live. I met the woman who would become my future wife, Anita Seth, while we were both in high school. Anita and I married in June 1992, just a month after I earned my B.A. in Liberal Arts from Virginia Tech and made my first short story sale to a small press magazine.

    Ever since that sale, I've been involved in the publishing world in some way, writing genre stories and poetry, editing and publishing small press anthologies and, most recently, editing the poetry journal Mythic Delirium for DNA Publications.

    I started out writing short stories, and I still do, but I began writing poetry in earnest when I was enrolled in the creative writing master's degree program at Hollins University. My first published poem appeared in 1994, the year I earned my M.A. Since then I've had more than 100 poems published. I've had five poems and two poetic collaborations nominated for the Rhysling Award, speculative poetry's highest honor. My first poetry collection, Defacing the Moon, made the preliminary ballot for the Horror Writer's Association's Bram Stoker Award in 2001.

    My editing career began in 1995, when I published an anthology called New Dominions, containing stories and poems from Southwest Virginia science fiction and fantasy writers. (The title was a play on the state's nickname, "The Old Dominion.") From then on, its seems, I've been involved in some kind of editing project or other, the most successful of which is also probably the oddest: Mythic Delirium.

    Aside from the Mythic Delirium gig, I serve as the poetry editor and an associate fiction editor for the sf magazine Absolute Magnitude. (My wife, Anita, is an associate editor for Dreams of Decadence: Vampire Poetry and Fiction). I also had the privilege, with Anita's assistance, of editing the first poetry collection by British science fiction novelist Ian Watson, titled The Lexicographer's Love Song.

    These days I work as a reporter for the Roanoke newspaper, and my wife works as a horticulturist. While the Buddha-esque black cat we owned for 11 years left us this February, we still share our house with a fluffy demonic feline named (Bella)Donna, and now, two rambunctious pups, named Loki and Ivy.

    I've been writing since I was a kid, and I feel very lucky to have reached a stage where my quirky creations routinely see print. Pursuing this dream has been a long, thrilling, challenging adventure, and so far there's no end in sight.

    Mike Allen, Jan. 2003, updated June 2003