Issue 55 – The Hollow Earth

Hollow Earth entry:
Hidden polar openings
or through volcanoes

By DS Davidson


All those Inner Earths,
concentric circles smaller
and smaller till nil

By David Edwards

Subterra; or, I Dream of Agartha
By Harris Coverley

I’ll believe as soon
This whole earth may be bor’d, and that the moon
May through the centre creep, and so displease
Her brother’s noontide with the Antipodes.”

Hermia, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act III

Last night
Yet again
I dreamed of Agartha
Realm of realms
Beneath the outer shell of our Earth

Layers within layers
Planets within planets
Crusts within crusts

And between those rotating shells of the Earths
That race of giants are swinging
From enormous tree
To enormous tree
The vines of tensile steel

Our antediluvian brethren
A hundred feet high
Eyes like moons
Teeth like boulders
And minds of infinite
And perennial wisdom

Amongst the ruins of Hyperborea
Lost to our own exterior senses
When Man divided from Man
And our ancestors crept out
Through the frozen wastes
And on to the surface world

The great giants moving ever deeper
And downwards
Towards the eternal inner sun
That gives its immortalising glare

And all it takes
Is dream to join them
Ever so briefly…


Hollow Earth Adventures
By DJ Tyrer

Beneath ersatz miniature sun
Hyperborean heroes long lost
To the pit below the Northern Lights
Quest through antediluvian ruins
And tree-fern jungles damp
Secret dwelling places of dragons
Thunder-lizards and other primordial life
Swordsmen, rogues, sorcerer-scientists
Seeking plunder, forgotten knowledge
Keen blade in one hand
Atomic pistol in the other
One final exultation of elder days
Ground to dust beyond myth
Upon the long-lost surface world

DJ Tyrer’s Supertrump and A Wuhan Whodunnit are available for free download


Whence Hollow Earth’s illumination?
Mineral radiation?
Gaseous irruption?
Luciferian vegetation?
Riparian lava inundation?
Of all these, luminescent reflection
in geometric progression?

By David Edwards

underground ocean
playful plesiosaurs prey
on prehistoric remnants
surface explorers sail it
provide unusual repast

By DS Davidson

The Life Within Earth
By K. A. Williams

Ancient life flourishes here
Luminescent plants
Prehistoric man
Found passage through volcanoes
Survived the Ice Age
Flora and fauna
Untouched by chaos above
War does not threaten

Scifaiku and Haiku: A Poetry Collection – K. A. Williams

Limericks and Other Humorous Poems – K. A. Williams

Issue 44 – Sci-Fantasy

Robotic AI
Alive as any spirit
Built by Tinker Gnomes

By DS Davidson

Elves in Space
By DJ Tyrer

The primordial Elf-Dwarf war
Continues far from forest groves and mountain holds
In depths of space between stars
Hollowed-out asteroids versus delicate ships
Grown not made, organic, alive
Orbital bombardments and stellar spells
Bring doom to unsuspecting worlds
A brief flash of despair


Magic Circles
(Any sufficiently advanced technology is undistinguished from magic – Arthur C. Clarke 1973)
By Cardinal Cox

There’s a resonance from CERN
Put your ear to the ground
To hear the hum – the AUM
Ring vibrates – singing to hidden
Masters – ripples out concentric
To encircle the world – tiny fungi
Shaking imperceptibly – their
Rhizomes reaching through loam
Touching old bones in ancient graves
And the mushrooms are eaten
World tilts slightly – magic sneaks
Back in – once stones were
Raised to forgotten gods –
Now the silicon and quartz are
Their homes again – Quantum
Entanglement replaces Frazers’
Law of Contagion – Telepathy
Is hacking another’s neural
Implants – Invisibility cloaks
Spun from nano-fibres of metamaterial


Through cosmic portals
Sorcerers step between worlds
With wands and iPads

By Aeronwy Dafies

Rites of Way
By Harris Coverley

The towers of steel and stone went up
And they all fell fast
In a sprouting of mushrooms

For a millennia mankind lived in utter darkness
Minute in number
Poorer in skill
All mechanics rusted and useless
All technique lost
Not even a water clock could turn
Nor grain be milled

Power was a club or sharpened bone in hand
Not a unit of energy

In gradual shifts the shamans made their stride
And the wizards and the warlocks followed after—
That was it!
The arts long forgotten with the coming of the machines

Spells cast against sickness
In favour of health

Hostilities to an enemy tribe
Small crops failing
And cattle perishing

Wars of enchantments
Charms against charms

The raising of ghouls
And the employment of beasts

The pooling of common blood
In wars of the mystical

The wizards grew fat
And the masses turned serfs

But explorers deep still carried on
Content to rediscover the older ways—
Fresh veins of copper, iron, lead, and coal revealed
The burning and the smelting
The rotation of cogs…

The wizards grew weak
And their oligarchy faded
As many gained riches on their own merits

The towers rose once more
Great stacks eructing filthy blackness
Vast twisting highways of concrete
Rolling with wheeled cages
Voices and visages blazing
Across the face of the Earth and far beyond
And mankind yet again strove to strike the stars…!

And the wizards become myths
Bedtime stories half-remembered
And mostly dull to tiring ears

But their arts remain still
Dormant in the recesses of human thought
Waiting to take pride of place
When the mushrooms sprout another time…


Robotic huntsman
Quasi-mammal hunting hound
Pursue chimeras
Fantastic fire-breathing beasts
Through primordial jungles

By DJ Tyrer

The Unicorn from Uranus
By Mark Hudson

I took my spaceship to Uranus,
to have a latte and a Danish.
A silence greeted me in the café,
the clients observed me with dismay.

I pulled up to the counter, asking for service,
everybody seemed a bit nervous.
I asked a bloke sitting right next to me,
What is the nature of this mystery?”

The unicorn of Uranus has come to visit,
and his magical horn is exquisite.
A rarity, a magical aphrodisiac,
that will make you a lover with nothing to lack.”

How many people are seeking this quest?”
I asked, “Because I am the best!
I am the best bounty hunter ever,
and the unicorn’s horn will help me forever!”

No, you don’t dare!” replied the opponent,
It was originally mine, I own it.
The unicorn originally belonged to me,
but it broke loose and it got free.

If you steal my unicorn, just for a thrill,
it is only you I will have to kill.”
So I shot him with my computerized-laser beam,
and I was off to pursue my unicorn dream.

I punched unicorn into my spaceship GPS,
found him with very little stress.
Cut off his horn, he sounded maniacal,
but I saw his body was all mechanical.

I grinded the horn, to check if it was potent,
but the unicorn was about as useless as a rodent.
Then, the queen of Uranus appeared at my side,
and said, “Hey, Cowboy! Want to go for a ride?”

Suddenly the effects of the horn kicked in,
and the Queen of Uranus led me into sin.
It’s a long spaceship trip to go, very far,
on cruise control I enjoyed a love so bizarre!

Orcs on Bikes
By DS Davidson

Orcs armed with AKs
Terrifying biker hordes
Rampaging through urban warzones
Employed by Dark Lord mob bosses
For prosaic plots layered on greed
The magic having gone out of the world
Fantasy subordinated to progress
Warriors replaced by cops


Lunar Dragons
By Aeronwy Dafies

On strange worlds
Beneath tapestries of blazing stars
Dragons fly down from their moons
Far from questing knights, cynics
Breathing essence instead of air
Magical and alive and free

By Cardinal Cox

metre wide metal sphere – Knome
dwell within (they say) – swap
limbs depending on circumstances
or need – no visible sensory
outlets – inside (whatever it is)
that exist in the magma beneath
the crust – shiny ball maintains
pressure/temperature of outer layer
of core – our world might as
well be outer space to them
soil thin atmosphere of
mountain peaks – magnetic
fields probe surroundings
communicate – manipulate – notice
(if they can) iron in our blood
someone knits them coloured hats
to aid identification – tinsel
in the trim – they exchange
hats when no one is around
enjoying the foil strips’ distortion
of the magnetic flow


Tame ghouls held on leash
Hungering for human flesh
Advance before tanks
Let loose to hunt enemy
Impervious to bullets

By DJ Tyrer