The Edge of Tomorrow 2 - 1992
Review: "We Are Not Men" - Paul Davison
(page 13/13)

WE ARE NOT MEN - Steve Sneyd

This slim volume... Not so much a book as a booklet of SF poems with a cover price of 10p or 25c, suggesting a foreign market (in the States?), the blurb inside the front cover says that Steve Sneyd is a founder member of the British Science Fiction Poetry Association, and claims an impressive CV with publications ranging from contributions to underground magazines to a volume of poetry entitled "Bad News From The Stars."

This is definitely something of an acquired taste; the poems are very short indeed, all of them being written with the same three line blank verse formal This format is something of a barrier to overcome in order to really appreciate the poetry, yet perseverance yields interesting rewards. There is something of most things here: dry wit, thought provocation and emotion.

"Fluff in the navel / of time" is not an atypical line, and sums up the sort of humour you can expect from this book. It may sound dry but put it in context... I particularly liked 'Welcome To Android World", it is thought provoking in a big way and emotive at the same time. An impressive feat for three lines of verse.

There can be no doubt that Mr. Sneyd is a good poet. It takes a consummate amount of skill to get as much as he does into such a limiting structure, as I know from my own attempts at SF poetry, but whether this makes his work enjoyable reading or not is a different matter. It is snappy and punchy but the price to be paid for the odd presentation is an inevitable lack of flow. I personally found that this did not get in the way too much; others may disagree.

I can't say that I thought very much of the illustrations (by Laurence Calvert) although in themselves they are acceptable works of art, but for 10p I would buy the booklet for the poetry (which is the point after all). I came away wanting more, despite all my preconceptions.

Paul Davison