Volume 2 Issue 2

Winter 2014/2015

Imitation and Allusion proudly publishes our third issue with work inspired by pairing authors Jillian Weise and James Blish.

About This Issue

For each issue of Imitation and Allusion, we choose two writers whose work serves as inspiration for the authors featured in that issue. Before choosing the author pairing for this issue’s prompt, we decided that the theme would be science fiction. We thought that the different works of Jillian Weise and James Blish would provide ample inspiration for our contributors to explore various themes commonly found in science fiction, and we were glad that so many submitters made an effort to do so.

The four authors included in this issue were selected because they each have a unique way of imitating and alluding to Weise and Blish. As we introduced in the previous issue, we have included each author’s comments regarding his or her interpretation of this issue’s prompt.

About the Paired Authors

Jillian Weise has been a force in poetry ever since her debut collection, The Amputee’s Guide to Sex, was published. In addition to poetry, she has written a number of short plays and one novel, The Colony. Weise’s exploration of disability in The Amputee’s Guide to Sex is fascinating to read in large part because the feeling of discomfort in one’s own skin is a feeling nearly anyone can relate to. Other striking themes in her poetry are sexuality and science fiction (a great example of all these coming together is “Semi-Semi-Dash” from the Poetry Society), as well as Emerson’s “second self” idea.

You can find out more about Weise and read a few of her poems at Poets.org as well as read another interview with the writer on Identity Theory. An essay by Weise is available from Drunken Boat.
James Blish’s (1921–1975) background as a microbiology student at Rutgers and a medical laboratory technician in the U.S. Army during World War II certainly had an impact on his work, and he went on to write some of the most fundamental science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories. What might be his most famous short stories, and indeed what inspired us to include him in this issue’s pairing, are his “Pantropy” tales, which are in the anthology The Seedling Stars. Here, humans change their very biology in order to be able to live in various alien environments. “Pantropy” is a term that Blish coined, and in the stories within the anthology, humans form space colonies and survive by being genetically modified to thrive in the new environment.

To find out more about James Blish, check out his Wikipedia page, which has many useful links and descriptions of his work. Additionally, gutenberg.org has a couple of free Blish pieces for e-book download.



Corn Dance
Nels Hanson

Love Song for a Theoretical Planet
Murielle P. Shallbetter

Elegy for the Stars who will Never Die
Murielle P. Shallbetter


What Dogs Think
Bill Vernon

Every Traveler Who Returns is Lost
Robin Wyatt Dunn

To view this issue, simply click on the title of each piece.