METAtropolis Contest, One of Five: Win the Tor Edition!

As many of you are no doubt aware, on June 8, the Tor edition of METAtropolis hits the bookstores. Naturally, we the authors of METAtropolis are excited about this fact. We’re so excited, in fact, that we want to share our joy by having a contest, the winner of which will receive a free! copy of the Tor version of METAtropolis.

But we’re not satisfied with running just one contest — why should we be? There are five fine writers of this Hugo-nominated anthology! — so each of the authors is running a contest of his or her own devising. If you go ’round to each of our Web sites, that means you will have five chances to win a free! copy of METAtropolis. How excellent is that.

Here is my contest:

In the comment thread to this entry, write a haiku about life in a future post-oil world. A haiku, just in case you need the definition, is a three line poem with five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five in the third (it’s actually slightly more complicated than that, but that’s the definition we’re going with for now). So, for example:

Our car rusts out back
Raccoons live in the back seat
And peer through windows.

Your haiku can be funny, serious, poignant, whatever you like, it just has to reflect a day when oil is gone (or near enough gone that the little that remains is a hot commodity). It doesn’t have to be dystopic — hey, we might just get out of the oil era alive, you know — so don’t feel you have to write The Road Warrior in seventeen syllables. Although that would be cool, too.

So: write no more than three haiku per person, and drop them into the comment thread by 11:59:59pm Eastern on Monday, June 7. Then check out the other contests as well. We’ll each announce our winners on the 8th — that’s the release date — and have the books shipped to you.

And now, follow these links to the other contests!

Elizabeth Bear

Tobias Buckell

Jay Lake

Karl Schroeder

Enjoy, have fun, and good luck!

264 Comments on “METAtropolis Contest, One of Five: Win the Tor Edition!”

  1. I know you don’t require a seasonal reference, but I can’t write haiku without them.

    Every tree is bare
    No heat, no lights, no fast cars
    Winter of the world

    Highways broken by
    The assault of trees and vines
    Spring has come at last

  2. amidst tumbleweeds

    the desert swallows the last

    full service station.

    (question about up to three haiku per person: would these additional haiku increase my chances?)

  3. We use more nuke plants
    Spent power rods increasing
    The beaches are clean

  4. Dave H – I can see Canada from my house – Aging dad, electronics nerd, embedded software developer. (I'm the guy who makes your microwave blink 12:00.)
    Dave H

    I don’t understand
    What all the fuss was about.
    Sunlight is free, bro.

    The deep punctures bled;
    The vampires drank, and squandered.
    Mother bleeds no more.

    Suckled Mother’s breast
    but no longer satisfied.
    Time for grown up food.

  5. Only three?! Blast!

    Okay, here are three of the eight I wrote before I finished reading the rules. *sigh*

    No more plastic toys,
    Gail Carriger fans rejoice;
    All tech is steampunk.

    Mad Max inverted.
    Flintstones cars don’t get tickets.
    Slow and Furious.

    Islam is happy
    The foreign devils have left
    Can’t eat sand, though. Whoops.

  6. Wind and Sun propel
    Energy universal
    Sky and Space and Time

    Light of the Fusion
    Heating the Earth from within
    Past of tomorrow

    Nuclear Reaction
    Transforming the wars of time
    Flying horse kittens

  7. Ty Johnston – Originally from Kentucky, Ty Johnston is a former newspaper editor who now lives in North Carolina while penning tales of epic fantasy, horror and other literature. He is vice president of the Rogue Blades Foundation, a non-profit organization focused upon bringing heroic literature to all readers. When not writing or reading, he enjoys hiking, longswording, bourbon, tabletop role-playing games, target shooting, and his girlfriend. Not always in that order. He is the author of several fantasy series, including The Kobalos Trilogy, The Sword of Bayne Trilogy, and The Walking Gods Trilogy.

    None of these are meant to be related or a series, each to stand on its own. Just, ya know, in case anyone needed that cleared up. :-)

    We worship the sun
    Wind drives our lingering souls
    Children of fossils

    Burning dinosaurs
    Forgotten baptism of oil
    Engines thirst for god

    Cannons fall silent
    Tanks roll the deserts no more
    Still, we pray for rain

  8. Roan muscles jerk,
    Strain the leather harness.
    Transmission broke.

  9. I don’t miss the oil.
    I can get girls just fine in
    My electric car.

    But without fresh crude,
    How can I keep polluting
    With plastic bags?

    I console myself
    With the certainty that I’ll
    Find another way.

  10. Gears on ev’ry hat
    Those cosplayers jumped the gun
    My gears really work

    First home-grown algae
    Smells slightly worse than it looks
    Green cookies: not good.

  11. Are we there yet, Dad?
    Daddy, what does zoom-zoom mean?
    My feet are hurting.

    Don’t toss that fry grease!
    My Mercedes can use it.
    I’m smart, got diesel.

    Unemployment, son?
    That was before the oil went.
    Freight truck? Ten men pedal.

  12. Derricks raise up tall
    Rhythms across land and sea
    Turbines catch the winds

    Blackness stretches out
    Covering everything with
    Spills of solar cells

    Melancholy sights
    Hushed roads of waving grasses
    Wow, that train goes fast!

    (A haiku triptych
    Instead of three held apart
    Go ahead, sue me.)

  13. Hot, dry, wind blowing
    I step across the river
    The Mississippi?

    Where did it all go?
    Cars, Trucks, electricity
    BP, why the sea?

    The sun, wind and tide
    Wonderful clean energy
    Cannot pay the bill

  14. Hydrogen power
    Suicide is tougher when
    You can breath exhaust

    Alaska pipeline
    Sits lonely and forgotten
    Make it waterslide?

  15. My Mad Max Haiku attempt:
    In a world dried up
    A warrior comes forward
    Feral kid smiles

    My Book of Eli Haiku attempt, I tried to add the tagline to make it cool:
    Protecting the book
    He will kill to protect it
    And faith is his path

    My The Road attempt (the book, I haven’t seen the movie yet:
    Papa and I walk
    The road is hell-the sky dark
    We must hold the fire

  16. Oops, counted syllables incorrectly! What was:

    No more plastic toys,
    Gail Carriger fans rejoice;
    All tech is steampunk.

    should be:

    No more plastic toys,
    Gail Carriger rejoice;
    All tech is steampunk.


  17. We’re all out of gas
    But fusion is almost here
    No, for real this time

    I don’t miss the smell
    Of the gas station bathrooms
    Or so I pretend

    The future is here
    But forget about jet packs
    Where’s my ZPM?

  18. O Foolish Scalzi, you may end the contest now.

    The Executive Committee of The Official Ghlaghghee Fan Club enters the winning bid:

    Magnificent She
    Illuminates Existence
    Without Oil Scalzi

    Or how about:

    Blacklisted Scalzi
    Along with oil, long gone, smile
    Beauteous Ghlaghghee

    We refuse your offered prize in favor of a series of superb pictures (un-Photoshopped) of Her.

    The Official Ghlaghghee Fan Club

  19. dolphin with iPad
    e-mails B.P.: so long and
    thanks for all the fish

  20. This book seems great, so I give it my best shot with fingers crossed:

    In a world gone mad,
    where the greatest enemy
    is you and ourselves.

    What do you think

  21. Even in the Gulf
    Little now remains after
    Straining seawater.

  22. “When oil is no more
    we will all grind to a halt,”
    the robots lament

    No oil means no cars,
    but also means no cheap plastics.
    There go all my toys.

  23. Damn you, Scalzi, for giving me yet another creative distraction away from my primary creative work! I love haikus, and I cannot resist this challenge. Plus, FREE! book.

    Fields of ethanol,
    Cities contract. But Others
    Choose to walk away.

  24. A quarter-grand slug
    ford bounces at the storefront
    horses bray for home

    Scrapmen lift the tarp
    Chase them away, it’s spring soon
    Still four gallons left

    Out with the top down
    The stars move on, car does not
    we roll it back in

  25. I will hunt for cat
    Wonder the road with a book
    My faith will guide me.

    Flame from wax candle
    Flicker across open book
    I long for light switch

    Fireflies rise high
    In the distance, rusty cars
    line highways, unused.

    Ok, that was my first attempt at poetry since angsty teenagery. That was fun, thanks for the excuse John!

  26. An ugly scene, but
    you can’t live well now without
    making more fossils.

  27. Kiara – Cincinnati – Kiara possesses a dry wit, a sharp sarcasm, and a towering intellect. Her secret alter ego has a boring™ day job, but at night she writes and reviews speculative fiction. She carries the keys to dozens of hearts in her pockets and jumps puddles in a single bound. Her superhero power is losing her socks before they've even made it into the dryer. She also likes to tell stories, so parts of this bio may be exaggerated. Waiting for Fairies is not responsible for any credulity that may be lost in the reading of this bio.
    Melissa T

    Oh, what will they make
    My computer out of now?
    No more geeks. All gone.

    A world without oil –
    The phrase ‘That really grinds my
    Gears’ has new meaning.

    Relax. Take a breath.
    The world is not ending yet.
    Just another stage.

  28. cartophilus – melbourne, australia – 48, businessman, traveller, semi- luddite, happily partnered up for 17 years, no children by choice, somewhat right wing, anti war but not soldiers, anti religions but not faith, pro cats, scifi, aaron sorkin, and interesting people. ( also really good wine!)

    Time to sort garbage

    A bit more hungry this year

    I miss my Harley

  29. remember before
    black water fed metal worlds
    lost machinery

    no more oil – how sad.
    but really devastating?
    zombies at my door.

    tinman frozen in
    time long forgotten. away
    goes the world we knew.

  30. with no more plastic
    will the Chinese make toys with
    old worthless T-bills

    When the oil is gone
    the millionaires will be those
    who learned a trade now

    no more fossil fuel
    can we survive without it
    faith in man says no

  31. Hello there, neighbor
    Gotta bury this hooker
    My backyard’s full.

  32. it’s a simple idea:
    you can’t Live, if you believe
    the end is coming…

    so don’t give a damn.
    enjoy the peace and quiet.
    i build sailboats…

    i sail and fish,
    and i have epiphanies
    mostly i fish, though…

  33. Tony Noland – near Philadelphia, PA – Tony Noland is a writer, blogger and poet in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA. He takes his writing seriously, but has somehow gotten a reputation as a funny guy. Most of his work is science fiction, literary fiction and magical realism. Tony is active on Twitter as @TonyNoland, and you can find his fiction at his writing blog Landless,
    Tony Noland

    Rainbow-black layer,
    Light absorbing, heat trapping,
    Makes ocean desert.

  34. Gliding through the dark
    The God of Oil was grinning
    Finally I stop

    I remember oil
    I remember it’s uses
    I forget the point

    No more oil, they say
    I guess we get to go home
    Screw democracy

  35. Our skies, they shine clear,
    now that we have reached the end
    of petroleum.

  36. In heavy traffic
    Breathing in fresh city air
    I see clear blue sky

    Stopped for volt fill up
    Lit a cigarette and leaned
    Against the fender

  37. Jeanne – I'm a reader, a writer, a mother, a wife, an ailurophile, a Writing Center Director, and a PhD in English Literature (specializing in Rhetoric and Composition and literature of the Eighteenth Century).

    Don’t miss long road trips
    But I do miss when we’d play
    spot the license plates

  38. residentgeek – Lesbian parent of 3 (at the moment). Hockey lover. Bookworm. Sucker for anything Science Fiction. A bit of a jock, a bit of a geek, a bit on the "down to earth" side of the height meter. Long-suffering Royals fan. 'nuff said.

    Nuclear is king
    Four thousand miles per atom
    Green glow is stunning

  39. Empty, rusty pipes
    Like dry bones, abandoned now
    Relics of oil past

    Glass walls towering
    Clean symbols of the future
    High in the clean air

    Electric train stop
    Easiest cross country trip
    Remember airplanes?

  40. Scalzi’s slate demands:
    “Whatever’s haiku is done,
    now get off my lawn!”

  41. Auctioneer cries out
    What is this last barrel worth?
    Going once, twice, sold!

    Driving’s now a sign
    of wealth, since only the rich
    can afford the gas

    Perhaps if we can’t
    travel far away we’ll learn
    to love where we are

  42. too much too quickly
    they all said it wouldn’t last
    we turned to the sun

    giant monsters turn
    whump in the wind on the shore
    the lights will stay on

    can we risk this new
    energy for real?

  43. BP is dead and
    OPEC drills for water now,
    This is the future

    We recycle the
    Plastic continent into
    Toys for our children

    The sun passes ‘bove,
    The trees and plants grow, while my
    Home charges in peace

  44. No birds call to me
    in this black, shimmering swamp
    wish we’d stopped sooner


    washed the few we found
    they died despite soap love tears
    earth bled undersea


    pushing my cycle
    new tech tires crunch rotting twigs
    bird flushed, flies, I smile

  45. Found Barbie today,
    but my daughter didn’t care
    She’d rather skip rocks

    We set off for Oz
    My buddy needed a heart
    He didn’t make it

    Dystopia nigh
    A private sector makes bets
    We play Rollerball

  46. stuck on this island
    maybe I’ll build a canoe
    at least there are sheep


    acidified seas
    dissolved all the pteropods
    there goes my thesis

  47. Wind and sun drive us
    Past the oily wreckage of our past
    Without stopping once

    Gone is our learning
    Scattered on lost pages
    Past the great city’s bones

    The fossils have done left
    Now whatever we gonna do
    Without our NASCAR

  48. cartophilus – melbourne, australia – 48, businessman, traveller, semi- luddite, happily partnered up for 17 years, no children by choice, somewhat right wing, anti war but not soldiers, anti religions but not faith, pro cats, scifi, aaron sorkin, and interesting people. ( also really good wine!)

    I remember whales

    The Barrier reef down deep

    My children will not

  49. I hoard my plastic.
    Cups, containers, forks, and knives.
    Precious now; like gold.

    Solar energy,
    Wind farms, hydro-electric.
    It’s all so boring.

  50. 1
    We could no longer
    Refine crude oil, so began
    Refining ourselves

    The new irony
    A coal-made diamond worth less
    Than rough coal itself

    Daddy, what is that?
    A gas station, son, relict
    Rusting, redundant

  51. mlwolfe – A writer with hopes of write that first novel. I enjoy writing, my job and the outdoors. I am a Parent, a Beekeeper, a Scout Master, a Guardsman, an Engineering Assistant, and generally busy.

    three eyed frogs are cute
    though are very hard to catch
    near the nuke plant pond

    flowers no longer
    valued for their beauty,
    for their oil content

    like rats we survive
    through hell and high water
    as nature resets

  52. once upon a time
    I woke in Nice and supped that
    night in Old Bombay

    hopeful beacons fly
    no more across oceans and
    cultural divides

    we knit the world once,
    but bled it dry, and squabble
    in the dirt again

  53. Thanks be to Barry
    Who knew I did not need it
    Still I long to drive

    I think a post oil world won’t be so bad.


  54. Flying horse, dinosaur
    Spinning still on totem poles
    Over ancient pumps

    What was it like, Gram –
    To search for America,
    Backroad by backroad

  55. I swam in the Gulf
    Ooh! I’m covered with black goop
    I’ve never seen this

    In millions of years
    Oil reserves will return
    Let’s start drilling now

    Horse-drawn carriages
    Destiny repeats itself
    Combustion engines

  56. Paved earth and chromed moon
    Shoeless, we roam asphalt plains
    I miss the aircon.

    Hugo winner? Seer.
    Paolo Bacigalupi
    Foretells the future.

  57. Seems like there were barely more than seventeen syllables, total, in The Road Warrior

    A time of chaos
    Warrior tribes went to war
    Cities exploded

    We had a contract.
    You happy out there, are you?
    I just want my gas.

    The Lord Humungus!
    Who’s gonna drive the tanker?
    l’ll drive that tanker.

  58. No hydrocarbons
    Cheap plastic crap is no more
    Good-Bye, Wally World

    Hydrogen fuel cells
    Just do not sound powerful
    I miss my Mustang.

  59. Watching the clippers
    Sail out of the bay, you say:
    ‘Whale oil, who’d have thought…?’

  60. cartophilus – melbourne, australia – 48, businessman, traveller, semi- luddite, happily partnered up for 17 years, no children by choice, somewhat right wing, anti war but not soldiers, anti religions but not faith, pro cats, scifi, aaron sorkin, and interesting people. ( also really good wine!)

    My wife died last week

    Sad, but so very tired

    Bones burn well when dry

  61. I didn’t know then
    how great it felt to always

    After crude ran out
    they cloned tyrannosaurus
    and buried him deep.

    (Can you tell everyone thinks this is the easiest one of all the contests to win? Look at the volume of entries!)

  62. Mennonite cousins
    Laugh at my rookie attempts;
    I’m a buggy noob!

    Amish relatives
    Loan me seed for a garden.
    We’ll can on woodstoves.

    In lands where we ride
    The man who can fix a bike
    Has become a king.

  63. #1
    Out of oil, but I
    say: “fuck diesel, we’ll always
    have Johnny Walker.”

    Rejoice drivers of
    the world: this is your chance to
    get back into shape.

    The world in chaos.
    I sit among the debris
    and watch hippies dance.

  64. Nope. I just like haiku-esque poems.

    David Matthew:

    Indeed, people should check out the other contests, as statistically speaking, at the moment there’s a better chance they’ll win in one of the other contests.

  65. Solar sails tremble
    As the flocks of blimps turn North:
    The first sign of spring.

    We grew flowers, first,
    In the toxic fields next door
    And burnt that harvest.

    I dream of better–
    For me and for my children–
    But not for easy.

  66. Soylent Green? People,
    You don’t want to know what’s in
    Your gas tank these days.

  67. Plastic from bamboo
    Fuel grown from the sun and plants
    This is not so bad

    The aliens returned
    For their young left so long ago
    WHAT, you burned them ALL?

  68. Oops, disregard previous. Corrected here

    Good-bye fuel world
    We self-powered empowered
    Won’t lament for thee.

  69. I just realized I forgot to add The in my Haiku, hopefully i’m not disqualified, but its for the Mad Max one

    In a world dried up
    A warrior comes forward
    The feral kid smiles

  70. Starships drift away
    Leaving an abandoned Earth
    Searching for power

    One tower still pumps
    Futilely striving for more
    Life goes on besides

  71. They burned oil as fuel,
    forgetting it was feedstock
    for our plastic world.

    I confess I miss
    driving fast on summer nights
    to nowhere at all.

  72. Well, here’s my stab at it:

    Kids play hide and seek.
    Run along the empty pipes
    Rusted from Spring rain.

    Sunrise is smog free.
    We frolic under clear skies
    Breathing Summer air.


  73. Woah! Lotsa entries. I’m trying to be collegial, but there are so many. Of course, a lot of them are _good_ which makes it easier.

  74. My Haikus:

    doc brown had it right
    mister fusion gets us to
    eighty eight with no roads

    I once used to drive
    but then the price went way up
    biking in snow sucks

    the world of today
    brought to you by bottom lines
    and short sighted men

  75. Rich men hide behind
    thick hinged doors that do not squeak
    silenced with black gold

    I squeeze ripe castor beans
    oily fuel for my tractor
    helps me plant more beans

    the wells have run dry
    now the oil barons grow corn
    maize is the new gold

  76. corn powered airship
    our lofty stagecoach arrives
    with raisins from Tampa


    beneath the ocean
    century twenty plastic
    our sunken treasure


    this land was tundra
    The Canadian Tropics
    the new comfort zone

  77. My second and third entries:
    Miles of empty roads;
    Solar-powered mass transit
    Carries most traffic.


    Plastic recycles—
    Combusted gas, not so much.
    Let’s get on this, NOW.

  78. @mote 164
    Sheep mowing the lawn,
    bleating under dead streetlamps.
    I knit sweaters now.

    I love it; well done.

  79. How curious now;
    when only quiet can be found
    driving around town.

    Ready to rumble
    Engines silently rev’ing
    NASCAR breath easy

    The final death knell
    Struck the oil industry when
    The gulf oil was spilt

  80. Now we have swallowed
    all the liquid bones of time,
    our throats ache dust-dry.

    My sweet electric
    buzz in the veins of my flat;
    Nothing much has changed.

    When they discovered
    that there still would be beer, sport,
    and love, no-one cared.

  81. No, don’t say extinct!

    Where have you hid my blue pill?

    Look pretty sea bird.

    Dry to the bone earth

    We sucked you like good ribs.

    Now you laugh at us.

    Our stupid parents

    Took the best, left us with the rest.

    What a crazy mess.

  82. (This should be easier to read)

    No, don’t say extinct!

    Where have you hid my blue pill?

    Look pretty sea bird.


    Dry to the bone earth

    We sucked you like good ribs.

    Now you laugh at us.


    Our stupid parents

    Took the best, left us with the rest.

    What a crazy mess.

  83. Cars turned rust-corpses.
    Earth sucked dry,nations pedal.
    Freeways now for bikes.


    When the oil runs dry,
    Cities splinter: village towns.
    Hello, feudal times!


    Engines sputter dry.
    Desert wealth dispersed — like sand.
    Water: the new oil.

  84. ~ a haiku called “max” ~

    on two-lane blacktop
    a road warrior still dreams
    of dinky-di cans

    ~ exxon of the dead ~

    zombies wouldn’t care
    oil was meant for the living
    the undead can’t drive

    ~ there will be none ~

    dear upton sinclair
    the wells have long since dried up
    just like in rock creek

  85. The oil is gone
    But they’re still making money
    BP bought wind farms

    No more oil, but
    Shell had an electric car
    Patent. Quelle surprise!

    With no more oil
    Now they’re skimming for plastic
    From the ocean gyres

  86. my sex life is done
    condoms made of soy require
    too much spit as lube

    who ever heard of
    milk cartons made of paper?
    back in time we go.

  87. Sun is hot enough;
    Water heavy when broken.
    Earth, a happy place.

    Our will to power,
    Gooey Neitzschean hubris,
    Floats on the quicksand.

  88. Power all over
    But they couldn’t see its worth
    Until we ran out

    Hit by an auto
    Electric motor humming
    Didn’t hear it come

  89. The oil shortage sucked
    ‘Til Halliburton made cars
    That run on puppies.

    But on the upside,
    We used all the barrels to
    Bury Michael Moore’s films

  90. We spin our own thread
    Reenactors had it right
    Nerds now save us all

    When we burned them all
    The dinosaurs cried in rage
    They have their revenge

    Arson is harder
    Setting huge fires is my art
    Sparks drift like blown leaves

    Fun fun! :)

  91. With all oil gone
    invention finally made
    my dream flying car

    Throughout history
    We thought the best years were past
    Now we know for sure

  92. Cotton sways again
    Fingers bleed on warm snow
    Faster, boy, faster

    Feet cramp and release
    One more step just one more step
    God I hate shopping

    Crank it again—Now!
    Shit. But look at the view, oh…
    Try to catch the wind

  93. got five miles’ worth left
    in the humvee. saving it
    for fourth of july.

    mel gibson was wrong.
    spiked shoulderpads and face paint
    are so not stylish.

    to commemorate
    i tried to set my car on
    fire, but i couldn’t.

  94. It took much too long
    to relearn the bygone ways
    but we embraced it.

  95. I love my new car!
    The power? It’s electric!
    A boogie-woogie!

    A shuck of the corn,
    It gets my motor running.
    Ethanol is win.

    Petroleum’s bad
    But I wish baby oil
    Wasn’t literal.

    (I’m going to hell for that last one)

  96. Remember rainbows
    glinting in parking lots?
    Look up, you dumb kid.

  97. Hulking monsters die
    Scavengers harvest their bones
    Black blood shall not flow

    Rusted creatures lie
    Skeletons of past glories
    Staring at new worlds

    Past time to adapt
    To re-invent once again
    Just push our lives on

  98. Our nectar’s dried up
    There must be more deep below
    Let’s drill, baby, drill

    I flew my last plane
    to Spain, with no return home.
    I’m single again.

    These city wastelands
    Ruined roads, our broken bones
    But the ozone’s fixed.

  99. I didn’t realize until I went back to read other posts that Jamie had similar imagery (almost the same last line!) to mine.


  100. Fields. Bright green. Sun’s sheen.
    The party has just begun.
    Our hands see the land.

  101. Baked earth smirks at me
    a rotten snaggletooth grin
    mouth a rust red stain
    ‘fraid humanity
    has had its chance to fuck up
    now the bill is due
    Peddle race training
    hulking derelicts spectate
    sand flies in my wake

  102. Uncle Sam Motors
    Pushing Caddies out the door
    Destined for nowhere.

    Cars now burn water.
    Oil, we no longer need you.
    Thanks for the leg up!

  103. Oil, armageddon–
    When the aliens came back
    Looking to fill up.

  104. Rachel Swirsky – Bakersfield, California – Hi, I'm Rachel! I write science fiction and fantasy short stories. I've won the Nebula Award twice, and been nominated for the Hugo Award, the World Fantasy Award, and some other things. My seventy or so short stories are available around the internet as well as in print, and many of them are in my latest collection, How the World Became Quiet. I have a masters degree in fiction from the University of Iowa. I have five cats. I like my cats, but strongly suggest one stops at three. Or two. Excuse me, I have to go take care of cats.
    Rachel Swirsky

    Seamless transition:
    Blowing wind and beaming sun
    keep cities shining.

  105. ytimynona – FLORIDA – I'm a big wannabe. Wannabe a truck driver, PotUS, scientist, writer, and teacher. Well, I already am a teacher. :-)

    Entry 1:

    With corn-based plastic
    and electric cars that work
    the future is now.

  106. oops I missed a word…embarrassing

    Blue winter fingers
    Carry books to the fire
    To read or to freeze?

  107. Oil in the ocean
    None left to fill up my car
    The world sprang a leak

    In the death of oil
    Seeds of the future are sown
    A new age blossoms

    Petroleum was
    gas, plastic, fertilizer
    How do we get food?

  108. Oil fields all shut down
    Burning wood… more pollution.
    Choose solar panels.

    Shell, esso, Q8;
    Closed down, there’s no turning back.
    No more oil, Amen.

  109. (three entries, totally NOT related to each other)

    Of all the oil-based
    Things that have gone away, I
    miss Vaseline most.


    Replace fossil fuels with
    Ingenuity, which we
    Always need more of.


    If only people
    Were still around, they’d see how
    Beautiful it is.

  110. Dandelion buds
    Can make gallons of fuel
    Invest in a still

    Wood legs are sexy
    At least, my wife told me so
    Can’t afford plastic

    My gramma told me
    Of fresh oranges in winter
    I don’t believe her

  111. Our plastic ocean
    twice Texas, will out-haunt
    Pripyat’s concrete bier.


    Turtles birthed their young
    On sand roads in paradise —
    the oil washed away.


    Backyard toys unearthed
    epoxy eyes: Like New!
    we bury them once more.

  112. Probably totally different from your world, but I work in biology and see a lot of very clever chemists.

    Aging process skipped,
    Cars burn corn. Plastic from plants.
    Why does nothing change?

  113. slave to the saw grass,
    chicago blooms in the sun:
    hard work and warm beer.


    (I know I should have
    hit the preview button, but
    I have no patience)

  114. Solar panes glimmer
    in the rising sun’s light;
    a new era dawns

    Crops sprout in small fields
    worked by sun-tanned villagers;
    the world flat no more

    Grass turns to desert;
    as soon as the oil ran out
    so did the water

  115. Oil slicks surround
    Poor helpless, defenseless seals
    I want my furry coat


    The sun is winking
    We fuse atoms on terra
    Who is your God now?

  116. Only needed three,
    But thirty-one and counting…
    Scalzi, you’re evil.

    These are just for fun.
    Here’s my competition ones.
    Now. Must. Stop. Haiku!

    * * *
    Road Movie

    Desert road truck-stop,
    Bright in the darkness. I stop,
    change batteries, drive.

    * * *
    Based on a True Story

    Quiet cycle path.
    A hedgehog! Stop, watch, enjoy.
    In a car? Flat hog.

    * * *
    To Be Read in a Four Yorkshiremen Accent

    When I were a lad,
    All this were tarmac’d over,
    Far’s t’eye could see.

    PS. No hedgehogs were harmed in the making of these haiku.

  117. Even though the world
    has slowed to a walking pace,
    she dreams of lightspeed.

    The elders tell us
    of cars packed in cheek to jowl
    like herds of bison.

    Look on the bright side
    at least we will get to use
    our S.C.A. skills!

  118. Less smoke in the air
    relief spreading all around
    breathe freely again


    windmills as landmarks
    roofs made of solar panels
    no need for oil


    no heat for our house
    back to horse and buggy days
    oil has run out

  119. the last piston stalls
    generators fall silent
    dark greedy oil gone

    why do we destroy
    desperate, when sun is free
    wind, waves, eternal

  120. I’m stuck in Peru
    The airplane is out of gas
    How will I get home

    Big oil has died out
    There are no more off shore rigs
    The birds are happy

  121. The deadline is at hand. Good luck, everyone! I’m pretty sure I won’t win, but it was great to read all of the contributions.

  122. Rachel Swirsky – Bakersfield, California – Hi, I'm Rachel! I write science fiction and fantasy short stories. I've won the Nebula Award twice, and been nominated for the Hugo Award, the World Fantasy Award, and some other things. My seventy or so short stories are available around the internet as well as in print, and many of them are in my latest collection, How the World Became Quiet. I have a masters degree in fiction from the University of Iowa. I have five cats. I like my cats, but strongly suggest one stops at three. Or two. Excuse me, I have to go take care of cats.
    Rachel Swirsky

    I came back to the thread to read some more of the entries. I’m sorry I submitted mine! This one by Alia at 149 covers the same ground much better:

    Solar sails tremble
    As the flocks of blimps turn North:
    The first sign of spring.

    Alia, that’s an awesome haiku!

  123. Fewer people, now.
    No more nitrates, no more crops.
    Cows graze Central Park.

    (reposted/corrected… I had too many syllables on the recount)

  124. Emma (age 13) @263:

    I kind of agree with you. Oy-il works for me. Perhaps is depends on what part of the country you’re from. Also by the Japanese idea of sound units “on”, you are spot on.

    Various others:
    If in some near-far future you find yourself with a squeaky door and no petroleum products, use graphite. Not trying to stifle creative Haiku, just letting you know. Just in case. It works. (It’s a little dusty, but that should go well with a steamer punk future, right.)

    Also. for some of the other petroleum-based [blush] activities there are some healthier water-based products. And skin softening is better with natural oils too (say OY-ils). Again. Just in case.

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