Ninth Annual Speculative Fiction Limerick Contest

It’s time for our annual Fantasy Limerick contest!

Your task is to create an original limerick that has something to do with speculative fiction. It could be about a character, a series, an author, or whatever fits the theme. Here are the rules for creating a good limerick (quoting from this source). A limerick:

  • is five lines long
  • is based on the rhythm “da-da-DAH” (anapest meter)
  • has two different rhymes
  • fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsLines 1, 2, and 5 have three of those da-da-DAH “feet,” and rhyme with each other.
  • Lines 3 and 4 have two, and rhyme with each other.
  • You can break the meter rules if there’s a good reason. You may
    • drop the first “da” in a line, changing that foot to da-DAH
    • add an extra “da” or two at the end of a line IF it’s used for an extended rhyme, such as cannibal and Hannibal
  • The best limericks are funny or witty or clever.

So, the meter goes like this:

da da DAH / da da DAH / da da BING
da da DAH / da da DAH / da da DING
da da DAH / da da BAM
da da DAH / da da WHAM
da da DAH / da da DAH / da da PING

As examples, here are some previous winners:

(Your name could be in this spot next year!)

Deep in the winter so cold
inspired by stories of old
a poor farmer’s daughter
a princess led to slaughter
and a Jew who spins silver to gold.
~Jonathan, 2019

There once was a scion of Lackless
Who was raised to be charming, but tactless
He followed the moon,
And found himself soon,
in the Fae realm from whence the orb waxes.
~James, 2018

I just heard George Romero has passed,
And thought how long his genre will last.
Of zombies there’s no lack,
But will George be back
To lead “Father of the Living Dead”‘s cast?
~Mark E. Henaghen, 2017

The Bay’s home to more than just mud
and streets where the parking is crud.
Let all changelings beware
when the scent in the air
is the fragrance of roses and blood.
~Arcanist Lupus, 2016

The day came that I had been dreading,
It would surely end in beheading
and my family depressed
as they murdered their guests,
Never go to a Westeros wedding
~Ben, 2015

In a world where your eyes show your station
And most of the life is crustacean
He took an Oath and a breath
and said “Life before death”
“And journey before destination.”
~Sir Read-A-Lot, 2014

The Sad Saga of Smeagol the Stoor

There once was a Stoor-fellow Smeagol
who had a young friend name of Deagol.
Deagol had found a ring–
‘Twas a beautiful thing.
For rings, Smeagol’s eyes were like eagles’.
.…continued…
~Wolf Lahti, 2013

George R. Martin did not know what to do
as he watched his worst nightmares come true
the fourth book of the “Song”
was so unimaginably long
that he had no choice but to cut it in two.
~Sir Read-A-Lot, 2012

There are some brilliant limericks in our previous columns. We encourage you to go back and read them (use the links in the limericks above).

Now it’s your turn. We can’t wait to read what you create! If it’s not obvious what your limerick is a tribute to, please mention it in your comment. And if you want us to give you credit on Twitter, include your Twitter handle.

The author of the limerick we like best wins a book from our stacks or a FanLit T-shirt (sizes avail are S – XL). If you live outside the US, we’ll send a $7 Amazon gift card.


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13 comments

  1. Tom Morgan /

    A battle between the weilders of light
    Good guys led by a lad less than slight
    In battle though rate
    He’d be the turtlebear
    And with his mighty they’d go win the fight

    @thetommimorgan

  2. Noneofyourbusiness /

    There once was a student called Bright
    Whose speed was much faster than light
    She set off one day
    In a relative way
    And returned on a previous night

  3. Kelly Lasiter /

    A young necromancer, quite queer
    Fell in love with a girl on a bier
    But to hecc with the dead
    She’d be better instead
    With our favorite sharp-tongued cavalier

  4. Taran helped care for a pig
    But the dreams that he dreamed were too big.
    They made him a king
    Despite this one thing-
    His family tree was a twig.

  5. John Boston /

    A young Null-A stud name of Claus
    Won all the young ladies’ applause:
    He prolonged their delight
    All day and all night
    With the cortico-thalamic pause.

  6. Johnny was good on guitar
    He dreamed of the planets and stars
    With plectrums in pocket
    He boarded a rocket
    To strum for the settlers on Mars

  7. Sturgeon's Lawyer /

    Old Superman’s really quite sad;
    The Earth’s the one planet he’s had,
    but the sun a red giant,
    so one last time, defiant,
    he visits his mom and his dad*.

    (At their grave, which he’s maintained for a billiion years or so.)

  8. Sethia /

    There once was a old man who flew.
    He said, “Let’s go crew!”
    It was rather novel,
    But not very novelle,
    He just couldn’t say no to the new!

  9. An Uruk-Hai from Middle-Earth
    Weighed two hundred kilos from birth.
    He was good in a brawl,
    For he stood eight feet tall,
    Which was nothing compared to his girth.

    @muttonpiccata

  10. As always, a delightful selection!

    Dave Turnbull, if you live in the USA, you win a book of your choice from our stacks.
    Please contact me (Marion) with your choice and a US address. Happy reading!

  11. I know I’m too late for the contest but here I go anyway!

    The Last Prince is a tale nimbly told
    Of broken heirs and sole nobles of old.
    A fighter for hire
    A Fae and his fire
    Forge a love far more precious than gold.

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