Thoughtful Thursday: Fantasy Limericks!

It’s time for our annual Fantasy Limerick contest!

Your task is to create a 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 (I have quoted from this source). A limerick:

  • is five lines long
  • is based on the rhythm “da-da-DAH” (anapest meter)
  • has two different rhymes
  • Lines 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 an example, here’s one I wrote for last year’s contest:

Miles Vorkosigan stands four foot nine
and he lives with a kink in his spine.
So he needs some support,
but you can’t sell him short.
‘Cause his wits? They are working just fine.

Your turn! The writer of the limerick we like best wins a book from our stacks and a FanLit t-shirt!


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KAT HOOPER is a professor at the University of North Florida where she teaches neuroscience, psychology, and research methods courses. She occasionally gets paid to review scientific textbooks, but reviewing speculative fiction is much more fun. Kat lives with her husband and their children in Jacksonville Florida.

View all posts by Kat Hooper

5 comments

  1. Sir Read-a-Lot /

    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.”

  2. Sandy Ferber /

    There once was an author named Dick,
    Whose novel “Lies Inc.” made me sick,
    A book best unread,
    It gave me a pain in my head,
    Surely NOT the best Dick I could pick….

  3. When Vin goes crazy with copper,
    There’s not a Mistborn who can top her,
    Her designer black dress,
    Is a bit of a mess,
    But even Project Runway won’t stop her.

  4. April /

    I am not cut out for limericks. Boy was this hard. Anyway, here is my attempt:

    There is a wizard in Chicago
    Who’s magic feats make him a hero
    You can tell all is well
    His ego wouldn’t swell
    If he could only make his car go

  5. Sir Reads a Lot, 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!

    I know what a smart and creative bunch of readers we have out there. I am looking forward to many more limericks this time next year!

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