About this book

The theme of this book was inspired by Stella Monday, who, in 1979 asked for submissions for an issue of Back Roads magazine on technology and culture.

Stella wrote:

. . . technology is tool-using—What tools have we, have we made, have made us; what tools could we have, could we be; what have they brought us, in art, relationship, health, government, style, purpose?

Marshall McLuhan said, “We shape our tools. And then our tools shape us.”

The ideas

Some of the ideas in these poems are in the realm of science fiction, but some explore worlds of technology and culture that we live in today. Our world today would have seemed like science fiction a hundred years ago.

The term novum describes an invention that underpins both science fiction and fantasy, but whereas in fantasy it exists by magic, in science fiction it is assumed to exist by scientific means.

Links and shortcuts

In any page, you can click on or touch links to jump around in this book.

You may find the following keyboard equivalents to be convenient. Here I use the symbol ⌥ for the option key on Mac/OS or the alt key on Windows, ⇧ for the shift key, and ⏎ for the return (enter) key. Arrow keys are ◄ (left), ► (right), ▲ (up), and ▼ (down).

Keyboard shortcuts for navigating this book
Context Keys Jump to / Behavior
cover ⌥ ◄ Books by Tom Sharp
⌥ ▲ About Tom Sharp
⌥ ► about this book (this page)
⌥ ▼ contents
⇧ ⌥ ▼ contents
contents ⇧ ⌥ ▲ cover
⌥ ▼ select the next item in the contents
⌥ ▲ select the previous item in the contents
⌥ ► open the selected page
⌥ ⏎ open the selected page
poem ⇧ ⌥ ▲ contents
⌥ ◄ contents
⌥ ▲ open the previous page
⌥ ▼ open the next page
⌥ ► in the poem “Openings,” open the prose section starting with “Vibrations”

The author

Tom Sharp, photo by Terry M. Sharp
Photo by “Terry M. Sharp”

Tom Sharp is a Native American of Aleut heritage, a member of Seldovia Village Tribe. He is the author of numerous books, including Spectacles: A Sampler of Poems and Prose, Taurean Horn Press (ISBN 0-931552-10-9), a novel, Hans and the Clock (ISBN 979-8580172484), The book of science, SciFi (ISBN 979-8694935210), Things People Do (ISBN 979-8687425568), The book of beliefs (ISBN 979-8683553593), The I Ching (ISBN 979-8573510620), Images (ISBN 979-8577560515), Aleut Artifacts (ISBN 979-8575608998), Aleut Words (ISBN 979-8582103394), and First Nations (ISBN 979-8682924769).

Tom Sharp’s initials