Salamander : Fire

On the surface of a far distant star
lives a race of Elementals
who crawl like salamanders
through forests of flame,
who slowly writhe and twist,
who breathe burning gases,
who devour light in waves and particles,
who ride solar flares to the heavens
of their sun where they see
the pitch of night and the bald stars,
whose lives are extinguished in
the vacuum of space, whose bodies
are hurled down by a gravity beyond their
understanding, who are ignited in the flames
below, the roar of their deaths and rebirths
interminable on the surface of a far distant star.

— Bruce Boston



Bruce Boston is the author of more than fifty books and chapbooks, including the dystopian sf novel The Guardener’s Tale and the psychedelic coming-of-age novel Stained Glass Rain. His poems and stories have appeared in hundreds of publications, most visibly in Asimov’s SF, Analog, Weird Tales, Strange Horizons, Daily Science Fiction, The Nebula Awards Showcase and Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. His poetry has received the Bram Stoker Award, the Asimov’s Readers Award, the Gothic Readers Choice Award, the Balticon Award, and the Rhysling and Grandmaster Awards of the SFPA. His fiction has received a Pushcart Prize, and twice been a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award (novel, short story).



Editor’s Notes: DG Canum Venaticorum (DG CVn), a binary consisting of two red dwarf stars shown here in an artist’s rendering, unleashed a series of powerful flares seen by NASA’s Swift. At its peak, the initial flare was brighter in X-rays than the combined light from both stars at all wavelengths under typical conditions. September 30, 2014, image by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/S. Wiessinger. The image is surrealistically enhanced is with superimposed salamanders.