small logo Asimov Memorial Limerick Contest

And The Winners Are . . .

The SETI League's Isaac Asimov Memorial Limerick Contest has now ended.
We had a total of 22 prize winners, and 15 Honorable Mentions. Thanks to all who participated. Here are all the winning entries.

Shaun Merrigan of Alberta Canada sends us:

They came across trillions of miles
According to secret X-Files.
Now the good folks at SETI
Want us to get ready
And welcome them back with big smiles.

From Ray Hogan of Manville, NJ we recieved:

While repairing my new LNA
An alien had something to say.
I was not off long
And then he was gone
And he hasn't been heard to this day.

SETI League member Francis Cartier of Pacific Grove, CA sends in:

We cannot know where in the sky
A signal is lurking, or why.
We will search even though
The chances are low.
The payoff is well worth a try.

Lissa McCollum of Grand Rapids, MI submitted:

I gaze at the star sprinkled sky
and ask, "Is there one such as I
in an alien place
staring off into space,
searching with strange wistful sigh?"

whilst Neil Whyman from England gives us:

Whilst scanning one night into space
I espied an echoey trace.
My microwave MMIC's
Thus silenced the cynics,
Who may yet see an alien race.

Mike Stauss of Danville KY submitted three limericks. His winning entry is:
The intelligent beings are out there
From Vega, Deneb, or Altair.
It's only a matter
Of hearing their chatter
Though translation is too much to bear.

Nanette Asimov sent us this tribute to her late uncle Isaac:

In life Isaac often would say,
That fine limericks are ribald and gay.
So when chasing ETs,
At least pause, please, and tease
Sexy aliens who happen your way.

Knut Hunstad sends us this winner from Norway. He states that the last line is totally random and doesn't mean anything in Norwegian, or any language known to him. If someone knows a language where this phrase is meaningful, please let us know!

A creature some lightyears away,
sent off a few signals one day.
at SETI they read,
the signals, but dread,
they said: "Ghi-re dfi ga yt zay!"

Steve Hillis of Orlando, FL contributed:

They say there was life upon mars,
'ere dinasours stuck in the tars
but it couldn’t think -
just sat in the drink
so we’ll have to keep searching the stars.

Kevin Kirby of San Francisco was actually the first person to submit two winning limericks (but he only gets one pocket protector).

Because of an obvious dearth
Of intelligent life here on Earth
Congressional nuts
Make deep budget cuts
In projects that have any worth.
When SETI discovers a planet
With civilized humans to man it
It's too late to say
"Let's call Isaac A."
You'll have to inform his wife Janet.
Among her many submissions, Mary Singer of Spokane WA sent us these two gems:

The Mars rock amazed all the nations.
The scientists cheered with elation.
Others shared the good news
Still looking for clues...
And listening at their SETI stations.

She ventures outside without caution.
She doesn't need bagels to nosh on.
She thrives in thin air,
Digging samples up there...
"Sojourner" is my favorite Martian.

From Houston TX, Cathy Anderson sends us:
A small rock once fell through the sky
It carried a message from high
I come from the stars
I'm your father from Mars
So, give me a hug and say Hi!
Neal Krawetz of Savoy, IL submitted:
The question we ask every night
As we look past the pale moon light
Can there be anyone
who lives far from the Sun?
Or is solitude our final plight?
Ken Ogger of North Hollywood, CA observes:
The stars are like dust up above us
We might find some beings who love us
But we'll never hear
Or find them I fear
Unless someone pushes and shoves us.

Tim Pollock of Ballwin MO submitted:
There once was a civilization
That looked on itself with elation.
We are all, it proclaimed,
Till its model was maimed
By an alien communication.

Carol Ryles of Queensland Australia is first to submit three winning limericks:
A message from space most sublime
Arrived in G-Sharp, four-four time:
"We've heard your transmission;
To pass our audition,
Start sending us Mozart, not Prime!"

A message from M Thirty-two
On waterhole wavelengths came through.
It said "Users stay clear,
There's eavesdropping here . . .
The SETI League's tuned in to you!"

The SETI League aims to devise
A way to find life in the skies.
One day they will find
The truth for mankind
And take home their own Nobel Prize.

From Bristol, UK, William J. Fraser sends us this sobering thought:
Intelligent life, I agree
Might have signalled deliberately.
But before they said "Over"
Their home star went nova
And killed them, one million B.C.

Dr. Adam Brooke Davis of Truman State University, MO showed us:
The signal from alpha centauri
Brought SETI their sought-after glory --
But imagine their huff
When they decoded the stuff
As a travelling sales-alien story.

This final "winning entry" is by The SETI League's executive director, so it's not eligible to receive a prize. Nevertheless, Dr. H. Paul Shuch dedicates this ditty to all contestants whose efforts fell a little short of the mark:
There once was a SETI League member
Whose limerick I cannot remember.
Its scansion was terrible,
Its rhyme quite unbearable,
And besides, it didn't have a thing to do with the subject at hand!

Honorable mentions go to the following for their submissions:

Lawrence Berk, Ventura CA
Bill Cooke, Amarillo TX
David Cumming, Scotland
Dr. Arthur J. Deex, Los Altos Hills CA
A. Hicks, Western Australia
Gabby Hyman, Port Townsend WA
Mike Leahan, Sun Prairie WI (SETI League Charter Member)
Robert G. McKeag, Pittsburgh PA
Tony Neilson, Melbourne Australia
B. J. Pickelsimer, Pflugerville TX
Doug Rotermund, Portland OR
J. Schneider, Pittsburgh PA
Laurie Spiegel, New York NY (SETI League Charter Member)
Scott Williams, New York NY
Kirby T. Griffis, Arlington VA

Special recognition also goes to Melanie Dymond Harper of the UK, for her Alien Limerick Generator. Take a look at the kind of limericks being generated at the opposite end of the Galaxy -- their scansion and rhyme are unearthly!

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