Tenth 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!)

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.
~Dave Turnbull, 2020

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’.
~Wolf Lahti, 2013

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 M,L, XL) or a $7 Amazon gift card. If you live outside the US, we’ll send the gift card.

FOLLOW:  Facebooktwitterrsstumblr  SHARE:  Facebooktwitterredditpinteresttumblrmail

FanLit is a hobby for us, but it costs us money to run the site. You can help by using our links to purchase books at Amazon. Just click on our images of the book covers. It won't cost you any extra, but FanLit will get a referral fee for anything you buy (not just books). We use this money to pay for our domain names, hosting, software, and mailing books to giveaway winners. Thank you!

View all posts by


  1. Night doctor captured the victims soul
    Being secretive has taken it’s toll
    Using the spirit bottle with soul inside
    Made his crime difficult to hide
    Now he’s captured and strung on a pole.

  2. Jonathan Nelson /

    There once was a journey to Mordor
    That happened with eight hale supporters
    If only the eagles
    Had helped just like Smeagol
    The trip would have been much much shorter

  3. John Smith /

    I haven’t really studied the meter above or below, so this is probably technically very inept, but I saw a reference today to a fun, well-known fantasy novel that is probably a great read, and that made me think of doing something like the following:

    A zombie hellacious,
    She was not voracious.
    She fought for the power
    That lived in the tower
    And was all too predacious.

  4. Necromancer wearing a spirit mask
    Using rituals, potions, staying on task
    Ancestral voodoo drums speak during ring shout
    Rhythmic dancers chasing the evil out
    Healing bereaved hearts, unanswered questions asked.

  5. Jonathan /

    Oh, this microbe’s not good for the grass
    for it threatens to kill us en masse
    can one man find a cure
    many lightyears from here?
    Can he complete the Hail Mary Pass?

    (you need a very specific accent to make the middle rhyme work, but I like it anyways)

  6. D. Capra /

    Seeking vengeance against Chandrian
    Kvothe’s war with Ambrose had no end
    Though he played the lute well
    Ambrose made his life hell
    Til he cried out the name of the wind

  7. T.O.Munro /

    A man of renown has returned.
    both daemons and angels he’s spurned
    for the love of his life-
    Miguel, not a wife –
    and their Nefilim spurs are well earned

  8. The farm lad, they said, had been Chose
    For armour, instead of his clothes
    To fight to the Tower
    And bring down the power,
    To stand tall, among the Heroes

  9. Mark E. Henaghen /

    I’ve loved books ever since I was five;
    Reading always made me feel alive.
    But there’s no time to read
    Between work and kids to feed,
    So now I ljust lsten while I drive.

  10. Mark E. Henaghen /

    It’s more obvious every year
    The future we’ve gotten is queer:
    Bezos, Branson, and Musk’s
    Rockets are just empty husks
    Against the spacer’s dreams of yesteryear

  11. A farmboy whose village got leveled
    With a prophecy soon was bedeviled;
    His group of supporters
    Were drawn from all quarters,
    And his Sword was attractively beveled.

  12. Mark E. Henaghen /

    I’ve been told in classrooms and bars
    SF’s just elves and flying cars.
    I feel bad for those folks,
    Who can’t see past the tropes,
    To the wonder and joy that is ours

  13. There once was a very odd farmer
    Who wore a strange clock and some armor
    If not now, then when?
    If not cow, then hen?
    Control over time would soon harm her

  14. Ergative Absolutive /

    A lowda who hailed from the Belt
    had grown, in low-G, tall and svelte
    She did not visit Mars,
    preferring the stars,
    And Earth’s gravity just made her melt.

  15. Birgit /

    There once was a lass who was seated
    On a dragon who spat air much heated.
    While the show’s come and gone,
    Mr Martin’s not done,
    And his last book is still not completed.

  16. There once was a doctor at Mayo
    Whose genius approached Galileo’s.
    When men said “Commence
    To cure my impotence!”
    He showed paintings by Boris Vallejo.

  17. Sethia /

    There once was a young man called Rand.
    He said, “See the lovely sand!”
    It was rather new,
    But not very blue,
    He just couldn’t say no to the forearm band.

  18. Garek /

    As king, he would come to be known
    After pulling a sword from a stone
    But he soon would discover
    (for his wife loved another)
    That power can keep you alone

  19. ¬¬¬Ergative Absolute,if you live in the USA, you win a book of your choice from our stacks. If you live outside the USA you are entitled to a $5 Amazon gift card.
    Please contact me (Marion) with your choice and a US address. Happy reading!

  20. A lot of these are very clever! Thanks for the smiles!

Leave a Reply to Mark E. Henaghen Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.