The staircase is where we are always found, we waifs. We travelers. Always, I say, but I should say: rarely. Strangers—that is, people from other worlds, like me—arrive there, unannounced and unexplained, very, very occasionally.
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Sarah Tolmie’s “The Dancer on the Stairs.”
"The one serious thing you can learn from trying (and failing) to understand an alien way of being is how extraordinarily difficult it is to be alive at all."
I do find myself wondering, though, what it means for this story to leave the unjust status quo so entirely intact.
My hair is sun soaked and dusk stained
brown lit to red like flame
and you are beautiful like a punch to the gut.
Science fiction has a long history of allegory, and how Hatton explores the multitudinous effects of colonisation, forced and otherwise, is really wonderfully good. It is uniformly excellent. And then that excellence ends.
Whether it is glorifying "exploration," or treating alien species as incomprehensibly different at best—and irreconcilable enemies at worst—there is a not entirely coincidental overlap between the founding myths of Western colonialism and the more popular examples of Space Opera.
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents poetry from the November issues.