My name is Violet. I’m married to Tom and I’m old and I’d like to say that’s how I introduce myself to people, but it would be a lie. I don’t introduce myself to anyone. I’m of no interest, not even to Tom, who has heard all my anecdotes so many times that he corrects me when I get the details wrong. Which I, quite deliberately, do.
Podcast: The Tears of a Building Surveyor, and Other Stories
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Aliya Whiteley's "The Tears of a Building Surveyor, and Other Stories."
The bikes whir and flap, playing cards clipped to their spokes with clothespins, / and as the youngest passes, she sees the seven of clubs fastened to one wheel
These spectral tendrils twine and snake / into confines of my most closely guarded secrets
Our stories bind us /
To the stars,
All women dream of rescuing Napoleon. For less ambitious girls, it is only a passing fancy. They imagine sailing across the Atlantic on a stolen ship, their hair flowing behind them like a flag. Napoleon will watch from a window in his tower as they stride upon the beach, swords drawn, thrusting and parrying their way through dozens of red-coated British soldiers and evading the horses’ hooves, the dogs’ teeth. There will be traps too, they think: quick sand and spring guns which only the cleverest of girls could survive.
Podcast: Rescuing Napoleon
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Helena Bell's “Rescuing Napoleon.”
Nisi Shawl's letter comes from Australian publisher and champion of under-represented voices in fiction, Twelfth Planet Press, and is published in their upcoming collection of essays and letters dedicated to SFF pioneer Octavia Butler, Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia E. Butler.
The Maenad to Her Artist Friend
"you know someone's a good friend when you're yelling about how much art sucks & how you hate everything & she's all 'it's ok, have more wine'" —likhain Have more wine, my dearest, yes I'll pour you jewels from fairy land I could not offer any less. Your blooming eyes, when in distress unmoor me, turn my bones to sand. Have more wine, my dearest, yes, drown your traitor thoughts, and bless your berry mouth with contraband I could not offer any less than this beating heart stamped into mess, pulped within me where I stand— have more wine, my dearest, yes—
Summers in Shenzhen Bay last ten months. Mangrove swamps surround the bay like congealed blood. Year after year, they shrink and rot, like the rust-colored night that hides many crimes.
translating himagsikan yes, blood blossoms bright. dadanak muli ang dugo, aking mahal. out of its petals we'll raise the sun our ancestors lost hahawiin ng sinag ang mapanlinlang na himpapawid ripping orange through the smoke-clot sky, scarlet mouth, womb bubuksan ang pulang bukid ng mga patay, katawang hinugot stretched-strung-- violet expanse deep as bruises, a violence of cloud. our wrists mula sa duguang ugat ng kalayaan. kinain ng ulap ang aking dila ache: the rainless days are upon us, the air gapes for our bones. atop manila's walls nang kinuha ng mga sundalo ang aking ina. sunugin, sunugin daw. we