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As the year winds to a close, here is a quick round-up of how some of the work that Strange Horizons published during 2020 fared across a year of juries, judges, voters, and awards! While acknowledging that awards will always be subjective, and a matter of personal taste, we use this opportunity to celebrate some of the work that our authors have trusted us with, to acknowledge our appreciation of that trust, and to thank everyone who has supported us and the authors we publish. To fall in love with a cluster of words is an everyday magic. Each time we walk through an invented landscape, and each time we are transformed into other people, we are lending our minds to that magic. Awards are one way to recognize that when we seem to walking alone in a story, we are walking together, sharing love, fear, grief, and excitement with many other readers. Whenever you read a story in our archives, you are traveling in time, and traveling with company. These awarded stories and poems are signposts in a grand landscape.

At FIYAHCon's 2021 Ignyte Awards, we had two finalists in the speculative poetry category. Raúl Gallardo Flores' "Tequila Mockingbird" was part of our November 2020 Mexican SF special issue. The award was won by Gabriel Ascencio, for "The Harrowing", also a part of the Mexican special issue! You can read English and Spanish versions of both poems at the links provided above.

Sticking with the Ignyte Awards, Innocent Ilo's "Rat and Finch are Friends" was a finalist in the best short story category. Published in March 2020, "Rat and Finch are Friends" is a beautiful and moving story about queer, shape-shifting love. That same year, Strange Horizons' co-ordinating editor, Gautam Bhatia, conducted an interview with Innocent Ilo, "Writing Queer Joy is a Radical Act", which you can read as part of last year's fund-drive issue.

Justin C. Key's "One Hand in the Coffin", published in January 2020, was an Ignyte finalist in the novelette category. When you read the story, don't miss Deoxy Diamond's beautiful artwork, made to go along with the story.

Finally, the Ignyte Awards also saw a shout-out for the work our amazing Articles department does. Tamara Jerée's essay, “How to Make a Family: Queer Blood Bonds in Black Feminist Vampire Novels”, published in January 2020 - was a finalist in the creative non-fiction category.

The work of our fiction department was also recognised by the Washington Science Fiction Association's Small Press Awards, 2021: Jo Miles' "The Longest Season in the Garden of the Tea-Fish" was a finalist. When you read the story, don't miss Galen Dara's beautiful art that goes with it.

Strange Horizons is immensely proud that Jenny Blackford's poem, "Eleven Exhibits in a Better Natural History Museum, London" was a joint winner in the Rhysling Awards' long poem category, and if you read this Borges-meets-colonial-critique poem, you'll see why! In addition, “Three Triolets” by Anna Cates, “Back Story” by David Clink, “The Believers” by Meep Matsushima, and “Such Monstrous Births” by Emily Smith were all on the longlist.

Yet another poetry shout-out! At the 2021 Aurora Awards, David Clink's "Back Story", published in September 2020 - was a finalist. We must say, it's been quite a year for the poetry department, and we all congratulate our poetry editors. As a result of this year's fund-drive, we'll be publishing two poems with every issue next year, and we can't wait to see what the poetry department will come up next!

Just as this post was being finalised, news came in that Innocent Ilo's "Rat and Finch are Friends" (flagged above) was a joint winner at the African Speculative Fiction Society's Nommo Awards 2021. Now you absolutely have to read this story—what are you waiting for!

As an editorial collective, Strange Horizons received two honours this year. We were finalists at the Hugo Awards, under the best semiprozine category. And earlier in the year, for the first time in our history, we won the best magazine prize at the annual British Fantasy awards! We are so grateful to the entire editorial collective, to our former editor-in-chief, Vanessa Rose Phin (who steered the zine through 2020).

Thank you, and onwards to 2022!



Gautam Bhatia is an Indian speculative fiction writer, and the co-ordinating editor of Strange Horizons. He is the author of the science fiction duology, The Wall (HarperCollins India, 2020) and The Horizon (HarperCollins India, 2021). Both novels featured on Locus Magazine's year-end recommended reading list, and The Wall was shortlisted for the Valley of Words Award for English-language fiction. His short stories have appeared in The Gollancz Book of South Asian Science Fiction and LiveMint magazine. He is based in New Delhi, India.
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There is little more inspirational than a writer who devotes her talents to the work of others.
I was twelve when my mother was born. Twelve or thereabouts. If I’d been older, I could have said things like I never wanted to be a daughter; I don’t have a filial bone in my body. Relatives could have tilted their heads at me, insisting I’d change my mind. But I was twelve so I said nothing. I had no relatives.
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