The Science Fiction Poetry Association recently announced the nominees for the 2005 Rhysling Awards, and I'm proud (and delighted) to say that Strange Horizons made quite a good show in the nominees list. The nominees included the following:
- "Carnival," by Jennifer de Guzman (19 January 2004)
- "Her Hero," by Leah Bobet (22 March 2004)
- "How to Survive on a Distant Planet," by Thomas D. Reynolds (3 May 2004)
- "Soul Searching," by Tim Pratt (12 July 2004)
- "Making Monsters," by Tim Pratt (19 July 2004)
- "Mother of Atlantis," by Robin M. Mayhall (23 August 2004)
- "Rural Blessings," by Pam McNew (15 November 2004)
- "The Other Sleeping Beauties," by Greg Beatty 22 November 2004.
- "Strange Cargo," by Mike Allen (6 December 2004)
- "Rich & Strange," by Ann K. Schwader (13 December 2004)
I've been informed by Mike Allen, the president of SFPA, that these ten nominations have earned us a place in the history of the Rhysling Awards; no single publication has ever had as many entries on the Rhysling ballot. While reading over the ballot, I couldn't help but notice that a number of Strange Horizons contributors, such as Bruce Boston and Heather Shaw and Marge Simon and G.O. Clark and Mikal Trimm, showed up with nominations from other publications. Since we do continue to think of ourselves as a community as well as a magazine, I'm proud of all of them too. Not only that, but two of our staff members, John Garrison and Roger Dutcher, are nominees as well, and should also be congratulated.
As far as I can tell, poets tend to have an even more difficult time than most other writers, at least when it comes to getting recognition and respect (and financial compensation) for their work. Part of our mission here at Strange Horizons has always been to expand opportunities in the under-represented sectors of the speculative fiction community, and speculative poetry falls squarely within that category. Poets are an active and important part of the speculative fiction landscape, but little of their work appears in the major publications and for the most part they're not included in the major awards. I'm glad that Strange Horizons has been able to play a role in bringing more attention to the poets, whether through the poetry we publish, through articles like the recent speculative poetry symposium, or through conversations on the Strange Horizons forums. I know that I've come to see speculative poetry in a whole new light, and I hope some of our readers have as well.