Tap tap. Is this thing on?
Gentle readers, it’s that time once again. You know the one—that month when we humbly ask you to donate to the magazine and help us fund the next twelve months of superb fiction, luminous poetry, and brilliant non-fiction.
Or perhaps you’re new here and all is strange and wondrous. Never fear! Here, take our hand.
(Yes, all 61 of us.)
(Look, we’ll form a chain. It’ll be fine. No one’s getting lost on our watch.)
(See? Better already.)
Let us show you around
We, Strange Horizons, are a non-profit organization run entirely by volunteers. We don’t do the whole advertising thing, and we have no corporate sponsors. It’s through your donations, and your donations alone, that we’re able to pay our contributors and publish a new issue 51 weeks of the year.
This year, we’re trying to raise US$16,000 to keep the good ship Strange Horizons chugging along at its current speed. If we manage to hit that level of funding, we’ve got a few new things planned, too. If that’s enough for you, then you can find out how to donate on our IndieGoGo page. And thank you!
But hey, maybe you’re not quite convinced yet. Maybe you’re wondering what exactly we’ve been up to and what we plan on getting up to next year. Read on—the answers you seek are below!
The last year
How do we judge Strange Horizons’ success in a field packed with quality SFF magazines? Well, we can look to how that field judges us. This past year, we were honored to have been nominated for a British Fantasy Award and a Hugo Award for our work in 2016. Geoff Ryman’s 100 African Writers of SFF project won Best Non-Fiction at the 2017 BSFA awards. G.V. Anderson’s first professional sale, “Das Steingeschöpf” was nominated for a World Fantasy Award. Alena Indigo Anne Sullivan’s story “Gorse Daughter, Sparrow Son” was included in Rich Horton’s The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2017, and “One Giant Leap” by Jay Werkheiser was listed as a notable story in John Joseph Adams’ Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017.
Or we can look at how we critically engage with the field. As part of Strange Horizons’ robust critical tradition, SH Fiction Editor Vajra Chandrasekera, Reviews Editor Maureen Kincaid Speller, and frequent contributors Paul Kincaid, David Hebblethwaite, Nina Allan and Nick Hubble participated in the Shadow Clarke Project, wherein a group of writers, critics, and readers formed a shadow jury to read and review the Arthur C. Clarke Award contenders to pick their own winners.
We can also assess our success by looking at our past year of publishing and noting what stood out. We collaborated on a special issue with the Storyological podcast. We published a special issue on Spanish SF, a special issue on Indigenous SFF, and a reprint special on resistance. Erin Horáková’s “Freshly Remember’d: Kirk Drift” essay blew the roof off our web hosting (and the SFF internet in general.) We launched Samovar and pubbed two fantastic issues of translated fiction with two more to come. Geoff Ryman’s 100 African Writers of SFF project continued to be a necessary look at a too oft-overlooked continent of brilliant fabulists. We published an outstanding roundtable on the Iraq +100 anthology and Arabic SF. We also launched a beautiful new site with the help of Matthew Kressel and with lovely art by Tahlia Day.
We’ve updated our ebook-making process and arrived at a format that’s a bit more snazzy than what we had before. We continued to grow our Patreon.
Niall left us, and we took over as Editors-in-Chief. As part of that change, we were able to bring on two new Associate Editors, Sharat Buddhavarapu and former Senior Articles Editor Vanessa Phin. We said goodbye to old friends Rebecca Cross, Li Chua, and Tim Moore, and welcomed Belle McQuattie, now the Columns Editor.
The next year
If you take a look at our IndieGoGo campaign page, you’ll see that in addition to continuing to fund the magazine at its current level, we’ve laid out a series of stretch goals. If we manage to meet those goals, we’ll be able to grow the magazine in some exciting ways. We’ll be discussing the fund drive stretch goals more over the next few weeks, but here’s a quick rundown of what we’ve got planned.
- If we raise US$17,000, we’ll publish a special issue on Arabic SFF.
- At US$17,500 we'll create a rolling guest-edited column on the theme of resistance
- At US$20,000, we’ll be able to plan a special issue on SFF from the Southeastern United States.
And if we get more? We’ve got a few tricks up our sleeves that we’re eager to share with you.
It wouldn’t be a Strange Horizons fund drive without a collection of tempting rewards for those who donate!
If you want to make a one-time donation, head on over to our IndieGoGo page, where you’ll find such enticing offers as an ebook of our fund drive issue, an ebook of our last year of issues, digital wallpapers, a Strange Horizons-branded mug or t-shirt, postcards featuring our last year of cover art, and hard enamel lapel pins (with or without purple glitter!)
If a recurring donation is more your speed, take a look at our Patreon, where your support can get you ebooks of our issues at the end of each month, postcards each year, or a range of other merchandise.
What about the fund drive special issue?
Glad you asked! As you donate, we’ll unlock content from our fund drive special issue, which includes poetry by Nin Harris, a review by Erin Horáková, fiction by Aliya Whiteley, a translated fiction reprint by Chen Qiufan and Ken Liu, and much more besides.
Other ways you can help
Tweet about the fund drive! Tell your friends and networks what you love about Strange Horizons and why we’re worth supporting.
And hey, you can always ask people to read the magazine! Because that’s what it’s all about, after all.
One last thing
Those of us donate our time to Strange Horizons do so because we believe the work we do is important, that it adds something valuable and necessary to the field of SFF. We believe that the work we publish is the main reward, and that we have the power to positively change the field with it, even if just a little bit.
That said, when the fund drive comes around, it’s the most tangible reminder we get that the work of Strange Horizons matters to our readers and contributors, too, and that reminder is worth a whole lot more than the amount of money we raise. So to everyone who donates, to everyone who spreads the word, to everyone who loves this dang magazine as much as we do: thank you. We owe you the world, and we’ll keep trying our best to give it to you.
In gratitude and solidarity,
Jane Crowley, Kate Dollarhyde, and the whole Strange Horizons team