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Strange Horizons is one stretch goal away from shaping the future of interactive fiction.

sub-Q Magazine recently celebrated its first anniversary of bringing readers F/SF and horror interactive fiction—stories enhanced by choice, audio, and/or animation—in a format that makes it simple to browse titles, read stories, and reward authors.

As available technology grows, so does IF's readership and storytelling potential. Digital IF can merge the best of classic IF—the reader agency of Choose Your Own Adventure books, the exploration of Zork—with the vivid characters, fresh ideas, and deep empathy of Strange Horizons' F/SF—all as close as your smartphone. Imagine a Princess Bride where you can romance Inigo.

If Strange Horizons reaches its final stretch goal of $23,000, SH will use sub-Q's toolkit to publish special interactive issues twice a year.

This partnership is an honor for sub-Q and a comfortable fit; since its planning phase, sub-Q has modeled its mission after SH, from constructing author-friendly contracts to soliciting diverse contributors and paying professional rates for their work.

There's never been a more exciting time to love IF. Choice of Games established a sustainable business model. Inkle Studios' 80 Days achieved mainstream popularity and critical acclaim (including TIME's 2014 Game of the Year). You can find Hatoful Boyfriend on PS4 and Telltale Games' supermassive Game of Thrones on iOS. With abundant tools available, authors are creating IF in Twine, Inkle, Choice of Games, StoryLab, Undum, Inform 7, renPy, and more—and we have ideas and resources to share.

Strange Horizons is no stranger to IF, having solicited and published IF for years, including “You Are Here” by Bogi Takács. By partnering twice a year with sub-Q, SH will bring new eyeballs to interactive fiction, new voices to its pages, and emotional, unforgettable, revolutionary stories to your screen.

If you want to see what interactive fiction can do, slip these stories under your skin:

  • Vajra Chandrasekera's “Snake Game”: a deserting soldier returns home to find a war he can't escape.
  • Chikodili Emelumadu's “The Fixer”: two women hire a private investigator to trail their erring husbands.
  • Porpentine Charity Heartscape's “Neon Haze”: a drifter descends into a dangerous subterranean world.

This all depends, of course, on Strange Horizons reaching their final 2016 fund drive goal.

You can help. Donate today. Get the word out.

We’ve got the future to do.

tory_hoke_50kbTory writes, draws, and codes in Los Angeles. Her fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, Drabblecast, and PseudoPod, and her art has appeared in Strange Horizons, Apex, and Spellbound. She is art director for Strange Horizons and editor-in-chief of sub-Q, a magazine for interactive fiction. Follow her work at
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