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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
Current Issue
30 Jan 2023

In January 2022, the reviews department at Strange Horizons, led at the time by Maureen Kincaid Speller, published our first special issue with a focus on SF criticism. We were incredibly proud of this issue, and heartened by how many people seemed to feel, with us, that criticism of the kind we publish was important; that it was creative, transformative, worthwhile. We’d been editing the reviews section for a few years at this point, and the process of putting together this special, and the reception it got, felt like a kind of renewal—a reminder of why we cared so much.
It is probably impossible to understand how transformative all of this could be unless you have actually been on the receiving end.
Some of our reviewers offer recollections of Maureen Kincaid Speller.
Criticism was equally an extension of Maureen’s generosity. She not only made space for the text, listening and responding to its own otherness, but she also made space for her readers. Each review was an invitation, a gift to inquire further, to think more deeply and more sensitively about what it is we do when we read.
When I first told Maureen Kincaid Speller that A Closed and Common Orbit was among my favourite current works of science fiction she did not agree with me. Five years later, I'm trying to work out how I came to that perspective myself.
Cloud Atlas can be expressed as ABC[P]YZY[P]CBA. The Actual Star , however, would be depicted as A[P]ZA[P]ZA[P]Z (and so on).
In the vast traditions that inspire SF worldbuilding, what will be reclaimed and reinvented, and what will be discarded? How do narratives on the periphery speak to and interact with each other in their local contexts, rather than in opposition to the dominant structures of white Western hegemonic culture? What dynamics and possibilities are revealed in the repositioning of these narratives?
a ghostly airship / sorting and discarding to a pattern that isn’t available to those who are part of it / now attempting to deal with the utterly unknowable
Most likely you’d have questioned the premise, / done it well and kindly then moved on
In this special episode of Critical Friends, the Strange Horizons SFF criticism podcast, reviews editors Aisha Subramanian and Dan Hartland introduce audio from a 2018 recording for Jonah Sutton-Morse’s podcast Cabbages and Kings which included Maureen Kincaid Speller discussing with Aisha and Jonah three books: Everfair by Nisi Shawl, Temporary People by Deepak Unnikrishnan, and The Winged Histories by Sofia Samatar.
Wednesday: HellSans by Ever Dundas 
Thursday: Everything for Everyone: An Oral History of the New York Commune, 2052-2072 by M. E. O'Brien and Eman Abdelhadi 
Friday: House of the Dragon Season One 
Issue 23 Jan 2023
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Issue 9 Jan 2023
Strange Horizons
2 Jan 2023
Welcome, fellow walkers of the jianghu.
Issue 2 Jan 2023
Strange Horizons
Issue 19 Dec 2022
Issue 12 Dec 2022
Issue 5 Dec 2022
Issue 28 Nov 2022
By: RiverFlow
Translated by: Emily Jin
Issue 21 Nov 2022
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