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It seems like only days ago that I was announcing the results of the 2010 Readers' Poll, and yet here we are with the results for the 2011 poll already. Last year was a busy one for Strange Horizons. We welcomed an array of new regular columnists, including Robyn Fleming, Mark Plummer, Vandana Singh, and Genevieve Valentine, and published special issues celebrating the work of Nisi Shawl, Carol Emshwiller and Pat Cadigan. We also said farewell to poetry editor Mark Rudolph and fiction editor Karen Meisner, both of whom contributed an astounding amount to the magazine during their time here. And we began work on a major redesign that should come to fruition later this year—but more about that in due course.

The Readers' Poll is your chance to tell us what you thought the highlights of the magazine's year were We asked you to vote for your favorite works from the fiction, poetry, and articles departments, and your favorite columnists and reviewers. The poll was open from 13.00 PST on 6th February 2012 until 23.59 PST on 19th February 2012. The scoring system was the same as last year. Each person could vote for up to five works or nominees, ranking them 1 (first place) to 5 (fifth place). Each first-place vote was worth five points, each second-place vote was worth four points, and so on. It was not compulsory to vote in every category, nor to use all five slots in a given category. Multiple votes on one ballot for the same item were discarded, and we required a unique email address for the ballot to be submitted. Those addresses were only used to verify the validity of ballots, and were only saved for the duration of the poll.

As ever, many thanks to everyone who participated. And so to this year's winners; congratulations to them all!

The Results

Best Story

Best Poem

Best Article

Best Columnist

  • First place: Genevieve Valentine
  • Second place: Nisi Shawl
  • Third place: Karen Joy Fowler
  • Fourth place: Vandana Singh
  • Fifth place: Matthew Cheney

Best Reviewer

  • First place: Liz Bourke
  • Second place: L. Timmel Duchamp
  • Third equal: Sofia Samatar
  • Third equal: Nic Clarke
  • Fifth place: Niall Harrison



Niall Harrison is an independent critic based in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. He is a former editor of Strange Horizons, and his writing has also appeared in The New York Review of Science FictionFoundation: The International Review of Science Fiction, The Los Angeles Review of Books and others. He has been a judge for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and a Guest of Honor at the 2023 British National Science Fiction Convention. His collection All These Worlds: Reviews and Essays is forthcoming from Briardene Books.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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?
Tuesday: Genre Fiction: The Roaring Years by Peter Nicholls 
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
Issue 16 Jan 2023
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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