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This is always a fun time of year. As each issue comes out, we get some idea of what our readers are enjoying most, but even more than usual, 2012 was a busy year behind the scenes here, as we welcomed new fiction editors, poetry editors, and for the first time—thanks to last autumn's incredibly successful fund drive—a podcast editor. (Those of you who haven't yet subscribed to the podcast can find it in iTunes here, by the way.) So the Readers' Poll is a nice opportunity to look back at the whole of the last year in context.

In several categories, there is a clear continuity with last year. You can check out the full results for 2010 here and 2011 here, but the short version is: congratulations to Liz Bourke, Rose Lemberg and Genevieve Valentine for topping their respective categories for a second year running. (Indeed, Rose took the number one and number two spots in poetry this year.) We're always delighted to be able to publish their work. In the fiction category, meanwhile, congratulations to Rachel Acks, whose "Come the Huntsman" proved most popular. And in articles, our round-table on "Writing Climate Change" from last February was the winner—thanks again to Julie Bertagna, Tobias Buckell, Maggie Gee, Glenda Larke, Kim Stanley Robinson, Vandana Singh, and Joan Slonczewski for their time and contributions, which made the whole conversation so fascinating.

A quick recap of the rules. 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 4th March 2013 until 23.59 PST on 11th March 2013. 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.

Finally, thank you to everybody who voted—and more of you did so than in either of the last two years, which is very gratifying. We'll do it all again this time next year.

The Results

Best Story

Best Poem

Best Article

Best Columnist

  • First place: Genevieve Valentine ("Intertitles")
  • Second place: John Clute ("Scores")
  • Third place (tie): Rochita Loenen-Ruiz ("Movements")
  • Third place (tie): Eleanor Arnason ("Me and Science Fiction")
  • Fifth place: Vandana Singh ("Diffractions")

Best Reviewer

  • First place: Liz Bourke
  • Second place: Lila Garrott-Wejksnora
  • Third place: Benjamin Gabriel
  • Fourth place: Sofia Samatar
  • Fifth place: Niall Alexander



Niall Harrison is a reader and fan.
Current Issue
29 Nov 2021

It is perhaps fitting, therefore, that our donor's choice special issue for 2021 is titled—simply—Friendship.
The year before this, the girls at school had called her Little Lila .
Pictures of me that day are kept in the ship’s files, sent back to Earth to be used in my captors’ eventual war crimes tribunals.
Perhaps a new urban system of star navigation is needed
This world, covered in spectral ebullience, was tied together by bows of light
Are you a good witch / or a bad witch? / as if there’s an answer earned, inscribed in bubbles reflecting an inverse crown.
When does the pursuit of pure thought, pure idealism, pure escapism become detrimental?
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29 Sep 2021
Opening to fiction submissions for the month of November!
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