At Strange Horizons, we have always relied on the kindness of friends. It is perhaps fitting, therefore, that our donor's choice special issue for 2021 is titled—simply—Friendship.
Friendships come in a multiverse of shapes and forms, but at the heart of it all, they allow us—if only for a few moments—to beat back the loneliness of the world. Friendships can take different hues and colours, but at their best they are uncommodified sanctuaries in a world in which even the social, and not just the economic, must ceaselessly battle capitalism's drive towards commodification. And if the task of speculative fiction, as Le Guin taught us, is to imagine alternatives to how we live, then ideas of friendship must always be at the centre of our speculative projects.
The stories, poetry, and non-fiction in this issue explore the meaning of friendship in different ways. The first two poems also embody the idea: the second was commissioned as a companion - or a friend - of the first.
We hope, friends, that you will enjoy them.