Well, we didn't win a Hugo last weekend: many congratulations to Clarkesworld! It's hard to begrudge them, in a year when they had three stories on the ballot as well, and published fine work by Genevieve Valentine, Yoon Ha Lee, Sofia Samatar, Xia Jia, and others besides. And we came second in nominations, and third in the final ballot (PDF of stats), which is certainly not to be sniffed at -- many thanks to everyone who nominated and/or voted for us, it really has meant a lot.
And who knows? Maybe we'll get another shot at the prize in a future year. Which brings me, neatly enough, to this year's fund drive, launched yesterday. You can read (much) more at the link, but in brief: we're looking to raise $11,000, with extension goals to $12,000 (for more podcasting goodness) and $13,000 (adding artwork), we have our usual array of prizes for donors (to be updated each week), and we'll be publishing bonus content for each thousand dollars raised (including stories by Nisi Shawl and Rose Lemberg, poems, reviews, essays, and an interview with Helen Oyeyemi).
It's a funny old time, the fund drive. Strange Horizons is -- all together now! -- a non-profit, volunteer-run, donor-funded organisation, which means that we depend on this month to raise enough money to keep going for another year. And, though so far our readers have always come through in the end, on a year-to-year basis the pattern of donations varies considerably. Last year was one of our most successful fund drives, and in hindsight one of the easiest as well: we started out with a big week, and the donations kept coming in steadily right through the month. The year before, the first few weeks were much slower and more nerve-wracking, with a rush of donations towards the end of the fund drive.
We've had, it seems to me from inside the magazine, a pretty good 2013 so far. Molly Gloss's "The Grinnell Method" won the Sturgeon Award, we've had seven stories in four different Year's Best volumes (I think), and of course that Hugo nomination. We've launched our podcast (including a monthly poetry podcast, which we think may be the first of its kind in the field), we've started a critical essay reprint series, and we've published new stories by authors from Japan, Sweden and Sri Lanka, among others.
But the proof is in the reading, of course, so now it's over to you. As I write this, we've been going for about 24 hours and raised $260. We could do with picking up the pace a bit! So if you've enjoyed this year's SH, please consider donating. You can do so via Network for Good or PayPal. Every $30 pays for a poem or review; $40 pays for a column; $50 pays for an article; and $300 or so pays for a story. We have a few overhead expenses, and a budget for convention promotional activities, but it pretty much is that direct: the vast majority of the money donated goes on to our contributors.
If you can't donate this year, or have already donated but want to support the fund drive further, please talk about us! Write about your favourite things we've published, write about why you read SH, encourage others to read us. Because if we're lucky, they'll go on to enjoy the magazine enough to donate as well. Thanks.
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