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This is a post about awards eligibility—the nonfiction type. This category tends to get less than half the initial nominations of, say, best novel or short story, but it is worth some thought. After all, it is nonfiction that makes sense of and binds together the individual fictions we create, read, and live.

Strange Horizons publishes nonfiction regularly, in the form of articles, reviews, columns, interviews, and roundtables. Based on your clicking habits, dear readers, here is a reminder of what you paid the most attention to in 2019 from the SH nonfiction team:

Variations on a Name: the -punks of Our Times, by Jaymee Goh: Jaymee sets out a genealogy of SFF sub-genres that have spun off the original steampunk. She takes us on a whistle-stop tour of a range of traditions that displace Eurocentric conceptions of speculative fiction.

Always Open, the Eureka Hotel, by Jamey Hatley: Jamey's essay about a road trip through the American deep South defies easy description or classification; readers may find it somewhat reminiscent of Colson Whitehead's Underground Railroad, with Jamey's (real-life) Eureka hotel playing the part of the Underground Railroad.

The State of Play of Brazilian SFF, by Jana Bianchi: In 2019, Strange Horizons ran a special edition on Brazilian SFF. The issue was anchored by this essay by Jana Bianchi, that takes readers through the pasts, presents, and (hopeful) futures of Brazilian SFF.

Orcs, Britons, and the Martial Race Myth, Part I: A Species Built for Racial Terror, by James Mendez Hodes: Tolkien's Lord of the Rings has long been critiqued through the lens of race. In this essay, Hodes advances a fresh critique: he marshals evidence to argue that the inspiration for Orcs appears to come from stereotypes about Mongols, and the Mongol Empire.

And on the Reviews front, we have:

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James, reviewed by Gautam Bhatia, which features a discussion of the novel's relationship to the white fantasy paradigm.

Abigail Nussbaum's review of Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Moon, which took Robinson to task for reducing China to a component in his worldbuilding.

Samira Nadkarni's review of Wynonna Series 3, which discussed, among other things, the show's inability to develop narrative arcs for their characters of colour while providing them for white characters.

Nibedita Sen's review of Tasha Suri's Empire of Sand, which they particularly admired for 'how thoroughly it interrogates hierarchies of power and tradition without ever demonizing the people involved.'



Gautam Bhatia is based in New Delhi, India. He is the co-ordinating editor of Strange Horizons. His debut novel, The Wall, was published by HarperCollins in 2020.
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?
Wednesday: The Best of World SF, Volume 1, edited by Lavie Tidhar 
Friday: Anti-Life by Vee Tat Lam 
Issue 22 Nov 2021
Issue 15 Nov 2021
By: Madeline Grigg
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 8 Nov 2021
By: Allison Parrish
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 1 Nov 2021
By: Liam Corley
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Liam Corley
Issue 25 Oct 2021
Strange Horizons
Issue 18 Oct 2021
By: K. Ceres Wright
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 11 Oct 2021
By: Lisabelle Tay
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
Issue 4 Oct 2021
By: Anthony Okpunor
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 2 Oct 2021
Podcast: Fund Drive 2021 Poetry 
By: Michael Meyerhofer
By: Wale Ayinla
Podcast read by: Michael Meyerhofer
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
29 Sep 2021
Opening to fiction submissions for the month of November!
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