Welcome to the Strange Horizons 2018 winter special! This issue is written by and about transgender and nonbinary members of the speculative fiction community.
We have always been here.
Trans and enby people have always existed, because it is a human state of being, and we have always had speculative dreams. We may be more visible now, to circles through which we'd passed unnoticed. We may be more vocal now, our backs to one another, our faces outward, lips in a line. We may be using new words or new pronouns, sharing hashtags and walking through gateways with gatekeeper keys, but we have always, always been here. This is an #ownvoices space, where trans and nonbinary people exist, not as a plot twist or an exotic flavor, but as people building worlds out of words.
Today, we have two stories for you: “Obscura,” by Yoon Ha Lee, and “A Snow, A Food, A Fire,” by Jamie Berrout. Both of them relate to the power of a gaze, what is seen and unseen. There are three poems: the riddle “Woodwork,” the poignant “burying ghosts,” and the stunningly beautiful “Dead Names.” The first of our three reviews is for the trans-centering anthology, Meanwhile, Elsewhere. We also have a trans/nonbinary roundtable, “Beyond 101,” with art by Alex Dingley.
Our resistance column premiers in this issue. This column was made possible by your generous support during the 2017 fund drive. Thank you! Our first piece is by the poet, teacher, and community organizer Ching-In Chen. They focus on speculative poetry and the role of indirect and unformed space as a vehicle of resistance.
For those who haven’t visited the site in a while, we have begun using content warnings. You may see “transphobia” or “dysphoria” associated with content in this issue. Please be aware that this is not a pejorative against the content itself, nor is it labeling the writers transphobic or dysphoric. It’s just a notice for those of us with personal trauma that the topics are covered.
A hearty welcome from the Strange Horizons editor composite! Enjoy the read.