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Below you'll find the fourth installment in our series of personal essays by Strange Horizons authors discussing what the magazine has meant to them. Enjoy!


Strange Horizons published one of my earliest stories, and one I still deeply love, "Body, Remember." I had no idea where it would find a home, and sent it to Strange Horizons on a lark. It was so long ago, we really did send fiction submissions via lark; it was a challenge to be sure, but we were made stronger by having to attach stories to birds for long flights toward excellent publishers.

I was just beginning as a writer; Strange Horizons didn't know me and I didn't know them as well as I should, but I dreamed of being published there because I always enjoyed the stories they published. To be among them would be a dream. When they said yes, I'm pretty sure I shrieked and leapt around the room. (To be fair, I still generally do this when I sell a story...)

It took me eight years to sell Strange Horizons another story. Eight years that I spent reading all they were publishing--"The Keats Variation" by K.M. Ferebee, "Tattertongue" by Jenn Grunigen, "My Dignity in Scars" by Cory Skerry. The transformative "You Are Here" by Bogi Takács still blows my mind. In reading Strange Horizons, I also discovered a lot of authors I wouldn't have otherwise found, among them, Charlie Jane Anders, Julia Rios, and Sarah Pinsker.

Editors always tell you to read the markets you're submitting to--and they couldn't be more right. Even if you don't sell a story, think of all the wonder and beauty you will discover along the way. It's the journey, right? Let's help Strange Horizons continue theirs.

E. Catherine Tobler is a Sturgeon Award finalist and the senior editor at Shimmer Magazine. Among others, her fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies. Her first novel, Rings of Anubis, is now available.
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