Ruthanna Emrys is the author of Winter Tide and Deep Roots. Her first short story collection, Imperfect Commentaries, is now available from Lethe Press. She lives in a mysterious manor house on the outskirts of Washington, DC with her wife and their large, strange family. You can find her online on Twitter and Patreon.
Orcs are a species—more commonly labeled a “race”—of wicked, dangerous humanoids found en masse in JRR Tolkien’s Middle-earth as well as most of analog and electronic gaming. But Tolkien derived their ugly appearance and savage temperament, like almost all orcish traits common across different media, from a long and painful history.
Strange Horizons is a weekly magazine of and about speculative fiction. We publish fiction, poetry, reviews, essays, interviews, and art. For more information, see our about page. All material in Strange Horizons is copyrighted to the original authors and may not be reproduced without permission.