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The loud murmuring of the city fell away in a vast silence . . . and the stars shone over broken walls.

—Clark Ashton Smith

We all knew the snow

could not last

but the flakes kept swirling down

and Jenny was so cold.

The winds of winter had already killed

the small garden, made mirrors

of the pond and birdbath,

and one small girl froze

outside, she read.

Stacey turned the page.

The snow is deeper now and we cannot

get out. Jack pleaded with her to stop,

he was that cold, but she said

just a little more.

The drifts covered the streetlamps, the oak

trees, the peaked and gabled roof,

but Stacey kept on reading. She moved

closer to the desk as the

streetlight dimmed.

A window pane cracked

and white powder melted on

the horsehair seat. In desperation,

Jack picked up the snow dome and gave it

a couple of really good shakes.

The street swirled white;

the house pinged; lights shattered,

and the snow flowed unchecked

across the window seat, down

the stair, and into every room.

By the time Marian and Kim

left the theater

Stacey had finished the book.




An aether compactor by trade, David Kopaska-Merkel began writing poetry after witnessing the Ascension of Tim. He won the Rhysling award for best long poem in 2006 for a collaboration with Kendall Evans. He has written 23 books, of which the latest is SETI Hits Paydirt  (Popcorn Press). Kopaska-Merkel has edited Dreams & Nightmares magazine since 1986.  You can reach him via email.
Current Issue
21 Sep 2020

The day the last qawwal was killed, my childhood city, already known for its lethal silence, for its censorship of words, for its refusal to listen, went into a deep deep quiet.
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In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Aqdas Aftab's “Quiet.”
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Issue 14 Sep 2020
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Issue 7 Sep 2020
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Issue 31 Aug 2020
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Issue 24 Aug 2020
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Issue 17 Aug 2020
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Issue 10 Aug 2020
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Issue 3 Aug 2020
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Issue 20 Jul 2020
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17 Jul 2020
Strange Horizons is now accepting fiction submissions for our Mexico Special issue, which will be published at the end of November 2020!
17 Jul 2020
Strange Horizons lanza su convocatoria en busca textos narrativos para su Especial de México, que se publicará a finales de noviembre de 2020!
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