Size / / /

Her father was in cigars.
It was when she saw his Manila
(which was the most fantastically long 'un)
that she thought to follow pa’s footsteps.
She designed labels showing cigarillos
exploited in most unusual ways
and cards of artists and actors
being inventive with smoke.
These may have increased pa’s sales,
but colour was outranked by taste
in her hierarchy of the senses
and her talents turned to tobacco itself.
Her breasts would tremble when the mix
reached a woody ginger depth
that only she could tease
from the desperate leaves.

On June 2nd 1883, she outdid herself
and rolled a blimp which tasted of sour buttermilk
gone right. My, it was fit for Gabriel,
who, reclining on his harp,
breathed out juniper ether to titillate the thin
air of Heaven’s Heights. Directions
alight on a clear pool with occasional rain
ripples dying from a grey cloudbank; wisps
then will spread out through lung grapes
become salted in the chest’s seaweed,
and tickle and wrench off cilia
to reveal ubernaked pity. Churchill
would later say it was the best ever,
his smile wrying as the bombs
dropped on Dresden shepherdesses
who held ceramic hands nervously
under lightly painted trees.




Jude Cowan Montague is a composer/musician, writer, and artist. Recent albums are available on the Three Legs Duck and Linear Obsessional netlabels. Her first collection of poetry, For the Messengers (Donut Press, 2011), is a study of Reuters news stories throughout 2008 and is based on her day job as a media archivist and film historian. She improvises using electronica and voice on Reuters stories for her monthly show World News Vision on Soundart Radio. She is also one half of the duo Foulkestone, which performs traditional folk songs with electronic instrumentation.
Current Issue
30 Jan 2023

In January 2022, the reviews department at Strange Horizons, led at the time by Maureen Kincaid Speller, published our first special issue with a focus on SF criticism. We were incredibly proud of this issue, and heartened by how many people seemed to feel, with us, that criticism of the kind we publish was important; that it was creative, transformative, worthwhile. We’d been editing the reviews section for a few years at this point, and the process of putting together this special, and the reception it got, felt like a kind of renewal—a reminder of why we cared so much.
It is probably impossible to understand how transformative all of this could be unless you have actually been on the receiving end.
Some of our reviewers offer recollections of Maureen Kincaid Speller.
When I first told Maureen Kincaid Speller that A Closed and Common Orbit was among my favourite current works of science fiction she did not agree with me. Five years later, I'm trying to work out how I came to that perspective myself.
Cloud Atlas can be expressed as ABC[P]YZY[P]CBA. The Actual Star , however, would be depicted as A[P]ZA[P]ZA[P]Z (and so on).
a ghostly airship / sorting and discarding to a pattern that isn’t available to those who are part of it / now attempting to deal with the utterly unknowable
Most likely you’d have questioned the premise, / done it well and kindly then moved on
In this special episode of Critical Friends, the Strange Horizons SFF criticism podcast, reviews editors Aisha Subramanian and Dan Hartland introduce audio from a 2018 recording for Jonah Sutton-Morse’s podcast Cabbages and Kings which included Maureen Kincaid Speller discussing with Aisha and Jonah three books: Everfair by Nisi Shawl, Temporary People by Deepak Unnikrishnan, and The Winged Histories by Sofia Samatar.
Criticism was equally an extension of Maureen’s generosity. She not only made space for the text, listening and responding to its own otherness, but she also made space for her readers. Each review was an invitation, a gift to inquire further, to think more deeply and more sensitively about what it is we do when we read.
In the vast traditions that inspire SF worldbuilding, what will be reclaimed and reinvented, and what will be discarded? How do narratives on the periphery speak to and interact with each other in their local contexts, rather than in opposition to the dominant structures of white Western hegemonic culture? What dynamics and possibilities are revealed in the repositioning of these narratives?
Tuesday: Genre Fiction: The Roaring Years by Peter Nicholls 
Wednesday: HellSans by Ever Dundas 
Thursday: Everything for Everyone: An Oral History of the New York Commune, 2052-2072 by M. E. O'Brien and Eman Abdelhadi 
Friday: House of the Dragon Season One 
Issue 23 Jan 2023
Issue 16 Jan 2023
Issue 9 Jan 2023
Strange Horizons
2 Jan 2023
Welcome, fellow walkers of the jianghu.
Issue 2 Jan 2023
Strange Horizons
Issue 19 Dec 2022
Issue 12 Dec 2022
Issue 5 Dec 2022
Issue 28 Nov 2022
By: RiverFlow
Translated by: Emily Jin
Issue 21 Nov 2022
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