Size / / /

Content warning:


In Israel I was given
the empty skin-suit of a woman with
crooked fingers and a filthy mouth.Nobody explained the clumsy
curve of her spine or the slashes filled with
silica gel on her B-cups and

legs, but though I was curious,
I allowed myself to be adjusted
to her inverted triangle shape

with no questions. I kept them stashed.
The Jerusalem heat peeled off my sweat
and the first pearls dripped down my new back.

This tongue can say son-of-a-whore
with perfect clarity and confidence,
but somehow still doesn’t know Hebrew—

the guttural words always caught
in my strawberry-smooth throat, and I find
I’m quietly hoping that I can

still sing. I could sing beautifully.
I was a Soprano 1, before the
time had come to be a woman, and it would be nice if she was a
Soprano 1 too. At least, if I must
be a woman, if I must adapt

to fit this oversized skin-suit,
please let my throat remember how to sing.
Girl or woman, I don’t have much else.

When it was over and we could
fold Israel into a suitcase with
our olive oil cream and hamsas,

my voice was waiting for me like
how a lover will always remain to
collect the one who had pined for him

in her absence. Girl or woman,
I can sing. With crooked fingers and curved
spine, my throat is still strawberry-smooth.



Cecilia R. is a student at Lesley University, majoring in sociology. Hopefully, she will one day be a juvenile lawyer (who still writes poetry, of course).
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.
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.
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).
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?
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.
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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