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Content warning:

my feet are roots that defy physics
my feet defy
biology and botany tell me that roots don’t look like this,
don’t work like this,
so what am i?

i am sprawling tentacles and grip-
-ping ivy
my father showed me, once,
that ivy ruins wood.
that it sticks and stains
and leaves its undefeatable marks
its remains
and, there you go.
your storefront is ruined.

my feet are cinderblocks
my feet are concrete
i am a ghost in a shell of a building,
in a skeleton, a husk,
a zombie left to rot. a living dead.
the foundation is dirty with rain
the walls are gray and graffiti
year-round, there are leaves.

i am a ghost with trees for feet,
i leave my falling leaves everywhere i go,
scientists say:
what is he?
how is he—
real? alive, still?
i am one with the chill of steel
i am one with the upturned dirt
i am the empty grave

i’m the gravestone.
what name do you want me to take?
who will die at my feet?
who will be consumed into the earth
who will feed the roots of the tree
who will be but a name in the mouths of others,
who will be but a memory?

i fall to my knees!
i fall on my arse.
one can’t stand on trees, silly.
one can’t withstand this.

Isaac Miranda is a young writer from South America. He is currently working on his first novel, a bachelor’s degree, and several smaller projects in both prose and verse. Find him on Twitter at @yzacque.
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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