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For each question below, use red ink to circle the option that best describes your beliefs. Please do not omit any questions. While undertaking this exercise, it is ideal to repress your perceptions of climate change, sexuality- and gender-based violence, or white supremacist activities occurring in your immediate vicinity. If answering these questions distresses you, you may wish to consult a herpetologist.

1. a) Rage is a terror, a murderous unholy apocalypse.
b) Without rage blazing in my gut, I cannot fly.

2. a) Greenhouse gas emissions and rising sea levels constitute increasingly urgent conundrums.
b) The flames erupting from my nostrils sometimes prevent me from enjoying a good night’s sleep.

3. a) Refugee children should not be caged at U.S. borders.
b) Refugee children should not be caged at U.S. borders.

4. a) Poems should create joy, lifting us out of grief and terror.
b) My eyes are slitted but I can see you just fine with your needle-sword, your tinfoil helmet. I am only pretending to doze as, on tiptoes, you approach your doom.

5. a) People who say, “Oh, I don’t pay attention to politics” are difficult to converse with.
b) [gout of stinking fire]

6. a) Violence is bad.
b) Yes, it is very bad.

7. a) Then why have you become so ugly? Anger is a toxin. A woman needs to let it go.
b) It is easier to release poison when the shadow of your enormous wings blights the countryside. Then, like a dried-up dream or fading leaf, it drops away.



Lesley Wheeler’s newest poetry collection is The State She’s In; her first novel, Unbecomingwas published by Aqueduct Press in May 2020. Poetry Editor of Shenandoahshe lives in Virginia.
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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