Size / / /

The baseheads call me Daddy Luzz like I'm fly.

I was my momma's first, a cream-faced baby boy.

Pops thought I was ace, raised me like a king,

named me for the light of the Las Vegas sun.

Or maybe pale Lucifer. No one would know

to see me now: sun burnt my skin as dark as Coke.

In college, I gene-spliced corn to make cocaine.

With a chemistry book in my hand, I could fly.

I wish I'd made Christian use of what I know,

but like Momma said, "Folly, thy name be Boy."

She hoped I'd be a NASA man blazing past the sun,

but my Supernaut Jiffypop made me campus king.

It's a crackbrain thing to think you're king;

I tossed around cash from frankenstein coke

and party girls loved me like God's risen son.

But I was just a buzzing mosquito, a robber fly

sucking profit from the uptown mobster boys

who lectured me with fists and guns. I knew

to blow to cowtowns where I wasn't known.

Spit-quick, I found hilljack saviors: Mr. King

and Passie Fay made me their moonshine boy,

kept me copsafe while I cropped up their coke.

For a while, life was stingless as a butterfly.

I took a woman, built my manor in the sun.

My wife stroked out giving birth to our son.

When I held bawling Russ, in my gut I knew

it was time to get real, get straight, time to fly.

That wasn't The Man's pharming plan. Ol' King

flared hot as a blast furnace combusting coke

when I asked if I could stop. He said, "Boy,

I'll throw you to the narcs; they'll bury your boy

in the county home while you bust rocks in the sun."

So. I've plotted our route while I plow out the coke.

I found a broken-down turboprop in a barn. I know

more than chemistry and genes: engineering's king.

With parts and practice, my boy and I can fly.

I've got to keep my son safe; I've got to quit this coke.

Russ thinks he'll be Sky King; boy's gotta watch the sun,

fly for the sea, get free of this mazed-up life I've known.

Lucy A. Snyder frequently escaped into Clive Barker's worlds when she was in darkest academia pursuing her MA in journalism. She is the author of Sparks and Shadows, Installing Linux on a Dead Badger (from which Strange Horizons has published an excerpt), and the forthcoming Del Rey novel Spellbent. Her writing has also appeared in publications such as Farthing, Masques V, Chiaroscuro, Greatest Uncommon Denominator, and Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet. You can learn more about her at
Current Issue
29 Nov 2021

It is perhaps fitting, therefore, that our donor's choice special issue for 2021 is titled—simply—Friendship.
The year before this, the girls at school had called her Little Lila .
Pictures of me that day are kept in the ship’s files, sent back to Earth to be used in my captors’ eventual war crimes tribunals.
Perhaps a new urban system of star navigation is needed
This world, covered in spectral ebullience, was tied together by bows of light
Are you a good witch / or a bad witch? / as if there’s an answer earned, inscribed in bubbles reflecting an inverse crown.
When does the pursuit of pure thought, pure idealism, pure escapism become detrimental?
Issue 22 Nov 2021
Issue 15 Nov 2021
By: Madeline Grigg
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 8 Nov 2021
By: Allison Parrish
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 1 Nov 2021
By: Liam Corley
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Liam Corley
Issue 25 Oct 2021
Strange Horizons
Issue 18 Oct 2021
By: K. Ceres Wright
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 11 Oct 2021
By: Lisabelle Tay
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
Issue 4 Oct 2021
By: Anthony Okpunor
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 2 Oct 2021
Podcast: Fund Drive 2021 Poetry 
By: Michael Meyerhofer
By: Wale Ayinla
Podcast read by: Michael Meyerhofer
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
29 Sep 2021
Opening to fiction submissions for the month of November!
Load More
%d bloggers like this: