Size / / /

Illustration by Nor Sanavongsay

They fling us at empires
When a cosmos needs to die.

Engineered by the best AI minds
Of New Lane Xang,

In the boot-tubes we sing:

"They'll never let us in,
They'll never let us in
To holy Himapan!
Not quite monkey, not quite man!"

In the future, true havoc needs more
Than a mere dog for war.

Laotonium shell around a simian soul,
Dropping through the sky, ready to die,
Armed to the bone with three strong hearts
Tailored for express mayhem and murder of
Your pristine social orders,

We close our eyes with time enough to dream,
Six hard minutes through the hot atmosphere:
Visions of fabled Dao Vanon, our own planet,
Our own Xaesar, our own books of law and liberty.

"Ape shall never kill ape."

"No spill blood."

The joys of Ahimsa.

A distant world keeping
All of your promises made to us for 400 centuries.

This poem has been published as part of our 2013 fund drive bonus issue! Read more about Strange Horizons' funding model, or donate, here.




An award-winning Laotian American writer, Bryan Thao Worra holds a Fellowship in Literature from the National Endowment for the Arts. He is a professional member of the Horror Writer Association and the Science Fiction Poetry Association. In 2012 he was a Cultural Olympian representing Laos during the London Summer Games. His work has been featured internationally, including the Smithsonian traveling exhibit "I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story," the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Parnassus during the 2012 London Summer Games.
Lao American artist Nor Sanavongsay was born in Thailand. His family moved to the US when he was four years old. We landed in Kingport, TN. He grew up watching Transformers, Bruce Lee movies, Thundercats, and all of the great 80's cartoons. He also has a fascination with comic books and graphic novels. He began drawing at the age of six with his uncle as a mentor. He is author and illustrator of the Lao children's book Xieng Mieng: A Sticky Mess. For more information on the artist visit: http://www.nawdsign.com or http://xiengmieng.com
Current Issue
18 Oct 2021

Dreams were extensive and exhausting projects, not to mention expensive. Nightmares, on the other hand, were quick.
A low-slung hoverlimo, which coiled upward
By: K. Ceres Wright
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents K. Ceres Wright's “Mission: Accomplished.”
Wednesday: As the Distant Bells Toll by Aleksander Ziljak 
Friday: Prime Deceptions by Valerie Valdes 
Issue 11 Oct 2021
By: Lisabelle Tay
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
Issue 4 Oct 2021
By: Anthony Okpunor
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
4 Oct 2021
If you want to donate, or check how close we are to unlocking another story, poem, review, or essay, here's the link.
Issue 2 Oct 2021
29 Sep 2021
Opening to fiction submissions for the month of November!
Issue 27 Sep 2021
By: Mary Robles
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 20 Sep 2021
By: Clara Ward
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
Art by: Courtney Skaggs
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 13 Sep 2021
By: Steve Castro
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 6 Sep 2021
By: Yuna Kang
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Yuna Kang
By: B. Pladek
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
Issue 30 Aug 2021
By: Ian Goh
By: Andy Winter
By: Yong-Yu Huang
By: Sunny Vuong
By: Natalie Wang
By: Mark Dimaisip
By: Yvanna Vien Tica
By: Jack Kin Lim
By: May Chong
By: P. H. Low
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Ian Goh
Podcast read by: Yong-Yu Huang
Podcast read by: Sunny Vuong
Podcast read by: Natalie Wang
Podcast read by: Mark Dimaisip
Podcast read by: Yvanna Vien Tica
Podcast read by: Jack Kin Lim
Podcast read by: May Chong
Podcast read by: P. H. Low
Load More
%d bloggers like this: