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When I dreamed of the apocalypse, the end
came like a liquefying of the sky, the sunrise
and sunset palettes swirling all together, and
there was also a flood, of course, which reflected
all the colors so that as I looked out of the bay
windows of the tower I was in, all I could
see were magentas mingling with beige
and peach-tones, pale chromes and blues,
dusky pinks. It looked like ice cream
on a summer sidewalk. It looked like an acid
trip, or at least I thought so, never having been on
one myself, and now I'd never have the chance,
I realized, the world coming to an end and all.
It looked like melted Monet. I was gripping
the windowsill so hard it hurt; so, on the count
of three I let go, closed my eyes, reached out,
and dipped my fingers in. The stuff was chilly,
clung to my skin like gloves of quicksilver.
Or slowgold. I haven't been able to shake
that feeling all day: something gilding my hands
as I write. A wild mural I watched being
painted on the other side of somewhere.
That feeling of loss as I closed my eyes to one
world and opened them to another and felt
something slip through my fingers, slick
as oil paint, lucid as smoke, permanent as ink.

Lisa writes poetry and young adult fiction. She has been an editor, a yoga teacher, and half of a two-person traveling production of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. Her poetry appears in Prairie Schooner, Measure, Hunger Mountain, and other journals. She is pursuing her MFA at Boston University.
Current Issue
27 Mar 2023

close calls when / I’m with Thee / dressed to the nines
they took to their heels but the bird was faster.
In this episode of Critical Friends, the Strange Horizons SFF criticism podcast, Reviews Editors Aisha Subramanian and Dan Hartland talk to novelist, reviewer, and Strange Horizons’ Co-ordinating Editor, Gautam Bhatia, about how reviewing and criticism of all kinds align—and do not—with fiction-writing and the genre more widely.
If the future is here, but unevenly distributed, then so is the past.
He claims that Redlow used to be a swamp and he has now brought them into the future before the future. Yes he said that.
My previous Short Fiction Treasures column was all about science fiction, so it’s only fair that the theme this time around is fantasy.
I’ve come to think of trans-inclusive worldbuilding as an activist project in itself, or at least analogous to the work of activists. When we imagine other worlds, we have to observe what rules we are creating to govern the characters, institutions, and internal logic in our stories. This means looking at gender from the top down, as a regulatory system, and from the bottom up, at the people on the margins whose bodies and lives stand in some kind of inherent opposition to the system itself.
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Issue 23 Jan 2023
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