Size / / /

If Alice had been born in China

her feet would have been bound

(so much easier to stumble

down rabbit holes with these)

The Rabbit (fourth of the zodiac,

followed by Dragon, preceded

by Tiger) in his compassion

and serene sincerity

would have waited for her,

tumbled with her,

chatted all the way

The Cheshire Cat

of course, would have been a tiger

stripes at least as piercing as the smile

quiet and yet

always ready to leap

It would have said to Alice

in her blue and gold embroidered silk gown

much the same things

—tigers, after all, are also cats

if less docile, less tame

The caterpillar might well have been

a dragon

as of yet unhatched

sleeping in a hot fuming egg

but waking often

to speak through the iridescent shell

speak strangely, but never quite untrue

The Hatter

mad and drinking tea

would have been a hairdresser

no doubt

with fabulous black tresses

rising like winding towers from his head

scissors poised behind his back

Then there is the Red Queen who

would have been an empress. She

would still wear red

but also gold and white jade

and with her long pinky fingernails

she would have snatched eyes

before she ever took heads

Her roses

are peonies in the East

not red but almost so, with their dark pink

that is painted on ink here

because in truth

those oriental peonies bloomed ebony white

And then

the thing that would pluck

the Chinese Alice from her daydream

would be mahjongg stones

falling heavy

and waking her

to the shadows of living temples

the sound of honking cars

the smell and sound of people all around her

and to a different life

that would be not that different

at all




Alexandra Seidel spent many a night stargazing when she was a child. These days, she writes stories and poems, something the stargazing probably helped with. Alexa’s writing has appeared in Strange Horizons, Uncanny Magazine, Fireside Magazine, and elsewhere. You can follow her on Twitter @Alexa_Seidel, like her Facebook page, and find out what she’s up to at alexandraseidel.com.
Current Issue
29 Nov 2021

It is perhaps fitting, therefore, that our donor's choice special issue for 2021 is titled—simply—Friendship.
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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?
Wednesday: The Best of World SF, Volume 1, edited by Lavie Tidhar 
Friday: Anti-Life by Vee Tat Lam 
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!
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