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You cannot build anything soft
that does not become hard.
Even the stories turn into gold,
running down the people’s throats.
They cough red and yellow
into handkerchiefs,
drop them into the sewers.
The very dust—
microscopic cubes of gold,
stick in their lungs.
Food must be eaten quickly.
As it touches the tongue
it begins to taste like words, like truth,
like blood, like everything
in this place.
Some children are born statues.
Some look at the world
blindly, with gilded eyes.
Around this valley lies a golden wall.
They believe it is to keep people out.



Leslie J. Anderson's writing has appeared in Asimov’s, Uncanny Magazine, Daily Science Fiction, and Apex. She currently lives in a small white house beside a cemetery with three good dogs and a Roomba.
Current Issue
10 May 2021

Morning mist hung in the air, tense and cool, as they began their harvesting at the carrot patch.
By: K. S. Shere
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Kat Kourbeti presents K. S. Shere's "The Golden Carrot". 
Not everyone makes it to the future.
Wednesday: The Hierarchies by Ros Anderson 
Friday: Fireheart Tiger by Aliette de Bodard 
Issue 3 May 2021
Podcast: Si Shou 
By: E. A. Xiong
Podcast read by: Courtney Floyd
By: Cecilia R.
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Cecilia R.
Issue 19 Apr 2021
By: Patty Nash
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 12 Apr 2021
By: Morgan L. Ventura
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Morgan L. Ventura
Issue 5 Apr 2021
By: Noel Cheruto
Podcast read by: Courtney Floyd
By: Caroline Dinh
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 29 Mar 2021
By: Iman Alzaghari
By: Fargo Tbakhi
By: leena aboutaleb
By: Nada Almosa
By: Layla Azmi Goushey
By: Najah Hussein Musa
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Iman Alzaghari
Podcast read by: Fargo Tbakhi
Podcast read by: leena aboutaleb
Podcast read by: Nada Almosa
Podcast read by: Najah Hussein Musa
Podcast read by: Layla Azmi Goushey
By: Abdulla Moaswes
Podcast read by: Abdulla Moaswes
Issue 22 Mar 2021
Issue 15 Mar 2021
By: Isana Skeete
Podcast read by: Isana Skeete
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
Issue 8 Mar 2021
By: Lorraine Wilson
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
By: Gerri Leen
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 1 Mar 2021
By: Sasha LaPointe
Podcast read by: Sasha LaPointe
Issue 22 Feb 2021
By: Hal Y. Zhang
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
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