Size / / /

Content warning:


I was born without eyes and limbs, for my
father was the first person to venture out to
the fringes of the universe only to return
seemingly unharmed. I may be eyeless but I
can see through the eyes of everyone and everything.
My parents put cameras all over the house so I could see
around the house when I’m all alone, but I
best prefer seeing through the eyes of my mother.
And I may be limbless but navigation comes
naturally, for I am able to levitate wherever I please,
if only I please

My parents love me just the way I am, but
they wanted another. So they were filled with
jubilation when my sister looked normal in the ultrasound.
But one morning my mother woke up screaming
and my father rushed her to the hospital.
I stayed alone in the house, watching

There was no reasonable explanation they
could give my parents. My sister simply
wasn’t in my mother anymore

My parents were sad for a long time after that,
and I noticed they were looking at me differently.
When my mother found out she was pregnant again
my parents gave me away to the government where
I wasn’t allowed to levitate wherever I please

The government gave me a large white dome for
a room, which was very spacious, and equally empty,
except when they came to ask me what I see.
On my fifteenth birthday the government gave me
a birthday present. They shaved my head and installed a small
camera on top of my scalp so that I could see from a normal
person's viewpoint. But they still wanted to know
what I see with the eyes of everyone else

Years later I heard her voice in my head.
She told me she was my sister and that she was
sorry for everything that has happened to me.
She told me she had had to leave and that she was
planning on returning to my mother’s belly
but that she was too afraid to hurt her.
I’ve never heard from her again, not until my
hundredth birthday. Her voice came to my head
sounding exactly like the first time she spoke
to me all those years ago.
She sang me happy birthday and then asked me
to join her, and the moment I thought about
saying yes I found myself surrounded by the
starkest of darknesses, and there she was, my
little sister; a rosy fetus floating about in a transparent
bubble, with two tiny black eyes and diaphanous skin.
When I turned around I saw the universe in its
entirety, and then my sister asked me if I wanted
to play with her and when I said yes she taught me
how to play with marbles



Born an emaciated preemie, Aber grew up to be the largest man of his lineage. He attributes his size to a lifelong consumption of hummus and his mother’s early life at a small town next to a nuclear power plant. His work appears or is forthcoming in The Southampton Review, Space and Time, Andromeda SpacewaysMithila ReviewLeading Edge, and Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, and he has won the Bernice Schaffer Bessin Poetry Award.
Current Issue
30 Jan 2023

In January 2022, the reviews department at Strange Horizons, led at the time by Maureen Kincaid Speller, published our first special issue with a focus on SF criticism. We were incredibly proud of this issue, and heartened by how many people seemed to feel, with us, that criticism of the kind we publish was important; that it was creative, transformative, worthwhile. We’d been editing the reviews section for a few years at this point, and the process of putting together this special, and the reception it got, felt like a kind of renewal—a reminder of why we cared so much.
It is probably impossible to understand how transformative all of this could be unless you have actually been on the receiving end.
Some of our reviewers offer recollections of Maureen Kincaid Speller.
When I first told Maureen Kincaid Speller that A Closed and Common Orbit was among my favourite current works of science fiction she did not agree with me. Five years later, I'm trying to work out how I came to that perspective myself.
Cloud Atlas can be expressed as ABC[P]YZY[P]CBA. The Actual Star , however, would be depicted as A[P]ZA[P]ZA[P]Z (and so on).
a ghostly airship / sorting and discarding to a pattern that isn’t available to those who are part of it / now attempting to deal with the utterly unknowable
Most likely you’d have questioned the premise, / done it well and kindly then moved on
In this special episode of Critical Friends, the Strange Horizons SFF criticism podcast, reviews editors Aisha Subramanian and Dan Hartland introduce audio from a 2018 recording for Jonah Sutton-Morse’s podcast Cabbages and Kings which included Maureen Kincaid Speller discussing with Aisha and Jonah three books: Everfair by Nisi Shawl, Temporary People by Deepak Unnikrishnan, and The Winged Histories by Sofia Samatar.
Criticism was equally an extension of Maureen’s generosity. She not only made space for the text, listening and responding to its own otherness, but she also made space for her readers. Each review was an invitation, a gift to inquire further, to think more deeply and more sensitively about what it is we do when we read.
In the vast traditions that inspire SF worldbuilding, what will be reclaimed and reinvented, and what will be discarded? How do narratives on the periphery speak to and interact with each other in their local contexts, rather than in opposition to the dominant structures of white Western hegemonic culture? What dynamics and possibilities are revealed in the repositioning of these narratives?
Tuesday: Genre Fiction: The Roaring Years by Peter Nicholls 
Wednesday: HellSans by Ever Dundas 
Thursday: Everything for Everyone: An Oral History of the New York Commune, 2052-2072 by M. E. O'Brien and Eman Abdelhadi 
Friday: House of the Dragon Season One 
Issue 23 Jan 2023
Issue 16 Jan 2023
Issue 9 Jan 2023
Strange Horizons
2 Jan 2023
Welcome, fellow walkers of the jianghu.
Issue 2 Jan 2023
Strange Horizons
Issue 19 Dec 2022
Issue 12 Dec 2022
Issue 5 Dec 2022
Issue 28 Nov 2022
By: RiverFlow
Translated by: Emily Jin
Issue 21 Nov 2022
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