Size / / /

Tonight we drive to the city—in our absence, please negotiate a final settlement with the mole:
we will concede all territory from the driveway to the garage—but no more—and trust
this meets with his satisfaction. We have coped with his tunneling, despite the injunction;
endured his refusal to schedule daytime meetings; and so we rose, at midnight with flashlights,
for conferences in which he hid behind a bush, spoke through his intermediaries—
but I understand the mole must live and work in isolation, and cannot cease his digging,
for his claws are godly spades, and dirt his pleasing material. He knows dirt contains nutrients,
i.e., organic matter, and should not be confused with filth, and he perceives that dirt,
even mixed with broken teeth or spit or tears, remains malleable, and in dirt he can freely breathe,
re-oxygenate his air—in dirt the Holy Spirit blows through him, and behind him as he digs,
he creates mounds, and many are the mounds he has built for the glory of his God.
The mole, I know, is grateful for the velvety fur in which he slides through his tunnel,
for he is an earthworks artist who works in the ancient style and tradition of his clan,
and is vain only in the matter of his tail; he will twist his neck backward to admire it.
He is furious in his concentration, for his craft, he knows, is essential for the Earth to revolve
around the Sun, and when he works in one-pointed Samadhi, he neither eats nor sleeps.

Lisa Bellamy teaches at The Writers Studio. Her chapbook, Nectar, won the Encircle Publications Chapbook Contest. Her work has appeared in Tri-QuarterlyThe Sun, New Ohio Review, Calyx, and PANK, among other publications. She won the Fugue Poetry Prize and received honorable mention in Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 2007.
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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By: Catherine Rockwood
By: Romie Stott
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
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Issue 23 Jan 2023
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