Size / / /

Language in the town of Wyelle
is communally woven
by teams of spiders,
each one trained and selected for
a distinct word in the text.
Some words escape:
the corners of the cellars and the backs of cupboards
are full of senseless words,
and sacred texts spread into the wilds around
like an infection

In the forests outside Bairn,
torn by feuds and years-long fights,
trees record the spoken word,
stitch it into their trunks;
it takes three decades for the bark
to harden into legibility.
Among the feuding clans it's said
'Memory need not be perfect
only patient for the trees.'
When many speak at once
a grove will share transcription duties
as secretaries to the feuds

On the western shore of the Shawl Sea
writing is permitted only between tides
in the drying and dampening sand;
all words must be gone
by the high tide's turn
or be declared false, anathema.
Their texts are not lost,
so they claim,
for across the sea
the waves recreate each word
erased by the tides
an equal and opposite reaction;
whether the peoples of the coast
mean this literally or not
they will not say, but
in their spoken tales the sea
is often taken to mean death




Daniel Ausema is a writer and poet from Colorado. His poetry has previously appeared in Strange Horizons, and his fiction has appeared in many publications. He is also the creator of the steampunk-fantasy serial fiction project Spire City. He has a background in experiential education and is a stay-at-home dad.
Current Issue
14 Oct 2019

Two in the morning in the booth of an all-night diner a block off Santa Monica Boulevard, and I was trying to convince the Great Mandini to tell me his secrets.
By: Kevin Wabaunsee
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Kevin Wabaunsee's “The Great Mandini and the Dead Man's Hand.”
atol de elote, pho, boba, pupusas / Taco Tuesday tacos, one dollar Spam musubi
By: Ruben Reyes Jr.
Podcast read by: Ruben Reyes Jr.
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Ruben Reyes Jr.'s “Heaven Is Expensive,” as read by the poet.
Wednesday: Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful by Arwen Elys Dayton 
Friday: The History of Soul 2065 by Barbara Krasnoff 
Issue 7 Oct 2019
By: Charles Payseur
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Davian Aw
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 30 Sep 2019
Podcast: High Hopes 
By: Kali de los Santos
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
Podcast: Progression 
By: Heitor Zen
Podcast read by: Julia Quandt
Podcast: Spider 
By: Sérgio Motta
Podcast read by: Sérgio Motta
Podcast: Replacement 
By: Isa Prospero
Podcast read by: Solaine Chioro
Monday: 3% 
,
Issue 23 Sep 2019
By: August Huerta
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 16 Sep 2019
By: Marie Brennan
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Hester J. Rook
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Hester J. Rook
Issue 9 Sep 2019
By: Shiv Ramdas
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Sarah Shirley
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
31 Aug 2019
Brazil Special Issue call for fiction submissions!
Issue 26 Aug 2019
By: Cynthia So
Podcast read by: Cynthia So
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 19 Aug 2019
By: S. R. Mandel
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
Issue 12 Aug 2019
By: Niyah Morris
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Dante Luiz
Art by: Em Allen
By: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Rasha Abdulhadi
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 5 Aug 2019
By: Aisha Phoenix
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Alexandra Seidel
Podcast read by: Alexandra Seidel
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Load More
%d bloggers like this: