Size / / /

Content warning:


I never met the person
I wanted to be.

They say I’m here somewhere
that I should just go look and I’ll find him
but my head holds me back.

Instead, I sip lemonade
on the front porch. It tastes
like ash going down. One of my doubles
throws a red rubber ball around for the Grim.

In the first place, which we were
so quick to leave, I dreamed
Of metamorphosis. I shed
my thick caterpillar skin
and became something new.

Something that is white light,
the hottest star, a
lit candle saved
for when the power goes out.

The version of me I don't recognize,
that circus mirror copy,
throws the ball too far
over the head of the Grim
into the treeline. The Grim
barks, it sounds like fireworks.
Runs off and emerges later to drop
Spit-drenched ball at the feet of myself.

We both grimace darkly at the wetness.
This is the similarity between us.

Maybe our teeth
are covered in dust and fog.
Maybe the truth of ourselves
is not destined for an exact black,
or white, or colorful bright.

I consider the ramifications of this.
Take the new skin
this place has offered me and try it on.
To test what this feels like to live
stuck between this and that.

My twin throws the sloppy ball.

I sip my lemonade.



Cam Kelley is a poet, fiction writer, aspiring teacher, and undergraduate student from Southern Maryland. She likes to craft language that feels warm and reassuring. Her work can be found published in The Best Teen Writing of 2016 and Left of the Lake Magazine.
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
Load More
%d bloggers like this: