Size / / /

To think, a humble cloud can bust the lamp of Cassiopeta,

a web of smoke can spin Sagittarius into spider.

A thin stalk of a church cross clings to Vulpecula.

An old apartment building houses Pegasus and Equules in its dusty windows.

On Earth, illumination counts for nothing.

The bright heart of Aquarius is skewered by a sliver of sleep.

A man turns on his television and Lacerta and

Andromeda go dark.

Bats sweep out Piscis Austrinus with their wings.

A couple on a park bench kiss Lyra into nothingness.

Not even human dreams are innocent.

They raze Cygnus with worries for the next day.

It takes a stalwart soul to find the light these days,

to go beyond the city and its affectations of brightness,

to pass all houses, their lights blazing such phony suns.

A meadow can do it, a wide expanse of grass dead

to the night and flowers closed up for the evening.

Stand some place, any place, where no trees intervene,

the atmosphere's scrubbed clean, and, even the moon,

full or crescent, bows down its shine to its billion betters.

Clang the triangle. Vega, Deneb and Altair.

Wear Corona Borealis like a halo. Grab the handle of

Arc to Arcturus.

Ride the Dippers. Wear Virgo's diamond in your hair.

Don't worry. The bears won't eat you. Not your body at least.

But your awe's fair game.

John Grey can be reached by email at You can find more of John's work in our archives.
Current Issue
20 Mar 2023

Strange Horizons will be open to fiction submissions on April 26th, 2023, at 9 a.m. UTC! To keep our response times manageable and submission windows more frequent, there will be a 1,000-story cap on submissions.
It started with a bit of music, something no one else was even listening to.
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Wednesday: Locklands by Robert Jackson Bennett 
Issue 13 Mar 2023
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Issue 30 Jan 2023
By: Catherine Rockwood
By: Romie Stott
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
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Podcast read by: Maureen Kincaid Speller
Issue 23 Jan 2023
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Strange Horizons
2 Jan 2023
Welcome, fellow walkers of the jianghu.
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