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Ghosts almost never harangue their killers. It's those who can actually feel guilt and shame who draw a ghost from hiding, regardless of whether they had anything to do with the death that spawned the haunting.
—Aaron Friedrich, These Bloody Filaments


alley behind our house

car parked against the fence, a beat up four-door compact
dead teen folded on the tiny back seat

all his blood emigrated through the new doors
moved out into the upholstery

cop had a laugh, said the boy came up short
owed someone meaner, had to pay exact change
no pennies left for his eyes

sure we didn't hear nothing?
struggle must've gone on for a while
he could've called for help

guy at our church owns a jewelry store
he grins around his reading glasses
they catch the one who did it, that's two thugs gone, he says

they towed that car off weeks ago
but the boy, he doesn't know

we've seen him draped on our chain-link gate
like he tried to climb over and couldn't make it
flimsy as the paper that shared his death
in four short paragraphs

no moon, nothing's waving
when we peek through the blinds
just a piece of trash tortured by the wind
so it looks like a face




Mike Allen is president of the Science Fiction Poetry Association and editor of the speculative poetry journal Mythic Delirium. With Roger Dutcher, Mike is also editor of The Alchemy of Stars: Rhysling Award Winners Showcase, which for the first time collects the Rhysling Award-winning poems from 1978 to 2004 in one volume. His newest poetry collection, Disturbing Muses, is out from Prime Books, with a second collection, Strange Wisdoms of the Dead, soon to follow. Mike's poems can also be found in Nebula Awards Showcase 2005, both editions of The 2005 Rhysling Anthology, and the Strange Horizons archives.
Current Issue
10 Aug 2020

Let me tell you how I first met Seax-of-Peony, Empress of the Known Moons.
By: Anya Johanna DeNiro
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Anya Johanna DeNiro's “A Voyage to Queensthroat.”
When your people came down from the stars / we put you in jails and cellars and basements
By: Laura Cranehill
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In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Laura Cranehill's “We Let You Live.”
Wednesday: The Pursuit of William Abbey by Claire North 
Issue 3 Aug 2020
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Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
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Issue 20 Jul 2020
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By: JD Fox
By: JD Fox
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
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17 Jul 2020
Strange Horizons is now accepting fiction submissions for our Mexico Special issue, which will be published at the end of November 2020!
17 Jul 2020
Strange Horizons lanza su convocatoria en busca textos narrativos para su Especial de México, que se publicará a finales de noviembre de 2020!
Issue 13 Jul 2020
By: Alex Jennings
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By: Kimberly Kaufman
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