Size / / /

Content warning:

I wasn’t made by the goo of dna or an egg of reverence.
I wasn’t made at all. Out of the silence I was blurted out.
My little hungry little cells ate up the cosmos.
There was magic. You can’t conceive of the magic.
It was blue, fragrant, and angry like a flower on a mountain.

At the beginning of everything, if there was a bang,
there was also a build. Then one day there was iron,
one day there was blood, one day there were bruises.
On the day you beat the metal
buckle of your belt into my knee there were bruises.

I climbed to the roof of the forest on a white-ashen birch.
Like a father holding its crib before his baby is born,
the trees held me in their canopy.
Over the wood, I could see the land dipping into a valley,
and beyond that was a ridge of high tectonic cliffs.

There were rivers, glaciers, moraines, volcanic deserts, kingdoms
of ordinary men, huts on the bay, fisherman, weaver-women,
children in their thousand-acre forests.

I got strong walking. Lights would glow from my fingers,
my hair grew even though I cut it every day.
If I sat down, a dog would crawl into my lap.

My father took a baby starling and buried it in the ground to die.
The rain beat into the earth and made it soft.
The starling learned to sing, not only its own song,
but all the songs of birds, the history of music;
the song made in and out of silence.

August Huerta is a poet from Austin, Texas. They are a recent graduate of The New Writers Project at the University of Texas at Austin. They are a 2019 Rhysling nominee and will be featured in a forthcoming episode of poetry podcast This is Just to Say.
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.
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.
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).
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?
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.
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
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