Size / / /

Content warning:

There are things besides coyotes to watch for out here,
there are things besides buzzards that flap off for cover,
or scurry away when the train rumbles by in a hurry.
I’ve ranged on this land over decades now,
know all the creatures that man’s given name:
from the curve of the snake to the lizard half-hid,
every beaver and groundhog and musk rat.
Then things there are, too, that don’t match with them—
stare at your throat, not your boots or your hands.
When you catch one atop of the carrion
they first size you up for a fight,
maybe weigh you for living or dead, too.
They like for their meals to be dead; it’s less work but
they sometimes won’t wait for that long.
So keep bolts on your doors if you're sick
so no thing comes to gather you early.
I range this broad land in a saddle now
so the beasts of the dark that aren’t possum
or coon, armadillo, can’t roam without check,
without fences or foe on these plains.
But I’m older as well as cannier now, and won’t be around for much longer.
If you see something strange from a distance—
a creature that looks somehow wrong to you—
trust in your eyes, son, do trust your eyes.
I have seen and have fought these things, too.

Bethany Powell stumbled into speculative verse on the scrubby plains of Oklahoma and has been in a fateful relationship ever since. The products have appeared in Asimov's, Liminality, and the solarpunk anthology Sunvault. More are forthcoming, and all can be found at
Current Issue
27 Mar 2023

close calls when / I’m with Thee / dressed to the nines
they took to their heels but the bird was faster.
In this episode of Critical Friends, the Strange Horizons SFF criticism podcast, Reviews Editors Aisha Subramanian and Dan Hartland talk to novelist, reviewer, and Strange Horizons’ Co-ordinating Editor, Gautam Bhatia, about how reviewing and criticism of all kinds align—and do not—with fiction-writing and the genre more widely.
If the future is here, but unevenly distributed, then so is the past.
He claims that Redlow used to be a swamp and he has now brought them into the future before the future. Yes he said that.
My previous Short Fiction Treasures column was all about science fiction, so it’s only fair that the theme this time around is fantasy.
I’ve come to think of trans-inclusive worldbuilding as an activist project in itself, or at least analogous to the work of activists. When we imagine other worlds, we have to observe what rules we are creating to govern the characters, institutions, and internal logic in our stories. This means looking at gender from the top down, as a regulatory system, and from the bottom up, at the people on the margins whose bodies and lives stand in some kind of inherent opposition to the system itself.
Wednesday: And Lately, The Sun edited by Calyx Create Group 
Friday: August Kitko and the Mechas from Space by Alex White 
Issue 20 Mar 2023
Issue 13 Mar 2023
Issue 6 Mar 2023
Issue 20 Feb 2023
Issue 13 Feb 2023
Issue 6 Feb 2023
Issue 30 Jan 2023
By: Catherine Rockwood
By: Romie Stott
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Catherine Rockwood
Podcast read by: Romie Stott
Podcast read by: Maureen Kincaid Speller
Issue 23 Jan 2023
Issue 16 Jan 2023
Issue 9 Jan 2023
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