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For the animals, half a billion

Among us there are many, singing
Lullabies of thunder and ash, waiting
for the sleeping spring, stirring
beneath the dust and embers,
the fevered blaze of backyard brush fires.
Between us, there are threads of doubt, unwinding
Spools like spider webs across the scalded earth, whining
and snapping in the warbling heat, spinning
across the land that we have beaten blue and bone.
Winter will not come, at last we say,
For all our efforts to stretch the skin
of summer, we are reaping the harvest
of animal bones by the billions and
Fields of corn and dandelion dust.
Death by water or by patience
rolls in on warm and placid tides,
for we have left unsaid the spells
which might have saved us from this fate.
Minutes pass like drunken dancers,
lost in the liminal void of lamentation,
dreaming eyelid movies of the past,
and dance we did until
This very moment when
The bells tolls for the yet unborn.
Today, they said, an entire continent
is set to sink in darkened waters,
And instantly, I thought of you,
Bleeding out in numbers like
A picture book left out in the rain.
Between us, you and I,
and every child born among us,
there are hopes untethered
Sweetly drifting
On thick tides of oil and pennies
And we wave at them
As they float by,
A generation of sinking passengers
upon this great and broken ship.



Camille Louise is a perpetual student and high school English teacher from New York by way of the South of France. She lives with her cat, Breakfast, and her snake, Abraxas, in New Orleans, Louisiana. You can find her writing at camilouise.com and milktogin.com.
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
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