Looking Back, Looking Forward
By Niall Harrison
1 October 2012
Welcome to the 2012 Strange Horizons fund drive! Over the next few weeks, we'll be asking you to donate to the magazine, to help us raise funds for the next year. As you almost certainly know if you're reading this, Strange Horizons is run by volunteers, and it's your donations that enable us to keep publishing each week, and to pay our contributors.
But read on! Because for this year's fund drive, we've got some additional specific goals and rewards.
First, a quick recap. It's been, in some ways, a year of change for Strange Horizons. Most obviously, we've seen the handover to our new fiction editors, Brit Mandelo, Julia Rios, and An Owomoyela. They've hit the ground running with energy and enthusiasm, and as a result in the next six months we have some great stories coming up by Sofia Samatar, Karin Tidbeck, Lavie Tidhar, and other writers both new and established. We've also had a renewal in the poetry department, where Adrienne J. Odasso and Romie Stott have joined Sonya Taaffe.
In the meantime, this year we've published stories by Molly Gloss, Samantha Henderson, Benjamin Rosenbaum, and others; work by poets including Rose Lemberg, Caitlin R. Kiernan, and Sofia Rhei; articles on climate change in sf, airships, and Batman; in-depth reviews of recent books, films and TV; and regular columns by Genevieve Valentine, John Clute and more. As ever you can browse the archives to sample the full range of material.
So what's next? Well, as last year, our official fund drive target is $8,000—that's what we need to raise to keep the magazine ticking over. We'd like to do more, though, so this year we have a series of additional targets. Some of our departments have been at the same pay rate for half a decade—so if we raise $9,000, we'll increase our pay rate for poetry, and if we raise $10,000, we'll also increase our pay rate for reviews. We'd also like to give you more ways to enjoy Strange Horizons content, so if we get all the way to $11,000, we'll begin publishing free podcasts of our stories. All of these changes would take effect on 1st January 2013.
Since we're aiming to raise more this year than we've ever raised before, we've expanded our rewards as well! As usual, every donor will be entered into our prize draw—we'll be announcing new prizes throughout the month, but already we have a signed ARC of Alaya Dawn Johnson's new YA sf novel, original artwork by Alastair Reynolds, poetry ebooks, an enormous zombie anthology, and more. In addition, if you donate to a specific level you'll be eligible for bonus rewards—including the last of the current run of Strange Horizons t-shirts and mugs. See the main fund drive page for details.
And finally, we've put together a fund drive issue of the magazine, with bonus stories, poems and articles to be revealed as we raise more money. To kick things off, when we hit $2,000 we'll be publishing the first part of a new Ken Liu story, "Good Hunting," a powerful and genre-blurring tale about change and endurance.
So that's what we've got for you, over the next few weeks. We hope you've been enjoying SH this year, and if we have we hope you consider donating—and, if you're so inclined, please do help to support the fund drive by tweeting, tumblring or plain old-fashioned blogging about it. Twelve years in, Strange Horizons is still an enormously exciting organisation to be a part of; help us to take it forward, and make it bigger and better than ever. Thank you!