Stories from 2014

posted by Niall Harrison on 18 December 2014 | Comments (0) »

We have one more issue to come this year, but this week was our last story of the year, and a couple of people have asked us for a handy index of 2014 SH material. You can of course read through the fiction archive (and search the full archive), but for convenience, here's the run-down:

We also had three reprints:

A Short Hello

posted by Catherine Krahe on 1 December 2014 | Comments (0) »

I couldn’t be more pleased to announce that I am the newest Senior Fiction Editor at Strange Horizons. I’ve been a member of the editorial team since 2011, when I came on board as a first reader, and I’ve enjoyed my work with that group immensely. I’m a 2011 graduate of Clarion West and my fiction has appeared in Futures from Nature, Ideomancer, Realms of Fantasy, Daily Science Fiction, and other venues. I’m also residential staff at the Alpha Young Writers Workshop, which is hugely energizing and lets me see the effects of changes in the genre fairly directly. Strange Horizons was one of the first places I read short fiction­­ I spent a month or two in 2002 reading the archives and have kept up fairly well since­­ and I am proud to be part of its long­standing tradition of publishing great speculative fiction that expands the boundaries of our genre.


posted by Brit Mandelo on 1 December 2014 | Comments (0) »

As Niall has announced, I'm stepping down as senior fiction editor. Life has gotten rather full in the past while, and I've been running lower and lower on the time I need to be able to put in to do the best work I can on the magazine – so, it's time for me to offer up this position to someone else and step aside. I'm confident that the person taking over for me, Catherine Krahe, will do a fantastic job: she's been with us as a first reader since I started, and her dedication to the field (and to Strange Horizons!) is impressive. I look forward to seeing the stories the team chooses in the future, and I have to say, it'll be a lot of fun to be able to just read Strange Horizons every week again.

Overall, it's been a wonderful ride. I've appreciated every moment of time spent on this magazine, from the slush to the responses from readers. When I was offered the position, I had only edited a single anthology and didn't know if I was even "qualified" to do this kind of work – but I knew I wanted to give it the best I could, because the mission of the magazine and the work they'd published both spoke deeply to me. Teaming up with writers both new and familiar to put out the best possible versions of their work has been immensely satisfying; it's something I'll always appreciate having been given the chance to do, and I hope that passing this position along to someone else will continue that cycle of opportunity and growth.

So, thanks to the readers and the writers and the folks who've commented on our stories over the years. Thank you for the awards nominations (and wins!) for short stories we've published; thanks especially to my awesome co-editors, Julia Rios and An Owomoyela, for being kind and brilliant and so good to work with. Thank you to the previous team who brought me on; thanks to the editors of other departments and the webmasters and the proofreaders – and everyone, really – who've brought together Strange Horizons to make it what it is.

It's been a pleasure. I look forward to seeing what comes next.

Stranger Horizons, November 2014

posted by Niall Harrison on 30 November 2014 | Comments (0) »

Time for the penultimate round-up of SH contributor news this year:

Some new books you may wish to investigate: Ken Liu has translated The Three Body-Problem by Cixin Liu; see reviews in the WSJ and NY Yimes, and this episode of the Coode Street Podcast. Susan Jane Bigelow's novel The Seeker Star, a story about sisters, aliens, and abandoned planet, is out from Candlemark & Gleam. Ursula Pflug's latest book is Motion Sickness, a novel in flash with illustrations by S. K. Dyment. And Daniel Ausema's steampunk fantasy serial, Spire City, is just beginning its second season, while Jenn Grunigen's serialized SF Skyglass has reached chapter 6.

A bumper crop of new stories! Several SH alums appear in the latest Interfictions; Lavie Tidhar with "The Rise and Fall of the Simian Empire", Genevieve Valentine with "Vulturism", Carmen Maria Machado with "Mothers", and Alex Dally MacFarlane with "Pocket Atlas of Planets" (plus see poetry, below). Octavia Cade's "The Mussel Eater" was published by the Booksmugglers (read a short essay on the origins of the story here). A.C. Wise's "From Stone and Bone, From Earth and Sky" is the latest featured story at GigaNotoSaurus. Sara Norja's "Chrysopoeia" appeared in Quantum Fairy Tales. The latest issue of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet includes Jessy Randall's story, "You Don't Even Have a Rabbit", while the latest Interzone includes Tom Greene's "Monoculture", and E. Catherine Tobler's "Oubliette". Erin Horáková has a story in this year's Jurassic London Stocking Stuffer. Jason Erik Lundberg's flash piece, "Fragment From a Eulogy", appears in the anthology A Luxury We Cannot Afford from Math Paper Press. Lightspeed has "What Glistens Back" by Sunny Moraine, and reprints Roz Kaveney's "Instructions." Margaret Ronald's "Sweet Death" appears in Beneath Ceaseless Skies. Orrin Grey's "Lovecraftian Goetic demonology story set in Jazz Age Kansa City", "The Lesser Keys", appears (where else?) in Jazz Age Cthulu, from Innsmouth Free Press. Rich Larson's "Brute" and Marissa Lingen's "The New Girl" are in the latest Apex. Wendy Rathbone's "I Keep the Dark That Is Your Pain" is in Darke Phantastique from Cicatrix Press (ebook to follow next year). The current issue of The Future Fire includes "Seven Bridges" by Francesca Forrest. Rachael Jones' "Wine for Witches, Milk for Saints" appears in the November Inter Galactic Medicine Show. Robert Reed's "Pernicious Romance" appeared in Clarkesworld. And John Zaharick's "Leiden Jar" is in the latest Plasma Frequency.

On the new poems front, more from Interfictions! Gwynne Garfinkle's "Witches of Childhood", and M Sereno's "Ahas, Tala." There's a new issue of Goblin Fruit, and it includes Neile Graham's "Chant for Summer Darkness in Northwest Climes", C. S. E. Cooney's "Little Sally and the Bull Fiddle God", plus work by Sara Norja, Mari Ness, Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, and others. The latest issue of The Heron's Nest includes a haiku by Deborah P Kolodji. David C. Kopaska-Merkel's collection SETI Hits Paydirt is out from Popcorn Press. James S. Door had five vampire poems in the November Bloodhound, and two werewolf poems in the Source Point Press anthology Lycan Lore. And Elizabeth Barrette's latest poetry fishbowl theme was "winning without defeating anyone."

Non-fiction: Liz Bourke reports from the inaugural INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair (more on her blog). Abigail Nussbaum has thoughts on Interstellar. At Clarkesworld, Alvaro Zinos-Amaro interviews Jo Walton and looks at drugs in SF. Renay has thoughts at Lady Business about Black Widow (part of a superheroes theme week). And Adam Roberts' continuing reviews overload continues with, among others, The Peripheral, Wolf in White Van and, perhaps as an antidote to our 10,000 word book club discussion, a short post on Tigerman.

Fiction Updates

posted by Niall Harrison on 23 November 2014 | Comments (0) »

Two quick updates from the fiction department:

1) Following the success of the fund drive, we've increased our maximum wordcount for fiction submissions to 10,000 words!

2) As usual, the fiction department will be closing to submission in December -- so if you've got a story you want us to consider this year, now's the time to submit.

And the total is...

posted by Niall Harrison on 18 November 2014 | Comments (0) »


That's a really nice number to wake up to! It means we reached our stretch goal and then some, so we'll be bringing you some longer stories next year.

A huge round of thank-yous to everyone who donated, everyone who tweeted, blogged, or otherwise promoted the fund drive, and to the contributors who let us use their material in our fund drive issue (read the whole thing here, if you haven't). This is one of our biggest fund drives ever, and I think it definitely has the most donors ever -- well over 500. It feels amazing to know we can do that as we head into our fifteenth year of publication.

Thank you!

(We'll be doing the prize draw over the next couple of weeks -- so keep an eye on your emails.)


posted by Niall Harrison on 17 November 2014 | Comments (0) »

We -- or rather, you -- have done it! We've reached $13,500, which was our primary goal, so 2015 will see another full year of Strange Horizons stories, poems, reviews, articles, artwork and podcasts. Thank you!

Oh yes, and we've published the concluding part of that Ann Leckie story, as well. (Read part one here.)

But wait! There's more! We've got fourteen hours left in the fund drive (which means fourteen hours during which you can be entered into our prize draw), and a stretch goal in our sights:

This year's fund drive target is US$13,500. That's enough to allow us to continue publishing at our current schedule, paying our current rates, for the next year. As ever, however, we want to do more! So we have an additional goal: If we raise $15,000, we'll publish an additional 18,000 words of fiction, giving us the scope to publish longer stories throughout 2015. (Anything above this target will go into a general fund enabling us to publish special issues, or to host additional events at conventions, for instance.)

So there's still a reason to donate, is what I'm saying. We'd love to bring you some longer stories. But whether we get that far or not, you've ensured that Strange Horizons will be around for its fifteenth year: thank you, again.


posted by Niall Harrison on 15 November 2014 | Comments (0) »

This week has been amazing -- thank you to everyone who's donated. I thought it would slow down over the weekend, but nope: we've reached $12,000, and thus published our penultimate piece of bonus content, a new column by John Clute reviewing The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell:

And once we accustom ourselves to the cartoonish extremes Mitchell allows himself in his attempts to capture the narcissistic excesses of Anchorite behaviour, we can begin to parse The Bone Clocks properly: for those who become Anchorites, not unlike neoliberal philosophers, ultimately lose their souls; their contempt for bone clocks is the deepest of all sins. So what we half-suspect, and what we know for sure by the end of the tale (though the ball never dropped for James Wood), is that the Anchorities and the Horologists, though we must take them literally, are not the heart of the matter; way less so than the very similar (and certainly related) noncorpum who narrates Ghostwritten. They do not cage the book; they elucidate it. The title is of course the heart of the matter.

Read the whole thing here.

So this is what it comes down to: two days and eight hours left in this year's fund drive as I type, and one piece of bonus content left, when we reach our goal of $13,500: the conclusion of Ann Leckie's "She Commands Me and I Obey." And after that -- if we get that far -- comes the enticing prospect of our stretch goal: an increased budget for fiction in 2015. You can donate here, if you haven't already.

P.S. Travel has meant a minor delay in sorting out the bonus draws for Kaleidoscope and Twelve Tomorrows -- notifications will be going out tomorrow.

2014 recap: October fiction

posted by Niall Harrison on 14 November 2014 | Comments (0) »

And last but not least -- October, the month just gone.

Art © 2014 by Mervin Malonzo

I wouldn't necessarily include October, given that it only just finished, except that I really wanted to link to Amal El-Mohtar's lovely write-up of "Santos de Sampaguitas". And I think Mervin Malonzo's art for the story is great, too. So there.

Santos de Sampaguitas

And speaking of that write-up, it came in two parts, as the story was published. Here's part one; and here's part two. They're long and thorough discussions, but the summary:

Briefly: it made me gasp and cry in that mixture of shocked, satisfied pain that comes from a story that’s managed to truly, suddenly surprise you with the places to which it was willing to go, the comfort it was willing to strip away. I recently had the experience of moving my body through increasingly heated rooms before plunging it into a pool I hadn’t been told was not just cold, but icy–and the experience of this second half was very similar. I hadn’t realized, after reading Part 1, quite what kind of story this was.

So there you go.

At Tangent, Louis West also recommended the story:

This exceptional tale is set in the streets of Manila and immersed in the ages-old conflicts of the poor rural peasant versus the wealthy city class, plus Catholicism versus worship of the old gods. Maria is a plucky girl who, in spite of her withered right arm and hand, constantly adjusts how and what she does to accomplish whatever anyone else can do. For example, to open the pouch containing the arrhae, she pins the edge of the pouch with her right elbow and uses her left hand to pull the drawstring free. She tries not to let her disability define her even though it does identify her to the dead god as his.

But Lois Tilton wasn't completely convinced:

Several interesting elements here, most notably the Filipino folklore, which is quite rich in demonic figures such as the manananggal, which leaves its legs behind in a hidden place as the rest of it flies around, up to no good. There is also the tension between this sort of magic and the Catholic culture of families such as Tín’s employers, the Calderones; her full name clearly reflects this aspect of the social mix in which she lives.

But I do have to wonder why her mother has sent her to Manila as a maid instead of keeping her at home to learn about her heritage, for which she would then have been better prepared when the time came; her ignorance had fatal consequences. If it had been a matter of needing the money, surely the powers could have provided. Or perhaps the decision had been Tín’s own, to follow her sister, perhaps, but if so, it’s not clear in the text.

The manananggal who is her family’s enemy is definitely shown as an evil creature; folklore suggests that it attacks fetuses. But there is no suggestion that Tín’s mother was likewise malevolent, or that Tín would become so once she came into her powers. This is a potential source of story tension that isn’t explored here.

Dream Cakes

Meanwhile, Lois Tilton just calls this a:

Neat little piece.

We're into the closing days of our 2014 fund drive -- have you donated yet?

Bonus Prize Draw: Signed Twelve Tomorrows!

posted by Niall Harrison on 14 November 2014 | Comments (0) »

Another day over, another bonus draw concluded (although I won't get a chance to actually determine the winners until tomorrow -- I have tennis tickets today which mean a very early start and not much internet). But wait! There's more!

This one comes to us courtesy of Christopher Brown: a copy of this year's Twelve Tomorrows, the science fiction special issue of MIT Technology Review, signed by some of the contributors.

So far -- in addition to himself -- Chris has collected signatures from Joel Garreau, Bruce Sterling and William Gibson, and we're hoping to pick up one or two more before sending it on. Other authors in the issue include Pat Cadigan, Lauren Beukes, and Cory Doctorow.

So you know the drill now: donate by 23.59 PST today, Friday 14th November, and you'll be entered into an additional draw for this copy (as well as the main prize draw). You'll also be helping to unlock our remaining bonus content, including the conclusion of Ann Leckie's story. And earning our gratitude!

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