The Strange Horizons Readers’ Poll runs traditionally for two weeks of January, this year from 4-17th. Voting is free and open to everyone. If you read Strange Horizons, you can vote. You can vote for fiction, poetry, articles, columnists, and artworks.
I blog about this poll every year because I think it’s fun and important and because, as I’ve stated many times before, I love Strange Horizons. Strange Horizons was the first online market I read, one of the first markets I read, period. They had published my first professional fiction sale, and many of my best poems. I had the honor of winning the Readers’ Poll twice with some of these poems.
This year, I am eligible again.
I had three poems in Strange Horizons this year: two Birdverse poems (“Ranra’s Unbalancing”, “Three Principles of Strong Building”) and a Journeymaker Cycle poem, “Long Shadow.”
“Long Shadow” is, well, long; it’s an epic length poem which tells a complete story of a ghost child, an orphan of past wars, who steals the souls of the unborn. The Journeymaker tries to find a solution, but there are no easy answers to be had.
This might be the most horror-ish thing I’ve written yet. It’s hard for me to think about any of my work as horror. I always try for a hopeful ending. It’s somewhat of a signature of mine, that in uttermost darkness I strive to find some hope. The Journeymaker, too, labors for hope, however difficult a situation might be. But it’s not always possible to resolve things. Sometimes all you can do is to witness. Witnessing in itself has such tremendous power, and witnessing is so often overlooked in favor of finding a solution.
Witnessing, though, is a kind of hope. So often our suffering is not even seen.
“Long Shadow” represents the best of my writing.
Regardless of whether you vote for it or not, I hope you give it a read.
Strange Horizons poetry department had a tremendous year. Please check out other people’s work – I loved so many of this year’s poems that I don’t think I can list them all.
In addition to poetry eligibility, my essay “The Uses and Limitations of the Folklorist’s Toolkit for Fiction” is eligible in the Articles category.
Happy reading and voting!