I don’t really view my slush-reading for Strange Horizons as being in any way for the benefit of the magazine. From my point of view, it’s something that I do in order to improve my own writing. So that’s why it’s really weird for me to sometimes reflect that I’m actually a part of this magazine that I really love and that my work forms some small but concrete part of the process of putting the thing out every week.
Strange Horizon’s annual fund drive occurring this month, so I’ve been getting all these internal emails to get out there and talk it up. If you want to donate, the link is over here. You should feel free to donate whatever amount you want, but if you read it regularly, then it wouldn’t be out of line to donate like $20.
Your money won’t be going to some fly-by-night Kickstarter. It’ll go to the world’s longest-running professional online science fiction magazine. In fact, since the magazine is over twelve years old, I would not be surprised to find that it’s one of the oldest continuously-operated online magazines in the world. And your money won’t go to anyone in the organization (not that some of the editors in our all-volunteer staff don’t deserve some money). All of the money raised by the organization goes to pay contributors or pay overhead costs.
Beyond the fact that Strange Horizons publishes some great stories (and amazing reviews–there is nothing in the science fiction world that is amazing like its reviews department), I think it’s important to note the effect that Strange Horizons has had on the field. I don’t think there are many magazines out there which have as singular an editorial vision as SH does. Even though it doesn’t bar its door to any kind of submission, Strange Horizons consistently publishes really offbeat stories: queer deconstructions of fairy tales; super-hero subversions; metafictional exercises; formally and stylistically innovative stories; absurdist fictions; and many other types of stories that previously had no place in the science fiction world.
The existence of Strange Horizons has done a lot to pull the entire field in a new direction. Its stories not only inspire new writers and send them shooting off in new directions, but the mere fact that there is a home for these potential stories means that more of them get written. And, inevitably, that means that these kinds of stories overflow into other publications. Strange Horizons is an example of how a magazine can be a real force for aesthetic change.
And that’s worth at least $20.