The first personal rejection I ever got, when I first was submitting short fiction, was from Strange Horizons. For that reason alone, SH has a special place in my writer-heart.
But that’s not the only reason I love Strange Horizons. Look at who they’ve published over the years. I was going to look at that list and name a few people, but I had trouble keeping it down to a manageable number, there were too many awesome writers with awesome stories. Stories from Strange Horizons have been nominated for major awards, and included in Years Best anthologies. They publish so much great fiction, it’s almost ridiculous. And Strange Horizons doesn’t just publish fiction–they also publish essays, reviews, and poetry.
And you can read it all for free. If you wanted to read this month’s stories published by Asimovs, say, you’d have to buy an issue, or have a subscription, or be near a library where it was available (and even then, my local library won’t let you check out current issues of periodicals). But Strange Horizons? You can always read it, wherever you’ve got access to the internet. And you’re not confined to one issue at a time–you can browse the archives and read any and every story they’ve published.
And even though they give readers that fiction for free, and even though the people who run it are volunteers, they pay writers professional rates. They manage to do that by running fund drives, where readers who are able donate to Strange Horizons. And it’s fund drive time again.
I know that not everyone is in a place in their life where they can even think about donating. I think that’s one of the nice things about the donation model–if you’re in that place, if you can’t afford it, you can still enjoy it. Maybe someday you’ll be in a different place, financially, and able to consider it. Meantime, no worries. But if you’ve got the ability, you can pay forward and help Strange Horizons keep bringing us great stories.
So if you can, please consider donating to the Strange Horizons fund drive. There are also, as it happens, some prizes–everyone who donates during the fund drive will be entered in the prize draw, and the prizes are pretty cool.