I need to talk about that second one a bit, because it’s a huge milestone for me. You see, I sent my first story to Strange Horizons in <checks records> May of 2002. That isn’t a typo; I didn’t mean 2012. 2002. Seventeen years ago. In that time, I have sent them forty-five other stories — but the truth is that the overlap in the Venn diagram of “the kind of thing I write” and “the kind of thing SH publishes” is pretty narrow. I kept trying, because I really admire them and wanted to see my name listed among the people they’ve published, and a few of my submissions came close, but this one was a white whale for me. It was entirely possible that I would never actually crack it.
Until a couple of months ago, when we had half a dozen friends over for a movie marathon and I suddenly hit the pause button to say, in a voice entirely too calm for what was going on inside my head, “I just sold a story to Strange Horizons.”
It’s very brief — less than two thousand words. It’s much more elliptical and poetic than most of what I write, which I’m sure is part of why they bought it and not the previous forty-five attempts. It has metaphorical depth I didn’t notice until a couple of weeks ago. (It also has content warnings, which you should click on if you’re concerned.) And you can read it online for free, or listen to the audio version by Anaea Lay.
Also? It has art.