ecbatan (ecbatan) wrote,

Summary: Strange Horizons, 2010

Summary: Strange Horizons, 2010

I caution again -- and apologize! -- that I'm late with these summaries, so they may be a bit less complete than in the past.

Strange Horizons is one of the longest-running and one of the best webzines going. They publish a story a week. Most of the stories are short: Four this year were novelettes (serialized over two weeks) and those were fairly short novelettes, all under 9000 words. The focus is broad , a mix of general fantasy and science fiction, with a fair amount of what might be called slipstream, though in recent years I'd say their mix has tilted more towards more standard SF and Fantasy. The fiction editors are Jed Hartman, Susan Marie Groppi, and Karen Meisner. I should note that the Strange Horizons editorial staff is changing as we head into 2011. Susan Marie Groppi had been chief editor, but she is stepping down, to be replaced by Niall Harrison. Abigail Nussbaum is taking over Harrison's former billet as review editor. Niall did an excellent job with the reviews section -- it it one of the most energetic and interesting in the field -- and I'm sure he'll do great as editor in chief, while I am confident that Abigail will excellent as reviews editor, if her wonderful personal review blog (Asking the Wrong Questions) is any indication. I am not sure what if any impact these changes might have on the fiction staff.

I counted just about 179,000 words of fiction this year, all new. This is pretty much the same wordcount they feature every year. There were a total of 46 stories, four of them novelettes, three of them short-shorts (and five more in the 1500-1600 word range, just above my artificial short-short limit). It was another fine year for fiction at Strange Horizons.

My favorite two stories of the year (both of which will be in my Best of the Year anthology) were Bill Kte'pi's "Merrythoughts" (March 22), a lush mix of mythologies: superheroes, the Bible, William Faulkner, Peter Pan, even SF -- and it’s warm and sad and very nicely written; and Samantha Henderson's "The Red Bride" (July 5), SF told as if fantasy, about a colonized planet and the natives rebelling, led by the title figure -- but it's really a smaller story, about one native servant and one human. Other very strong stories include "The Mad Scientist's Daughter", by Theodora Goss (1/18-1/25); "After We Got Back the Lights", by Eric Del Carlo (2/8); "The Duke of Vertumn's Fingerling", by Elizabeth Carroll (4/5); "The Freedom", by K. M. Lawrence (4/26); "WE HEART VAMPIRES!!!!!", by Meghan McCarron (5/3-5/10); "Waiting", by Eilis O'Neal (5/31); "The Bright and Shiny Parasites of Guiyu", by Grady Hendrix (7/12-7/19); "Seven Sexy Cowboy Robots", by Sandra McDonald (10/4); and "Household Spirits", by C. S. E. Cooney (11/8). There was also fine work from Francesca Forrest, Claire Humphreys, Lauren LeBano, George R. Galuschak, Merrie Haskell, Kyri Freeman, John Kessel, Hal Duncan, Lavie Tidhar, and Tracy Canfield.

I make the totals 18 SF stories of 46 pieces, at 39% rather a smaller proportion than in the last couple years, when SF made up about 50% of the total. Also, 18 of the new stories were by men, 39% -- which means 61% by women, a slightly smaller proportion than last year but consistent with the site's usual ratio.

Tags: 2010, webzines, yearly summaries
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