Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A couple memorable stories from Strange Horizons

I've been a pretty faithful reader of Strange Horizons this past year. Every Monday I check out the new content--a new story, often a poem, an article or essay, and the first of the week's reviews. Then each of the next few days I go back to read the next review that's posted (and often to finish the story, which I seldom take the time to read all the way through on Monday). I don't always like their stories--some I don't even finish--but when I like them...wow. While there's more prestige in getting published in one of the established print magazines like F&SF, I'd be equally proud to have a story appear in Strange Horizons.

Since this week there's no new issue, I decided to put links to what I consider the most memorable stories of the past year. I'm not saying they're the best (I'd have to reread them all to make such a claim), but these are the ones I remember best and would definitely be in the running for best of the year if I was creating an anthology. If I remember right, both stories received good-but-not-great reviews from Tangent, but recommended or highly recommended from Lois Tilton of Internet Review of Science Fiction (speaking of which, I should I add a link to them over on my sidebar--I'll do that soon).

So here they are: Draco Campestris by Sarah Monette. If you demand a straight-forward plot, this may not be for you, but I found the museum world with all its politics and interactions wonderfully evocative.

And The Water-Poet and the Four Seasons by David J. Schwartz. Hauntingly beautiful prose without turning purple. It's what some of my stories dream of becoming when they grow up. It's the story of a poet who creates the weather of each of the seasons by crafting different types of poetry.

So, if you get a chance this week (if you, like I, will be going through Strange Horizons withdrawal), check them out, and feel free to mention any other stories from there that really stand out for you.

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