Strange Horizons

I’ve mentioned wordriot.org before, a popular online literary publication and today I’d like to highlight a notable online speculative fiction magazine: Strange Horizons.

The site includes fiction, poetry, art, articles and reviews. Check out their newest fiction pieces by clicking here. If you enjoy reality TV gone wrong or creation myths, try reading “Source Decay.” It’s a quick read.

The website also has a comprehensive list, titled “What We’ve Seen Too Often,” regarding what they don’t want submitted to them. It’s a humorous and educational read. I’ve highlighted a few of my favorite bullet points from the list below and you can view the whole list by clicking here:

My personal favorite # 35: Twee little fairies fly around being twee.

A few notables:

10.  Someone calls technical support; wacky hijinks ensue.

a. Someone calls technical support for a magical item

b. Someone calls technical support for a piece of advanced technology

c. The title of the story is 1-800-SOMETHING-CUTE

8. A place is described, with no plot or characters.

15. Story is based in whole or part on a D&D game or world.

a. A party of D&D characters (usually including a fighter, a magic-user, and a thief, one of whom is a half-elf and one a dwarf) enters a dungeon (or the wilderness, or a town, or a tavern) and fights monsters (usually including orcs).

17. Space travel is wonderful and will solve all our problems (We agree that space travel is pretty cool, but we’d rather that weren’t the whole point of the story.)

18. Man has an awful, shrewish wife; in the end he gets revenge on her, by (for example) killing her or leaving her.

a. Man is entirely blameless, innocent, mild-mannered, and unobjectionable, and he kills his awful, shrewish wife entirely by accident, possibly in self-defense, so it’s okay.

20. Person A tells a story to person B (or to a room full of people) about person C.

a. In the end, it turns out that person B is really person C (or from the same organization).

b. In the end, it turns out that person A is really person C (or has the same goals).

c. In the end, there’s some other ironic but predictable twist that would cast the whole story in a different light if the reader hadn’t guessed the ending early on.

21. People whose politics are different from the author’s are shown to be stupid, insane, or evil, usually through satire, sarcasm, stereotyping, and wild exaggeration.

a. In the future, the US or world is ruled by politically correct liberals, leading to awful things (usually including loss of freedom of speech).

b. In the future, the US or the world is ruled by fascist conservatives, leading to awful things (usually including loss of freedom of speech).

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