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A Stranger Horizon
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I first sold a story to Strange Horizons back in 2000 (it's still online, "The Fallen and the Muse of the Street", and I'm still fond of it, though my writing has come a long way since then). It was only the sixth or seventh story I ever sold (I've sold about 70 stories total at this point, I think). Strange Horizons was only about three months old when my story appeared, and wasn't anywhere near as famous as it has since become, and I've always felt my fate was somewhat intertwined with that magazine's -- the story that effectively launched my career, "Little Gods", which became a Nebula nominee, was published there. I won or placed high in their Readers Choice Awards pretty regularly in both the fiction and poetry categories, when I had eligible work. It was the literary home of my heart, and I thought of myself as a "Strange Horizons author" the way some people were "Interzone authors" or -- back in the day -- "New Worlds authors" or "Astounding" authors. I met my wife through that magazine, literally -- the editor-in-chief, Mary Anne Mohanraj, invited me to a brunch at Heather's house, and the first work of hers I ever read was published at Strange Horizons. All three fiction editors were at my wedding, and one of them was in my wedding party. I love these people.

But, in recent years, I haven't published there much. I almost never write poetry anymore -- the last poem I wrote for them appeared just over two years ago. And none of the stories I sent them connected with the editors -- plus, I wasn't writing as much short fiction, what with giving more attention to novels, so I didn't submit as often as I had in the past. The last story I published there, "Living with the Harpy," appeared in October 2003. Three and a half years ago! I was beginning to think I'd never sell them another story, honestly -- certainly the competition is exponentially stiffer now than it was last time I sold them something, with work by major new writers appearing there regularly, and hundreds of submissions arriving each month.

Which is why I was surprised and delighted this afternoon to get an acceptance from them!

"Artifice and Intelligence" will appear late this year, probably. I'm so happy to return to their pages, and I’m very fond of this story, too. It's one of the "challenge stories" I wrote, based on Heather's assignments, specifically in this case to write a story with six scenes and three AIs. (I promised Heather she gets half the money if I sell any of those stories, so she'll be happy about this, too.) I read "Artifice and Intelligence" down at USC and it was received very favorably. I hope you all like it, too, when it comes out.

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