For the last month, Strange Horizons has been running its annual fund drive, during which we raise money to keep the magazine running and its contributors paid. Strange Horizons is run by a volunteer staff (including yours truly), and pays professional rates to its contributors. With one week to go, the drive is now at just over $5,000 out of an $8,000 goal, though there are also "stretch goals" all the way to $11,000, which will allow us to increase the pay rates for poetry and reviews, and to add weekly podcasts of the magazine's fiction. The fund drive page--with information about prizes being raffled off to donors, and Kickstarter-style rewards for various donation levels (including, for $100, the option to select a book to be reviewed by the reviews department)--can be found here, and at the Strange Horizons blog editor-in-chief Niall Harrison has been keeping a tally of testimonials about the magazine from authors and reviewers (including Genevieve Valentine's fantastic offer to review ten minutes out of any movie or TV show in exchange for a donation).
When the fund drive month comes along, the fiction department gets a lot of attention, and with good reason--online venues for free short fiction are common nowadays, but when Strange Horizons started out twelve years ago it was one of the first, and is, I think, the only one still standing after all that time. But I came to Strange Horizons through the reviews department, first as a contributor and reader, and now as its editor--this month also marks two years since I've taken over the job from Niall. There are a lot of things I enjoy about being reviews editor--getting to work with smart, incisive, talented reviewers, putting forward an editorial stance that prioritizes rigor, close reading, and political awareness in reviews, the occasional slapfight--but one of my favorites is the opportunity, every once in a while, to draw readers' awareness to a worthwhile work they might otherwise have overlooked. Today's review does, I hope, just that. It's also a review of a cartoon. Lila Garrott looks at the Disney Channel's new animated series Gravity Falls, and does a great job of echoing my reasons for feeling that this is the best genre show of 2012 (it also highlights some themes and problematic areas in the series that I hadn't noticed, and is definitely worth a read even if you're already a fan of the show). You should watch the show, but you should also read Lila's review (and the week's other two reviews--of The Constantine Affliction by T. Aaron Payton, reviewed by Liz Bourke, and of Jonathan Carroll's collection The Woman Who Married a Cloud, reviewed by Nina Allan--coming, respectively, on Wednesday and Friday), and if you're able to, please consider donating to Strange Horizons in order to help us keep publishing reviews (and fiction, poetry, columns and articles) for another year.