I Am the Least Cool Person Alive

I’ve been reading Iona Sharma’s _Not for Use in Navigation: Thirteen Stories_, and I love it so, so, so much. For a while, I was pacing myself, just letting myself read one story a night, so I wouldn’t get through it too quickly, but now I’m more than halfway through, and I can’t wait, I’m finishing it all in one big gulp, and only pausing to tell you how much I love it.

You can read a few of these stories online at Strange Horizons, so you might take a look at this one: http://strangehorizons.com/fic…/light-like-a-candle-flame/

But then you should rush out and buy this book.


I was also delighted to learn this morning that my little magazine was their first pro fiction sale. This is why we started Strange Horizons, to give a space for authors like them.

“Some people write poetry. Other people write fairy tales. I write stories about civic infrastructure. About public records; about sewage plants; about local government administration; about how regulations are written; about who regulates the regulators; about how people divide resources in a time of scarcity; about paperwork. Sometimes my stories have magic, other times they have spaceships, but I’m fundamentally preoccupied with bureaucracy.

I am the least cool person alive.

But I am a professional writer, because in 2014 Strange Horizons bought a story of mine that I nearly didn’t submit. It had magic in it, and a friendship, and a lighthouse: but for the most part it was about the infrastructure of the mind, and why that matters. I’ve since sold another dozen stories on similar themes, including two more to Strange Horizons, and I’m still grateful. Not just for asking me to contribute, nor just for giving me my first pro sale, although they did, but for saying: you’re a weirdo but we like you. Your stories have a place, and so do you.”

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