Women with wings

A couple of times in the past week or so, Libana's song “A River of Birds” has come up in my iTunes rotation. Lyrics: “There's a river of birds in migration, a nation of women with wings.”

Meanwhile, I've been reading Terry Carr's Best Science Fiction of the Year #5, featuring stories published in 1975, which includes “The Storms of Windhaven,” by Lisa Tuttle and George R. R. Martin. I think I've read the first page or so of that story half a dozen times over the last 20+ years, but somehow I've always gotten distracted and lost focus and shifted to something else, even though it opens with an evocative scene:

Maris rode the storm ten feet above the sea, taming the winds on wide cloth-of-metal wings. She flew fiercely, recklessly, delighting in the danger and the feel of the spray, not bothered by the cold.

But last night I finally read it, and liked it.

And then this morning, Karen tweeted about having had a dream in which she had mechanical wings. And suddenly I was reminded of something from editing Strange Horizons:

We kept receiving, and kept publishing, stories about women with wings. It wasn't a conscious or intentional choice; it just happened. And around the nth time it happened, we started joking that we should change the name of the magazine to The Magazine of Women with Wings.

So here's to stories of women with wings. Maybe I'll add that to my list of themed anthologies to edit some day.

(The other prominent accidental theme was bears. People kept sending us stories in which bears figured prominently, and we kept publishing them. But The Magazine of Women with Wings, Plus Bears would've been a kind of a clunky title.)

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