The Uncanny Valley

It is 2017. All of you know what happened to the world in November.

So…

Does art matter anymore?

We’re usually playful in this editorial. After the American elections, though, it’s hard to be whimsical about much of anything.

The question we led this editorial with went around social media in the days right after the election. With everything going on, is art frivolous? It’s not calling electors or raising money for organizations that will protect free speech, women’s reproductive choices, and the rights of the marginalized. Art doesn’t call Congresspeople or Senators to tell them to start hearings about ethics violations or to stop the appointments of hateful and incompetent people to Cabinet posts. Art doesn’t get out and march. Art doesn’t stop the immoral construction of pipelines.

What can we do as readers, writers, artists, editors, and publishers to stop fascism and white supremacy? Should we abandon art?

The answer to all of that is ART HAS NEVER MATTERED MORE. Art changes the world. It isn’t instant or magic, but art gives people voices and ideas. Art protests. Art builds. Art gives access to different points of view. Art provides escapes. Art gives hope.

There’s a reason why fascists come for your books.

So yes, all of that activism matters (please consider getting involved if you can), but so does the creation of this magazine. And trust us, Uncanny Magazine is going to be LOUD. We’ve had white supremacists, homophobes, neo–Nazis, and misogynists attack things we’ve edited before, and we kept coming back bigger and better. As long as people are producing brilliant, inclusive, gorgeous art, we’ll be publishing it.

THESE UNICORNS FIGHT FASCISTS.

Now for some sad Uncanny Magazine news many of you already know. Starting with this issue, “Dangerous” Deborah Stanish will no longer be our interviewer in the magazine or on the podcast. Deb was with us from the very beginning. She was an exquisite interviewer, always well–prepared with excellent questions. If you heard her on the podcast, you know how great her rapport was with our creators. Along with this, she participated in many of our behind–the–scenes discussions about the magazine’s direction, gave thoughtful opinions, and donated the use of her family’s cabin for the infamous Uncanny Cabin Kickstarter backer reward retreats. Nobody promoted Uncanny more than Deb.

Deb decided that now is the time to part ways with Uncanny so she can pursue other opportunities. Deb is one of our dearest friends, and we wish her well with all of her future endeavors. Luckily, you will still be able to hear her with Lynne and Uncanny podcast producer Erika Ensign on the Verity! Doctor Who Podcast!

The great news is that the phenomenal Julia Rios will be taking over as the podcast interviewer while continuing as our poetry and reprint editor! (Julia already took over as the print interviewer last issue.) Julia is a fantastic interviewer and podcaster. We’ve both been interviewed by her in the past. We’re thrilled Julia is taking over this role.

So where are those wacky Thomases in January and February? Currently we plan on attending the ConFusion convention in Michigan from January 19–22. Last year’s con was truly unforgettable and changed our lives. We can definitely say shenanigans were had. We expect this year’s version to be no different.

There are some other convention possibilities in February. Please watch our social media for all upcoming Thomas travel!

It’s the time of year when people post their year–in–reviews to remind voters for the different SF/F awards what’s out there that they might have missed and which categories these things are eligible in (especially for the Hugo Awards and Nebula Awards). 2016 was the second full year of Uncanny Magazine (Issues 8 through 13). We are extremely proud of the year we had.

Uncanny Magazine is still eligible for the Best Semiprozine Hugo Award. Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas are also eligible for the Best Editor (Short Form) Hugo Award. (Note: If you are nominating the Thomases in this category, please nominate them together. They are a co–editing team.)

We have a handy list on the Uncanny Magazine blog of which stories are eligible in either the short story or novelette categories of the SF/F awards. If you’re a SFWA member nominating for the Nebula Awards, you can find eBook copies of these stories in the SFWA Forums.

All of our poetry is eligible for the Rhysling Award. All of our nonfiction writers are eligible for the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer. Our cover artists Kirbi Fagan, Katy Shuttleworth, and Galen Dara, plus our webcomic artist Liz Argall, are also eligible for the Hugo Award for Best Fan Artist.

If you can participate in these awards, please do it, and nominate what you feel are the best works. Don’t forget there are scoundrels trying to break these awards. The more legitimate nominators the awards have, the more difficult it is for the assholes to screw things up.

And now the contents of the glorious Uncanny Magazine Issue 14!

Our gorgeous cover this month is John Picacio’s “El Arpa.” This is one of the many stunning pieces John created for his ongoing Loteria card deck project. Our new fiction includes Sam J. Miller’s haunting and visceral story of loss “Bodies Stacked Like Firewood,” A. Merc Rustad’s compelling and triumphant tale of family and survival “Monster Girls Don’t Cry,” Cassandra Khaw’s powerful, mythic “Goddess, Worm,” Maria Dahvana Headley’s macabre and dreamlike Poe story “The Thule Stowaway,” Theodora Goss’s fascinating, personal interstitial journey “To Budapest, with Love,” and Tansy Rayner Roberts’s delightful and hilarious Valentine’s Day short “Some Cupids Kill with Arrows.” Our reprint is Ann Leckie’s classic “The Unknown God,” originally published in the February 2010 issue of Realms of Fantasy.

Our essays this month include a very personal review of the film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Mark Oshiro, a primer of the modern romance genre for SF/F fans by Natalie Luhrs, Delilah S. Dawson’s powerful discussion about how she has never not been an object to certain people, and Angel Cruz’s examination of the astounding wave of new aswang stories by Filipina writers. Our wonderful and brilliant poetry this month includes Carlos Hernandez’s “In Lieu of the Stories My Santera Abuela Should Have Told Me Herself, This Poem,” Nin Harris’s “Jean–Luc, Future Ghost,” and Nicasio Andres Reed’s “Except Thou Bless Me.” Finally, Julia Rios interviews A. Merc Rustad and Maria Dahvana Headley about their stories.

The Uncanny Magazine Podcast episode 14A features Sam J. Miller’s “Bodies Stacked Like Firewood” as read by Erika Ensign, Carlos Hernandez’s “In Lieu of the Stories My Santera Abuela Should Have Told Me Herself, This Poem” as read by Amal El–Mohtar, and Julia Rios interviewing Sam J. Miller. The Uncanny Magazine Podcast episode 14B features Theodora Goss’s “To Budapest, with Love” as read by Amal El–Mohtar, Tansy Rayner Roberts’s “Some Cupids Kill With Arrows” as read by Erika Ensign, Nicasio Andres Reed’s “Except Thou Bless Me” as read by Erika Ensign, and Julia Rios interviewing Theodora Goss.

Please enjoy the latest issue of Uncanny Magazine, and thank you all so much for your continued support.

Fight on, Space Unicorns! Enjoy!

Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas

Lynne and Michael are the Publishers/Editors-in-Chief for the two-time Hugo and Parsec Award-winning Uncanny Magazine.

Five-time Hugo Award winner Lynne M. Thomas was the Editor-in-Chief of Apex Magazine (2011–2013). She co-edited the Hugo Award-winning Chicks Dig Time Lords (with Tara O’Shea) as well as Whedonistas (with Deborah Stanish) and Chicks Dig Comics (with Sigrid Ellis).

Along with being a two-time Hugo Award-winner, Michael Damian Thomas was the former Managing Editor of Apex Magazine (2012–2013), co-edited the Hugo-nominated Queers Dig Time Lords (Mad Norwegian Press, 2013) with Sigrid Ellis, and co-edited Glitter & Mayhem (Apex Publications, 2013), with John Klima and Lynne M. Thomas.

Together, they solve mysteries.

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