Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Uncanny Celebrates Reader Favorites of 2016!

Happy New Year, Space Unicorns! 2016 was an incredible year and we’re excited to see where we’ll go in 2017. Everyone in the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps has been wonderfully supportive and your enthusiasm has meant so much to us. It’s been fantastic to see how much our readers have been enjoying Uncanny’s fiction and while we have our personal favorites, we’d like to know which stories YOU loved from Uncanny in 2016.

We’ve set up a poll for Uncanny readers to vote for their top three favorite original short stories from 2016. (You can find links to all of the stories here.) The poll will be open from January 9 to January 30, after which we’ll announce the results. We will also be running polls to ask what your favorite poems, nonfiction, and cover art were in the following weeks. We’re excited for you to share which Uncanny stories, poems, nonfiction, and art made you feel!

snazzy certificate will be given to the creators whose work comes out on top of each poll!

Did you know Uncanny Magazine is on Instagram? Follow us at @uncanny_magazine! We’ll be highlighting our favorite quotes from Uncanny’s short fiction from 2016. Starting on Monday, January 9, we’ll post those quotes on Instagram!

Uncanny Magazine Issue 14 Cover and Table of Contents!

Coming January 3, THE FOURTEENTH ISSUE OF 2016 HUGO AWARD-WINNING UNCANNY MAGAZINE!!!

All of the content will be available in the eBook version on the day of release.

The free online content will be released in 2 stages- half on day of release and half on February 7.

Don’t forget eBook Subscriptions to Uncanny Magazine are available from Weightless Books and Amazon Kindle, and you can support us on our Patreon!

Uncanny Magazine Issue 14 Table of Contents

Cover
John Picacio- “El Arpa”

Editorial
The Uncanny Valley

Fiction
Sam J. Miller- “Bodies Stacked Like Firewood” (1/3)
A. Merc Rustad- “Monster Girls Don’t Cry” (1/3)
Cassandra Khaw- “Goddess, Worm” (1/3)

Maria Dahvana Headley- “The Thule Stowaway” (2/7)
Theodora Goss- “To Budapest, with Love” (2/7)
Tansy Rayner Roberts- “Some Cupids Kill With Arrows” (2/7)

Reprint
Ann Leckie- “The Unknown God” (2/7)

Nonfiction
Mark Oshiro- Inferior Beasts (1/3)
Natalie Luhrs- “Why You Should Read Romance” (1/3)

Delilah S. Dawson- “I Have Never Not Been an Object” (2/7)
Angel Cruz- “Blood of the Revolution: On Filipina Writers and Aswang” (2/7)

Poetry
Carlos Hernandez- “In Lieu of the Stories My Santera Abuela Should Have Told Me Herself, This Poem” (1/3)
Nin Harris- “Jean-Luc, Future Ghost” (1/3)

Nicasio Andres Reed- “Except Thou Bless Me” (2/7)

Interviews
A. Merc Rustad by Julia Rios (1/3)

Maria Dahvana Headley by Julia Rios (2/7)

Podcast 14A (1/3)
Story- Sam J. Miller- “Bodies Stacked Like Firewood” (As read by Erika Ensign)
Poem- Carlos Hernandez- “In Lieu of the Stories My Santera Abuela Should Have Told Me Herself, This Poem” (As read by Amal El-Mohtar)
Interview- Sam J. Miller by Julia Rios

Podcast 14B (2/7)
Story- Theodora Goss- “To Budapest, with Love” (As read by Amal El-Mohtar)
Story- Tansy Rayner Roberts- “Some Cupids Kill With Arrows” (As read by Erika Ensign)
Poem- Nicasio Andres Reed- “Except Thou Bless Me” (As read by Erika Ensign)
Interview- Theodora Goss by Julia Rios

Uncanny Magazine Issue 13 Cover and Table of Contents!

Coming November 1, THE THIRTEENTH ISSUE OF 2016 HUGO AWARD-WINNING UNCANNY MAGAZINE!!!

All of the content will be available in the eBook version on the day of release.

The free online content will be released in 2 stages- half on day of release and half on December 6th.

Don’t forget eBook Subscriptions to Uncanny Magazine are available from Weightless Books and Amazon Kindle, and you can support us on our Patreon!

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Uncanny Magazine Issue 13 Table of Contents

Cover
Julie Dillon “Impact Crater”

Editorial
The Uncanny Valley (11/1)

Fiction
Paul Cornell- “Don’t You Worry, You Aliens” (11/1)
Brooke Bolander- “Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies” (11/1)
Jennifer Marie Brissett- “Kamanti’s Child” (11/1)

Alex Bledsoe- “White Hart, Black Knight” (12/6)
Kat Howard- “The Green Knight’s Wife” (12/6)
Nalo Hopkinson- “Can’t Beat ‘Em” (12/6)

Reprint
Amal El-Mohtar- “Seasons of Glass and Iron” (11/1)

Nonfiction
Alyssa Wong- “They Love Me Not: How Fictional Villains Saved My Life” (11/1)
Monica Valentinelli- “We Have Always Been Here, Motherfucker” (11/1)
Navah Wolfe- “A Saga of Ink and Tea: Welcome to the Woods” (11/1)

Tansy Rayner Roberts- “How The Avengers Killed the Justice League” (12/6)
Keidra Chaney- “Living, working, and Fangirling with a Chronic Illness” (12/6)
Hao Jingfang (Translated by Ken Liu)- “I Wanted to Write a History of Inequality” (12/6)

Poetry
Neil Gaiman- “The Long Run” (11/1)
Theodora Goss- “Rose Child” (11/1)

Sofia Samatar – “Blue Flowers: Fragments” (12/6)

Interviews
Jennifer Marie Brissett Interviewed by Julia Rios (11/1)
Alex Bledsoe Interviewed by Julia Rios (12/6)

Podcast 13A (11/1)
Stories
Paul Cornell- “Don’t You Worry, You Aliens” (Read by Heath Miller)
Brooke Bolander- “Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies” (Read by Erika Ensign)
Poem:
Theodora Goss- “Rose Child” (Read by Amal El-Mohtar)
Interview:
Brooke Bolander Interviewed by Deborah Stanish

Podcast 13B (12/6)
Stories:
Kat Howard- “The Green Knight’s Wife” (Read by Erika Ensign)
Nalo Hopkinson- “Can’t Beat ‘Em” (Read by Amal El-Mohtar)
Poem:
Sofia Samatar – “Blue Flowers: Fragments” (Read by Amal El-Mohtar)
Interview:
Tansy Rayner Roberts Interviewed by Deborah Stanish

Stories Full of Teeth, by Cassandra Khaw

(Guest Post by Cassandra Khaw)

I remember a comic from a few months, a few years back. It had a goblin who wouldn’t stop creating nightmares, who wouldn’t cease building spiked balls and grotesqueries. All the while, everyone else reveled in the light, in figments of beauty. Bright, shiny, happy things.

And of course, one of the jovial creators caved and asked: “Why do you make these things?” Why do you summon horror to our doorsteps? Why do you insist on inventing new entities to fear when the world itself is already such a terrible place? (I’m obviously taking some creative license here, but bear with me.) He said nothing. Instead, he stared for a moment and then allowed his newest monstrosity to drift into the abyss, where it floated among all the other dark things he’d dreamt up.

A hand eventually shot out of the murk and grabbed ahold of the line. The comic ended with a dirty, tattered silhouette allowing itself to be carried away.

There are days when you need happy endings and there are days when you don’t.

Sometimes, we need to be told that it gets better, that tomorrow comes, that the dawn will follow the sleepless night spent folded into a plastic chair, your mother’s breath rasping through the hospital room.

(Rachael K. Jones’ “Travelling Mercies” and Rose Lemberg’s “The Desert Glassmaker and the Jeweler of Berevyar” are those stories for me. I reread them often. When a convention ends and I’m nothing but nerves, all alone and starved for touch. When I’m a thousand miles from the person I love, when they’re just a jumble of selfies and I miss you’s. Those stories and stories like them, they keep me alive, keep me nourished.)

Sometimes, though, we need something else.

I think a lot about Delilah S. Dawson’s “Catcall.” It is angry, vicious, seething with so much venom that I choke on the words each time. It is her story, my story, the story of every woman who’d ever squeezed their fists around a ring of keys as they stalked down a dark alley. It is a snarl, a snapping of teeth, a warning against every Hey baby and Smile for me honey. It doesn’t go pretty places. It doesn’t need to.

But for the longest time, I didn’t get that. I didn’t understand. Why would I want to be reminded of all the things that had happened? I carried them under my lungs, tasted them – soot, sour sweat – in every breath I took.

And then it clicked.

People like to say there are no new experiences; everything that happens is something that has happened before; the answer to Am I the only one? is always a disdainful No: someone has always had it worse. In other words: Don’t bitch. Don’t whine. Don’t cry. Don’t argue.

You’re not the first.

You’re not the last.

So deal with it.

All that is poison. Lies. Vileness concealed as platitudes. And we know it intellectually. All of us do. But when your lungs burn, when you’re at your doorstep, shaking from the laughter that hounded you down the street, when you start planning a hundred contingency plans, a thousand new routes so you’ll never have to cross their paths again? It doesn’t feel like that. Instead, it feels like you’re drowning.

Like you’re suffocating on the memory, on all those helpful questions that follow, all those attempts to figure out what’s happening to you: What were you wearing? Did you smile at them? Did you come home too late? Did you linger too long? Did you swing your hips? Did you make yourself look like prey?

After a while, you close up. You start fighting for air. You knife up against the waters as they close down on you, as your brain starts to wonder if it was your fault all along. Sometimes, you win that argument. Sometimes, you don’t.

And stories likeCatcall” are for when we give up, when we start doubting ourselves. We clutch at them and they pull us out, singing their rage, our rage. All the songs bled from our skins, cut from our hearts by a world too broken by half.

Not every story needs a happy ending.

Occasionally, all they need to do is remind us that we’re not alone, someone was here before and they survived.

I’m hoping to do the same with Hammers on Bone. I wrote the novella in desperation after learning what’d happened to two little boys I knew. When I started writing the book, I wanted to give them a happy ending, a better present. I wanted to rescue them, or at least the idea of them because I couldn’t do anything else.

But then I stopped and thought about it. And Hammers on Bone became something else. I molded it into a scream, a snapping of teeth, a bubbling rage that could be weaponized by a reader, a reminder that you don’t have to be a monster to survive in this world, a demand that we stop and pay attention to the things that are happening behind closed doors, that we do not dismiss the whimpering child as “childish” but consider the truth: is something worse happening to them?

We’ll see. I hope the right message gets out there.

(Editors’ Note: Cassandra Khaw’s Hammers on Bone was released by Tor.com Publishing on October 11th)

cassandra-1Cassandra Khaw writes a lot. Sometimes, she writes press releases and excited emails for Singaporean micropublisher Ysbryd Games. Sometimes, she writes for technology and video games outlets like Eurogamer, Ars Technica, The Verge, and Engadget. Mostly, though, she writes about the intersection between nightmares and truth, drawing inspiration from Southeast Asian mythology and stories from people she has met. She occasionally spends time in a Muay Thai gym punching people and pads.

The Uncanny Magazine Podcast Won the Parsec Award!

Excellent news, Space Unicorns! Over the weekend at Dragon*Con, The Uncanny Magazine Podcast won a 2016 Parsec Award in the Best Speculative Fiction Magazine or Anthology Podcast category!

We are positively thrilled. Thank you to our excellent Year Two podcast team of Deborah Stanish, Amal El-Mohtar, C. S. E. Cooney, Erika Ensign, and Steven Schapansky. You made the podcast so special, and all of you will be getting nifty Parsec Award star trophies. Also, thanks to our guest readers Heath Miller and Max Gladstone, and all of the creators who had their works featured or participated in the interviews.

And of course a gigantic thank you to all of our listeners and the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps for making the podcast possible.

Also, a huge congratulations to the Verity! Podcast (featuring Uncanny‘s Deborah, Erika, and Lynne, plus Katrina Griffiths, L.M. Myles, and Tansy Rayner Roberts) for winning a Parsec Award in the Best Speculative Fiction Fan or News Podcast (Specific) category!

Look! They sent us WINNING ART!

Print

 

Uncanny Magazine Issue 12 Cover and Table of Contents!

Coming September 6th, THE TWELFTH ISSUE OF 2016 HUGO AWARD-WINNING UNCANNY MAGAZINE!!!

All of the content will be available in the eBook version on the day of release.

The free online content will be released in 2 stages- half on day of release and half on OCTOBER 4th.

Don’t forget eBook Subscriptions to Uncanny Magazine are available from Weightless Books and Amazon Kindle, and you can support us on our Patreon!

SeptOct16_Issue12LARGE_FINAL

Uncanny Magazine Issue 12 Table of Content

Cover
Kirbi Fagan- “Extrahumans,” courtesy of Susan Jane Bigelow and Book Smugglers Publishing

Editorial
The Uncanny Valley (9/6)

Fiction
Carmen Maria Machado- “My Body, Herself” (9/6)
Tim Pratt – “Not a Miracle But a Marvel” (9/6)
Sarah Pinsker- “Under One Roof” (9/6)
E. Lily Yu- “The Witch of Orion Waste and The Boy Knight” (10/4)
Ferrett Steinmetz- “Rooms Formed of Neurons and Sex” (10/4)

Reprint Fiction
Sofia Samatar- “Ogres of East Africa” (10/4)

Essays
Mary Anne Mohanraj- “This Is Our Work: What Star Trek Asks of Us” (9/6)
Una McCormack- “All True, Especially the Lies – Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Cardassia” (9/6)
Aidan Moher- “Blood Matters: Growing Up in an SF/F House” (10/4)
Dominik Parsien- “Growing Up in Wonderland” (10/4)

Poetry
S. Qiouyi Lu- “肉骨茶 (Meat Bone Tea)” (9/6)
Ada Hoffmann- “Million-Year Elegies: Tyrannosaurus” (10/4)
Sonya Taaffe- “The Ghost Marriage” (10/4)

Interviews
Carmen Maria Machado by Deborah Stanish (9/6)
Sarah Pinsker by Deborah Stanish (9/6)

Podcast 12A (9/6)
Story- Carmen Maria Machado- “My Body, Herself,” as read by Erika Ensign
Poem- S. Qiouyi Lu- “肉骨茶 (Meat Bone Tea),” as read by Amal El-Mohtar
Deborah Stanish Interviews Una McCormack

Podcast 12B (10/4)
Story- E. Lily Yu- “The Witch of Orion Waste and The Boy Knight,” as read by Amal El-Mohtar
Poem- Ada Hoffmann- “Million-Year Elegies: Tyrannosaurus,” as read by Erika Ensign
Deborah Stanish Interviews Dominik Parsien and Navah Wolfe

 

The Uncanny Kickstarter Reached EVERY STRETCH GOAL!

Hello Space Unicorns!

Yes, we know this is older news, but we’re just recovering from Worldcon and the Hugos.

WE DID IT!

Uncanny Magazine Year 3 is fully funded and reached every stretch goal! Uncanny will stay the same size! We’ll have original covers by Galen Dara and Kirbi Fagan plus Grace Fong illustrations for Alyssa Wong’s story! There will be more Uncanny blogging including keeping Liz Argall’s Things Without Arms And Things Without Legs reaction comic per issue, and adding the new Max and Amal Go to the Movies column, PLUS new columns by Michael Damian Thomas and Michi Trota!

You made this happen. As we’ve said, this is your magazine. It only exists because of the support of this community.

Thank you.

We promise that we will once again try our hardest to live up to your trust and expectations.

We did a Livestream on the Uncanny Magazine Year 3 Kickstarter page for our last hour featuring the Thomases, Michi Trota, Amal El-Mohtar, Tanya DePass, And Isabel Yap. If you missed it, you can watch it here!

Uncanny Magazine Won a Hugo! So Did Folding Beijing!

Oh, Space Unicorns. We have so much glorious news to share. We’ll talk about the Kickstarter in our next post (EVERY STRETCH GOAL REACHED), but first…

UNCANNY MAGAZINE WON A HUGO AWARD FOR BEST SEMIPROZINE!!!

And “Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfang (translated by Ken Liu) WON A HUGO AWARD FOR BEST NOVELETTE!

We are so honored. This is such a major honor for our first year of publication. Thank you to all of our readers, creators, and staff. This award is only possible because of your support and brilliance.

Here are Lynne, Michael, and Michi giving their speeches!

And here are Hao Jingfang and Ken Liu giving their speeches!

It is all amazing and a little overwhelming. There are articles all over the world for these wins, including China due to Jingfang’s historic win and the Philippines because of Michi being the first Filipina winner in Hugo Award history.

You can read Michi’s speech on her website.

And Charles Tan made this GIF of Michael!

via GIPHY

Shine on, Space Unicorns!

I Want to Write A History of Inequality, by Hao Jingfang, translated by Ken Liu

(Guest Post by Hao Jingfang, translated by Ken Liu.)

My Hugo nomination has brought a sudden burst of media interest in China.

Some have asked me how my life will be changed; I want to tell them there will be no change at all.

The nominated story, “Folding Beijing,” was published two years ago in Chinese. After that, my life has gotten busy. I’m busy with the natural flow of life, a river that won’t be interrupted because of a few waves spraying foam against the bow of the ship.

I’m not a fulltime writer, and I won’t become one in the future. I have a job that requires dedication, that makes me run to catch the subway every day, traverse the bustling city, swipe the card at the office door, and work late and long hours to meet deadlines. Writing is like the crystalline bubbles in a tributary of my life; I know where the main stem of my life lies.

I wrote a story about inequality, and it has won some recognition and praise. I suppose you can say this is some sign that inequality is a problem that resonates across the globe. Indeed, inequality is a troubling problem. Why do we have inequality in the world? And why is it so hard to eliminate?

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Let me be clear: “Folding Beijing” represents just one of the many ways I’ve thought about inequality. It may be the most vivid, but it certainly isn’t the most important.

I’ve been troubled by inequality for a long time. When I majored in physics as an undergraduate, I once stared at the distribution curve for American household income that showed profound inequality, and tried to fit the data against black-body distribution or Maxwell–Boltzmann distribution. I wanted to know how such a curve came about, and whether it implied some kind of universality: something as natural as particle energy distribution functions, so natural it led to despair.

In one sense, the entire economic history of dynastic China can be understood as the history of struggles against inequality. Numerous dynasties engaged in reform measures such as land redistribution into equal tenements, enacting laws to prevent the wealthy from acquiring large estates by squeezing off small tenants, etc. But even if land ownership was relatively even at the beginning of a dynasty, waves of mergers into large estates eventually swept through the country until tax reforms by the middle of the dynasty had to accept unequal land ownership as a fact. Indeed, if the regimes had insisted on resisting the economic impetus driving such mergers, the economy of the country would have stayed at the relatively primitive stage of inefficient household farms. Throughout this process, successive Chinese governments committed many violent errors and acts of tyranny, but their intentions and goals were often positive.

If we broaden our perspective to today’s world, the problem remains unsolved. Some small countries or city-states which stand near the top of our global economic value chain have indeed mostly achieved equality, but down the value chain live many larger populations still mired in poverty.

If the chance presents itself, I want to write A History of Inequality in the future, chronicling humanity’s millennia-long war against inequality (and our repeated defeats). We still see no sign of true victory, at least not at this moment.

I may not get a chance to write such a book for a long time.

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Actually, part of my job actually involves research into this question.

I’m employed by the China Development Research Foundation. I’ve been there since the day I got my PhD, more than three years ago now.

From time to time, people ask me: What sort of investment do you make?

I have to clarify this: the foundation is a nonprofit research organization that makes no investments at all. We were founded by the Development Research Center of the State Council (DNC), but our operations are independent. Most of our projects involve: research on specific topics, organizing conferences, knowledge exchange with other research institutes, public interest work, and so on.

The foundation is responsible for organizing many research conferences. Every March, an international conference called “China Development Forum” is held at Diaoyutai (the government’s guesthouse complex), and the last one was attended by both the premier and the vice premier, as well as more than eighty of the executives of the Fortune Global 500.

The foundation also has specific research projects directed at questions of policy. Some of the research is commissioned by the government, others by private companies. These projects cover economics, sociology, and management. The results of the research are generally presented as policy proposals, delivered to the commissioning party or the DNC.

Another important part of the foundation’s work involves public interest research intended to benefit children from rural, poverty-stricken parts of China.

I get emotional whenever I have to talk about this aspect of the foundation. I can’t express the depth of my admiration for my colleagues’ dedication to their task. These projects involve the most remote, poorest parts of China, and those working on them spend most of the year away from Beijing, staying in villages without modern conveniences, visiting each family one by one. Some of my colleagues kept on working even when they were pregnant, riding bumpy buses through dusty roads for hours to reach their destinations.

The foundation suggested a nutritional supplement program for children from rural, poor regions, and the program is now national policy. The foundation also built kindergartens for children in mountainous regions left behind when their parents left their ancestral villages to be migrant workers in distant cities. A poor county might contain a hundred tiny villages scattered in the mountains, and the foundation would build a kindergarten in every single village. These children might not see their parents for the whole year, and receive practically no education before they are old enough for school. We don’t necessarily know what it means to win the race of life at the starting line, but we certainly know what it looks like when children fall behind at the starting line.

Compared to the enormous population of China, the efforts of the foundation are so insignificant it is like trying to rescue a burning house with a single cup of water. But even such small efforts, maintained over years, may still make a difference.

#

This is why I won’t leave my job. Even if I were to win the Hugo, it won’t have much impact on my life.

I need that persistence, that sense I’m part of a worthwhile effort, with a set direction. Secretary-General Lu Mai at the foundation has already spent decades traversing the country on behalf of children from rural, poor regions, and the children’s welfare is all he thinks about. Many of my colleagues are not interested in pretty words; they’ve spent years on their projects, having seen much and accomplished much, but rarely do they talk about what they’ve done. But I can see in them the hardened strength I need. Their actions tell me that in this superficial world filled with cynical laughter and ironic detachment, there are still some who hold onto their ideals and try to make them come true. Even the most magnificent fireworks will fade after a moment, but steady strides, one step after another on solid ground, will bring hope of change.

The foundation is a small group that can touch First Space, but chooses to cheer on Third Space. We’re not many, but we’ll never give up.

 

hao_jingfang2Hao Jingfang has an undergraduate degree from Tsinghua University’s Department of Physics and a PhD from Tsinghua in Economics and Management. Her fiction has appeared in English various publications, including Lightspeed, Clarkesworld, and Uncanny. She has published three full-length novels, Wandering Maearth, Return to Charon, and Born in 1984; a book of cultural essays, Europe in Time; and several short story collections, Star Travelers, To Go the Distance, and The Depth of Loneliness. In 2016, her novelette, “Folding Beijing” (translated by Ken Liu), was a Hugo finalist. Several of her stories, including “Folding Beijing,” are collected in Invisible Planets, an anthology of contemporary Chinese SF edited and translated by Ken Liu.

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