Archive for 2020

Meet Uncanny Magazine’s New Assistant Editor, Naomi Day!

We have some bittersweet news, and some wonderful news, Space Unicorns.

Uncanny Magazine Assistant Editor Angel Cruz is moving on after issue 36. Angel has been with us for over a year and has done a spectacular job, especially with our newsletter. We know Angel will continue to do brilliant things, and we will greatly miss her.

And now for the wonderful news!

Starting with Uncanny Magazine #37 (November/December 2020), the new Assistant Editor will be…

Naomi Day!

Naomi is a fantastic writer and brings a lot of enthusiasm to the position. We can’t wait to start working with her!

Naomi’s Bio:

Naomi Day (she/her) is a queer Black woman who enjoys interrogating the strange ways her mixed-race experience has shaped the way she moves through the world. She primarily writes short Afro-centric futurist fiction, and her work has appeared in Black Warrior Review and The Seventh Wave. She is part of the Clarion West class of 2020/21. She considers herself a lifelong student and much prefers the nomadic life, finding home in cities from Chicago to London.

It was a phenomenal pool of applicants. Thank you to everyone who applied!

Uncanny Magazine Year 7 will be fantastic, Space Unicorns. Though many changes are happening, we will continue to have the BEST STAFF in the universe.

Uncanny Magazine Wins the 2020 Best Semiprozine Hugo Award!

Space Unicorns! We have wonderful news! Uncanny Magazine won its fifth Hugo Award for Best Semiprozine (Publishers/Editors-in-Chief Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas, Managing/Nonfiction Editor Michi Trota, Managing Editor Chimedum Ohaegbu, and Podcast Producers Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky)! We are deeply honored by this Hugo Award. It was a stellar group of finalists.

A magazine is the work of numerous people, so we want to thank our 2019 regular staff of Michi Trota,  Erika Ensign, Steven Schapansky, Joy Piedmont, Angel Cruz, Chimedum Ohaegbu, and Caroline M. Yoachim; our Disabled People Destroy Fantasy guest editors Nicolette Barischoff, Lisa M. Bradley, and Katharine Duckett. (We want to apologize to them. We accidentally omitted them from our Hugo acceptance speech. They did phenomenal jobs, & we’re so very sorry for not thanking them in our video); all of our submissions editors; all of our contributors; and, of course, our ombudsman and world’s greatest daughter, Caitlin. Thank you to every single member of the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps and all of the Hugo voters. We couldn’t do this without the support of this community.

Once again, congratulations to the three Uncanny Magazine stories that were finalists: “The Blur in the Corner of Your Eye” by Sarah Pinsker for Best Novelette, “Away With the Wolves” by Sarah Gailey (from the Disabled People Destroy Fantasy special issue) for Best Novelette, and “A Catalog of Storms” by Fran Wilde for Best Short Story!

Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas didn’t win the Best Editor- Short Form Hugo Award. A huge congratulations to the winner, Ellen Datlow!

Congratulations to all the Hugo Awards winners and finalists!

Here is our speech!

The Thomases and Pinsker’s Story Are World Fantasy Award Finalists!

Excellent award news, Space Unicorns!

The World Fantasy Award finalists have been announced! “The Blur in the Corner of Your Eye” by Sarah Pinsker is a finalist for the Best Short Story World Fantasy Award! Also, Editors-in-Chief Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas are finalists for the Special Award–Non-Professional World Fantasy Award for their Uncanny Magazine work!  We are thrilled and honored! Congratulations to Sarah and all of the finalists!

Mary Robinette Kowal’s Dramatic Reading of Her Peeing in Space Tweets!

Space Unicorns! As you may remember, last year Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author Mary Robinette Kowal had a viral Twitter thread about “Peeing in Space.” You might also remember that for the Uncanny Magazine Year 6 Kickstarter, she offered to give a DRAMATIC READING of her Tweets!

If you enjoyed this, please make sure to check out Mary Robinette Kowal’s award-winning Lady Astronaut novels! The most recent one, The Relentless Moon, came out THIS WEEK!

Uncanny Magazine Issue 35 Cover and Table of Contents!


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 August 4.

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 35 Table of Contents

Walking in the Cosmos by Kirbi Fagan

“The Uncanny Valley” by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas
“Imagining Place: Without Police” by Elsa Sjunneson

“Once More Unto the Breach (But Don’t Worry, the Inflatable Swords
Are Latex-Free)” by Tina Connolly (7/7)
“The World Ends in Salty Fingers and Sugared Lips” by Jenn Reese (7/7)
“A Pale Horse” by M Evan MacGriogair (7/7)
“A Love Song for Herkinal
as composed by Ashkernas amid the ruins of New Haven” by Chinelo Onwualu (7/7)

“The Inaccessibility of Heaven” by Aliette de Bodard (8/4)
“The Ruby of the Summer King” by Mari Ness (8/4)
“The Nine Scents of Sorrow” by Jordan Taylor (8/4)

“Will I Live to See My Utopia?” by P. Djèlí Clark (7/7)
“Hands On” by Caitlin Starling (7/7)

“Transforming Anxiety” by Danny Lore (8/4)
“The People You Only Think You Know” by Hillary Monahan (8/4)

“lagahoo culture (Part I)” by Brandon O’Brien (7/7)
“saltwashed” by Jennifer Mace (7/7)

“The Trouble Over” by Sonya Taaffe (8/4)
“fair exchange” by Ewen Ma (8/4)

M Evan MacGriogair interviewed by Caroline M. Yoachim (7/7)

Aliette de Bodard interviewed by Caroline M. Yoachim (8/4)


Uncanny Magazine Podcast 35A (7/7):
“Once More Unto the Breach (But Don’t Worry, the Inflatable Swords Are Latex-Free)” by Tina Connolly, as read by Joy Piedmont
“The World Ends in Salty Fingers and Sugared Lips” by Jenn Reese, as read by Joy Piedmont
“saltwashed” by Jennifer Mace, as read by Erika Ensign
Lynne M. Thomas interviewing Tina Connolly

Uncanny Magazine Podcast 35B (8/4):
“The Ruby of the Summer King” by Mari Ness, as read by Erika Ensign
“fair exchange” by Ewen Ma, as read by Joy Piedmont
Lynne M. Thomas interviewing Mari Ness

Karen Osborne’s “The Dead, In Their Uncontrollable Power” Is a Sturgeon Award Finalist!

Fabulous news, Space Unicorns! Karen Osborne’s “The Dead, In Their Uncontrollable Power” is a Sturgeon Memorial Award finalist! And that’s not all! Uncanny Magazine Interviewer Caroline M. Yoachim’s “The Archronology of Love” from Lightspeed Magazine is also a Sturgeon Award finalist! Congratulations to Karen, Caroline, and all of the finalists!

Press release below:

LAWRENCE, KS – 10 June, 2020
for immediate release

This year’s finalists for the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for the best short science fiction story have been selected, announced Christopher McKitterick, Director of the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic the winner of the award will be announced online later this summer.

2020 Finalists for the Theodore A. Sturgeon Memorial Award
“The Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex,” Tobias S. Buckell. New Suns, Solaris Books, March 2019.
“Omphalos,” Ted Chiang. Exhalation, Knopf, May 2019.
“This is How You Lose the Time War,” Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone. Saga Press, July 2019.
“Give the Family My Love,” A.T. Greenblatt. Clarkesworld, February 2019.
“The Dead, In Their Uncontrollable Power,” Karen Osborne. Uncanny Magazine, March 2019.
“The Painter of Trees,” Suzanne Palmer. Clarkesworld, June 2019.
“Waterlines,” Suzanne Palmer. Asimov’s, June 2019.
“Sisters of the Vast Black,” Lina Rather. Books, October 2019.
“The Last Voyage of Skidbladnir,” Karin Tidbek., January 2019.
“New Atlantis,” Lavie Tidhar. Fantasy & Science Fiction, May 2019.
“The Archronology of Love,” Caroline M. Yoachim. Lightspeed Magazine, April 2019.

The Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award recognizes the best science fiction short story of each year. It was established in 1987 by James Gunn, Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at KU, and the heirs of Theodore Sturgeon, including his partner Jayne Engelhart Tannehill and Sturgeon’s children, as an appropriate memorial to one of the great short-story writers in a field distinguished by its short fiction.

Uncanny Is Seeking an Assistant Editor! Black, Indigenous, and People of Color HIGHLY Encouraged to Apply!

Space Unicorns! We’re seeking to fill the Assistant Editor position with Uncanny Magazine, and we STRONGLY encourage BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of colour) to apply! The position will begin in August 2020, and will run for six issues/a year with possibility for renewal. There is a modest stipend for this position. 

We’re looking for someone with a deep love of science fiction and fantasy, and an interest in editorial work and publishing. The Assistant Editor position will allow opportunities to participate in the daily operations of running a multi-time Hugo Award-winning online bimonthly publication in the SF/F field. The Assistant Editor works closely with the Managing Editor, and the primary tasks of the Assistant Editor include:

  1. Newsletter: creating written content for the monthly Uncanny Magazine newsletter
  2. Copyediting: the Assistant Editor will help with copyediting for grammar, usage, spelling, punctuation, clarification of meaning, fact-checking, and checking for anachronistic language in all published pieces
  3. Social Media Promotion: posting promotional content to Instagram and Tumblr, and assisting the Editors with Twitter and Facebook content as needed
  4. Graphic creation/design: assisting the Managing Editor with creation of graphics images and ads as needed
  5. Other duties as assigned, not to exceed 10% of total time allotted

The Assistant Editor position will require roughly 15-20 hrs per month. It is not location-dependent; communication and tasks will be done primarily online via email, Slack, and Google Hangouts or Skype.

Prior experience in publishing and familiarity with using programs such as Google docs, Canva, Instagram, Tumblr, Tinyletter, and WordPress is beneficial but not required. Training on how to use these will happen in formal sessions, and informally on the job.

Applications for the Assistant Editor position will be open from Monday,  June 8 through Thursday,  June 18. Please submit a short personal statement (up to 450 words) via Uncanny’s contact form with “Uncanny Assistant Editor” in the subject line.

Good luck, Space Unicorns!

Uncanny In Support of Black Lives Matter

Uncanny Magazine condemns the murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis Police, the murder of Tony McDade by the Tallahassee Police, the murder of Breonna Taylor by the Louisville Metro Police, the murder of Regis Korchinski-Paquet by the Toronto Police, the murders of countless other Black people by the police across the United States, Canada, and worldwide, and the police and government attacks on protesters across the United States. We further condemn the rise of white supremacists and fascists, the continued embracing of racist policies and white supremacists by American political officials of both parties, including the GOP and President Trump, and the systemic racism that permeates every corner of American, Canadian, and global life.

We unequivocally support the Black Lives Matter movement. We support the continued efforts to fight racism and hate through all available means. We will do everything in our power to help dismantle white supremacy and work with those fighting for the same goal. 

Uncanny started as a magazine, but we quickly became a community. As a community, we hold onto certain beliefs. These beliefs encompass more than loving art and kindness and stories that make you feel. We at Uncanny Magazine recognize that anti-Blackness is rampant throughout SFF publishing, and publishing in general. It is our responsibility as a community to confront our biases and work to correct them, and visibly support Black creators and audiences. Uncanny will continue to work on this by having Black staff members in editorial positions, by having Black staff members in first reader positions, by encouraging Black writers to submit to Uncanny, by soliciting works directly from Black creators, and by showcasing Black works. We welcome essay pitches from Black authors now and into the future. We will also continue dialogues with other publishers, editors, and markets about how to continue to confront and correct the anti-Blackness in SFF publishing in a sustained, long-lasting way. 

We urge the entire Uncanny Magazine community to join us in this fight. Protest. Donate. Speak out. Boost and listen to Black voices.

Black lives matter. 

Uncanny Magazine, the Thomases, The Best of Uncanny, and Four Uncanny Stories Are Locus Award Finalists!

Fabulous news, Space Unicorns! Elizabeth Bear’s “A Time to Reap” is a Best Novella Locus Award finalist, Sarah Pinsker’s “The Blur in the Corner of Your Eye” is a Best Novelette Locus Award finalist, Elizabeth Bear’s “Lest We Forget” is a Best Short Story Locus Award finalist, and Fran Wilde’s “A Catalog of Storms” is a Best Short Story Locus Award finalist! Congratulations to Bear, Sarah, and Fran! Plus, Uncanny Magazine is a Best Magazine Locus Award finalist, and Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas are a Best Editor Locus Award finalist! AND The Best of Uncanny (edited by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas) from Subterranean Press is a Best Anthology Locus Award finalist!

We are so honored!

And congratulations to all of the phenomenal finalists!

From the Locus website:

Winners will be announced June 27, 2020 at the virtual Locus Awards Weekend; Connie Willis will MC the awards ceremony. Additional weekend events include planned author readings and panels with leading authors. Supporting/virtual memberships are available and come with a Locus t-shirt.

Co-Editing a Volume of the WisCon Chronicles During a Pandemic- A Guest Post by Isabel Schechter & Michi Trota

WisCon is a feminist science fiction and fantasy convention that is held in Madison, WI, over Memorial Day weekend in May. Founded in 1977, it’s the oldest feminist SF/F convention in existence, where fans gather to discuss SF/F and pop culture with an emphasis on examining issues pertaining to race, gender, disability, queerness, and other marginalizations. After more than 40 years, WisCon has grown a vibrant community of passionate attendees and volunteers whose work continues to reshape and evolve the con. Since 2007, Aqueduct Press has published an annual anthology, The WisCon Chronicles, which collects a variety of creative pieces by WisCon attendees, and is given a specific theme chosen by the volume’s editor(s).

Traditionally, the anthology is officially released with a party at WisCon, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WisCon 44 has transitioned to a completely virtual convention for 2020.  While this year’s anthology theme explores “boundaries and bridges,” its co-editors Isabel Schechter and Michi Trota certainly did not anticipate having to navigate the unexpected boundaries created by a pandemic.

Isabel Schechter

When Aqueduct Press first asked me to edit this volume of The WisCon Chronicles, I knew I wanted the theme to be about boundaries and bridges and to work with a co-editor. The theme of the volume recognizes that my point of view has limits and I would need to work with someone to ensure the collection of essays included points of view and voices to which I might not have been exposed. Having had the pleasure and privilege of serving as one of Michi’s bridges to Uncanny, and seeing the work she has done to provide opportunities for a variety of voices to be heard, I knew she was the perfect choice for co-editor.

Like any good working relationship, there was give and take on workload and decision-making. Some tasks fell into a natural division of labor according to skills— I am an Excel junkie and created spreadsheets to track submissions, Michi has a graphic artist’s eye and created images for promotion; other tasks depended on the submissions we received— some essays were on topics familiar to one but not the other of us, shared life experiences specific to a culture not our own, or were written in a language other than English.

I knew Michi and I would be able to work together well, and once the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, that ability to work well together turned out to be more important than we could have anticipated. We were already deep in the editorial process when it became clear that COVID-19 would change practically all aspects of daily life as well as the process of publishing the Chronicles.

When WisCon announced that it would be cancelling its in-person convention and moving to a virtual format, we had to adjust our plans and expectations for the book. Because the Chronicles is grounded in the WisCon experience, we needed to find ways to help people connect with and through the volume despite not being able to come together physically at the convention.

Again, we divided the workload, and although any other co-editor might have performed the same tasks, they would not have shared the same feelings of loss and sadness, nor would their commitment to sustain the community through this difficult time be as strong. Being co-workers on a job is not enough for the Chronicles. Editing this volume of the Chronicles while living through the enormous impact that COVID-19 has had on the world would not have been possible without having a partner to share the mission.

This volume of the Chronicles is a way of giving back to the convention and the community that has given us so much.  Although COVID-19 erected barriers to physical community connection, Michi and I worked together to make this collection of essays a bridge to WisCon. Had we not been able to work in such a collaborative, committed partnership, the collection would not have been as strong as it is. I know our readers will benefit from that partnership.

Michi Trota

Co-editing an essay anthology has been a long-held dream of mine. When Isabel offered me the chance to co-edit the twelfth volume of The WisCon Chronicles, I couldn’t have asked for a more appropriate project to tackle in my post-Uncanny editing life, nor a more perfect collaborator and theme to work with. Isabel was a person who made herself a bridge that allowed me to cross into the wider world of SF/F fandom and publishing. It was Isabel who encouraged me to attend my first WisCon, where unexpectedly I received Uncanny’s offer to become their managing editor (it should surprise no one that Isabel was the first person to encourage me to say YES to that offer, and I will never forget how at MidAmeriCon II, I could hear her cheering and jumping out of her seat behind me when Uncanny won our first Hugo Award). In short, this seemed like it would be a fantastic experience working with a wonderful friend on a project near and dear to both our hearts. What could go wrong?

Neither of us planned on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Juggling a project of the WisCon Chronicles’ scope and size, while working a full-time job, numerous freelance side hustles, and taking on the role of SFWA Editor-in-Chief, would be tiring and complicated under normal circumstances. Doing so with the added pressure and uncertainty of a global pandemic was, to put it mildly, stressful and exhausting. There were days where I expected to see a message in my inbox that the book wasn’t going to happen, that the printer had closed, that all the incredible work of the anthology’s contributors wouldn’t be published. The worst-case scenario where all of our efforts would be scuttled by circumstances beyond everyone’s control was a constant specter over the project. Everything was unpredictable and in flux— except for my partnership with Isabel.

Working with Isabel— being able to share responsibilities with her, knowing she was just as passionate and committed as I was, to seeing the anthology come to fruition— was a major source of hope and support that I desperately needed throughout this process, particularly under the current circumstances. Understanding that I wasn’t going through this alone made it easier to keep going and pivot to meet the continuing string of challenges to completing the book that were raised by the pandemic.

In so many ways, this book exists because of how everyone involved in this journey— our contributors, the team at Aqueduct, the folks at WisCon— has continually engaged in the kind of community work that made it possible for a friendship like Isabel’s and mine to take root and grow. The pandemic created boundaries that none of us could have anticipated, but because of the countless bridges WisCon’s community has built, they are boundaries that thankfully we were still able to cross.

WisCon has been a deeply meaningful annual experience for so many of us, and I hope the anthology conveys a clear snapshot of why this con continues to be a special place, especially for Isabel and me. With WisCon 44 taking place this weekend as a virtual, rather than in-person convention, it’s still deeply disappointing that we’ll be unable to celebrate the book and its contributors among much- loved friends and colleagues. But I’m still proud that the anthology can still serve as a way for folks to connect with WisCon’s spirit and community.

About The WisCon Chronicles, Volume 12: Boundaries and Bridges

The twelfth volume of The WisCon Chronicles explores our understanding of boundaries and bridges, and what they mean for us as individuals and for our communities. This collection includes essays from first-time WisCon attendees and former Guests of Honor, fans and Tiptree/Otherwise Award-winning authors and editors, cis het and LGBTQ+ attendees, affluent and less well-off, abled and disabled, white and POC, young and old, parents and child-free, English speakers and Spanish speakers, and hopefully more than just these categories can capture.

Structural changes in the convention that break down barriers to attendance and participation are important, and some of the essays recount the process and struggles of creating space and programming for POC attendees, access for disabled attendees, and affordability for all attendees. The words we use matter, as essays that talk about feminist terms, gendered language, and even the name of the Tiptree/Otherwise award (which is almost inextricably identified with WisCon) demonstrate. The definition of “community” is also examined, both within WisCon and beyond, as it spills out into the wider world including online spaces.

CONTRIBUTORS: Jess Adams • Charlie Jane Anders • Nancy Bird • Kristy Anne Cox • Katherine Alejandra Cross • Alexandra Erin • Nivair H. Gabriel • Sarah Gulde • Lauren Jankowski • Inda Lauryn • Elise Matthesen • Gabriela Damián Miravete • Chimedum Ohaegbu • Otherwise Board • Julia Rios • John Scalzi • Nisi Shawl • Monica Valentinelli • G. Willow Wilson

Learn more at Aqueduct Press.


Isabel Schechter has been a SF/F fan since childhood and active in fandom for 20 years. Isabel is Puerto-Rican, and her essays on race and representation in SF/F have been published in Invisible 2: Essays on Race and Representation in SF/F; Uncanny: A Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy; and WisCon Chronicles. She is a frequent panelist at SF/F conventions and is Co-Editor of the forthcoming WisCon Chronicles Volume 12: Boundaries and Bridges. Isabel is also an active library supporter and has served on the boards of several library-related organizations. She has a master’s degree in Divinity from the University of Chicago Divinity School.

Michi Trota is a four-time Hugo Award-winner and British Fantasy Award winner. She is Editor-in-Chief of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), co-editor of the upcoming WisCon Chronicles Vol. 12 (May 2020), and the first Filipina Hugo Award winner. She was the first Managing Editor/Nonfiction Editor of Uncanny: A Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy, exhibit consultant and text writer for Worlds Beyond Here: The Expanding Universe of APA Science Fiction at the Wing Luke Museum in Seattle, WA (2018-2019), and is also an essayist, public speaker, and fire performance artist in Chicago.