The Uncanny Valley


The Thomases leap rooftop to rooftop, dodging bullets from evil spies! Explosions! Fireballs! Look at Lynne’s roundhouse kicks! Michael deflects a bullet with his electromagnetic watch! Caitlin fires two missiles from her wheelchair!



(Yes authors, writing good openings is sometimes really fucking hard.)

Springtime in Urbana is around the corner. One day it snows, the next day you can wear shorts. Soon, Lynne will be presented a medal at an investiture ceremony at work. (Fancy Rare Book Library Is Fancy!) Caitlin continues to stay healthy and happy as she approaches her first high school spring break. Michael is ready for a new season of Cubs baseball. Not everything is wonderful (we still miss the late Marie Cat), but the Thomases have each other, their dearest people, and they keep working to bring you this magazine of feels.

As a community, we’ve lived 16 months in constant fear. The corruption and evils of the current American regime matched and exceeded the worst expectations of election night 2016. People are exhausted, snippy, angry, snarky, and anxious. Many of us do our best every day to just survive the constant fighting and rolling of bad news on social media feeds. We are human, and it is impossible to stay positive during this onslaught. And yet, the only way to prevail is to stay kind. Focus on what can be changed in our world, but also what can be changed in ourselves. Space Unicorns, you are phenomenal. Stay compassionate. Remain understanding. Fight like the horned avengers you are, but don’t become something unkind.

Now, go and help the universe be a better place.

Outstanding news, Space Unicorns! Four Uncanny Magazine stories are finalists for the prestigious Nebula Award from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America! “And Then There Were (N-One)” by Sarah Pinsker is a finalist for Best Novella, “Small Changes Over Long Periods of Time” by K.M. Szpara is a finalist for Best Novelette, “Fandom for Robots” by Vina Jie-Min Prasad is a finalist for Best Short Story, and “Clearly Lettered in a Mostly Steady Hand” by Fran Wilde is also a finalist for Best Short Story! As you may recall, all of these stories were in the Top Five of our 2017 Favorite Fiction Readers’ Poll!

Also, “Carnival Nine” by Uncanny Magazine Interviewer Caroline  M. Yoachim, published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, is a finalist for Best Short Story! Congratulations Sarah, Kellan, Vina, Fran, and Caroline!

It is an amazing list of finalists, many of whom are Uncanny authors and friends. CONGRATULATIONS TO EVERYBODY!!!

From the SFWA Nebula Award announcement:

The Nebula Awards will be presented during the annual SFWA Nebula Conference, which will run from May 17th-20th and feature seminars and panel discussions on the craft and business of writing, SFWA’s annual business  meeting, and receptions. On May 20th, a mass autograph session will take place at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center and is open to the public.

More outstanding news, Space Unicorns! There are EIGHT Uncanny Magazine stories on the prestigious 2017 Locus Recommended Reading List!

Congratulations to all of the authors!

This means you can vote for these stories in the 2018 Locus Poll and Survey which determines the Locus Awards! Voting is FREE TO ALL! Along with these stories, Uncanny Magazine is also eligible for a Locus Award in the Best Magazine or Fanzine category, and Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas are eligible in the Best Editor—Pro or Fan category! Vote for the things you liked, and you can even write in things that didn’t make the 2017 Locus Recommended Reading List! YOUR VOTE ALWAYS COUNTS!

Speaking of polls, Space Unicorns, we’ve revealed the TOP STORY in our Uncanny Magazine 2017 Favorite Fiction Reader Poll! It is…


And Then There Were (N-One)” by Sarah Pinsker!!! Congratulations, Sarah! Sarah will be receiving a SNAZZY CERTIFICATE!

The rest of the Top Five are:

2: “Fandom for Robots” by Vina Jie-Min Prasad

3: IS A TIE!!!

Small Changes Over Long Periods of Time” by K.M. Szpara

Sun, Moon, Dust” by Ursula Vernon

4: “Monster Girls Don’t Cry” by A. Merc Rustad

5: “Clearly Lettered in a Mostly Steady Hand” by Fran Wilde

Congratulations to Vina, K.M., Ursula, Merc, and Fran!

Thank you to everybody who voted!

Hugo Award nominations are now open! If you are an eligible member of Worldcon 76, Worldcon 75, or Dublin 2019, you should already have your membership and PIN information so you can start nominating online!

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

You can see all of the eligible Uncanny Magazine stories and their appropriate categories here! And you can see Managing Editor Michi Trota’s eligibility post here!

The Thomases this month are taking turns traveling while the other one watches Caitlin at home. Lynne will be at FogCon, March 9-11, in the San Francisco Bay Area. This will be her first time there! She expects plenty of fun! Meanwhile, Michael will be at ICFA, March 14-18, in Orlando, Florida. Yes, finally he and the ICFA alligator will be together where they first met! They are planning on celebrating their convention anniversary by becoming wizards.

Uncanny Magazine Staff Change News! Uncanny Magazine Issue 21 will be Mimi Mondal’s last issue as Poetry/Reprint Editor. We wish her all the best. Lynne M. Thomas, Michael Damian Thomas, and Michi Trota will be assuming all of the poetry and reprint editorial duties for the remainder of Uncanny Year 4. Caroline M. Yoachim will also continue as the Uncanny Magazine print interviewer. Lynne M. Thomas is now the podcast interviewer.

We are also pleased to announce that Chimedum Ohaegbu is joining Uncanny as our BRAND NEW INTERN! Chimedum will be collaborating with Michi on developing new and exciting Uncanny editorial shenanigans. We’re so excited to work with her! Please join us in welcoming Chimedum on board!

And now the contents of Uncanny Magazine Issue 21! The spectacular cover is Fam by Nilah Magruder. Our new fiction this month includes Sarah Pinsker’s intricate, flowing “I Frequently Hear Music in the Very Heart of Noise,” A. T. Greenblatt’s look at hauntings and possibilities “And Yet,” Emma Törzs’s melancholy exploration of friendship and loss “Like a River Loves the Sky,” Sarah Monette’s unnerving, gothic new Kyle Murchison Booth story “The Testimony of Dragon’s Teeth,” Vina Jie-Min Prasad’s visceral and intense “Pistol Grip,” and finally Brandon O’Brien’s macabre and gorgeous “The Howling Detective.” Our reprint fiction is Nalo Hopkinson’s “Old Habits,” which was originally published in the 2011 Eclipse 4 anthology.

Our essays include R.F. Kuang’s exploration of ghosts and family history, Neile Graham’s explanation of how the Clarion West Writers’ Workshop works, Marissa Lingen’s analysis of science fiction “hardness,” and Karlyn Ruth Meyer’s journey through the iterations of Sarah Connor. Our gorgeous and evocative poetry this month includes Fran Wilde’s “The Sea Never Says It Loves You,” Cassandra Khaw’s “Found Discarded: A Love Poem, Questionably Addressed.,” Brandon O’Brien’s “drop some amens,” Beth Cato’s “The Fairies in the Crawlspace,” Sonya Taaffe’s “די ירושה” Hal Y. Zhang’s “Swallow,” and Andrea Tang’s “A View from Inside the Refrigerator.” Finally, Caroline M. Yoachim interviews A. T. Greenblatt and Vina Jie-Min Prasad.

Uncanny Magazine Podcast 21A features “I Frequently Hear Music in the Very Heart of Noise” by Sarah Pinsker, as read by Stephanie Malia Morris, “Found Discarded: A Love Poem, Questionably Addressed.” by Cassandra Khaw, as read by Erika Ensign, and Lynne M. Thomas interviewing Sarah Pinsker. Uncanny Magazine Podcast 21B features “The Testimony of Dragon’s Teeth” by Sarah Monette, as read by Erika Ensign, “The Fairies in the Crawlspace” by Beth Cato, as read by Stephanie Malia Morris, and Lynne M. Thomas interviewing Sarah Monette.

As always, we are deeply grateful of your support of Uncanny Magazine. Shine on, Space Unicorns!

Lynne M. Thomas & 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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