The Uncanny Valley

As we write this, Lynne and I are celebrating the 20th anniversary of us becoming a couple. Our beginning is a ridiculous and tumultuous tale of two overwrought 20-somethings filled with passion and dreams, falling in love with each other when they probably should have known better. It started right here in Urbana, Illinois, with a date at the Bread Company, a Swiss sandwich shop next to campus. Not only is it still there, but it looked almost exactly the same when we recreated our lunch on our milestone anniversary. We’ve changed much more than that building.

It has been the most phenomenal adventure together, one that will continue forever.

But with that happy news, the world is also filled with sad news. Many friends and colleagues have died this year, which has devastated us. Notre Dame Cathedral had an awful fire which felt so very terrible to watch. And we just learned that Apex Magazine is going on indefinite hiatus for very understandable reasons.

As many of you know, Lynne was the former Editor-in-Chief of Apex Magazine and Michael was the former Managing Editor from 2011-2013. Without Publisher Jason Sizemore giving us that first magazine editing opportunity, there would be no Uncanny. Thank you to Jason, to Lynne’s predecessor as Editor-in-Chief, Catherynne M. Valente, Lynne’s successor as Editor-in-Chief, Sigrid Ellis, and to everyone who made Apex special. It published some phenomenal stories, essays, and poetry, and will be greatly missed by this community.

Change is hard and scary, and it is difficult to process sometimes why some things last and others don’t. As you will see from the rest of the news and notes, change is coming to Uncanny Magazine. As frightening as change can be, great opportunities can also come from it. So, let us celebrate the things that last, remember and honor the things and people we have lost, and feel excited by all of the wonders that will come in the future. No matter what happens, we have an amazing community here that will always endure at Uncanny, no matter how it changes.

But first, PHENOMENAL news, Space Unicorns! Three Uncanny Magazine stories are finalists for the prestigious Hugo Award! “The Thing About Ghost Stories” by Naomi Kritzer is a finalist for Best Novelette, “The Rose MacGregor Drinking and Admiration Society” by T. Kingfisher is a finalist for Best Short Story, and “The Tale of the Three Beautiful Raptor Sisters, and the Prince Who Was Made of Meat” by Brooke Bolander is a finalist for Best Short Story! Congratulations to everybody!

Even more wonderful news! Uncanny Magazine (Publishers/Editors-in-Chief Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas, Managing Editor Michi Trota, Podcast Producers Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky, Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction Special Issue Editors-in-Chief Elsa Sjunneson-Henry and Dominik Parisien) is also once again a finalist for Best Semiprozine!

Another fantastic thing! Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas are finalists for the Best Editor—Short Form Hugo Award!

Finally, many of our current staff and former staff are finalists for different Hugo Awards! Former Poetry and Reprint Editor Julia Rios and Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction Co-Editor-in-Chief Elsa Sjunneson-Henry’s Fireside Magazine is a finalist for Best Semiprozine! Julia Rios is also a finalist for Best Editor—Short Form and for Best Related work as part of www.mexicanxinitiative.com: The Mexicanx Initiative Experience at Worldcon 76, and Elsa Sjunneson-Henry is a finalist for Best Fan Writer!

It is an amazing list of Hugo Award finalists, many of whom are Uncanny authors and friends. CONGRATULATIONS TO EVERYBODY!!! Thank you to everyone who nominated these works. We are honored, ecstatic, and overwhelmed.

And now, for the hard news/good news things, Space Unicorns.

The hard news is that after five years, Managing and Nonfiction Editor Michi Trota has decided to move on from her Uncanny editorial duties at the end of 2019. We can’t overstate how important Michi has been to Uncanny. Michi started with us on day one as Managing Editor. She developed a ton of our processes, made everything look slick and professional, always had a strong voice in the nonfiction, and has been the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps’ biggest cheerleader. We really can’t say enough great things about Michi and what she did for making Uncanny what it is today. She’s a dear friend who has stepped up for every challenge. We know that Michi is going to do more fabulous things in the future.

Michi will be staying through Uncanny Magazine #31 (November/December 2019) to make sure we have a seamless editorial transition. Michi will also continue to co-host and co-produce the Uncanny TV pilot, which will be premiering later this year. We are sure that even though she will no longer be an Uncanny editor, Michi’s association with Uncanny will continue in many different ways.

And now for the good news, Space Unicorns!

Starting with Uncanny Magazine #31 (November/December 2019), the new Managing Editor will be…

Chimedum Ohaegbu!!!!

Chimie is the current Uncanny Magazine Assistant Editor, and started with us as an intern in February 2018. She has done a phenomenal job, and we expect more tremendous things from her. She has been working very closely with Michi for quite some time, so we know this will be a seamless transition. Chimie is a rising superstar writer and editor, and it is such a joy to work with her. We are very excited about this!

Chimie’s bio: Chimedum “Chimie” Ohaegbu attends the University of British Columbia in pursuit of hummingbirds and a dual degree in English literature and creative writing. She’s a recipient of both the full 2017 Tan Seagull Scholarship for Young Writers and a 2018 Katherine Brearley Arts Scholarship. She loves tisanes, insect facts but not insects, every single bird and magpies especially, and video game music. Her fondness of bad puns has miraculously not prevented her work from being published or forthcoming in Strange Horizons, Train: A Poetry Journal, The /tƐmz/ Review, and The Capilano Review. Find her on Twitter @chimedumohaegbu or Instagram @chimedum_ohaegbu.  

But that is not all, Space Unicorns! Starting with Uncanny Magazine #32 (January/February 2020), the new Nonfiction Editor will be…

Elsa Sjunneson-Henry!!!!

Uncanny readers should be very familiar with Elsa. She was the guest Editor-in-Chief (with Dominik Parisien) and Nonfiction Editor of Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction, and has had her essays and fiction published in Uncanny on numerous occasions. We are so thrilled to have Elsa taking over the nonfiction editing. She did a tremendous job as a DPDSF guest editor, and has proven time and time again that along with being a brilliant writer, she is one of the best editors in the business.

Elsa’s Bio: Elsa Sjunneson-Henry is a multi-Hugo-Award finalist author and editor. She was the Co-Guest Editor-in-Chief of Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction, where she edited the nonfiction section. Her own nonfiction writing has appeared on CNN Opinion, Tor.com, Fireside, and The Boston Globe. She teaches about disability in fiction on a regular basis. She has an MA in Women’s History from Sarah Lawrence College, where she learned how to write a killer polemic. You can find her talking about being deafblind, having a guide dog, and liking bats @snarkbat on Twitter, and on her website snarkbat.com

But wait, there is more!

Starting with Uncanny Magazine #31 (November/December 2019), the new Assistant Editor will be…

Angel Cruz!!!!

You might know Angel from her Uncanny Magazine essay. She’s a wonderful writer, reviewer, and editor who has contributed to numerous excellent markets, and we are very excited to have her join the Uncanny team!

Angel’s Bio: Angel Cruz is a writer and professional enthusiast, with a deep love for magic realism and Philippine folklore. She is a staff writer at Ms en Scene and Women Write About Comics, and a contributor at Book Riot. She was a 2017 Contributing Writer at The Learned Fangirl, with additional bylines at the Chicago Review of Books and Brooklyn Magazine. Find more of her work at angelcruzwrites.contently.com, or follow her on Twitter @angelcwrites.  

Uncanny Magazine Year 6 will be fantastic, Space Unicorns. Though many changes are happening, we will continue to have the BEST STAFF in the universe.

Nothing that happens at Uncanny is possible without our phenomenal community of creators and readers. So, do you want to help support the continuation of this awesomeness? We’re recruiting new members to the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps! A small investment from you goes a long way towards paying our creators and staff. Your help means we can battle the darkness with more art, beauty, and truth!

There are many ways to join:

There is a Subscription Drive going on at Weightless Books for a year’s worth of Uncanny Magazine eBooks! The drive will run from May 1-May 15. For that limited time, you can receive a year’s worth of Uncanny for $2 off the regular price! We will have some nifty giveaways for a few lucky new or renewing subscribers at particular milestones, too. (T-shirts! Back issues! Tote bags!) And all new or renewing subscribers will get a vinyl Space Unicorn sticker and a fancy postcard!

The Uncanny Magazine Patreon! Do you love our magazine and podcast and want to see them continue, but aren’t interested in an eBook subscription? This is an excellent way to support our magazine! You can support us for as little as $1 per month! And you can get UNCANNY SWAG and eBooks at other levels!

You can subscribe through Amazon Kindle! It’s simple and easy and every wonderful Uncanny eBook issue magically arrives on the day of release on your Kindle without any fuss!

Excellent news, Space Unicorns! The Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction Kickstarter Campaign, with particular recognition going to guest Nonfiction Editor/DPDSF Co-Editor-in-Chief Elsa Sjunneson-Henry and guest DPDSF Personal Essay Editor Nicolette Barischoff, won the 2017 D Franklin Defying Doomsday Award! From the press release:

The D Franklin Defying Doomsday award was judged by Twelfth Planet Press publisher, Alisa Krasnostein, and Defying Doomsday editors, Tsana Dolichva and Holly Kench, and was made possible by our wonderful Pozible Patron of Diversity, D Franklin. The award grants one winner per year a cash prize of $200 in recognition of their work in disability advocacy in SFF literature. Eligible works included non-fiction or related media exploring the subject of disability in SFF literature, published in 2017

It is the campaign promoting the Kickstarter for Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction that was nominated and chosen as the winner of The D Franklin Defying Doomsday award for 2017. Throughout the period of the campaign the team at Uncanny Magazine published essays as daily updates. We appreciate the fact that these were public essays, and hence not limited in access to backers. There was much insight to be gained from reading the personal thoughts of writers with disabilities on their own broad and varied experiences in, and encounters with, science fiction.

We are very impressed by the work of the team at Uncanny Magazine and are so pleased to have the opportunity to recognise them with this award, with particular recognition going to guest Nonfiction Editor/DPDSF Co-Editor-in-Chief Elsa Sjunneson-Henry and guest DPDSF Personal Essay Editor Nicolette Barischoff.

Congratulations to Elsa and Nicolette and the rest of the Kickstarter team, and thank you to all of the writers, editors, readers, and Kick-starter backers who made the Disabled People Destroy Science Fic-tion Kickstarter campaign so successful!

Uncanny Travel updates!

Michael Damian Thomas will be at the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s 53rd Annual Nebula Conference at the Marriott Warner Center in Woodland Hills, CA, from May 16-19, 2019! Michael will mostly be hanging out, keeping the Uncanny Penguin out of trouble, and rooting for Uncanny author A.T. Greenblatt, whose Uncanny story “And Yet” is a finalist for the Nebula Award!

Managing/Nonfiction Editor Michi Trota and Assistant Editor Chimedum Ohaegbu will be at WisCon in Madison, WI, from May 24-27. They will be hosting the super sparkly Uncanny Magazine Party! Word on the Madison streets is there will be ube cake again!

And now the contents of Uncanny Magazine Issue 28! The fabulous cover is Galen Dara’s She’s Going Places. Our new fiction includes Ellen Klages’s exploration of grief and ghosts “Nice Things,” John Chu’s tale of family traditions and difficult choices “Probabilitea,” Emma Osborne’s story of loss, choices, and new affection “A Salt and Sterling Tongue,” Elizabeth Bear’s probing look at war and memory “Lest We Forget,” Brit E. B. Hvide’s story of a changing earth, family, and love “A Catalog of Love at First Sight,” and Christopher Caldwell’s intriguing story of whaling and relationships “Canst Thou Draw Out the Leviathan.” Our reprint is Kameron Hurley’s “Corpse Soldier,” originally published on her Patreon in 2018.

Our essays this month include Tananarive Due’s look at black horror films, Arkady Martine’s examination of climate change, SF/F writing, and city planning, a collection of remembrances of the late conrunner and writer Jennifer Adams Kelley by her friends, Gwenda Bond’s look at tie-in writing, and Nicasio Andres Reed’s thoughts on Star Trek and believing each other. Our gorgeous and evocative poetry includes Theodora Goss’s “The Cinder Girl Burns Brightly,” Nicasio Andres Reed’s “The following parameters,” S. Qiouyi Lu’s “Flashover,” Ali Trotta’s “The Magician Speaks to the Fool,” and Brandon O’Brien’s “Elegy for the Self as Villeneuve’s Beast.” Finally, Caroline M. Yoachim interviews John Chu and Elizabeth Bear about their stories.

The Uncanny Magazine Podcast 28A features Ellen Klages’s “Nice Things,” as read by Erika Ensign, Theodora Goss’s “The Cinder Girl Burns Brightly,” as read by Stephanie Malia Morris, and Lynne M. Thomas interviewing Ellen Klages. The Uncanny Magazine Podcast 28B features Brit E. B. Hvide’s “A Catalog of Love at First Sight,” as read by Stephanie Malia Morris, Ali Trotta’s “The Magician Speaks to the Fool,” as read by Erika Ensign, and Lynne M. Thomas interviewing Brit E. B. Hvide.

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 four-time Hugo and Parsec Award-winning Uncanny Magazine.

Eight-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 five-time Hugo Award-winner, Michael Damian Thomas was the former Managing Editor of Apex Magazine (2012-2013), co-edited the Hugo-finalist Queers Dig Time Lords (with Sigrid Ellis), and co-edited Glitter & Mayhem (with John Klima and Lynne M. Thomas).

Together, they solve mysteries.

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