The Uncanny Valley

Hugo the Uncanny Cat has become extra cuddly, so it’s clearly autumn. Finally, the air is crisp, pumpkin spice laces everything, and skeletons and Christmas lights battle for boxstore shelf supremacy. This is our favorite time of year. Except for our leaf-mold allergies. Those are fucking terrible.

In other November traditions, here’s the first issue of the new Uncanny year. Thanks to the generosity of the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps, we’re entering the sixth year of Uncanny Magazine. We are so excited to share more phenomenal stories, poems, essays, interviews, and podcasts with all of you. This year will be fantastic!

The world is still terrifying, but the terrible regime in America is developing cracks in its foundation, and a year from now the voters will have the chance to set things right again. (Please be sure to register to vote/check your voter registration status/actually vote.)

We know that you will be out there, Space Unicorns, fighting the good fight against tyranny and corruption with your excellence.

And here comes the bittersweet part of our editorial. As all of you have known since April, after five years, Managing and Nonfiction Editor Michi Trota is moving on from her Uncanny editorial duties. Last issue was her final issue as Managing Editor, and this is her last as Nonfiction Editor. We’ve had many staff changes through the years, but this is the first time that part of our original core team is moving on.

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 stepped up for every challenge. We know that Michi is going to do more fabulous things in the future. Please make sure to read Michi’s goodbye editorial.

Along with the bittersweet news, though, we have some fabulous news. This is the first issue for new Managing Editor Chimedum Ohaegbu! Chimie was the Uncanny Magazine Assistant Editor, and started with us as an intern in February 2018. She’s done a tremendous job, and we expect more stupendous 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’s such a joy to work with her. We’re very excited about this!

And that’s not all! This is the first issue for new Assistant Editor 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! (Note: new Nonfiction Editor Elsa Sjunneson-Henry starts next issue. More about her then!)

Speaking of the tremendous thing Michi Trota is doing (in this case with Matt Peters), the Pilot Episode of Uncanny Magazine‘s Uncanny TV is live on the Internet! It’s brought to you by the generosity of the Uncanny Magazine Year 5 Kickstarter Backers! Featuring geeky talk from phenomenal Chicago-based nerds working to make the world more awesome.

Here are the credits!

Hosts & Showrunners: Matt Peters & Michi Trota
Guests: Keisha HowardDaniel Jun KimDawn Xiana Moon
Audio/Video Crew: Aaron Amendola & Chris Chapin
Tech Support: Morgan Csejtey
Producer: Warren Frey

Thank you to all of those folks, and thanks to Cards Against Humanity, Erika Ensign, Jesse Lex, Dolores Peters, Steven Schapansky, Lynne M. Thomas, Michael Damian Thomas, and the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps!

Thank you to all of the AMAZING people above who made this happen!

Tremendous news, Space Unicorns!

The 2019 Aurora Awards winners have been announced, and Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction, (Elsa Sjunneson-Henry and Dominik Parisien, Editors-in-Chief), won the Aurora Award for Best Related Work!!! Congratulations to Dominik and Elsa and to everyone involved with this special issue!

“Osiris” by Leah Bobet (Uncanny Magazine #25) was also a finalist for Best Poem/Song, and “Constructing the Future” by Derek Newman-Stille (Uncanny Magazine #24) was a finalist for Best Fan Writing and Publications. Congratulations once again to Leah and Derek, and to all of the phenomenal Aurora Award finalists and winners!

But that’s not all!

Uncanny Magazine won a 2019 British Fantasy Award for Best Magazine / Periodical! We are so honored! It was a fantastic group of finalists. Congratulations to all of the spectacular British Fantasy Award winners and finalists! Thank you again to the world’s greatest staff, all of the contributors, the British Fantasy Society, the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps, and to Dr. Una McCormack (our award acceptor at the ceremony). WE ARE EXTREMELY CHUFFED, SPACE UNICORNS!!!

As we write this, the World Fantasy Awards have yet to happen, but you will know the winners since this editorial will be published a couple of days after the ceremony! Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas were finalists for the Special Award, Non-Professional World Fantasy Award for Uncanny Magazine, and  “Like a River Loves the Sky” by Emma Törzs was a finalist for the Best Short Story World Fantasy Award! Congratulations to all of the winners. It is truly an honor to be a finalist with such amazing people.

Michael was at the World Fantasy Convention in Los Angeles representing Uncanny, with the Uncanny Penguin, so hopefully you spoke with him! He had a wonderful time!

Fabulous news, Space Unicorns! The forthcoming The Best of Uncanny (edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas) from Subterranean Press received a coveted starred review from Kirkus!

“…there are no weak links in this transcendent anthology. A deliciously diverse sampler of speculative-fiction bonbons, created by some of the most talented literary confectioners on the planet.”

Read the entire review here!

The Best of Uncanny also received a coveted STARRED REVIEW in the American Library Association’s November 2019 issue of Booklist magazine!

“This anthology contains a gluttonous surfeit of narrative riches. The works in this collection are inventive, gorgeous, occasionally difficult, and immensely rewarding. Truly, the best of Uncanny.”

These are in addition to the starred review from Publishers Weekly!

You can pre-order this GIGANTIC BOOK from Subterranean Press or from most places that sell books!

And now the contents of Uncanny Magazine Issue 31! The spectacular cover is La Palma by John Picacio. This is one of the many stunning pieces John created for his ongoing Loteria Grande card deck project. Our new fiction includes Elizabeth Bear’s stunning time travel novella “A Time to Reap,” D.A. Xiaolin Spires’s fabulous story of parents and food machines “Nutrition Facts,” Vina Jie-Min Prasad’s weird and wonderful noir novelette “Black Flowers Blossom,” Laura Anne Gilman’s mysterious yarn of yearning and discovery “Peridot and Rain,” and Jenn Reese’s charming coming-of-age story “A Mindreader’s Guide to Surviving Your First Year at the All-Girls Superhero Academy.” (Note: as Elizabeth Bear’s novella is quite long, there is no reprint in this issue.)

Our essays this month include G. Willow Wilson looking at the differences between prose and comic book writing, Alexandra Erin discussing genre distinctions and who gets to make them, Brandon O’Brien pondering toxic masculinity in media, Jeannette Ng exploring what gets explained and not explained in narratives, and Keidra Chaney musing on what it’s like to be a fan who is more casual about what they enjoy. Our gorgeous poems include Sonya Taaffe’s “Without Prayer or the Place in the Forest,” Hal Y. Zhang’s “fear cat,” Annie Neugebauer’s “The Wooden Box,” and Sylvia Santiago’s “Manananggal.” Finally, Caroline M. Yoachim interviews Elizabeth Bear and Jenn Reese about their stories.

The Uncanny Magazine Podcast episode 31A features D.A. Xiaolin Spires’s “Nutrition Facts,” as read by Joy Piedmont, Sonya Taaffe’s “Without Prayer or the Place in the Forest,” as read by Erika Ensign, and Lynne M. Thomas interviewing D.A. Xiaolin Spires. The Uncanny Magazine Podcast episode 31B features Vina Jie-Min Prasad’s “Black Flowers Blossom,” as read by Joy Piedmont, Annie Neugebauer’s “The Wooden Box,” as read by Erika Ensign, and Lynne M. Thomas interviewing Vina Jie-Min Prasad.

We have one last important thing. This issue is dedicated to the memory of our dear friend, Amy Hines. Amy was one of the kindest and most generous humans who we’ve ever met, who spent her life helping others. We will always cherish the yearly get-togethers the Thomas family had with Amy, her husband Jim, and their children. Loved by all, Amy will be dearly missed by everyone who knew her.

Stay kind, 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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