The Uncanny Valley

We’re writing this in the frigid past of February. Northern Illinois is in a record cold snap, and the temperatures are below zero. Wolves are circling our house—so, so hungry and so, so cold.

Welcome to the third issue of Uncanny Magazine, you fabulous Space Unicorns! Hopefully, it’s warm and delightful in future March where you are. This issue marks the halfway point of Uncanny Year One. We couldn’t be more pleased with our first three issues. The reviews are magnificent (as you know if you follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr), and the feedback from all of you has been spectacular. We love how many of you speak of Uncanny as if it truly has been around since its fictional Golden Age pulp origins.

Since we’re at the magical halfway point, we want to answer two often asked questions:

  1. “How will you be funding Uncanny Year Two?”
  2. “When will Uncanny be reopening to submissions?”

We have more or less the same answer to both questions. Basically, we need your help now. As a magazine, we pay our creators on acceptance of their pieces, rather than waiting until publication. This makes writers and artists very happy (which also makes us happy), but it does have a drawback. We have the funds for Year One through our awesome Space Unicorn Ranger Corps Kickstarter backers, and we’ve very nearly purchased enough content to fill all six issues. We simply can’t reopen to submissions until we have enough money for Year Two. We don’t want to select content without being able to pay for it, and pretty much every cent we raised in the Kickstarter is going to creators or being used for backer rewards. (The Thomases are unpaid at this point.)

We would prefer not to run another Kickstarter. Although Caitlin loves dressing up and everybody loves Space Unicorn swag, Kickstarters are exhausting. We would rather put our energy and effort towards making the best possible magazine and podcast. We’re prepared to run a Year Two Kickstarter if we must, but there are better ways to fund Uncanny Year Two right now.

The number one way to fund Year Two is through the magic of  subscriptions! Uncanny Magazine eBook subscriptions are available from the wonderful people at Weightless Books. If just 10 percent of our online readers purchased subscriptions, we could immediately fund Year Two.

We’re looking at some other funding models, and we’ll have more information about ways you can support Uncanny in the coming months. We realize that many of you who graciously backed our Kickstarter will be waiting until your initial subscriptions through the Kickstarter are complete, which is understandable. We hope all of you will consider supporting us through Weightless when that happens.

So as soon as we can fund Year Two, we’ll reopen to submissions. We know how frustrating this is to writers, and we apologize. It’s just as frustrating to us. We miss reading your amazing submissions, and the wonderful surprise of finding a perfect Uncanny story. In fact, this month only includes one story solicited from the Kickstarter. The other five came out of a phenomenal slush pile.

And now, the contents of another thrilling issue of Uncanny Magazine! Our cover this month, “Unspeakable #2” is by the magnificent Carrie Ann Baade. This month’s new fiction features Sofia Samatar’s thoughtful riff on Heart of Darkness “Those,” Rosamund Hodge’s dark nesting fairy tale “The Lamps Thereof Are Fire and Flames,” Kat Howard’s harrowing tale of cities, love, and relics “Translatio Corporis,” Sarah Pinsker’s delightful story of family, magic, and hard choices “When the Circus Lights Down,” Emily Devenport’s powerfiul exploration  of  space, time, and mopping  “Dr. Polingyouma’s Machine,” and Fran Wilde’s charming, succinct, and mythic “You Are Two Point Three Miles from Your Destination.”

We also have a bonus story for you this issue. Some of you may have already seen this on the Uncanny website, where it went live on Valentine’s Day, presented to us (and you!) as a special, weird Valentine’s Day gift of love, mail, and mollusks from Maria Dahvana Headley.  “Ivory Darts, Golden Arrows”  flowed out of Maria over a couple of days, and we edited it while in a hallway at the Capricon convention in Chicago, so that we could launch it on the most romantic of days.

Also in this issue, we reprint Ellen Klages’s classic story “In the House of the Seven Librarians.” Our poetry in this issue includes C.S.E. Cooney’s “Deep Bitch,” Jennifer Crow’s “Cloudbending,” and M Sereno’s “The Eaters.”

Our nonfiction includes essays about Afrofuturism by Ytasha L. Womack, “found” family and its discontents by Stephanie Zvan, The Hobbit films by Amal El–Mohtar, and actor Peter Cushing by L.M. Myles. We also have interviews with Sofia SamatarC.S.E. Cooney and Ellen Klages, as conducted by Deborah Stanish.

The Uncanny Magazine Podcast Episode 3A features Kat Howard’s “Translatio Corporis” as read by Amal El–Mohtar, C.S.E. Cooney’s “Deep Bitch” as read by the author, an interview with Kat Howard conducted by Deborah Stanish, and an interview with Jim C. Hines conducted by Michi Trota. The Uncanny Magazine Podcast 3B features Sarah Pinsker’s “When the Circus Lights Down” as read by C.S.E. Cooney, M Serano’s “The Eaters” as read by Amal El–Mohtar, and an interview with Sarah Pinsker conducted by Deborah Stanish.

If you love reading Uncanny as much as we love producing it, please continue spreading the word with your comments, tweets, posts, and messages. Share us with your friends! We’re always recruiting more Space Unicorn Rangers.

Thank you all so much for your continued support.


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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