Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Leah Bobet’s Poem and Kelly Robson’s Story Are Aurora Awards Finalists!

Fabulous news, Space Unicorns! The 2021 Aurora Awards finalists have been announced, and two Uncanny Magazine pieces are on the final ballot! “The Death of the Gods” by Leah Bobet is a finalist for the Best Poem/Song Aurora Award,  and “So You Want to Be a Honeypot” by Kelly Robson is a finalist for the Best Short Story Aurora Award! Congratulations to Leah, Kelly, and to all of the phenomenal finalists!

From the Aurora Awards website:

This ballot is for works done in 2020 by Canadians.  The Aurora Awards are nominated by members of the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association.  The top five nominated works were selected.  Additional works were included where there was a tie for fifth place.  An online awards ceremony will be held on Oct 16, 2021 hosted by Can-Con (http://can-con.org/).  Voting will being on July 31, 2021 and close at 11:59 pm EDT on September 4, 2021.  NOTE: Due to Covid-19, works normally in Fan Organizational are in the Fan Related Work category.  

Five Reasons Not to Bring Back Woolly Mammoths– A Guest Post by Sue Burke

Magnificent woolly mammoths once reigned over ancient steppes: 10 feet tall at the shoulder, weighing around 5 tons, and lushly furred. Their curved tusks could reach 14 feet long. If we could, should we bring them back?

Some people are trying. Sergei Zimov hopes to create a Pleistocene Park with mammoths in northeastern Siberia as a means to rescue the permafrost from global warming. Mammoths were heavy grazers, and as they fed, they would uproot the trees and shrubs growing there now. This would restore the original grasslands, which would reflect more sunlight, capture more carbon, and freeze deeper in winter.

Is it possible? The Harvard Woolly Mammoth Revival team believes that the bits of the genome that allowed the mammoths to thrive in cold climates could be introduced into elephant cells, ultimately recreating the extinct species. The process is called de-extinction.

If so, we’d regain a marvelous beast. We could take a step toward saving the planet. And we might feel less guilty. Woolly mammoths and other megafauna disappeared about 10,000 years ago in part because they were tasty, so we hunted them to extinction for lunch.

I’m sorry about what my ancestors did, but I suggest five reasons against bringing woolly mammoths back.

  1. It would take too long. We can’t get enough DNA to reconstruct the genome right now, and we don’t know how to use it if we could, according to Beth Shapiro in How to Clone a Mammoth. But let’s do a science fiction-style handwave and pretend it’s possible. We could start with an elephant genome, then cut-and-paste mammoth genes into it, step by step, generation after generation, slowly getting closer to a real mammoth, if we ever got all the way there.

However, elephants breed slowly. Gestation alone takes 2 years, and females don’t start to breed until they’re 10 to 14 years old. But the way things look now, the permafrost will start melting by 2050. For a faster rescue, we could send in currently available grazers like musk oxen, yaks, and cold-climate horses and cattle.

  1. Genetic diversity, as well as the task of rescuing the permafrost, would require lots of woolly mammoths, which would require lots of surrogate mothers. Elephants are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Female elephants seem to be more urgently needed to make more elephants.
  2. Woolly mammoths would need lots of space. If they’re anything like elephants, they will do very poorly in captivity. They’ll need to roam free. An elephant herd can have a range of thousands of square miles. True, Siberia is big. So is Canada. But that space isn’t exactly empty, and introduced exotic species—which woolly mammoths technically would be—aren’t always ecologically welcome. They could, however, have an economic benefit by attracting tourists. Witness woolly Winnipeg! Steppe back in time!

If they were successfully re-introduced, however, we’d have to keep them from expanding their territory. Here in Chicago where I live, coyotes, which are not a native species, now inhabit the Loop and are only somewhat appreciated (they eat rats). Long ago, woolly mammoths did live here. They might wander back, but a rogue male would not amuse city-loving tourists even as we tried to sell them “Magnificent Mile Mammoth” souvenir T-shirts.

  1. The niche is gone. Woolly mammoths require more than space, they need the right climate and ecology. A woolly mammoth would eat hundreds of pounds of food every day. Sergei Zimov hopes they can permanently change the tundra, but we might not want them to wander off into forests to uproot and munch down valuable trees. Any change would displace other animals whose habitats already face disaster from climate change.

In fact, we have very little wildlife-friendly land remaining. Most “open” land contains farms and exurbia, hostile territory to massive grazers. Woolly mammoths could face the same sad challenges as today’s elephants—not just shrinking habitat but also poachers and disease. They might go extinct again soon after release.

  1. They’d need lots of company. Pachyderms live in tight, lasting family units and bond groups. Even “solitary” males have their own associations and busy social lives. In my novel Immunity Index, a woolly mammoth lives alone on a zoo-like farm, and he’s half-mad from loneliness. Among humans, solitary confinement is torture. To be kind to mammoths, we’d need to de-extinct them in mammoth numbers or not at all.

Big, showy, sentimental species attract our attention, but we might do better to focus on key ecological species and protect what we have. Bees and butterflies need our help right now, and we can do great things simply by planting native plants or not pulling weeds, and by setting out insect-friendly flowering plants on balconies. These plants will also attract a variety of delightful creatures.

We can even wave a science fictional hand and create imaginary mammoths in our neighborhoods: magnificent, huge, and harmless. In our minds’ eye, we could watch them pause, enjoy our little snacks, and move on without a trace, gone but not forgotten.

(You can order Sue Burke’s novel Immunity Index from Tor Books here!)

Sue Burke spent many years working as a reporter and editor for a variety of newspapers and magazines. She is a Clarion workshop alumnus, and she has published more than 30 short stories. Burke also worked extensively as a literary translator, and while living in Madrid, Spain, she headed the long-running Madrid Writer’s Critique Group. Her translations include the fantasy novel Prodigies by Angélica Gorodischer, the bilingual science fiction anthology Castles in Spain / Castillos en el aire, and the script for the science fiction movie Mindgate. (Photo Credit: Jerry Finn)

Uncanny Magazine Issue 40 Cover and Table of Contents!

Coming May 4, THE FORTIETH ISSUE OF THE HUGO AWARD-WINNING UNCANNY MAGAZINE!!

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 June 1.

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 40 Table of Contents:

Cover:
With Her Familiars on Mars by Galen Dara

Editorials:
“The Uncanny Valley” by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas
“Imagining Futures: Imagination, Ltd.” by Elsa Sjunneson

Fiction:
“Unseelie Brothers, Ltd.” by Fran Wilde (5/4)
“Proof by Induction” by José Pablo Iriarte (5/4)
“Thirteen of the Secrets in My Purse” by Rachel Swirsky (5/4)

“How the Girls Came Home” by Eugenia Triantafyllou (6/1)
“The Hungry Ones” by Emma Törzs (6/1)
“Heart Shine” by Shveta Thakrar (6/1)

Reprint:
“River, Clap Your Hands” by Sheree Renée Thomas (6/1)

Essays:
“A Love Letter to Libraries” by E. Lily Yu (5/4)
Babylon 5 and Antifascism” by Andrew Liptak (5/4)

“The Protagonist Problem” by Ada Palmer and Jo Walton (6/1)
“More Than Meets the Eye: Transformers as Trans Fantasy” by C. J. Linton (6/1)

Poetry:
“Self Portrait As a Printing Press” by Nnadi Samuel (5/4)
“Paqtasultieg” by Tiffany Morris (5/4)

“Mona Lisa’s Abecedarian to Leonardo da Vinci” by Abu Bakr Sadiq (6/1)
“Collection” by Vivian Li (6/1)

Interviews:
José Pablo Iriarte interviewed by Caroline M. Yoachim (5/4)

Shveta Thakrar interviewed by Caroline M. Yoachim (6/1)

Podcasts:

Episode 40A (5/4): Editors’ Introduction, “Unseelie Brothers, Ltd.” by Fran Wilde, as read by Erika Ensign, “Paqtasultieg” by Tiffany Morris, as read by Matt Peters, and Lynne M. Thomas interviewing Fran Wilde.

Episode 40B (6/1): Editors’ Introduction, “How the Girls Came Home” by Eugenia Triantafyllou, as read by Joy Piedmont, “Mona Lisa’s Abecedarian to Leonardo da Vinci” by Abu Bakr Sadiq, as read by Matt Peters, and Lynne M. Thomas interviewing Eugenia Triantafyllou.

Three Uncanny Stories, 2 Poems, and an Essay Are 2021 Ignyte Award Finalists!!!

Fabulous news, Space Unicorns! Three Uncanny Magazine stories, 2 poems, and an essay are 2021 Ignyte Award finalists! “The Inaccessibility of Heaven” by Aliette de Bodard a finalist for a Best Novelette Ignyte Award, “My Country Is a Ghost” by Eugenia Triantafyllou is a finalist for a Best Short Story Ignyte Award, “You Perfect, Broken Thing” by C.L. Clark is a finalist for a Best Short Story Ignyte Award, “Fin” by Terese Mason Pierre is a finalist for a Best in Speculative Poetry Ignyte Award, “Hungry Ghost” by Millie Ho is a finalist for a Best in Speculative Poetry Ignyte Award, and “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Excellence” by Nibedita Sen is a finalist for a Best in Creative Nonfiction Ignyte Award! Congratulations to everyone!!!

Plus, congratulations to former Uncanny Magazine Managing/Nonfiction Editor Michi Trota! Michi is a finalist for The Ember Award for unsung contributions to genre!

It is a fabulous ballot! Congratulations to all of the finalists!

From the Ignyte Award website:

The short list is derived from 15 BIPOC+ voters made up of FIYAHCON staff and previous award winners, of varying genders, sexualities, cultures, disabilities, and locations throughout the world. They are referred to as the Ignyte Awards Committee. Committee members were not permitted to nominate their own works or works of which they were a part. The Committee was not limited to selections authored or otherwise created by BIPOC. Public voting on the shortlist does not permit write-in nominations. Each year, we ask one year’s winners to be part of the subsequent year’s committee to ensure fresh perspectives and to help prevent repeated nominations of the same popular authors as recognized in many other genre awards.

Voting is now open to the public through May 21st at 11:59 PM Eastern Time. Click here to vote.

Inquiries can be forwarded to director(at)theconvention.fiyahlitmag.com.

Healthcare Inequality and Divided Communities: What is a life worth?– A Guest Post by Caroline Hardaker

‘I can still remember bits of the NHS Chief Executive’s speech, spoken with sad eyes and quivering chins. “Today, we mark our professional honesty by opening our doors to innovation,” followed with something like “We are in a needs-must scenario. Life has been handed an eviction notice. This contract,” here he gestured at the paper he’d signed, “will save lives. Design. Inventiveness. Entrepreneurialism. This is what will save the NHS. We all deserve to be saved.” And then the head of an unnamed private institute, a clean-shaven man in tweed who looked too young to be there, stepped up to the microphone.

Aubrey looked at me then, a lock of yellow hair between her teeth. “Isn’t he the one who makes the squirrels?”’

(From Composite Creatures)

 

In a time of pandemics, mutating viruses, and overcrowded hospital wards, the issue of healthcare inequality is more relevant than ever. Whether you’re in need of a GP to talk about your mental health or a nurse to look at a new mark on your skin—it’s difficult to be certain how your query will be prioritised, or how long you’ll have to wait to see a specialist or hear a comforting voice.

We have to hope that this new reality is only temporary, and will relax once this pandemic (like the Spanish Flu before it) starts to recede. But it doesn’t mean that healthcare inequality will disappear. From the UK’s NHS to the US’s own system which offers some of the most innovative healthcare solutions in the world—for those who can afford it—societal division has been clear to see for years.

My debut novel, Composite Creatures, explores a near-future where corporate greed and healthcare inequality have resulted in a split society. Though the world doesn’t look much different to our own, chemicals and microplastics are seeping up from the soil and the air is tinted lilac with pollutants. Many people succumb to the greying, a fading away of the body. Access to the latest scientific developments and benefits is based on whether you fit the severe and secretive criteria:

 

‘It must’ve been devastating to get this far into the programme and then not make the cut, be relegated to fight for a hospital bed. Some people waited months or even years for a slot to open, and then were told that their initial test results weren’t compatible, or their body type just “didn’t fit the strict criteria”. Easton Grove had received plenty of criticism over the years for its inflexibility and unwillingness to admit members from different areas of society. I did think to myself that the exclusivity wouldn’t lastthey surely couldn’t keep accepting so few people while the world watched and wilted? Those who didn’t make it into an intake saw the rest of us as withholding some genetic secret, but the truth was that we had no idea why we were chosen.’

(From Composite Creatures)

 

Norah is a member of Easton Grove—just one of many private healthcare programmes that selects its patients based on its own motivations. Decisions are made by businessmen, and as Norah’s best friend points out, people who also profit from falsehoods and illusions, such as ‘the squirrels’. Not exactly knowing why they’re chosen (and in many cases, why they aren’t chosen) means that applicants soon feel a sense of self-righteousness if they’re accepted, and disillusionment if they aren’t.

But regardless of fitting the strict criteria, applicants also need to be able to afford it, which cuts most individuals from the application process altogether. The mysterious criteria and financial barriers soon result in a split society—each side condemning the other for seeing themselves as more valuable, or as bitter.

But Easton Grove doesn’t only exist to provide healthcare—their members are also advocates, responsible for the Grove’s good PR. There are consultants to guide your career choices and relationships, and to make sure you remain a shining example of what ‘success’ truly looks like. Success becomes synonymous with value, which raises the important question: when we all exist in a dying world, and we’re all sickening—who is priority?

In a real-world society that’s becoming more commercialised every day, this is something that is easy to relate to. For those who can afford it, the US’s healthcare system offers some of the most technologically advanced treatments in the world. But the cost (for those who don’t have the income or insurance) can be an insurmountable sum. Many of us have families or friends who’ve broken a wrist and can’t afford an X-ray, or have had to make life-limiting choices due to how much they earn. In so many cases, money appears to reflect how much your life is worth.

And here in 2021, when it’s a struggle at times to see a specialist, many people even in the UK are turning to costly private healthcare in order to ‘cut the queue’. But this isn’t an option for everyone. Already we’re seeing that levels of disposable income directly affects your healthcare choices and even possible lifespan. Not surprisingly, this can cause division between households and friendships, and damage society’s balance of equality. And imagine the effect on individuals and even communities, when their self-worth and innate life purpose is questioned. Isolation. Hopelessness. And in some cases, action. In Composite Creatures, Norah represents all of us who feel like we’ve been sucked into one side of a battle we weren’t planning for. She witnesses heightened emotions and behaviours on both sides of the divide, and is powerless to do anything to change the dynamic.

But there is hope. We don’t exist in the world of Composite Creatures quite yet. We just have to hope that experiences like the recent pandemic are showing humanity that we truly are all in the same storm, though sailing radically different boats. It’s for our existing governmental powers to recognise that society needs to do as much as possible to help patch up the sails and share its lifeboats.

(You can order Caroline Hardaker’s novel Composite Creatures from Angry Robot Books here!)

Caroline Hardaker is a poet and novelist from the northeast of England. She has published two collections of poetry, and her work has appeared worldwide in print and on BBC radio. She is Writer in Residence for Newcastle Puppetry Festival and is currently collaborating with the Royal Northern College of Music to produce a cycle of songs to be performed throughout the year. She lives and writes in Newcastle.

 

 

 

Four Uncanny Stories, Elsa Sjunneson, and Uncanny Magazine Are All 2021 Hugo Award Finalists!

PHENOMENAL news, Space Unicorns! Four Uncanny Magazine stories are finalists for the prestigious Hugo Award! “Burn or The Episodic Life of Sam Wells as a Super” by A. T. Greenblatt is a finalist for Best Novelette, “The Inaccessibility of Heaven” by Aliette de Bodard is a finalist for Best Novelette, “Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse” by Rae Carson is a finalist for Best Short Story, and “Metal Like Blood in the Dark” by T. Kingfisher 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 Chimedum Ohaegbu, Nonfiction Editor Elsa Sjunneson, and Podcast Producers Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky) is once again a finalist for Best Semiprozine!

Finally, Nonfiction Editor Elsa Sjunneson is a finalist for Best Fan Writer! Congratulations, Elsa!

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, and to the hard-working DisCon III staff. We are honored, ecstatic, and overwhelmed.

Below is the Hugo Award Press Releases from DisCon III 2021:

WASHINGTON, DC, USA – APRIL 13, 2021  –  DisCon III, the 79th World Science Fiction Convention, is honored to announce the finalists for the 2021 Hugo Awards, Astounding Award for Best New Writer, and Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book.

There were 1249 valid nominating ballots (1246 electronic and 3 paper) received and counted from the members of the 2020 and 2021 World Science Fiction Conventions for the 2021 Hugo Awards. Voting on the final ballot will open later in April with a unique opportunity this year for voters to have more time as voting will close on November 19, 2021.

The Hugo Awards are the premier award in the science fiction genre, honoring science fiction literature, media, and the genre’s fans. The Hugo Awards were first presented at the 1953 World Science Fiction Convention in Philadelphia (Philcon II). They have continued to honor science fiction and fantasy notables for more than 60 years.

A video announcing all the finalists and hosted by Malka Older and Sheree Renée Thomas, hosts of the Hugo Award Ceremony to be held in December 2021 by DisCon III, is available to watch on DisCon III’s YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/worldcon2021.

Only DisCon III members will be able to vote on the final ballot and choose the winners for the 2021 Awards. If you are not already a member, please go to our website www.discon3.org to register as at least a supporting member to participate in the Hugo Awards.

The 2021 Hugo Award base will be designed by Sebastian Martorana. Examples of his work can be found on his website: https://sebastianworks.com. The 2021 Lodestar Award will once again be designed by Sara Felix, president of the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists and designer of fabulous tiaras.

More information about the Hugo Awards is available at https://discon3.org/whats-on/hugo-awards-wsfs/hugo-awards/

Any questions about the Hugo Awards process should be directed to [email protected].

 

List of Hugo Finalists:

 

Best Novel

Black Sun, Rebecca Roanhorse (Gallery / Saga Press / Solaris)

The City We Became, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)

Harrow the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir (Tor.com)

Network Effect, Martha Wells (Tor.com)

Piranesi, Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury)

The Relentless Moon, Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor Books / Solaris)

 

Best Novella

Come Tumbling Down, Seanan McGuire (Tor.com)

The Empress of Salt and Fortune, Nghi Vo (Tor.com)

Finna, Nino Cipri (Tor.com)

Ring Shout, P. Djèlí Clark (Tor.com)

Riot Baby, Tochi Onyebuchi (Tor.com)

Upright Women Wanted, Sarah Gailey (Tor.com)

 

Best Novelette

“Burn, or the Episodic Life of Sam Wells as a Super”, A.T. Greenblatt (Uncanny Magazine, May/June 2020)

“Helicopter Story”, Isabel Fall (Clarkesworld, January 2020)

“The Inaccessibility of Heaven”, Aliette de Bodard (Uncanny Magazine, July/August 2020)

“Monster”, Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld, January 2020)

“The Pill”, Meg Elison (from Big Girl (PM Press))

“Two Truths and a Lie”, Sarah Pinsker (Tor.com)

 

Best Short Story

“Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse”, Rae Carson (Uncanny Magazine, January/February 2020)

“A Guide for Working Breeds”, Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Made to Order: Robots and Revolution, ed. Jonathan Strahan (Solaris))

“Little Free Library”, Naomi Kritzer (Tor.com)

“The Mermaid Astronaut”, Yoon Ha Lee (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, February 2020)

“Metal Like Blood in the Dark”, T. Kingfisher (Uncanny Magazine, September/October 2020)

“Open House on Haunted Hill”, John Wiswell (Diabolical Plots – 2020, ed. David Steffen)

 

Best Series

The Daevabad Trilogy, S.A. Chakraborty (Harper Voyager)

The Interdependency, John Scalzi (Tor Books)

The Lady Astronaut Universe, Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor Books/Audible/Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction/Solaris)

The Murderbot Diaries, Martha Wells (Tor.com)

October Daye, Seanan McGuire (DAW)

The Poppy War, R.F. Kuang (Harper Voyager)

 

Best Related Work

Beowulf: A New Translation, Maria Dahvana Headley (FSG)

CoNZealand Fringe, Claire Rousseau, C, Cassie Hart, Adri Joy, Marguerite Kenner, Cheryl Morgan, Alasdair Stuart

FIYAHCON, L.D. Lewis–Director, Brent Lambert–Senior Programming Coordinator, Iori Kusano–FIYAHCON Fringe Co-Director, Vida Cruz–FIYAHCON Fringe Co-Director, and the Incredible FIYAHCON team

“George R.R. Martin Can Fuck Off Into the Sun, Or: The 2020 Hugo Awards Ceremony (Rageblog Edition)”, Natalie Luhrs (Pretty Terrible, August 2020)

A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky: The World of Octavia E. Butler, Lynell George (Angel City Press)

The Last Bronycon: a fandom autopsy, Jenny Nicholson (YouTube)

 

Best Graphic Story or Comic

DIE, Volume 2: Split the Party, written by Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans, letters by Clayton Cowles (Image Comics)

Ghost-Spider vol. 1: Dog Days Are Over, Author: Seanan McGuire, Artist: Takeshi Miyazawa and Rosi Kämpe (Marvel)

Invisible Kingdom, vol 2: Edge of Everything, Author: G. Willow Wilson, Artist: Christian Ward (Dark Horse Comics)

Monstress, vol. 5: Warchild, Author: Marjorie Liu, Artist: Sana Takeda (Image Comics)

Once & Future vol. 1: The King Is Undead, written by Kieron Gillen, iIllustrated by Dan Mora, colored by Tamra Bonvillain, lettered by Ed Dukeshire (BOOM! Studios)

Parable of the Sower: A Graphic Novel Adaptation, written by Octavia Butler, adapted by Damian Duffy, illustrated by John Jennings (Harry N. Abrams)

 

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn, written by Christina Hodson, directed by Cathy Yan (Warner Bros.)

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, written by Will Ferrell, Andrew Steele, directed by David Dobkin (European Broadcasting Union/Netflix)

The Old Guard, written by Greg Rucka, directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood (Netflix / Skydance Media)

Palm Springs, written by Andy Siara, directed by Max Barbakow (Limelight / Sun Entertainment Culture / The Lonely Island / Culmination Productions / Neon / Hulu / Amazon Prime)

Soul, screenplay by Pete Docter, Mike Jones and Kemp Powers, directed by Pete Docter, co-directed by Kemp Powers, produced by Dana Murray (Pixar Animation Studios/ Walt Disney Pictures)

Tenet, written and directed by Christopher Nolan (Warner Bros./Syncopy)

 

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

Doctor Who, “Fugitive of the Judoon”, written by Vinay Patel and Chris Chibnall, directed by Nida Manzoor (BBC)

The Expanse, “Gaugamela”, written by Dan Nowak, directed by Nick Gomez (Alcon Entertainment / Alcon Television Group / Amazon Studios / Hivemind / Just So)

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, “Heart” (parts 1 and 2), written by Josie Campbell and Noelle Stevenson, directed by Jen Bennett and Kiki Manrique (DreamWorks Animation Television / Netflix)

The Mandalorian, “Chapter 13: The Jedi”, written and directed by Dave Filoni (Golem Creations / Lucasfilm / Disney+)

The Mandalorian, “Chapter 16: The Rescue”, written by Jon Favreau, directed by Peyton Reed (Golem Creations / Lucasfilm / Disney+)

The Good Place, “Whenever You’re Ready”, written and directed by Michael Schur (Fremulon / 3 Arts Entertainment / Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group)

 

Best Editor, Short Form

Neil Clarke

Ellen Datlow

C.C. Finlay

Mur Lafferty and S.B. Divya

Jonathan Strahan

Sheila Williams

 

Best Editor, Long Form

Nivia Evans

Sheila E. Gilbert

Sarah Guan

Brit Hvide

Diana M. Pho

Navah Wolfe

 

Best Professional Artist

Tommy Arnold

Rovina Cai

Galen Dara

Maurizio Manzieri

John Picacio

Alyssa Winans

 

Best Semiprozine

Beneath Ceaseless Skies, ed. Scott H. Andrews

Escape Pod, editors Mur Lafferty and S.B. Divya, assistant editor Benjamin C. Kinney, hosts Tina Connolly and Alasdair Stuart, audio producers Summer Brooks and Adam Pracht and the entire Escape Pod team.

FIYAH Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction, publisher Troy L. Wiggins, executive editor DaVaun Sanders, managing editor Eboni Dunbar, poetry editor Brandon O’Brien, reviews and social media Brent Lambert,  art director L. D. Lewis, and the FIYAH Team.

PodCastle, editors, C.L. Clark and Jen R. Albert, assistant editor and host, Setsu Uzumé, producer Peter Adrian Behravesh, and the entire PodCastle team.

Uncanny Magazine, editors in chief: Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas, managing editor: Chimedum Ohaegbu, non-fiction editor:  Elsa Sjunneson, podcast producers: Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky

Strange Horizons, Vanessa Aguirre, Joseph Aitken, Rachel Ayers, M H Ayinde, Tierney Bailey, Scott Beggs, Drew Matthew Beyer, Gautam Bhatia, S. K. Campbell, Zhui Ning Chang, Tania Chen, Joyce Chng, Liz Christman, Linda H. Codega, Kristian Wilson Colyard, Yelena Crane, Bruhad Dave, Sarah Davidson, Tahlia Day, Arinn Dembo, Nathaniel Eakman, Belen Edwards, George Tom Elavathingal, Rebecca Evans, Ciro Faienza, Courtney Floyd, Lila Garrott, Colette Grecco, Guananí Gómez-Van Cortright, Julia Gunnison, Dan Hartland, Sydney Hilton, Angela Hinck, Stephen Ira, Amanda Jean, Ai Jiang, Sean Joyce-Farley, Erika Kanda, Anna Krepinsky, Kat Kourbeti, Clayton Kroh, Maureen Kincaid Speller, Catherine Krahe, Natasha Leullier, A.Z. Louise, Dante Luiz, Gui Machiavelli, Cameron Mack, Samantha Manaktola, Marisa Manuel, Jean McConnell, Heather McDougal, Maria Morabe, Amelia Moriarty, Emory Noakes, Sara Noakes, Aidan Oatway, AJ Odasso, Joel Oliver-Cormier, Kristina Palmer, Karintha Parker, Anjali Patel, Vanessa Rose Phin, Nicasio Reed, Belicia Rhea, Endria Richardson, Natalie Ritter, Abbey Schlanz, Clark Seanor, Elijah Rain Smith, Hebe Stanton, Melody Steiner, Romie Stott, Yejin Suh, Kwan-Ann Tan, Luke Tolvaj, Ben Tyrrell, Renee Van Siclen, Kathryn Weaver, Liza Wemakor, Aigner Loren Wilson, E.M. Wright, Vicki Xu, Fred G. Yost, staff members who prefer not to be named, and guest editor Libia Brenda with guest first reader Raquel González-Franco Alva for the Mexicanx special issue

 

Best Fanzine

The Full Lid, written by Alasdair Stuart, edited by Marguerite Kenner

Journey Planet, edited by Michael Carroll, John Coxon, Sara Felix, Ann Gry, Sarah Gulde, Alissa McKersie, Errick Nunnally, Pádraig Ó Méalóid, Chuck Serface, Steven H Silver, Paul Trimble, Erin Underwood, James Bacon, and Chris Garcia.

Lady Business, editors. Ira, Jodie, KJ, Renay, and Susan.

nerds of a feather, flock together, ed. Adri Joy, Joe Sherry, The G, and Vance Kotrla

Quick Sip Reviews, editor, Charles Payseur

Unofficial Hugo Book Club Blog, ed. Amanda Wakaruk and Olav Rokne

 

Best Fancast

Be The Serpent, presented by Alexandra Rowland, Freya Marske and Jennifer Mace

Claire Rousseau’s YouTube channel, produced by Claire Rousseau

The Coode Street Podcast, presented by Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe, Jonathan Strahan, producer

Kalanadi, produced and presented by Rachel

The Skiffy and Fanty Show, produced by Shaun Duke and Jen Zink, presented by Shaun Duke, Jen Zink, Alex Acks, Paul Weimer, and David Annandale.

Worldbuilding for Masochists, presented by Rowenna Miller, Marshall Ryan Maresca and Cass Morris

 

Best Fan Writer

Cora Buhlert

Charles Payseur

Jason Sanford

Elsa Sjunneson

Alasdair Stuart

Paul Weimer

 

Best Fan Artist

Iain J. Clark

Cyan Daly

Sara Felix

Grace P. Fong

Maya Hahto

Laya Rose

 

Best Video Game

Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Publisher and Developer: Nintendo)

Blaseball (Publisher and Developer: The Game Band)

Final Fantasy VII Remake (Publisher Square Enix)

Hades (Publisher and Developer: Supergiant Games)

The Last of Us: Part II (Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment / Developer: Naughty Dog)

Spiritfarer (Publisher and Developer: Thunder Lotus)

 

Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book

Cemetery Boys, Aiden Thomas (Swoon Reads)

A Deadly Education, Naomi Novik (Del Rey)

Elatsoe, Darcie Little Badger (Levine Querido)

Legendborn, Tracy Deonn (Margaret K. McElderry/ Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing)

Raybearer, Jordan Ifueko (Amulet / Hot Key)

A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking, T. Kingfisher (Argyll Productions)

 

Astounding Award for Best New Writer

Lindsay Ellis (1st year of eligibility)

Simon Jimenez (1st year of eligibility)

Micaiah Johnson (1st year of eligibility)

A.K. Larkwood (1st year of eligibility)

Jenn Lyons (2nd year of eligibility)

Emily Tesh (2nd year of eligibility)

DisCon III is the 79th Worldcon, and the third to be held in Washington, DC. Previous DC-based Worldcons were held in 1963 (DisCon I) and 1974 (DisCon II). DisCon III will be held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel from December 15-19, 2021.

DisCon III is sponsored by the Baltimore-Washington Area Worldcon Association, Inc. (BWAWA, Inc.), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Maryland.

 

 

@worldcon2021

Email: [email protected]

Four Uncanny Magazine Stories are 2020 Nebula Award Finalists!

Outstanding news, Space Unicorns! FOUR Uncanny Magazine stories are finalists for the prestigious Nebula Award from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America! “Where You Linger” by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam is a finalist for Best Novelette, “Burn or The Episodic Life of Sam Wells as a Super” by A. T. Greenblatt is a finalist for Best Novelette, “Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse” by Rae Carson is a finalist for Best Short Story, and finally “My Country Is a Ghost” by Eugenia Triantafyllou is a finalist for Best Short Story!

Also, “Shadow Prisons” by Uncanny Magazine Interviewer Caroline M. Yoachim from The Dystopia Triptych is a finalist for Best Novelette!

Congratulations to Bonnie, A.T., Rae, Eugenia, 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:

March 15, 2021 – The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. (SFWA) is pleased to announce the finalists for the 56th Annual Nebula Awards®. The awards will be presented in a virtual ceremony on June 5, 2021, hosted by returning Toastmaster Aydrea Walden. 

SFWA is pleased to welcome back Aydrea for a second year. Walden has written for the series Yin Yang Yo! and created, written, and starred in the Webby-nominated series Black Girl in a Big Dress. She has worked in the animation department on the films The Croods, Home, and How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. Walden also performs, appearing in her one-woman show, The Oreo Experience: A Total Whitey Trapped in a Black Chick’s Body, the short film Sci-Fi 60, and an episode of The Mandalorian.

NOVEL

  • Piranesi, Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury US; Bloomsbury UK)
  • The City We Became, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US & UK)
  • Mexican Gothic, Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Del Rey; Jo Fletcher)
  • The Midnight Bargain, C.L. Polk (Erewhon)
  • Black Sun, Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga; Solaris)
  • Network Effect, Martha Wells (Tordotcom)

NOVELLA

  • “Tower of Mud and Straw”Yaroslav Barsukov (Metaphorosis)
  • Finna, Nino Cipri (Tordotcom)
  • Ring Shout, P. Djèlí Clark (Tordotcom)
  • “Ife-Iyoku, the Tale of Imadeyunuagbon”, Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki (Dominion: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction from Africa and the African Diaspora, Aurelia Leo)
  • The Four Profound Weaves, R.B. Lemberg (Tachyon)
  • Riot Baby, Tochi Onyebuchi (Tordotcom)

NOVELETTE

  • “Stepsister”, Leah Cypess (F&SF 5-6/20)
  • “The Pill”, Meg Elison (Big Girl, PM Press)
  • “Burn or the Episodic Life of Sam Wells as a Super”, A.T. Greenblatt (Uncanny 5-6/20)
  • “Two Truths and a Lie”, Sarah Pinsker (Tor.com 6/17/20)
  • “Where You Linger”, Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (Uncanny 1-2/20)
  • “Shadow Prisons”, Caroline M. Yoachim (serialized in the Dystopia Triptych series as “The Shadow Prison Experiment”, “Shadow Prisons of the Mind”, and “The Shadow Prisoner’s Dilemma”, Broad Reach Publishing + Adamant Press)

SHORT STORY

  • “Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse”, Rae Carson (Uncanny 1-2/20)
  • “Advanced Word Problems in Portal Math”, Aimee Picchi (Daily Science Fiction 1/3/20)
  • “A Guide for Working Breeds”, Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Made to Order: Robots and Revolution, Solaris)
  • “The Eight-Thousanders”, Jason Sanford (Asimov’s 9-10/20)
  • “My Country Is a Ghost”, Eugenia Triantafyllou (Uncanny 1-2/20)
  • “Open House on Haunted Hill”, John Wiswell (Diabolical Plots 6/15/20)

THE ANDRE NORTON NEBULA AWARD FOR MIDDLE GRADE AND YOUNG ADULT FICTION

  • RaybearerJordan Ifueko (Amulet)
  • Elatsoe, Darcie Little Badger (Levine Querido)
  • A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking, T. Kingfisher (Argyll)
  • A Game of Fox & Squirrels, Jenn Reese (Holt)
  • Star Daughter, Shveta Thakrar (HarperTeen)

GAME WRITING

  • Blaseball, Stephen Bell, Joel Clark, Sam Rosenthal (The Game Band)
  • Hades, Greg Kasavin (Supergiant) 
  • Kentucky Route Zero, Jake Elliott (Cardboard Computer)
  • The Luminous Underground, Phoebe Barton (Choice of Games)
  • Scents & Semiosis, Sam Kabo Ashwell, Cat Manning, Caleb Wilson, Yoon Ha Lee (Self)
  • Spiritfarer, Nicolas Guérin, Maxime Monast, Alex Tommi-Morin (Thunder Lotus Games)

THE RAY BRADBURY NEBULA AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING DRAMA PRESENTATION

  • Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn, Christina Hodson, Warner Bros. Pictures (Clubhouse Pictures/DC Entertainment/Kroll & Co. Entertainment/LuckyChap Entertainment)
  • The Expanse: “Gaugamela”, Dan Nowak, Amazon Prime (Alcon Entertainment/Alcon Television Group/Amazon Studios/Hivemind/Just So)
  • The Good Place: “Whenever You’re Ready”, Michael Schur, NBC (Fremulon/3 Arts Entertainment/Universal)
  • Lovecraft Country, Season 1, Misha Green, Shannon Houston, Kevin Lau, Wes Taylor, Ihuoma Ofordire, Jonathan I. Kidd, Sonya Winton-Odamtten, HBO Max (Bad Robot/Monkeypaw Productions/Warner Bros.Television)
  • The Mandalorian: “The Tragedy”, Jon Favreau, Disney+ (Golem Creations/Lucasfilm)
  • The Old Guard, Greg Rucka, Netflix (Skydance Media/Denver and Delilah Productions/Marc Evans Productions)

The results of the final ballot will be announced at the 56th Annual Nebula Awards® ceremony during the 2021 Nebula Conference Online, June 4–6, 2021. Open to SFWA members and nonmembers alike, the annual Nebula Conference is taking place entirely online for a second year. 

For $125, registered participants will gain entry to professional development panels, virtual socializing spaces dubbed the “Airship Nebula,” mentorship opportunities, office hours with experts, an archive of the content, and access to ongoing educational events throughout the following year.

About the Nebula Awards® 

The Nebula Awards® are voted on and presented by Full, Associate, and Senior members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. Founded as the Science Fiction Writers of America in 1965 by Damon Knight, the organization began with a charter membership of 78 writers; it now has over 2,000 members, among them many of the leading writers of science fiction and fantasy.

Since 1965, the Nebula Awards® have been given each year for the best novel, novella, novelette, and short story eligible for that year’s award. The Andre Norton Nebula Award for Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction was added in 2005, followed by the Ray Bradbury Nebula Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation in 2009, and the Nebula Award for Best Game Writing in 2018. An anthology including the winning pieces of short fiction and several runners-up is also published every year.

Slavic Folklore: The Heart of an Incomplete World– A Guest Post by Gabriela Houston

Veles is the God of the Slavic Underworld.

He is one of the twin god brothers present at the birth of the world, locked in an eternal battle against his brother Perun. He is at the very heart of the struggle of light against darkness, good against evil, death against life.

Or, quite possibly, he is instead the God of Cattle.

Such inconsistencies made my research into Slavic mythology for the purpose of writing The Second Bell a somewhat humorous, if frustrating, affair. While novelists drawing inspiration from Norse, Greek, and Celtic mythologies have a wealth of written records to consult, things are a little different on the Slavic side of things.

Unlike with the Norse and Roman mythologies, there’s no written records of the Proto-Slavic beliefs. While some elements of the Slavic pantheons were incorporated into Christian worship among Slavic peoples, others were gradually eradicated. All were changed.

What we think we now know of Slavic gods, beliefs, and customs is meticulously pieced together by anthropologists comparing local songs and customs, by linguists comparing the evolution of language across the Slavic nations, and by archeologists with a good deal of romanticised accounts from the Slavic Revival movement in the late 19th century thrown into the mix.

The conclusions drawn by the different scholars are, however, incredibly inconsistent, as evidenced by the confusion over the god Veles.

Of course, historical accuracy is not necessarily a priority in writing fantasy fiction. Were my books reimaginings of Greek hero stories, that would matter more, perhaps. A thousand fans of the classics would call me out should the mighty Hercules suddenly become Hera’s favourite flower delivery man.

So why does research matter when writing Slavic-inspired fiction, and which elements of the folklore should remain unchanging, a kind of steel scaffolding for the rest of the magpie-chosen shiny factoids?

To me that is the slightly nebulous and elusive “feel” of the mythology. In the source texts there are certain parts of the stories that stay the same while the reinterpretations of other elements change. For me, in Slavic mythology, that constant core is the duality of all things and the potential for evil and danger lurking beneath the surface of all.

In most source texts, strigas are described as a transformed human. Should a person be unfortunate enough to have two hearts (and what follows—two souls), then after death they rise again as a vicious, bloodthirsty creature. The details, of course, vary, but at their core the striga stories focus on the duality of human nature. A striga could be your mother, sister, the kindly neighbour, and simultaneously a monster waiting to be awakened. The danger is hidden, anything could become (or may already be) a threat.

In my novel, The Second Bell, the townspeople fear and reject those children who are born with a second, striga heart. They are seen as monsters, or monsters-in-waiting, which truly amounts to the same thing.

Now the mothers who choose to join their infants in their banishment do not suddenly, magically shed their fear of the strigas. While the strength of their love might take them beyond the boundaries of the forest, and away from their old lives, it doesn’t mean and can’t be the end of the battle.

They leave everything believing that the child in their arms might in fact be monstrous. That though they love their baby, that love might not be enough.

It’s a fear that then transcends the generations, and is at the core of the taboos that delineate the limits of a striga’s life.

Challenging such taboos would be neither easy nor straightforward for anyone. It requires not just courage. After all, bravery is the privilege of heroes who know their cause is righteous. Looking into your soul, believing you might find only darkness, requires a desperation that will let you bet your own self on the hope that should there be evil inside you, you will have the strength to conquer it.

When it comes to Slavic mythology, there are many unknowns. The one constant I have found as a writer drawing on this research is that the uncertainty about the nature of things is at the core of every Slavic story, and there is something quite universal about that.

After all, humans live in a state of constant change. Everything is vague and uncertain and has the potential to become a threat, and change is inevitable. The yearning to understand and pin down the absolute nature of things is always confronted with the reality that nothing is forever, nothing is completely safe.

Accepting this duality is at the heart of Slavic folklore. Things and people can be both good and bad, kind and cruel. Nothing can be known completely, not even your own heart.

(You can order Gabriela Houston’s novel The Second Bell from Angry Robot Books here!)

Gabriela Houston was born and raised in Poland, brought up on a diet of mythologies and fairy tales. She spent her summers exploring the woods, foraging and animal tracking with her family. At 19, Gabriela moved to London to study English Literature and obtained a Masters degree in Literatures of Modernity, where she now lives with her husband and two children.

 

Uncanny Magazine Issue 39 Cover and Table of Contents!

Coming March 2, THE THIRTY-NINTH ISSUE OF THE 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 HUGO AWARD-WINNING UNCANNY MAGAZINE!!

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 April 6.

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 39 Table of Contents:

Cover:
Kianga by Paul Lewin

Editorial:
“The Uncanny Valley” by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas

Fiction:
“The Sin of America” by Catherynne M. Valente (3/2)
“The Perils of a Hologram Heart” by Dominica Phetteplace (3/2)
“Colors of the Immortal Palette” by Caroline M. Yoachim (3/2)

“The Book of the Kraken” by Carrie Vaughn (4/6)
“Eighteen Days of Barbareek” by Rati Mehrotra (4/6)
“Where Oaken Hearts Do Gather” by Sarah Pinsker (4/6)

Reprint:
“They Shall Salt the Earth with Seeds of Glass” by Alaya Dawn Johnson (4/6)

Nonfiction:
“Deadly Frocks and Other Tales of Murder Clothes” by Tansy Rayner Roberts (3/2)
“Seduced by the Ruler’s Gaze: An Indian Perspective on Seth Dickinson’s Masquerade” by Sid Jain (3/2)

“Protector of Small Steps” by Marieke Nijkamp (4/6)
“Please Be Kind to the Singularity” by Jay Edidin (4/6)

Poetry:
“the most humane methods could involve a knife” by Tamara Jerée (3/2)
“lagahoo culture (Part II)” by Brandon O’Brien (3/2)

“Future Saints” by Terese Mason Pierre (4/6)
“Of Monsters I Loved” by Ali Trotta (4/6)

Interviews:
Caroline M. Yoachim interviewed by Tina Connolly (3/2)

Sarah Pinsker interviewed by Caroline M. Yoachim (4/6)

Podcasts:

Episode 39A (3/2): Editors’ Introduction, “The Sin of America” by Catherynne M. Valente, as read by Heath Miller, “lagahoo culture (Part II)” by Brandon O’Brien, as read by Matt Peters, and Lynne M. Thomas interviewing Catherynne M. Valente.

Episode 39B (4/6): Editors’ Introduction, “The Book of the Kraken” by Carrie Vaughn, as read by Joy Piedmont, “Of Monsters I Loved” by Ali Trotta, as read by Heath Miller, and Lynne M. Thomas interviewing Carrie Vaughn.

Uncanny Magazine 2020 Favorite Fiction Reader Poll Results!

Space Unicorns! It is time to announce the TOP STORY in our Uncanny Magazine 2020 Favorite Fiction Reader Poll!
It is…. *drumroll*

The short story The Salt Witch by Martha Wells!

Congratulations, Martha Wells! A SNAZZY CERTIFICATE will soon be on the way!

The rest of the Top Five are:

2- the short story Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse by Rae Carson!

3- Is a tie!

The short story My Country Is a Ghost by Eugenia Triantafyllou!

The short story The Bottomless Martyr by John Wiswell!

4- Is a tie!

The short story The Sycamore and the Sybil by Alix E. Harrow!

The short story Metal Like Blood in the Dark by T. Kingfisher!

5- The novelette Burn or The Episodic Life of Sam Wells as a Super by A. T. Greenblatt!

Congratulations to Rae, Eugenia, John, Alix, Ursula, and Aliza!
Thank you to everybody who voted!
Don’t forget if you’re nominating for the Nebula or Hugo Awards, we have a list of all of our eligible stories here.