Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Mary Robinette Kowal’s Dramatic Reading of Her Peeing in Space Tweets!

Space Unicorns! As you may remember, last year Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author Mary Robinette Kowal had a viral Twitter thread about “Peeing in Space.” You might also remember that for the Uncanny Magazine Year 6 Kickstarter, she offered to give a DRAMATIC READING of her Tweets!

If you enjoyed this, please make sure to check out Mary Robinette Kowal’s award-winning Lady Astronaut novels! The most recent one, The Relentless Moon, came out THIS WEEK!

Uncanny Magazine Issue 35 Cover and Table of Contents!

Coming July 7, THE THIRTY-FIFTH ISSUE OF THE 2016, 2017, 2018, & 2019 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 August 4.

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 35 Table of Contents

Cover:
Walking in the Cosmos by Kirbi Fagan

Editorials:
“The Uncanny Valley” by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas
“Imagining Place: Without Police” by Elsa Sjunneson

Fiction:
“Once More Unto the Breach (But Don’t Worry, the Inflatable Swords
Are Latex-Free)” by Tina Connolly (7/7)
“The World Ends in Salty Fingers and Sugared Lips” by Jenn Reese (7/7)
“A Pale Horse” by M Evan MacGriogair (7/7)
“A Love Song for Herkinal
as composed by Ashkernas amid the ruins of New Haven” by Chinelo Onwualu (7/7)

“The Inaccessibility of Heaven” by Aliette de Bodard (8/4)
“The Ruby of the Summer King” by Mari Ness (8/4)
“The Nine Scents of Sorrow” by Jordan Taylor (8/4)

Nonfiction:
“Will I Live to See My Utopia?” by P. Djèlí Clark (7/7)
“Hands On” by Caitlin Starling (7/7)

“Transforming Anxiety” by Danny Lore (8/4)
“The People You Only Think You Know” by Hillary Monahan (8/4)

Poetry:
“lagahoo culture (Part I)” by Brandon O’Brien (7/7)
“saltwashed” by Jennifer Mace (7/7)

“The Trouble Over” by Sonya Taaffe (8/4)
“fair exchange” by Ewen Ma (8/4)

Interviews:
M Evan MacGriogair interviewed by Caroline M. Yoachim (7/7)

Aliette de Bodard interviewed by Caroline M. Yoachim (8/4)

Podcasts:

Uncanny Magazine Podcast 35A (7/7):
“Once More Unto the Breach (But Don’t Worry, the Inflatable Swords Are Latex-Free)” by Tina Connolly, as read by Joy Piedmont
“The World Ends in Salty Fingers and Sugared Lips” by Jenn Reese, as read by Joy Piedmont
“saltwashed” by Jennifer Mace, as read by Erika Ensign
Lynne M. Thomas interviewing Tina Connolly

Uncanny Magazine Podcast 35B (8/4):
“The Ruby of the Summer King” by Mari Ness, as read by Erika Ensign
“fair exchange” by Ewen Ma, as read by Joy Piedmont
Lynne M. Thomas interviewing Mari Ness

Uncanny Is Seeking an Assistant Editor! Black, Indigenous, and People of Color HIGHLY Encouraged to Apply!

Space Unicorns! We’re seeking to fill the Assistant Editor position with Uncanny Magazine, and we STRONGLY encourage BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of colour) to apply! The position will begin in August 2020, and will run for six issues/a year with possibility for renewal. There is a modest stipend for this position. 

We’re looking for someone with a deep love of science fiction and fantasy, and an interest in editorial work and publishing. The Assistant Editor position will allow opportunities to participate in the daily operations of running a multi-time Hugo Award-winning online bimonthly publication in the SF/F field. The Assistant Editor works closely with the Managing Editor, and the primary tasks of the Assistant Editor include:

  1. Newsletter: creating written content for the monthly Uncanny Magazine newsletter
  2. Copyediting: the Assistant Editor will help with copyediting for grammar, usage, spelling, punctuation, clarification of meaning, fact-checking, and checking for anachronistic language in all published pieces
  3. Social Media Promotion: posting promotional content to Instagram and Tumblr, and assisting the Editors with Twitter and Facebook content as needed
  4. Graphic creation/design: assisting the Managing Editor with creation of graphics images and ads as needed
  5. Other duties as assigned, not to exceed 10% of total time allotted

The Assistant Editor position will require roughly 15-20 hrs per month. It is not location-dependent; communication and tasks will be done primarily online via email, Slack, and Google Hangouts or Skype.

Prior experience in publishing and familiarity with using programs such as Google docs, Canva, Instagram, Tumblr, Tinyletter, and WordPress is beneficial but not required. Training on how to use these will happen in formal sessions, and informally on the job.

Applications for the Assistant Editor position will be open from Monday,  June 8 through Thursday,  June 18. Please submit a short personal statement (up to 450 words) via Uncanny’s contact form with “Uncanny Assistant Editor” in the subject line.

Good luck, Space Unicorns!

Uncanny In Support of Black Lives Matter

Uncanny Magazine condemns the murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis Police, the murder of Tony McDade by the Tallahassee Police, the murder of Breonna Taylor by the Louisville Metro Police, the murder of Regis Korchinski-Paquet by the Toronto Police, the murders of countless other Black people by the police across the United States, Canada, and worldwide, and the police and government attacks on protesters across the United States. We further condemn the rise of white supremacists and fascists, the continued embracing of racist policies and white supremacists by American political officials of both parties, including the GOP and President Trump, and the systemic racism that permeates every corner of American, Canadian, and global life.

We unequivocally support the Black Lives Matter movement. We support the continued efforts to fight racism and hate through all available means. We will do everything in our power to help dismantle white supremacy and work with those fighting for the same goal. 

Uncanny started as a magazine, but we quickly became a community. As a community, we hold onto certain beliefs. These beliefs encompass more than loving art and kindness and stories that make you feel. We at Uncanny Magazine recognize that anti-Blackness is rampant throughout SFF publishing, and publishing in general. It is our responsibility as a community to confront our biases and work to correct them, and visibly support Black creators and audiences. Uncanny will continue to work on this by having Black staff members in editorial positions, by having Black staff members in first reader positions, by encouraging Black writers to submit to Uncanny, by soliciting works directly from Black creators, and by showcasing Black works. We welcome essay pitches from Black authors now and into the future. We will also continue dialogues with other publishers, editors, and markets about how to continue to confront and correct the anti-Blackness in SFF publishing in a sustained, long-lasting way. 

We urge the entire Uncanny Magazine community to join us in this fight. Protest. Donate. Speak out. Boost and listen to Black voices.

Black lives matter. 

Uncanny Magazine, the Thomases, The Best of Uncanny, and Four Uncanny Stories Are Locus Award Finalists!

Fabulous news, Space Unicorns! Elizabeth Bear’s “A Time to Reap” is a Best Novella Locus Award finalist, Sarah Pinsker’s “The Blur in the Corner of Your Eye” is a Best Novelette Locus Award finalist, Elizabeth Bear’s “Lest We Forget” is a Best Short Story Locus Award finalist, and Fran Wilde’s “A Catalog of Storms” is a Best Short Story Locus Award finalist! Congratulations to Bear, Sarah, and Fran! Plus, Uncanny Magazine is a Best Magazine Locus Award finalist, and Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas are a Best Editor Locus Award finalist! AND The Best of Uncanny (edited by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas) from Subterranean Press is a Best Anthology Locus Award finalist!

We are so honored!

And congratulations to all of the phenomenal finalists!

From the Locus website:

Winners will be announced June 27, 2020 at the virtual Locus Awards Weekend; Connie Willis will MC the awards ceremony. Additional weekend events include planned author readings and panels with leading authors. Supporting/virtual memberships are available and come with a Locus t-shirt.

Co-Editing a Volume of the WisCon Chronicles During a Pandemic- A Guest Post by Isabel Schechter & Michi Trota

WisCon is a feminist science fiction and fantasy convention that is held in Madison, WI, over Memorial Day weekend in May. Founded in 1977, it’s the oldest feminist SF/F convention in existence, where fans gather to discuss SF/F and pop culture with an emphasis on examining issues pertaining to race, gender, disability, queerness, and other marginalizations. After more than 40 years, WisCon has grown a vibrant community of passionate attendees and volunteers whose work continues to reshape and evolve the con. Since 2007, Aqueduct Press has published an annual anthology, The WisCon Chronicles, which collects a variety of creative pieces by WisCon attendees, and is given a specific theme chosen by the volume’s editor(s).

Traditionally, the anthology is officially released with a party at WisCon, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WisCon 44 has transitioned to a completely virtual convention for 2020.  While this year’s anthology theme explores “boundaries and bridges,” its co-editors Isabel Schechter and Michi Trota certainly did not anticipate having to navigate the unexpected boundaries created by a pandemic.

Isabel Schechter

When Aqueduct Press first asked me to edit this volume of The WisCon Chronicles, I knew I wanted the theme to be about boundaries and bridges and to work with a co-editor. The theme of the volume recognizes that my point of view has limits and I would need to work with someone to ensure the collection of essays included points of view and voices to which I might not have been exposed. Having had the pleasure and privilege of serving as one of Michi’s bridges to Uncanny, and seeing the work she has done to provide opportunities for a variety of voices to be heard, I knew she was the perfect choice for co-editor.

Like any good working relationship, there was give and take on workload and decision-making. Some tasks fell into a natural division of labor according to skills— I am an Excel junkie and created spreadsheets to track submissions, Michi has a graphic artist’s eye and created images for promotion; other tasks depended on the submissions we received— some essays were on topics familiar to one but not the other of us, shared life experiences specific to a culture not our own, or were written in a language other than English.

I knew Michi and I would be able to work together well, and once the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, that ability to work well together turned out to be more important than we could have anticipated. We were already deep in the editorial process when it became clear that COVID-19 would change practically all aspects of daily life as well as the process of publishing the Chronicles.

When WisCon announced that it would be cancelling its in-person convention and moving to a virtual format, we had to adjust our plans and expectations for the book. Because the Chronicles is grounded in the WisCon experience, we needed to find ways to help people connect with and through the volume despite not being able to come together physically at the convention.

Again, we divided the workload, and although any other co-editor might have performed the same tasks, they would not have shared the same feelings of loss and sadness, nor would their commitment to sustain the community through this difficult time be as strong. Being co-workers on a job is not enough for the Chronicles. Editing this volume of the Chronicles while living through the enormous impact that COVID-19 has had on the world would not have been possible without having a partner to share the mission.

This volume of the Chronicles is a way of giving back to the convention and the community that has given us so much.  Although COVID-19 erected barriers to physical community connection, Michi and I worked together to make this collection of essays a bridge to WisCon. Had we not been able to work in such a collaborative, committed partnership, the collection would not have been as strong as it is. I know our readers will benefit from that partnership.

Michi Trota

Co-editing an essay anthology has been a long-held dream of mine. When Isabel offered me the chance to co-edit the twelfth volume of The WisCon Chronicles, I couldn’t have asked for a more appropriate project to tackle in my post-Uncanny editing life, nor a more perfect collaborator and theme to work with. Isabel was a person who made herself a bridge that allowed me to cross into the wider world of SF/F fandom and publishing. It was Isabel who encouraged me to attend my first WisCon, where unexpectedly I received Uncanny’s offer to become their managing editor (it should surprise no one that Isabel was the first person to encourage me to say YES to that offer, and I will never forget how at MidAmeriCon II, I could hear her cheering and jumping out of her seat behind me when Uncanny won our first Hugo Award). In short, this seemed like it would be a fantastic experience working with a wonderful friend on a project near and dear to both our hearts. What could go wrong?

Neither of us planned on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Juggling a project of the WisCon Chronicles’ scope and size, while working a full-time job, numerous freelance side hustles, and taking on the role of SFWA Editor-in-Chief, would be tiring and complicated under normal circumstances. Doing so with the added pressure and uncertainty of a global pandemic was, to put it mildly, stressful and exhausting. There were days where I expected to see a message in my inbox that the book wasn’t going to happen, that the printer had closed, that all the incredible work of the anthology’s contributors wouldn’t be published. The worst-case scenario where all of our efforts would be scuttled by circumstances beyond everyone’s control was a constant specter over the project. Everything was unpredictable and in flux— except for my partnership with Isabel.

Working with Isabel— being able to share responsibilities with her, knowing she was just as passionate and committed as I was, to seeing the anthology come to fruition— was a major source of hope and support that I desperately needed throughout this process, particularly under the current circumstances. Understanding that I wasn’t going through this alone made it easier to keep going and pivot to meet the continuing string of challenges to completing the book that were raised by the pandemic.

In so many ways, this book exists because of how everyone involved in this journey— our contributors, the team at Aqueduct, the folks at WisCon— has continually engaged in the kind of community work that made it possible for a friendship like Isabel’s and mine to take root and grow. The pandemic created boundaries that none of us could have anticipated, but because of the countless bridges WisCon’s community has built, they are boundaries that thankfully we were still able to cross.

WisCon has been a deeply meaningful annual experience for so many of us, and I hope the anthology conveys a clear snapshot of why this con continues to be a special place, especially for Isabel and me. With WisCon 44 taking place this weekend as a virtual, rather than in-person convention, it’s still deeply disappointing that we’ll be unable to celebrate the book and its contributors among much- loved friends and colleagues. But I’m still proud that the anthology can still serve as a way for folks to connect with WisCon’s spirit and community.

About The WisCon Chronicles, Volume 12: Boundaries and Bridges

The twelfth volume of The WisCon Chronicles explores our understanding of boundaries and bridges, and what they mean for us as individuals and for our communities. This collection includes essays from first-time WisCon attendees and former Guests of Honor, fans and Tiptree/Otherwise Award-winning authors and editors, cis het and LGBTQ+ attendees, affluent and less well-off, abled and disabled, white and POC, young and old, parents and child-free, English speakers and Spanish speakers, and hopefully more than just these categories can capture.

Structural changes in the convention that break down barriers to attendance and participation are important, and some of the essays recount the process and struggles of creating space and programming for POC attendees, access for disabled attendees, and affordability for all attendees. The words we use matter, as essays that talk about feminist terms, gendered language, and even the name of the Tiptree/Otherwise award (which is almost inextricably identified with WisCon) demonstrate. The definition of “community” is also examined, both within WisCon and beyond, as it spills out into the wider world including online spaces.

CONTRIBUTORS: Jess Adams • Charlie Jane Anders • Nancy Bird • Kristy Anne Cox • Katherine Alejandra Cross • Alexandra Erin • Nivair H. Gabriel • Sarah Gulde • Lauren Jankowski • Inda Lauryn • Elise Matthesen • Gabriela Damián Miravete • Chimedum Ohaegbu • Otherwise Board • Julia Rios • John Scalzi • Nisi Shawl • Monica Valentinelli • G. Willow Wilson

Learn more at Aqueduct Press.

 

Isabel Schechter has been a SF/F fan since childhood and active in fandom for 20 years. Isabel is Puerto-Rican, and her essays on race and representation in SF/F have been published in Invisible 2: Essays on Race and Representation in SF/F; Uncanny: A Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy; and WisCon Chronicles. She is a frequent panelist at SF/F conventions and is Co-Editor of the forthcoming WisCon Chronicles Volume 12: Boundaries and Bridges. Isabel is also an active library supporter and has served on the boards of several library-related organizations. She has a master’s degree in Divinity from the University of Chicago Divinity School.

Michi Trota is a four-time Hugo Award-winner and British Fantasy Award winner. She is Editor-in-Chief of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), co-editor of the upcoming WisCon Chronicles Vol. 12 (May 2020), and the first Filipina Hugo Award winner. She was the first Managing Editor/Nonfiction Editor of Uncanny: A Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy, exhibit consultant and text writer for Worlds Beyond Here: The Expanding Universe of APA Science Fiction at the Wing Luke Museum in Seattle, WA (2018-2019), and is also an essayist, public speaker, and fire performance artist in Chicago.

Uncanny Magazine Issue 34 Cover and Table of Contents!

Coming May 5, THE THIRTY-FOURTH ISSUE OF THE 2016, 2017, 2018, & 2019 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 2.

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 34 Table of Contents

Cover:
Taking Flight by Julie Dillon

Editorials:
“The Uncanny Valley” by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas
“Imagining Place: Self-Quarantine Edition” by Elsa Sjunneson

Fiction:
“A Being Together Amongst Strangers” by Arkady Martine (5/5)
“Through the Veil” by Jennifer Marie Brissett (5/5)
“High in the Clean Blue Air” by Emma Törzs (5/5)

“Burn or The Episodic Life of Sam Wells as a Super” by A.T. Greenblatt (6/2)
“Dresses Like White Elephants” by Meg Elison (6/2)
“We Chased the Sirens” by Suzanne Walker (6/2)

Reprint:
“Where the Sky Is Silver and the Earth Is Brass” by Sonya Taaffe (6/2)

Nonfiction:
“It Is Not That The Spoon Must Bend, or: Cypher’s Steak and Our Online Lives” by Fran Wilde (5/5)
“Cons, Crud, and Coronavirus” by Kelly Lagor (5/5)

“Prayer Room Science Fiction” by Khairani Barokka (6/2)
“Censorship and Genre Fiction—Let’s Broaden our Broader Reality” by Ada Palmer (6/2)

Poetry:
“Assimilation” by Valerie Valdes (5/5)
“Athena Holds Up a Mirror to Strength” by Ali Trotta (5/5)

“deep sleep” by Roshani Chokshi (6/2)
“ask them who is doing the haunting (a vietnamese american underwater fairytale)” by T.K. Lê (6/2)

Interviews:
Emma Törzs interviewed by Caroline M. Yoachim (5/5)

Meg Elison interviewed by Caroline M. Yoachim (6/2)

Podcasts:

Uncanny Magazine Podcast 34A (5/5)
“A Being Together Amongst Strangers” by Arkady Martine, as read by Joy Piedmont
“Athena Holds Up a Mirror to Strength” by Ali Trotta, as read by Erika Ensign
Lynne M. Thomas Interviews Arkady Martine

Uncanny Magazine Podcast 34B (6/2)
“Burn or The Episodic Life of Sam Wells as a Super” by A. T. Greenblatt, as read by Erika Ensign
“deep sleep” by Roshani Chokshi, as read by Joy Piedmont
Lynne M. Thomas Interviews A. T. Greenblatt

Three Uncanny Stories, the Thomases, and Uncanny Magazine Are All 2020 Hugo Award Finalists!

PHENOMENAL news, Space Unicorns! Three Uncanny Magazine stories are finalists for the prestigious Hugo Award! “The Blur in the Corner of Your Eye” by Sarah Pinsker is a finalist for Best Novelette, “Away With the Wolves” by Sarah Gailey (from the Disabled People Destroy Fantasy special issue) is a finalist for Best Novelette, and “A Catalog of Storms” by Fran Wilde 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/Nonfiction Editor Michi Trota, Managing Editor Chimedum Ohaegbu, and Podcast Producers Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky) is once again a finalist for Best Semiprozine!

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

Finally, two members of our current staff are finalists for different Hugo Awards! Nonfiction Editor Elsa Sjunneson is a finalist as former Managing Editor of Fireside Magazine in Best Semiprozine! And Uncanny Magazine Interviewer Caroline M. Yoachim’s “The Archronology of Love” from Lightspeed Magazine is a finalist for Best Novelette!

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 CoNZealand staff. We are honored, ecstatic, and overwhelmed.

Below are the Hugo Award Press Releases from CoNZealand 2020:

 

CoNZealand, the 78th World Science Fiction Convention, has announced the finalists for the 2020 Hugo Awards, Lodestar and Astounding Awards and the 1945 Retro Hugo Awards.

First presented in 1953, the Hugo Awards are the longest-running fan-voted awards in science fiction and fantasy. They recognise both professionals and fans, honouring written fiction and dramatic presentations, artists, editors and others.

The video announcing the finalists is available for viewing on the CoNZealand YouTube channel.

“Congratulations to all those announced today. Being a finalist for a Hugo Award signifies the high esteem in which the fan community holds your work. Getting to this stage is a huge achievement,” said CoNZealand Co-Chairs Norman Cates and Kelly Buehler.

Nominations for the 2020 and 1945 Hugo Awards were submitted by the members of CoNZealand, the 78th Worldcon, and Dublin 2019: An Irish Worldcon. 1,584 people submitted 27,033 nominations for the 2020 Hugo Awards, and 120 people submitted 1,677 nominations for the 1945 Retrospective Hugo Awards.

Only CoNZealand members will be able to vote on the final ballot and choose the winners. You can still purchase a Supporting Membership on the CoNZealand website to be eligible to vote. Information on how to submit a voting ballot is available here.

The awards will be presented at CoNZealand which will now run online from 29 July to 2 August 2020. These will be the first Hugo Awards in history to be presented in this format. More details will follow soon.

Hugo Awards 2020: Final Ballot

 

Best Novel

  • The City in the Middle of the Night, by Charlie Jane Anders (Tor; Titan)
  • Gideon the Ninth, by Tamsyn Muir (Tor.com Publishing)
  • The Light Brigade, by Kameron Hurley (Saga; Angry Robot UK)
  • A Memory Called Empire, by Arkady Martine (Tor; Tor UK)
  • Middlegame, by Seanan McGuire (Tor.com Publishing)
  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January, by Alix E. Harrow (Redhook; Orbit UK)

 

Best Novella

  • “Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom”, by Ted Chiang (Exhalation (Borzoi/Alfred A. Knopf; Picador))
  • The Deep, by Rivers Solomon, with Daveed Diggs, William Hutson & Jonathan Snipes (Saga Press/Gallery)
  • The Haunting of Tram Car 015, by P. Djèlí Clark (Tor.com Publishing)
  • In an Absent Dream, by Seanan McGuire (Tor.com Publishing)
  • This Is How You Lose the Time War, by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone (Saga Press; Jo Fletcher Books)
  • To Be Taught, If Fortunate, by Becky Chambers (Harper Voyager; Hodder & Stoughton)

 

Best Novelette

  • “The Archronology of Love”, by Caroline M. Yoachim (Lightspeed, April 2019)
  • “Away With the Wolves”, by Sarah Gailey (Uncanny Magazine: Disabled People Destroy Fantasy Special Issue, September/October 2019)
  • “The Blur in the Corner of Your Eye”, by Sarah Pinsker (Uncanny Magazine, July-August 2019)
  • Emergency Skin, by N.K. Jemisin (Forward Collection (Amazon))
  • “For He Can Creep”, by Siobhan Carroll (Tor.com, 10 July 2019)
  • “Omphalos”, by Ted Chiang (Exhalation (Borzoi/Alfred A. Knopf; Picador))

 

Best Short Story

  • “And Now His Lordship Is Laughing”, by Shiv Ramdas (Strange Horizons, 9 September 2019)
  • “As the Last I May Know”, by S.L. Huang (Tor.com, 23 October 2019)
  • “Blood Is Another Word for Hunger”, by Rivers Solomon (Tor.com, 24 July 2019)
  • “A Catalog of Storms”, by Fran Wilde (Uncanny Magazine, January/February 2019)
  • “Do Not Look Back, My Lion”, by Alix E. Harrow (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, January 2019)
  • “Ten Excerpts from an Annotated Bibliography on the Cannibal Women of Ratnabar Island”, by Nibedita Sen (Nightmare Magazine, May 2019)

 

Best Series

  • The Expanse, by James S. A. Corey (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • InCryptid, by Seanan McGuire (DAW)
  • Luna, by Ian McDonald (Tor; Gollancz)
  • Planetfall series, by Emma Newman (Ace; Gollancz)
  • Winternight Trilogy, by Katherine Arden (Del Rey; Del Rey UK)
  • The Wormwood Trilogy, by Tade Thompson (Orbit US; Orbit UK)

 

Best Related Work

  • Becoming Superman: My Journey from Poverty to Hollywood, by J. Michael Straczynski (Harper Voyager US)
  • Joanna Russ, by Gwyneth Jones (University of Illinois Press (Modern Masters of Science Fiction))
  • The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick, by Mallory O’Meara (Hanover Square)
  • The Pleasant Profession of Robert A. Heinlein, by Farah Mendlesohn (Unbound)
  • “2019 John W. Campbell Award Acceptance Speech”, by Jeannette Ng
  • Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin, produced and directed by Arwen Curry

 

Best Graphic Story or Comic

  • Die, Volume 1: Fantasy Heartbreaker, by Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans, letters by Clayton Cowles (Image)
  • LaGuardia, written by Nnedi Okorafor, art by Tana Ford, colours by James Devlin (Berger Books; Dark Horse)
  • Monstress, Volume 4: The Chosen, written by Marjorie Liu, art by Sana Takeda (Image)
  • Mooncakes, by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker, letters by Joamette Gil (Oni Press; Lion Forge)
  • Paper Girls, Volume 6, written by Brian K. Vaughan, drawn by Cliff Chiang, colours by Matt Wilson, letters by Jared K. Fletcher (Image)
  • The Wicked + The Divine, Volume 9: Okay, by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie, colours by Matt Wilson, letters by Clayton Cowles (Image)

 

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

  • Avengers: Endgame, screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo (Marvel Studios)
  • Captain Marvel, screenplay by Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck and Geneva Robertson-Dworet, directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Walt Disney Pictures/Marvel Studios/Animal Logic (Australia))
  • Good Omens, written by Neil Gaiman, directed by Douglas Mackinnon (Amazon Studios/BBC Studios/Narrativia/The Blank Corporation)
  • Russian Doll (Season One), created by Natasha Lyonne, Leslye Headland and Amy Poehler, directed by Leslye Headland, Jamie Babbit and Natasha Lyonne (3 Arts Entertainment/Jax Media/Netflix/Paper Kite Productions/Universal Television)
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, screenplay by Chris Terrio and J.J. Abrams, directed by J.J. Abrams (Walt Disney Pictures/Lucasfilm/Bad Robot)
  • Us, written and directed by Jordan Peele (Monkeypaw Productions/Universal Pictures)

 

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

  • The Good Place: “The Answer”, written by Daniel Schofield, directed by Valeria Migliassi Collins (Fremulon/3 Arts Entertainment/Universal Television)
  • The Expanse: “Cibola Burn”, written by Daniel Abraham & Ty Franck and Naren Shankar, directed by Breck Eisner (Amazon Prime Video)
  • Watchmen: “A God Walks into Abar”, written by Jeff Jensen and Damon Lindelof, directed by Nicole Kassell (HBO)
  • The Mandalorian: “Redemption”, written by Jon Favreau, directed by Taika Waititi (Disney+)
  • Doctor Who: “Resolution”, written by Chris Chibnall, directed by Wayne Yip (BBC)
  • Watchmen: “This Extraordinary Being”, written by Damon Lindelof and Cord Jefferson, directed by Stephen Williams (HBO)

 

Best Editor, Short Form

  • Neil Clarke
  • Ellen Datlow
  • C.C. Finlay
  • Jonathan Strahan
  • Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas
  • Sheila Williams

 

 

Best Editor, Long Form

  • Sheila E. Gilbert
  • Brit Hvide
  • Diana M. Pho
  • Devi Pillai
  • Miriam Weinberg
  • Navah Wolfe

 

Best Professional Artist

  • Tommy Arnold
  • Rovina Cai
  • Galen Dara
  • John Picacio
  • Yuko Shimizu
  • Alyssa Winans

 

Best Semiprozine

  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies, editor Scott H. Andrews
  • Escape Pod, editors Mur Lafferty and S.B. Divya, assistant editor Benjamin C. Kinney, audio producers Adam Pracht and Summer Brooks, hosts Tina Connolly and Alasdair Stuart
  • Fireside Magazine, editor Julia Rios, managing editor Elsa Sjunneson, copyeditor Chelle Parker, social coordinator Meg Frank, publisher & art director Pablo Defendini, founding editor Brian White
  • FIYAH Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction, executive editor Troy L. Wiggins, editors Eboni Dunbar, Brent Lambert, L.D. Lewis, Danny Lore, Brandon O’Brien and Kaleb Russell
  • Strange Horizons, Vanessa Rose Phin, Catherine Krahe, AJ Odasso, Dan Hartland, Joyce Chng, Dante Luiz and the Strange Horizons staff
  • Uncanny Magazine, editors-in-chief Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas, nonfiction/managing editor Michi Trota, managing editor Chimedum Ohaegbu, podcast producers Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky

 

Best Fanzine

  • The Book Smugglers, editors Ana Grilo and Thea James
  • Galactic Journey, founder Gideon Marcus, editor Janice Marcus, senior writers Rosemary Benton, Lorelei Marcus and Victoria Silverwolf
  • Journey Planet, editors James Bacon, Christopher J Garcia, Alissa McKersie, Ann Gry, Chuck Serface, John Coxon and Steven H Silver
  • nerds of a feather, flock together, editors Adri Joy, Joe Sherry, Vance Kotrla, and The G
  • Quick Sip Reviews, editor Charles Payseur
  • The Rec Center, editors Elizabeth Minkel and Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

 

Best Fancast

  • Be The Serpent, presented by Alexandra Rowland, Freya Marske and Jennifer Mace
  • Claire Rousseau’s YouTube channel, produced & presented by Claire Rousseau
  • The Coode Street Podcast, presented by Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe
  • Galactic Suburbia, presented by Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce and Tansy Rayner Roberts, producer Andrew Finch
  • Our Opinions Are Correct, presented by Annalee Newitz and Charlie Jane Anders
  • The Skiffy and Fanty Show, presented by Jen Zink and Shaun Duke

 

Best Fan Writer

  • Cora Buhlert
  • James Davis Nicoll
  • Alasdair Stuart
  • Bogi Takács
  • Paul Weimer
  • Adam Whitehead

 

Best Fan Artist

  • Iain Clark
  • Sara Felix
  • Grace P. Fong
  • Meg Frank
  • Ariela Housman
  • Elise Matthesen

 

Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book (not a Hugo)

  • Catfishing on CatNet, by Naomi Kritzer (Tor Teen)
  • Deeplight, by Frances Hardinge (Macmillan)
  • Dragon Pearl, by Yoon Ha Lee (Disney/Hyperion)
  • Minor Mage, by T. Kingfisher (Argyll)
  • Riverland, by Fran Wilde (Amulet)
  • The Wicked King, by Holly Black (Little, Brown; Hot Key)

 

Astounding Award for Best New Writer, sponsored by Dell Magazines (not a Hugo)

  • Sam Hawke (2nd year of eligibility)
  • F. Kuang (2nd year of eligibility)
  • Jenn Lyons (1st year of eligibility)
  • Nibedita Sen (2nd year of eligibility)
  • Tasha Suri (2nd year of eligibility)
  • Emily Tesh (1st year of eligibility)

#

Retro Hugo Awards 1945: Final Ballot

 

Best Novel

  • The Golden Fleece, by Robert Graves (Cassell)
  • Land of Terror, by Edgar Rice Burroughs (Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.)
  • “Shadow Over Mars” (The Nemesis from Terra), by Leigh Brackett (Startling Stories, Fall 1944)
  • Sirius: A Fantasy of Love and Discord, by Olaf Stapledon (Secker & Warburg)
  • The Wind on the Moon, by Eric Linklater (Macmillan)
  • “The Winged Man”, by A.E. van Vogt and E. Mayne Hull (Astounding Science Fiction, May-June 1944)

 

Best Novella

  • “The Changeling”, by A.E. van Vogt (Astounding Science Fiction, April 1944)
  • “A God Named Kroo”, by Henry Kuttner (Thrilling Wonder Stories, Winter 1944)
  • “Intruders from the Stars”, by Ross Rocklynne (Amazing Stories, January 1944)
  • “The Jewel of Bas”, by Leigh Brackett (Planet Stories, Spring 1944)
  • “Killdozer!”, by Theodore Sturgeon (Astounding Science Fiction, November 1944)
  • “Trog”, by Murray Leinster (Astounding Science Fiction, June 1944)

 

Best Novelette

  • “Arena”, by Fredric Brown (Astounding Science Fiction, June 1944)
  • “The Big and the Little” (“The Merchant Princes”), by Isaac Asimov (Astounding Science Fiction, August 1944)
  • “The Children’s Hour”, by Lawrence O’Donnell (C.L. Moore and Henry Kuttner) (Astounding Science Fiction, March 1944)
  • “City”, by Clifford D. Simak (Astounding Science Fiction, May 1944)
  • “No Woman Born”, by C.L. Moore (Astounding Science Fiction, December 1944)
  • “When the Bough Breaks”, by Lewis Padgett (C.L. Moore and Henry Kuttner) (Astounding Science Fiction, November 1944)

 

Best Short Story

  • “And the Gods Laughed”, by Fredric Brown (Planet Stories, Spring 1944)
  • “Desertion”, by Clifford D. Simak (Astounding Science Fiction, November 1944)
  • “Far Centaurus”, by A. E. van Vogt (Astounding Science Fiction, January 1944)
  • “Huddling Place”, by Clifford D. Simak (Astounding Science Fiction, July 1944)
  • “I, Rocket”, by Ray Bradbury (Amazing Stories, May 1944)
  • “The Wedge” (“The Traders”), by Isaac Asimov (Astounding Science Fiction, October 1944)

 

 

Best Series

  • Captain Future, by Brett Sterling
  • The Cthulhu Mythos, by H. P. Lovecraft, August Derleth, and others
  • Doc Savage, by Kenneth Robeson/Lester Dent
  • Jules de Grandin, by Seabury Quinn
  • Pellucidar, by Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • The Shadow, by Maxwell Grant (Walter B. Gibson)

 

Best Related Work

  • Fancyclopedia, by Jack Speer (Forrest J. Ackerman)
  • ’42 To ’44: A Contemporary Memoir Upon Human Behavior During the Crisis of the World Revolution, by H.G. Wells (Secker & Warburg)
  • Tompkins Explores the Atom, by George Gamow (Cambridge University Press)
  • Rockets: The Future of Travel Beyond the Stratosphere, by Willy Ley (Viking Press)
  • “The Science-Fiction Field”, by Leigh Brackett (Writer’s Digest, July 1944)
  • “The Works of H.P. Lovecraft: Suggestions for a Critical Appraisal”, by Fritz Leiber (The Acolyte, Fall 1944)

 

Best Graphic Story or Comic

  • Buck Rogers: “Hollow Planetoid”, by Dick Calkins (National Newspaper Service)
  • Donald Duck: “The Mad Chemist”, by Carl Barks (Dell Comics)
  • Flash Gordon: “Battle for Tropica”, by Alex Raymond (King Features Syndicate)
  • Flash Gordon: “Triumph in Tropica”, by Alex Raymond (King Features Syndicate)
  • The Spirit: “For the Love of Clara Defoe”, by Manly Wade Wellman, Lou Fine and Don Komisarow (Register and Tribune Syndicate)
  • Superman: “The Mysterious Mr. Mxyztplk”, by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster (Detective Comics, Inc.)

 

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

  • The Canterville Ghost, screenplay by Edwin Harvey Blum from a story by Oscar Wilde, directed by Jules Dassin (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM))
  • The Curse of the Cat People, written by DeWitt Bodeen, directed by Gunther V. Fritsch and Robert Wise (RKO Radio Pictures)
  • Donovan’s Brain, adapted by Robert L. Richards from a story by Curt Siodmak, producer, director and editor William Spier (CBS Radio Network)
  • House of Frankenstein, screenplay by Edward T. Lowe, Jr. from a story by Curt Siodmak, directed by Erle C. Kenton (Universal Pictures)
  • The Invisible Man’s Revenge, written by Bertram Millhauser, directed by Ford Beebe (Universal Pictures)
  • It Happened Tomorrow, screenplay and adaptation by Dudley Nichols and René Clair, directed by René Clair (Arnold Pressburger Films)

 

Best Editor, Short Form

  • John W. Campbell, Jr.
  • Oscar J. Friend
  • Mary Gnaedinger
  • Dorothy McIlwraith
  • Raymond A. Palmer
  • Scott Peacock

 

Best Professional Artist

  • Earle Bergey
  • Margaret Brundage
  • Boris Dolgov
  • Matt Fox
  • Paul Orban
  • William Timmins

 

Best Fanzine

  • The Acolyte, edited by Francis T. Laney and Samuel D. Russell
  • Diablerie, edited by Bill Watson
  • Futurian War Digest, edited by J. Michael Rosenblum
  • Shangri L’Affaires, edited by Charles Burbee
  • Voice of the Imagi-Nation, edited by Forrest J. Ackerman and Myrtle R. Douglas
  • Le Zombie, edited by Bob Tucker and E.E. Evans

 

Best Fan Writer

  • Fritz Leiber
  • Morojo/Myrtle R. Douglas
  • Michael Rosenblum
  • Jack Speer
  • Bob Tucker
  • Harry Warner, Jr.

The World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) is a five-day event that has been held annually since 1939 (apart from a four-year break during the Second World War). CoNZealand is the first online Worldcon’s. For more information, see www.conzealand.nz

“World Science Fiction Society”, “WSFS”, “World Science Fiction Convention”, “Worldcon”, “NASFiC” “Hugo Award”, the Hugo Award Logo, and the distinctive design of the Hugo Award Trophy Rocket are service marks of the World Science Fiction Society, an unincorporated literary society.

Cons, Crud, and Coronavirus by Kelly Lagor

(Editors’ note: This essay will be appearing in Uncanny Magazine Issue 34, but we felt it necessary to release it immediately. Author Kelly Lagor will be periodically updating the article as more is known. Updated 4/13/20)

The world is a different place today than it was a month ago, as world governments scramble to gain the upper hand against the still-growing coronavirus pandemic. We are in a state of collective limbo, watching helplessly as the number of worldwide cases climb towards two million, and dramas around testing, personal protective equipment, and critical medical supplies continue to unfold. It’s hard to not anxiously wonder if life will ever feel normal again. It’s hard to not worry about what the world will look like on the other side. It’s hard to not despair.

With calls for social distancing to help reduce the rate of transmission, “flatten the curve,” and relieve the serious burden on our medical institutions, feelings of helplessness are compounded. After all, our communities are where friendships and partnerships are made and sustained. Our communities inspire us, define us, give us drive and purpose—from professional to academic to artistic communities, on local to regional to global scales. As we continue to isolate for the foreseeable future, we need to remember we are doing this not only to protect ourselves, but those larger communities, and through them, our collective futures. We are all in this together.

It is no surprise the worldwide lockdown was preceded by the canceling of large meetings. Conferences and conventions are notorious spreaders of disease. In fact, the rash of post-con illness is such a common phenomenon there is a special name for it—con crud. Con crud can be anything from the common cold, to norovirus, to an outbreak of H1N1 Swine Flu at the 2009 Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle. The stress, lack of sleep, poor diet, increased inebriant consumption, and disruption of exercise routines all conspire to weaken the immune systems of even the healthiest attendees, while the ability to regularly wash your hands is impaired, increasing the risk of pathogen infections; all the while being surrounded by large numbers of people who traveled from all over the world to hang out together in a confined space.

With the COVID-19 situation continuing to evolve, it’s understandable to feel apprehensive about interacting with others. The situation isn’t being helped by inconsistent messaging coming from politicians, public health agencies, social media posts, forum comments, and talking heads. And with journalists and medical professionals under higher pressure as they scramble to feed a public anxious for a glimmer of hope that will mark the end of this crisis, misinformation continues to find its way into the 24-hour news cycle. So amid a barrage of anxiety and misinformation, how can you best weather this storm? Go about your life thinking it’s a bunch of overblown nonsense, or build yourself a fort of toilet paper and face masks?

As an immunocompromised, asthmatic biologist, and a speculative fiction writer who relies on my communities for my inspiration and sense of purpose, I have been following the news out of a sense of both professional curiosity and personal vigilance. As a member of a vulnerable population in a state where I have been mandated to stay indoors and practice social distancing, it’s hard to sit by, helpless, watching my retirement funds evaporate and try not to think about the end of the world. While these kinds of situations often bring out the good in many, it brings out the worst in others, including hate crimes and other stigmatizations of Asians and Asian-run businesses . Novel diseases have always sparked particularly visceral public reactions—see the AIDS epidemic of the 90s, for one. So whenever I find myself dealing with such an emotionally fraught topic, I try to arm myself with the best information I can, which for many can be challenging when a lot of the useful information about a disease outbreak comes from an evolving understanding of the biology of that disease. Therefore, to help better understand why such a big deal is being made about COVID-19, I’d like to start with a brief lesson in virus biology.

Viruses are considered the minimum form of life on our planet. They’re made up of a handful of genes that sit on a relatively short string of DNA or RNA (which can be single- or double-stranded), wrapped in a coat of proteins that both protect its fragile genetic material, and help that genetic material enter an intended host cell to replicate and thus complete the virus’ life cycle. As long as there has been life on earth, there have been viruses to infect it, and as life evolved in complexity, viruses have evolved right alongside it into an array of species as diverse as there are hosts on our planet.

What determines a virus’ infectious properties are the specific proteins it wraps itself in, which are encoded by their genetic material. The role of some of those coat proteins is to recognize and attach to different structures on the surface of potential host cells. Most viruses, once attached, use other specialized coat proteins to penetrate the cell to allow it to slip inside. Protected inside the host cell, the genetic material can shed its coat, then use the host cell’s DNA or RNA synthesis machinery to make copies of its genetic material. There are a few different hypotheses about where viruses came from—from genetic elements that gained the ability to move between cells, to being the remnants of cellular organisms, to thinking viruses predated or coevolved alongside their hosts—but they are still made of the same stuff that all life is made from, and therefore can use the normal replicative machinery of any cell on earth to translate its genetic material into the coat proteins it needs to wrap its new copies in. These new viroids will then escape, usually by bursting and killing the host cell to start the process over again. There are viruses that have different lives than this one, but for many viral infections, this is their cycle.

All organisms have evolved an equally diverse array of defense mechanisms to protect themselves from being completely wiped out by such a relentless, mindless biological simplicity. In humans, viral immunity is handled by our two-tiered immune system. The first is our evolutionarily older, innate immune system. This is the “nuke it from orbit” system that is designed to keep new viral infections from getting out of hand. Infected cells 1) release specialized proteins that tell neighboring cells to be on their guard and 2) take little bits of an invading virus to display on its surface to flag down a type of killer white blood cell to destroy the cell before the virus gains a foothold. But this system is often imperfect, and some viruses have evolved ways of ducking it. The second line of defense is our newer, adaptive immune system, in which a different subset of white blood cells randomly makes antibody proteins until one such cell makes an antibody that recognizes the invading pathogen. Those lucky cells proliferate, using those antibodies to bind up free virus to be later mopped up, preventing further infection. This system operates on a bit of a lag from the innate system, but once the infection is dealt with, a subset of these cells sticks around in perpetuity in case that particular pathogen returns. This system is the intended target of vaccinations—to generate those memory cells without having to have the disease first, so that if you are infected, your immune system can mop it up without you ever noticing.

The danger of viral infections is therefore twofold. First, in a normal, healthy person, if you’re infected with a virus like we described above that you’ve never encountered before, your innate immune system will, along with the virus, cause the death of infected cells. In the case of something like the common cold, your sinuses bear the brunt of the onslaught until your secondary immune system makes the antibodies that help clear things up in 7-10 days. But in the case of more virulent viruses you get more severe infections, such as in influenza, which leads immune cells to release factors which stimulate your hypothalamus to increase your body temperature, which may help to interfere with further viral replication but is what causes a fever and its associated muscle aches and chills. But still, if your immune system is healthy, your body will make antibodies to eventually mop up the infection. Or if you got your flu shot and caught one of the strains the vaccine was raised against, you’ll likely not even notice. Better yet, you get your flu shot every year and you’ve got a whole host of memory cells patrolling for all kinds of flu viruses all year, every year, for years.

But if you’re immunocompromised, things become much more dire. Your innate or adaptive responses to an infection may be impaired, which may cause more cells to become infected than normally would—spreading from the nose to the throat to the lungs, and there to the kidneys or elsewhere. This can cause increased inflammation and cell death, which can lead to pneumonia, where the accumulation of fluids from the inflammatory response accumulates in the lungs, impairing oxygen transfer, leading to hypoxia, organ damage, and even death. There are also lots of different ways to be immunocompromised. You might take immunosuppressants for an autoimmune disease to keep your immune cells from attacking the cells of your own body, or to protect a transplanted organ from being rejected. You could be older and your immune system just doesn’t work as well anymore. Maybe you have reduced white blood cell counts due to a genetic disease, or from AIDS, or from chemotherapy, or because you lost your spleen in an accident. Or maybe you have an underlying condition that may complicate an infection, such as asthma, diabetes, or malnutrition. Often, these are invisible illnesses, and you may not be aware of the number of vulnerable people around you on a given day.

Now let’s talk about COVID-19. COVID-19 is the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is a member of the coronavirus family of viruses. Coronaviruses are single-stranded RNA viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. RNA viruses mutate more rapidly than DNA viruses do, which means coronaviruses can more easily acquire the kinds of mutations in the genes that encode their coat proteins, which makes their shapes slightly different and might let them go from just recognizing their animal host cells to being able to recognize human cells they might encounter, say by being inhaled, or when we touch a contaminated surface, then touching one of the mucous membranes on our face. Coronaviruses cause diseases in humans that range in severity from a few strains that cause the common cold, to the SARS-CoV virus, which killed 11% of the over 8,000 people it infected in a 2002 outbreak originating in China, to the MERS-CoV virus, which has killed over 34.4% of the small number of diagnosed cases (n=2,494) in the Middle East since 2012.

If the 2002 outbreak of SARS sounds like a familiar story, that’s because it is. The first case was reported in November 2002, and the virus, thought to have arisen originally in bats, was propagating in animals like wild civets, which were caught and sold in a meat market in Guangdong Province. The Chinese government drew intense international criticism after failing to inform the World Health Organization (WHO) for two months, and not disseminating information about the disease to healthcare providers, which impaired early efforts to control the epidemic before it spread to dozens of other countries prior to its containment in July 2003. China subsequently banned the kind of markets where animals like the infected civets were sold. The initial hypothesis that the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which was first identified in December 2019, came from pangolins at a meat market in Wuhan may not be accurate, but the genetic sequence similarity of the virus may again point to an origin in bats before it jumped to humans at a seafood market in Wuhan. What’s different this time is that Chinese scientists reacted quickly and publicly, going from the first case reported to identification and determining the genetic sequence one month later.

There are two important differences between the 2002 SARS-CoV and the SARS-CoV-2 viruses. The first is, unfortunately, how quickly and widely it has spread, with over 200,000 confirmed cases (and counting) in countries all over the world. The reason for this is twofold. 1) Our immune systems haven’t encountered the SARS-CoV-2 virus before, so we are more at risk for developing symptoms and being contagious if we catch it, as we don’t have memory cells in place from previous infections or a vaccine to help quash it quickly, and 2) this means we are more likely to be able to pass it on to those around us once we become contagious. There appears to be a lag time of—on average—five days between catching SARS-CoV-2 and developing symptoms (as determined by a study of 181 case files). Public health agencies initially reported that infected individuals were most contagious after they became symptomatic as the virus spreads through droplets expelled when coughing or sneezing, which was also the case with the 2002 SARS-CoV virus, but a recent paper in the journal Science indicates the SARS-CoV-2 virus is also being spread by the asymptomatic. This is why such an abundance of caution is being taken—five days is a long time to walk around unaware you are spreading a dangerous disease. As such, worldwide quarantine efforts were enacted to keep those who are infected but asymptomatic away from others.

The second critical difference is that while the mortality rate among diagnosed cases is lower than for SARS-CoV, it is still dangerously high. Let me put things into perspective. One of the bigger annual threats to the immunocompromised and those with complicating conditions is the seasonal flu, which has a mortality rate this 2019-2020 season of 0.06%. By contrast, COVID-19 so far has a higher mortality rate than the 1918 H1N1 Spanish Flu (Spanish Flu – 2.5% vs. 6.2% with COVID-19 as of April 12th, 2020). While Spanish Flu disproportionately killed young, otherwise healthy adults (due to how the virus strongly activated the innate immune system, triggering what’s known as a cytokine storm, which caused rapid onset respiratory failure), COVID-19 disproportionately kills a demographic similar to the seasonal flu—the immunocompromised and those with complicating conditions. Furthermore, young and healthy individuals should not assume they are immune to COVID-19 complications—hospitalization and fatality rates are still much higher for all populations than for the seasonal flu. Because it is spreading so easily and puts at-risk populations at an even greater risk that there is such an abundance of caution being taken worldwide. The goal of these measures is to “flatten the curve”—i.e. to slow the spread of the disease to prevent already overtaxed healthcare systems from becoming even more overwhelmed, leading to further loss of life.

These are unprecedented times. But perhaps in the long run some good will come out of it. Perhaps by exposing  the inherent weakness of individualist political philosophies and a blind beliefs in capitalism, we can begin to take steps towards a world in which we begin to act like the global community that we are—one in which we can depend on one another not only for our collective survival, but for better future in which compassion and mutual aid is a central piece. For now, we must focus on the smaller steps, resisting the urge to buy into emotionally charged, secondhand information that promises false hope, and remain vigilant. We must remember that our decisions may have unintended and potentially lethal consequences.

Here are links to the current recommendations from the CDC and the WHO for the public:

  • Wash your hands often, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water isn’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Stay home when you are sick and minimize contact with others until you are well.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Practice social distancing to keep at least 6 feet between you and anyone else to reduce the likelihood of community transmission of the virus
  • Wear a mask in public to reduce the potential for asymptomatic spread of the virus through breathing and talking

Even if the WHO convinced every viroid of SARS-CoV-2 to shed its protein coat tomorrow and walk into the sea, remember that doesn’t mean the immunocompromised and the vulnerable within our communities will get to stop suddenly worrying about their worlds being turned upside down thanks to what may become a not-so-simple case of con crud. As COVID-19 comes and will eventually go, remember con cruds of all types will remain threats to those with compromised immune systems, and the sort of vigilance you’re exhibiting now is the same vigilance they have had to exhibit every day of their lives. Hopefully understanding a bit more about viruses and immunity will help you to remember you have an obligation to be mindful to protect not just yourself, but the communities that support and sustain us all.

 

 

Kelly Lagor is a scientist by day and science fiction writer by night. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in various places and she tweets and blogs about all kinds of nonsense @klagor and at kellylagor.com.

Uncanny Magazine Issue 33 Cover and Table of Contents!

Coming March 3, THE THIRTY-THIRD ISSUE OF THE 2016, 2017, 2018, & 2019 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 7.

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 33 Table of Contents

Cover:
Wild Blue Yonder by Galen Dara

Editorials:
“The Uncanny Valley” by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas
“Imagining Place: New York, New York. It’s a Hell of a Town” by Elsa Sjunneson

Fiction:
“So You Want to Be a Honeypot” by Kelly Robson (3/3)
“The Sycamore and the Sybil” by Alix E. Harrow (3/3)
“If Salt Lose Its Savor” by Christopher Caldwell (3/3)

“Getaway” by Nicole Kornher-Stace (4/7)
“If You Want to Erase Us, You Must Be Thorough” by L. Tu (4/7)
“Georgie in the Sun” by Natalia Theodoridou (4/7)

Reprint:
“Harvest” by Rebecca Roanhorse (4/7)

Nonfiction:
“Toss a Coin to Your Bitcher” by Suzanne Walker (3/3)
“One Year Older” by Michi Trota (3/3)

“Monsters at the End of the Sewer: Buffy’s Sixth Season is Now” by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (4/7)
“The Assassination of Professor X: The Destruction of Marvel’s Most Famous Disabled Character” by John Wiswell (4/7)

Poetry:
“Other Worlds to Save” by Beth Cato (3/3)
“Hungry Ghost” by Millie Ho (3/3)

“behind the self-help section” by D.A. Xiaolin Spires (4/7)
“Νόστιμον Ήμαρ” by Eva Papasoulioti (4/7)

Interviews:
Alix E. Harrow interviewed by Caroline M. Yoachim (3/3)

Natalia Theodoridou interviewed by Caroline M. Yoachim(4/7)

Podcasts:

Uncanny Magazine Podcast 33A (3/3)
“So You Want to Be a Honeypot” by Kelly Robson, as read by Joy Piedmont
“Other Worlds to Save” by Beth Cato, as read by Erika Ensign
Lynne M. Thomas Interviews Kelly Robson

Uncanny Magazine Podcast 33B (4/7)
“Getaway” by Nicole Kornher-Stace, as read by Erika Ensign
“behind the self-help section” by D.A. Xiaolin Spires, as read by Joy Piedmont
Lynne M. Thomas Interviews Nicole Kornher-Stace