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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:

Kianga by Paul Lewin

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

“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)

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

“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)

“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)

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

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


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.

Meet Uncanny Magazine’s New Podcast Reader, Matt Peters!

We have some wonderful news, Space Unicorns! We’re adding a Podcast Reader!

Starting with Uncanny Magazine Podcast #38B, the new Podcast Reader will be…

Matt Peters!

Matt Peters is a passionate Chicago-based voice talent. Having amassed hundreds of hours behind the mic through podcasting, Matt trained with Acting Studio Chicago to improve his skill set. Since then, he’s lent his voice to hosting events, ad campaigns, and audiobook narration. Matt is now a proud member of the Uncanny Magazine family and is excited to share some of our favorite stories with you.

You will probably remember Matt as Michi Trota’s co-host on Uncanny TV! Matt will be joining Erika Ensign and Joy Piedmont in our rotation of regular podcast readers. Matt’s debut is already live as he reads “Femme and Sundance” by Christopher Caldwell!

Twelve Uncanny Magazine Stories Are on the 2020 Locus Recommended Reading List and Locus Award Poll!

FABULOUS NEWS, SPACE UNICORNS! HAPPIEST OF DAYS!!! TWELVE Uncanny Magazine stories are on the prestigious 2020 Locus Recommended Reading List! WE ARE SO THRILLED! Congratulations to all of the authors!

Best Novelette:
“The Inaccessibility of Heaven” by Aliette de Bodard
“Burn or the Episodic Life of Sam Wells as a Super” by A.T. Greenblatt

Best Short Story:
“Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse” by Rae Carson
“Dresses Like White Elephants” by Meg Elison
“The Sycamore and the Sybil”  by Alix E. Harrow
“50 Things Every AI Working with Humans Should Know”  by Ken Liu
“The Ruby of the Summer King”  by Mari Ness
“The Nine Scents of Sorrow” by Jordan Taylor
“Georgie in the Sun” by Natalia Theodoridou
“Juvenilia”  by Lavie Tidhar
“High in the Clean Blue Air” by Emma Törzs
“My Country Is a Ghost”  by Eugenia Triantafyllou

This means you can vote for these stories in the 2021 Locus Poll and Survey which determines the Locus Awards! Voting is FREE TO ALL! Along with these stories, Uncanny Magazine is also eligible for a Locus Award in the Best Magazine or Fanzine category, and Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas are eligible in the Best Editor – Pro or Fan category! Vote for the things you liked, and you can even write in things that didn’t make the 2020 Locus Recommended Reading List! YOUR VOTE ALWAYS COUNTS!

And as long as you are in a voting mood, don’t forget to vote in the Uncanny Magazine Readers’ Favorite Stories Poll! It’s open until February 8, and the winning author gets a SNAZZY CERTIFICATE!

Shine on, Space Unicorns!

Uncanny Celebrates Reader Favorites of 2020!

Hello, Space Unicorns! 2020 was a tough year. Though many things were hard and horrible, we are very, very proud of all of the amazing works we published in Uncanny Magazine. Everyone in the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps has been wonderfully supportive, and your enthusiasm has meant so much to us. It’s been fantastic to see how much our readers have been enjoying Uncanny’s fiction. And while we have our personal favorites, we’d like to know which stories YOU loved from Uncanny in 2020.

We’ve set up a poll for Uncanny readers to vote for their top three favorite original short stories from 2020. (You can find links to all of the stories here.)

The poll will be open from January 11 to February 8, after which we’ll announce the results. We’re excited for you to share which Uncanny stories made you feel!

snazzy certificate will be given to the creator whose work comes out on top of  the poll!

So please spread the word! And don’t forget, EVERY VOTE COUNTS!

Uncanny Magazine 2020 Poetry Eligibility

Hello, Space Unicorns! Nominating for the Rhysling Award for speculative poetry is open! If you’re a SFPA member, you can nominate short and long poetry up until February 15 for the 2021 Rhysling Award. Uncanny Magazine’s eligible poems from 2020 are:


Short poems (1-49 lines or prose poems 0-99 words)

Who Do You Think You Are by Ada Hoffman  

The Death of the Gods by Leah Bobet  

A tenjō kudari (“ceiling hanger” yōkai) defends her theft by Betsy Aoki

Other Worlds to Save by Beth Cato  

Hungry Ghost by Millie Ho  

behind the self-help section by D.A. Xiaolin Spires  

Νόστιμον Ήμαρ by Eva Papasoulioti  

Athena Holds Up a Mirror to Strength by Ali Trotta  

Assimilation by Valerie Valdes  

ask them who is doing the haunting (a vietnamese american underwater fairytale) by T.K. Lê  

saltwashed by Jennifer Mace  

The Trouble Over by Sonya Taaffe  

fair exchange by Ewen Ma  

Fin by Terese Mason Pierre  

As if My Flesh was Summer Soil by Lora Gray  

Mourning Becomes Jocasta by Jane Yolen (paired with An Elder Resigns from the Chorus of Oedipus at Colonnus by Peter Tacy)

An Elder Resigns from the Chorus of Oedipus at Colonnus by Peter Tacy (paired with Mourning Becomes Jocasta by Jane Yolen)

Cento for Lagahoos by Brandon O’Brien  

The Automaton Falls in Love by Jennifer Crow  

Making Accommodations by Valerie Valdes  


Long poems (50+ lines or prose poems 500+ words)

Elegy for the Self as Villeneuve’s Belle by Brandon O’Brien  

deep sleep by Roshani Chokshi  

lagahoo culture (Part I) by Brandon O’Brien  

My Cat, He by Beth Cato  

The Body in Revolt by Rita Chen  

Uncanny Magazine Issue 38 Cover and Table of Contents!

Coming January 5, THE THIRTY-EIGHTH 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 February 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!

The cover of Uncanny Magazine, Issue 38 (January/February 2021). A Black elf wearing silver armor and a red cape, while holding a sword, receives a blessing upon her bowed head from a pair of brown hands, with a bracelet and bangle around their wrists. The owner of the hands isn’t pictured further beyond a shimmery blue dress. The word “UNCANNY” and the names of the contributors border the image.

Uncanny Magazine Issue 38 Table of Contents:

Stars and Blessings by Nilah Magruder

“The Uncanny Valley” by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas
“Imagining Futures: Where Our Works Go from Here” by Elsa Sjunneson

“Tyrannosaurus Hex” by Sam J. Miller (1/5)
“A House Full of Voices Is Never Empty” by Miyuki Jane Pinckard (1/5)
“Pathfinding!” by Nicole Kornher-Stace (1/5)

“Distribution” by Paul Cornell (2/2)
“Femme and Sundance” by Christopher Caldwell (2/2)
“Beyond the Doll Forest” by Marissa Lingen (2/2)

“In That Place She Grows a Garden” by Del Sandeen (2/2)

“Weird Plagues: How Fear of Disease Mutated into a Subgenre” by John Wiswell (1/5)
“Milk Teeth” by Octavia Cade (1/5)

“Trash Fantasias, or Why Mass Effect 3’s Ending Was Bad Actually” by Katherine Cross (2/2)
“Hayao Miyazaki’s Lost Magic of Parenthood” by Aidan Moher (2/2)

“Medusa Gets a Haircut” by Theodora Goss (1/5)
“Kalevala, an untelling” by Lizy Simonen (1/5)
“bargain | bin” by Ewen Ma (1/5)

“Fish Out of Water” by Neil Gaiman (2/2)
“What The Time Travellers Stole” by L.X. Beckett (2/2)

Miyuki Jane Pinckard interviewed by Caroline M. Yoachim (1/5)

Paul Cornell interviewed by Caroline M. Yoachim (2/2)


Episode 38A (January 5): Editors’ Introduction, “Tyrannosaurus Hex” by Sam J. Miller, as read by Joy Piedmont, “Medusa Gets a Haircut” by Theodora Goss, as read by Erika Ensign, and Lynne M. Thomas interviewing Sam J. Miller.

Episode 38B (February 2): Editors’ Introduction, “Femme and Sundance” by Christopher Caldwell, as read by Matt Peters, “What The Time Travellers Stole” by L.X. Beckett, as read by Joy Piedmont, and Lynne M. Thomas interviewing Christopher Caldwell.


Uncanny Magazine Managing Editor Chimedum Ohaegbu Is Also Now the Poetry Editor!

Fabulous news, Space Unicorns! Uncanny Magazine’s Managing Editor Chimedum Ohaegbu is getting an additional title! Along with being Uncanny’s PHENOMENAL Managing Editor, Chimie will now have the additional title of Poetry Editor starting with issue 39!

We are super excited to have Chimie increase her involvement in this area. Congratulations, Chimie!

A reminder that Uncanny Magazine will be open to poetry submissions from January 4 to January 18!

Uncanny Magazine 2020 Award Eligibility

It’s the time of year when people post their year-in-reviews to remind voters for the different SF/F awards what’s out there that they might have missed and which categories those stories are eligible in (especially for the Hugo Awards and Nebula Awards). 2020 was the sixth full year of Uncanny Magazine (Issues 32 through 37). We are extremely proud of the year we had.

This year, Uncanny Magazine is still eligible for the Best Semiprozine Hugo Award. Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas are also still eligible for the Best Editor (Short Form) Hugo Award for editing issues 32-37. (Note: If you are nominating the Thomases in this category, please continue to nominate them together. They are a co-editing team.)

The stories listed below are eligible in either the short story or novelette categories of the SF/F awards. If you are a SFWA member nominating for the Nebula Awards, you can find eBook copies of these stories in the SFWA Forums.

Please also note that essays are eligible for the Best Related Work Hugo Award, and poetry is eligible for the Rhysling Award. As Uncanny is a semiprozine, all of the essays and original art also contribute towards the creators’ Best Fan Writer and Best Fan Artist Hugo Award eligibility.


Novelettes (7500-17,500 Words):

Where You Linger by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam

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

The Inaccessibility of Heaven by Aliette de Bodard


Short Stories (Under 7500 Words):

Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse by Rae Carson

You Perfect, Broken Thing by C.L. Clark

My Country Is a Ghost by Eugenia Triantafyllou

And All the Trees of the Forest Shall Clap Their Hands by Sharon Hsu

The Spirit of the Leech by Alex Bledsoe

If Salt Lose Its Savor by Christopher Caldwell

The Sycamore and the Sybil by Alix E. Harrow

So You Want to Be a Honeypot by Kelly Robson

If You Want to Erase Us, You Must Be Thorough by L. Tu

Getaway by Nicole Kornher-Stace

Georgie in the Sun by Natalia Theodoridou

Through the Veil by Jennifer Marie Brissett

A Being Together Amongst Strangers by Arkady Martine

High in the Clean Blue Air by Emma Törzs

Dresses Like White Elephants by Meg Elison

We Chased the Sirens by Suzanne Walker

A Pale Horse by M Evan MacGriogair

A Love Song for Herkinal

as composed by Ashkernas amid the ruins of New Haven by Chinelo Onwualu

Once More Unto the Breach (But Don’t Worry, the Inflatable Swords Are Latex-Free) by Tina Connolly

The World Ends in Salty Fingers and Sugared Lips by Jenn Reese

The Nine Scents of Sorrow by Jordan Taylor

The Ruby of the Summer King by Mari Ness

Anchorage by Samantha Mills

Laws of Impermanence by Kenneth Schneyer

Metal Like Blood in the Dark by T. Kingfisher

Juvenilia by Lavie Tidhar

In The Space of Twelve Minutes by James Yu

The City of the Tree by Marie Brennan

Proof of Existence by Hal Y. Zhang

50 Things Every AI Working with Humans Should Know by Ken Liu

Words We Say Instead by Brit E. B. Hvide

The Bottomless Martyr by John Wiswell

The Salt Witch by Martha Wells

The Span of His Wrist by Lee Mandelo

Hope in Crisis: The Gift of Books– A Guest Post by Ginger Smith

According to Hesiod, Pandora opened a jar unleashing all the world’s evils. Hesiod’s tale is ancient, but I’m not sure 2020 could be much worse than the day Pandora opened that jar. We are faced with a great deal of crises that feels like more than any one person can bear. Similar to Pandora’s story, the world seems to grow darker and darker with every news report. The shadows in front of us make everything more difficult and dismal. It seems as if we have a bingo card of world-wide challenges: climate change, political strife, wildfires, destruction of the rainforest, and coronavirus. Oh, and don’t forget the murder hornets.

However, we must also remember what happened at the end of that story. Hope. Hope was left at the bottom of the box after all the misery had escaped. Hope is a multifaceted gem that sparkles and radiates a light of possibilities that pushes back against the darkness, even in the most desperate of times. This is the very reason authors must go on creating and readers must go on reading.

J.R.R. Tolkien wrote: “Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.” This is the time that people need the hope that books bring. We need the trope of the hero. It’s the reason people have told stories of heroes in all cultures across all of time—hope from hopelessness. Odysseus, Beowulf, Frodo Baggins, Luke Skywalker, T’Challa, Wonder Woman, and Murderbot join thousands of other heroes, both ancient and modern, that light a path through the darkness and show us how to go on when it seems there is no way to win. We need these stories of heroes overcoming great odds, so that we will have the strength to do the same.

I wrote The Rush’s Edge with the hope of heroes in mind. The hero’s journey shaped me as a kid and as an adult, and taught me that even when evil seems to have the upper hand, good people can band together to overcome it. The Rush’s Edge is a story about such people. Their universe, much like ours, is a place full of uncertainty and pitfalls. They struggle to make their way, they find family and forge relationships, and are inexorably drawn into a fight against darkness.

Hal, the main character, is a vat: a genetically modified, technologically enhanced solider who believes he has no hope for the future. Vats usually die chasing the rush that they’re engineered to crave, and Hal expects to have a short life. Together with his former commanding officer, they make a living salvaging technology from crashed ships on the Edge, but when they discover an artifact from an ancient culture, they become the target for a government that wants to silence them at any cost. During the book, there are times that Hal and his companions face the unknown, much like we face the unknown of today. It’s Hal’s connection to his found family that gives him hope and strength to overcome what fate has dealt him and gives him the momentum to do what has to be done.

I’ve been told my novel is a hopeful book. I want it to be. Nothing would make me happier than to know that I can repay the same gift of hope that was given to me by all those space operas and hero stories that I grew up on. I know other authors feel the same way.

The current state of world affairs makes books more important than ever. Books are a unifying force. They inspire courage and bravery in the face of hatred, bigotry, and division. They challenge us to be our best selves. I aspire to more because of the stories that have influenced me. I may not ever have become a Jedi or wielded a sword against Uruk-hai, but I have done those things through my connection with the heroes I’ve read about.

So, in the end, we must read, we must engage, and above all we must have hope. After all, it’s the last thing left in the box.

(You can find out more about The Rush’s Edge from Angry Robot Books here!)

Ginger Smith has worked as a record store employee, freelance writer, bookstore assistant manager and high school teacher of English. In the past, she has played in many tabletop RPG groups and even run several of her own. She collects vintage toys, sci-fi novels and comic books, as well as mid-century furniture. She currently lives in the southern USA with her husband and two cats, spending her free time writing and watching classic film noir and sci-fi movies.