Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Ellen Klages’s Scary Ham Rides Again

If you were at last year’s Nebula Awards, you were treated to award-winning author and raconteur Ellen Klages‘s tale of “The Scary Ham.” Go read it now, or watch it here starting at 12:57. We’ll wait.

(The speech at the Nebula Awards is eligible for a Hugo Award in the Best Dramatic Presentation- Short Form category. Just sayin’.)

Being that Ellen is as generous as she is funny, she offered to recreate The Scary Ham Experience with a Do-It-Yourself Scary Ham Funeral Kit for one of our Kickstarter backers.

We thought it would be fun as a backer level, but we didn’t expect anybody to actually go for it.

We were so wonderfully wrong.

Ellen scoured her area for a one-pound canned ham, visiting multiple grocery stores and nearly giving up and substituting either Spam or canned mutton. Thankfully, she found the perfect ham.

Here is the kit before mailing:


Here, we’ll let Space Unicorn Scary Ham Backer Lisa Centorrino take over the tale:

So I assembled the monkeys and decided to stage a dramatic reenactment of the climactic funeral scene from Ellen’s story. The monkeys are wearing capes (they came with the kit), because I felt it added much needed gravitas to the scene. The blue monkey is playing the horn Ellen included while the other two have the birthday candles ready to send the ham off over the rainbow bridge.

(No fuzzy monkeys or hams were harmed in the creating of this picture.)

The coffin is a “monkey swing” from the kit, the funerary raft Ellen made. The rainbow bridge is symbolized by the rainbow webbing strap draped over the fireplace screen, which itself symbolizes the world tree to make it even more Viking-ish. Once I clear off the mantle, book, monkeys, and rafted (faux) ham will have a place of honor there with the possible addition of a canned unicorn in the future.

I also really wanted to explain why I chose the Scary Ham reward. When I read Ellen’s story I had tears in my eyes even as I laughed, because I could relate so well. My dad and I weren’t very close, and he died suddenly in 2011. Dad was a carpenter and had pretty much rebuilt the house I and my much older siblings had grown up in, and I had often half-jokingly said we would have to burn it down Viking-style when Dad went. Reading Ellen’s story was like revisiting the aftermath again, in a good way.

Thanks to Ellen Klages, for the story and the kit, and to all the Uncanny people.


Thanks, Lisa!

If you want to read some of Ellen Klages’s amazing fiction, Uncanny Magazine will be reprinting her classic “”In the House of the Seven Librarians” in Issue 3!

Hao Jingfang’s Folding Beijing and the Chinese Xingyun (Nebula) Awards

As most of you know, this month Uncanny Magazine is featuring Hao Jingfang’s novelette “Folding Beijing” as translated by Ken Liu. What you may not know is that it was a nominee for Best Short Story last year at the prestigious Chinese Xingyun (Nebula) Awards. Along with the Galaxy Award, this is one of the most prestigious honors in Chinese SF genre work.

“Folding Beijing” lost to “Smart Life” by Ping Zongqi, but this was, of course, still a tremendous honor for “Folding Beijing” to be nominated. We are extremely proud to be publishing it.

Here are Hao Jingfang and Ken Liu at the awards.


Uncanny 2014 Awards Eligibility Roundup

It’s the time of year when people post their year in review to remind awards’ voters what’s out there that they might have missed. Here’s what Team Space Unicorn did in 2014. We appreciate your consideration.

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


Our 2014 Short Stories!

We also published poetry that is eligible for the Rhysling Awards!

Our nonfiction from issue 1 counts towards those writers’ eligibility for Best Fan Writer awards (Sarah Kuhn, Tansy Rayner Roberts, and Christopher J Garcia).

Our Managing Editor, Michi Trota, is also eligible in the Best Fan Writer Hugo Award category for her blog and contribution to Jim C. Hines’s Invisible anthology.

Thanks to her previous work and Uncanny Issue One, Lynne also once again meets eligibility requirements for the Best Editor, Short Form category of the Hugo Awards.

Uncanny‘s Lynne, Erika Ensign, and Deborah Stanish’s  Verity! Podcast (which was also nominated for Best Fancast in 2013) had an awesome year, and we encourage you to check it out if you are so inclined.

Podcast co-producer Steven Schapansky’s Radio Free Skaro podcast is also eligible for podcasting awards.


Uncanny Issue 2 Cover & Table of Contents!


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 3.

Don’t forget that eBook Subscriptions to Uncanny Magazine are available on Weightless Books.

Uncanny Magazine Issue 2 Table of Contents:

Cover by Julie Dillon


The Uncanny Valley- Editorial by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas

New Fiction

Hao Jingfang (translated by Ken Liu)- “Folding Beijing”
Sam J. Miller- “The Heat of Us: Notes Toward an Oral History”
Amal El-Mohtar- “Pockets”
Richard Bowes- “Anyone with a Care for Their Image”
Sunny Moraine- “Love Letters to Things Lost and Gained”

Classic Fiction

Ann Leckie- “The Nalendar”


Jim C. Hines- “The Politics of Comfort”
Erica McGillivray- “The Future’s Been Here Since 1939: Female Fans, Cosplay, and Conventions”
Michi Trota- “Age of the Geek, Baby”
Keidra Chaney- “The Evolution of Nerd Rock”


Isabel Yap- “After the Moon Princess Leaves”
Mari Ness- “After the Dance”
Rose Lemberg- “archival testimony fragments / minersong”


Ann Leckie, Interviewed by Deborah Stanish


Episode 3: Editors’ Introduction, Sam J. Miller’s “The Heat of Us: Notes Toward an Oral History” (read by C.S.E. Cooney), Isabel Yap’s “After the Moon Princess Leaves” (read by Amal El-Mohtar), Interview with Sam J. Miller conducted by Deborah Stanish

Episode 4: Editors’ Introduction, Amal El-Mohtar reading her story “Pockets,” Rose Lemberg’s “archival testimony fragments / minersong”(read by C.S.E. Cooney), Interview with Amal El-Mohtar conducted by Deborah Stanish

C. S. E. Cooney Joins Uncanny as a Podcast Reader

Greetings, Space Unicorns!

Uncanny Magazine is thrilled to announce that the marvelous C.S.E. Cooney has agreed to join us as the second reader on the Uncanny Magazine Podcast!
Ms. Cooney is a Rhode Island writer and actor. She is the author of How To Flirt in Faerieland and Other Wild Rhymes, Jack o’ the Hills, The Witch in the Almond Tree, and The Breaker Queen. Her first short fiction collection Bone Swans is forthcoming with Mythic Delirium in 2015. She loves to read aloud to anyone who will sit still long enough to listen. Some of her narration work can be found on Podcastle and Tales to Terrify. With her fellow artists in the Banjo Apocalypse Crinoline Troubadours, C. S. E. Cooney appears at conventions and other venues, singing from their growing collection of Distant Star Ballads, dramatizing fiction, and performing such story-poems as “The Sea King’s Second Bride,” for which she won the Rhysling Award in 2011.
Ms. Cooney will make her debut as an Uncanny Magazine Podcast reader in Episode 3 this January.

Second Half of Uncanny Magazine Issue 1 Unlocked!

Space Unicorn Ranger Corps! It’s the first Tuesday of the month – that means another episode of the Uncanny Podcast and more awesome fiction, nonfiction & poetry is now available to all! The second half of Issue 1 has been released on the website, including:

New Fiction
Amelia Beamer – “Celia and the Conservation of Entropy”
Kat Howard – “Migration”
Christopher Barzak – “The Boy Who Grew Up”

Tansy Rayner Roberts -“Does Sex Make Science Fiction ‘Soft’?”
Christopher J Garcia – “The Short List – The Ten Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Shorts on the Web”

Sonya Taaffe -“The Whalemaid, Singing”

Christopher Barzak, Interviewed by Deborah Stanish

Episode 2: Editors’ Introduction, Amelia Beamer reading her story “Celia and the Conservation of Entropy,” Sonya Taaffe’s poem “The Whalemaid, Singing” (as read by Amal El-Mohtar), interview with Amelia conducted by Deborah Stanish


Don’t forget, the entire issue can be purchased as an eBook at Amazon, Kobo, and Weightless Books (our preferred retailer). Weightless Books is also offering yearly subscriptions.

Thank you so much for all your support! We look forward to bringing you Issue 2 in January!


Lynne, Michael, & Michi


Uncanny Is Temporarily Closing to All Submissions

Uncanny Magazine will be closing to all unsolicited submissions on December 1, 2014. We’ve been giddy about the volume and diversity of the submissions, and are working hard to process everything.

We will reopen in early 2015, and are working on having a new, sleeker submissions system.


Submissions processing delay…

Dear Space Unicorn Rangers,

Our temporary submissions system was overwhelmed by the wonderful deluge of submissions that have come in since we opened.

Unfortunately, this means that the processing is taking much longer than we originally anticipated.

We’re sorry. We promise, we are doing our best to get through the submissions as quickly as humanly possible. We are also working on getting a new, more robust submissions system, which will make us much more efficient at this process.

Thanks for your understanding.

Lynne, Michael, and Michi
and all of our Space Unicorn Submissions Editors.

Uncanny Magazine Issue 1 is LIVE!!!

Space Unicorn Ranger Corps!

Today is the day. Uncanny Magazine Issue 1 is now available to everybody at or at online eBook retailers! Please spread the word!

Here are the pieces of Issue 1 that are available on our shiny new website (designed by the phenomenal Jeremiah Tolbert) today:


(Cover by Galen Dara)


The Uncanny Valley- Editorial by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas

New Fiction

Maria Dahvana Headley- “If You Were a Tiger, I’d Have to Wear White”

Ken Liu- “Presence”

Max Gladstone- “Late Nights at the Cape and Cane”

Classic Fiction

Jay Lake- “Her Fingers Like Whips, Her Eyes Like Razors”


Sarah Kuhn- “Mars (and Moon and Mercury and Jupiter and Venus) Attacks!”

Worldcon Roundtable featuring Emma England, Michael Lee, Helen Montgomery, Steven H Silver, and Pablo Vazquez


Neil Gaiman- “Kissing song”

Amal El-Mohtar- “The New Ways”


Maria Dahvana Headley, Interviewed by Deborah Stanish

Beth Meacham on Jay Lake, Interviewed by Lynne M. Thomas

Thanks to our Kickstarter Backers


Episode 1: Editors’ Introduction, Maria Dahvana Headley’s “If You Were a Tiger, I’d Have to Wear White” and Amal El-Mohtar’s poem “The New Ways” (both read by Amal), and an interview with Maria conducted by Deborah Stanish.


The entire issue can be purchased as an eBook at Amazon, Kobo, and Weightless Books (our preferred retailer). Weightless Books is also offering yearly subscriptions.

The rest of the free online content will be available on December 2nd.

Thank you again for all of your support and generosity. You made this possible.



Lynne, Michael, & Michi