Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category
In 2015, Uncanny Magazine ran a Kickstarter to fund their second year of publication. I’d supported them in 2014 and attended their writing retreat, Uncanny Cabin. So when I saw the same reward posted in 2015, I was all over that like a beagle at a buffet table.
I’m sorry, it was too awesome the first time for me to pass it up.
It was a wise choice.
The cabin is set in the woods of the Poconos in northern Pennsylvania. The spring sun filled our writing space on all three days. The furniture is comfortable. The food is fantastic. The sleeping arrangements are quite nice, when the Cabin’s fictional-malevolent-spirit isn’t locking one in one’s room.
And the people, well, let’s face it: we go to writing workshops as much for the people as we do the knowledge. It’s the people that make the knowledge useful, timely, and effective. And these people? They know their stuff. They represent decades of accumulated experience in the Speculative Fiction genre, from marketing to publishing to editorial. There was no topic I could ask about that they couldn’t answer. There was no insecurity or worry that I had that they could not address. And we had fun. Lynne, Deb, Mike, Ally, Fran, and Sarah filled my head with career and writing tips, tricks, and skills, while simultaneously making me laugh and helping me overcome my own insecurities.
Not much more one can ask, really. Except maybe for a ghost story. So we wrote one, live, on Twitter, in the form of an Agatha Christie retelling performed by stale peeps and a murdercabin . This marks the second year in a row where we planned to roast marshmallows over a campfire only to have the Cabin thwart our plans. One of the risks one takes when hanging out with an extremely talented and hard-working batch of writers, editors, and interviewers is that things get picked up and run with like the aforementioned buffet beagle.
I want Uncanny Magazine to succeed beyond Lynne and Michael Thomas’s wildest financial and professional expectations. I want this magazine, with its impeccable taste in stories, amazing podcast, and strong industry voice, to become as popular as Asimov’s or Amazing Stories. And at the same time, I really really want the Kickstarter to keep running so that I can jump on that buffet table of camaraderie, education, and illumination year after year.
(I’d be satisfied with their unmitigated success in all things they touch and an occasional invitation as an alumnus.)
Next year, Cabin, we’ll get our s’mores, and I’ll be here again unless someone beats me to the table.
As you may remember, one of the stretch goals for the Uncanny Magazine Year Two Kickstarter was a new webcomic feature. Each issue, the multi-talented Liz Argall will have a special Uncanny edition of her webcomic Things Without Arms and Without Legs where they react to a piece in the current issue of Uncanny Magazine.
This month, they’re reacting to TWO Uncanny Magazine stories! The first person who names the two stories correctly in the comments will receive a set of 6 Uncanny Magazine Cover Postcards!
(Guest Post by Kat Howard)
What I write doesn’t ever emerge from a vacuum. I write because I want to say something, because I want to continue a conversation, because something has made me think or feel, and art is the best way I know to communicate those things. Sometimes the influences are more specific – more easily known and identified – than others. In this case, I can definitely call to mind the books, and the writing, that became Roses and Rot – and yes, I recommend everything listed.
Roses and Rot is my debut novel. It’s a riff on the “Tam Lin” ballad (I’ve changed enough that I don’t quite see it as a retelling, though you may certainly call it that) with a pair of sisters at the heart of the story. Set at a modern-day artists’ colony, it’s about art and sacrifice and love, about what a person might be willing to do, to get the thing they most want.
The first place Roses and Rot started, though I didn’t know it at the time – I was in high school, and thinking seriously about writing wasn’t something I did until I was almost done with my PhD – was with Pamela Dean’s Tam Lin. Dean’s book was the first place I met the ballad of “Tam Lin.” Perhaps more importantly, it was the first place that really made me see what a retelling could do. I was familiar with retold fairy tales, had devoured every anthology edited by Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow I could get my hands on, but it wasn’t until Dean’s book that I saw a fairy tale as something completely shifted, made novel-length, made almost entirely new. There are others I’ve read, now, but that book – it’s one of the books that not only made Roses and Rot what it is, but made me what I am.
Another book that I owe a huge debt of gratitude to is Nova Ren Suma’s Imaginary Girls. I read it much closer in time to starting Roses and Rot, and Suma’s book really gave me the idea that I could tell a story that had sisters at the center. I could explore that complex and complicated relationship, and write something strange and magical about it.
I read Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings right before I began my first draft, and it gave me the setting I wanted – someplace that was inside the real world, but outside of it as well. In her book, it’s a camp for the arts; in mine, an artists’ colony.
I read Siri Hustvedt’s The Blazing World right before my last revision, and it gave me fury, and passion, and the desire to talk about not only what it meant to make art, but what it meant to make art as a woman.
I read so much poetry – Denise Levertov and Anne Carson and Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath and Anna Akhmatova and H.D. and Rebecca Lindenberg. I read biographies of women artists – I want to specifically mention Elizabeth Winder’s Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953, because it was the story of Sylvia before she became Sylvia Plath, when she was still learning who she was and how to be herself, a state that I very much wanted to capture for the women in my book.
And while I didn’t read any new ones while I was writing Roses and Rot, this book became the book that it is because I steeped myself in fairy tales of all sorts, as a child and as an adult. I have always been – will always be – interested in what leads to ever after.
(Editors’ note: Kat Howard’s Roses and Rot will be released on May 17th from Saga Press.)
Kat Howard lives in New Hampshire. Her short fiction has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award, anthologized in Year’s Best and “best–of” collections, and performed on NPR. Her debut novel, Roses and Rot, will be out in May from Saga Press. You can find her on twitter at@KatWithSword.
Wonderful news, Space Unicorns! Tran Nguyen’s stunning Uncanny Magazine Issue 4 cover, “Traveling to a Distant Day,” WON A GOLD AWARD IN THE SPECTRUM 23 EDITORIAL CATEGORY!
We are so happy for Tran. It’s a phenomenal cover, and we are giddy that it now has a super fancy award.
Don’t forget, Year One Kickstarter Space Unicorn Ranger Corps, this is partially because of you. We were able to commission and pay for this cover because the Uncanny Year One Kickstarter reached the stretch goal of an original Tran Nguyen cover. This is exactly the sort of art that exists due to your awesome generosity.
Excellent news, Space Unicorns! Hao Jingfang’s “Folding Beijing” (translated by Ken Liu) IS A FINALIST FOR THE BEST NOVELETTE LOCUS AWARD! We wish more huge congratulations to Jingfang and Ken! The accolades keep coming for this amazing story. Hugo Award Finalist! Chinese Xingyun (Nebula) Awards nomination! Sturgeon Award Finalist! Two Year’s Best science fiction anthologies!
Congratulations to all of the finalists, many of whom have been Uncanny writers and artists in the past.
Uncanny Magazine is once again recruiting for its Space Unicorn Ranger Corps! Now, you can become a member of the Corps by subscribing at Weightless Books!
This is the perfect time to join because 2016 Hugo Award finalist Uncanny is going on sale! From May 3-17, a year’s subscription to Uncanny Magazine is $2 less than the typical current cover price (only $21.88)! It’s the least expensive way to subscribe we offer.
Each bimonthly issue of Uncanny contains new and classic speculative fiction, poetry, essays, art, and interviews. We seek out and share pieces we can’t stop thinking and talking about, because of how they make us feel. We’re also deeply committed to finding and showcasing fantastic works by writers from every possible point of view and background.
We debuted Issue One of Uncanny in November 2014 and we’ve been thrilled with Years One and Two. We’ve included original contributions from phenomenal authors such as Neil Gaiman, Maria Dahvana Headley, Max Gladstone, Ken Liu, Christopher Barzak, Sam J. Miller, Sofia Samatar, Catherynne M. Valente, Alyssa Wong, Elizabeth Bear, John Chu, Kameron Hurley, Charlie Jane Anders, Ursula Vernon, Javier Grillo-Marxuach, Chris Kluwe, Hao Jingfang, Mary Robinette Kowal, Seanan McGuire, Mark Oshiro, Rachel Swirsky, E. Lily Yu, and Amal El-Mohtar, plus many newer voices. We can’t wait for you to read what’s coming next.
New or renewing subscribers to Uncanny Magazine from May 3-17, 2016 will be eligible for giveaways and a whole bunch of Uncanny swag!
- First 50 subscribers: Your choice of a back issue, and an EXCLUSIVE Weightless Books Uncanny Space Unicorn Full-Color Vinyl Sticker and a cover art postcard! Plus, we’ll randomly draw 2 winners for Uncanny mini-swag packs: a Space Unicorn Ranger Corps patch and a set of cover art postcards!
- At 100 new/renewing subscribers, every new subscriber will receive an EXCLUSIVE Weightless Books Uncanny Space Unicorn Full Color Vinyl Sticker, and an ebook of your choice of 2 back issues. Plus, we’ll draw for a spiffy prize pack of a Space Unicorn Ranger Corps patch, a set of 3 signed cover-art posters, and an official Uncanny Magazine tshirt!
- At 150 new/renewing subscribers, all new/renewing subscribers will receive: an EXCLUSIVE Weightless Books Uncanny Space Unicorn Full Color Vinyl Sticker, ebooks of your choice of 3 back issues, and we’ll draw 4 winners for their choice of signed books by: Alex Gordon, Ann Leckie, or Kameron Hurley, or custom-blended Uncanny Magazine tea based on specific Uncanny Magazine stories, plus a Space Unicorn Ranger Corps patch for each winner!
- At 200 new/renewing subscribers, we’ll draw for a mega-swag pack that includes an EXCLUSIVE Weightless Books Uncanny Space Unicorn Full Color Vinyl Sticker, postcards, a patch, signed cover art, custom-blended Uncanny Magazine tea based on specific Uncanny Magazine stories, an Uncanny Magazine tshirt and a tote bag!
- At 300 new/renewing subscribers, we’ll draw for a SECOND mega-swag pack that includes an EXCLUSIVE Weightless Books Uncanny Space Unicorn Full Color Vinyl Sticker, postcards, a patch, signed cover art, custom-blended Uncanny Magazine tea based on specific Uncanny Magazine stories, an Uncanny Magazine tshirt and a tote bag! And we will add a Samsung Galaxy Tab E 9.6” 16GB (Wi-Fi) tablet to that swag bag!
There may also be random prize drawings throughout the subscription drive. You never know with the Space Unicorns…
SPACE UNICORNS! UNCANNY MAGAZINE IS A FINALIST FOR THE BEST SEMIPROZINE HUGO AWARD! We are beyond thrilled about this. There are so many great magazines in that category. We are truly, truly honored to be a finalist in our very first year of eligibility. Thank you, you wonderful Space Unicorns, who nominated Uncanny Magazine in good faith. Also, thank you to the hard-working MidAmeriCon 2 Hugo Award staff for all of your phenomenal volunteer work this year.
And that’s not all! Hao Jingfang’s “Folding Beijing” (translated by Ken Liu) IS A FINALIST FOR THE BEST NOVELETTE HUGO AWARD! We wish huge congratulations to Jingfang and Ken! This is just one of many accolades for this amazing story. Add its Hugo Finalist status to its Chinese Xingyun (Nebula) Awards nomination, being a Sturgeon Award Finalist, being on the Locus Magazine Recommended Reading List, and being included in two Year’s Best science fiction anthologies!
We are so, so proud of our 2015 issues. Many of our remarkable stories, essays, poems, and covers have been nominated for different awards, or have been included in Year’s Best collections. For the first complete year of a new magazine, this is a phenomenal accomplishment. We truly are grateful to work with the best creators and staff in the world.
The accolades are great, but that’s not what is most important to us. When we created Uncanny, we wanted it to be a place for community—readers and creators making and consuming art, beauty, kindness, insight, challenges, and gorgeous emotions. After 10 issues, what means the most to us is the wonderful enthusiasm we see from our readers and creators. People are giddy about each issue, talking about their favorite pieces, recommending things to friends, and there seems to be a general feeling that Uncanny is a gathering place for a marvelous, diverse SF/F community. That is the greatest award of all.
Coming May 3, THE TENTH ISSUE OF 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 7.
Huge news! There will be a Weightless Books Uncanny Magazine Subscription Drive from May 3-17! $2 off for a year of Uncanny, plus swag and giveaways! More details here and on the Weightless Books website next week!
Uncanny Magazine Issue 10 Table of Contents
“Bubbles and Blast Off” by Galen Dara
“The Uncanny Valley” by Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas (5/3)
“Ye Highlands and Ye Lowlands” by Seanan McGuire (5/3)
“The Sound of Salt and Sea” by Kat Howard (5/3)
“The Blood That Pulses in the Veins of One” by JY Yang (5/3)
“You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay” by Alyssa Wong (6/7)
“The Drowning Line” by Haralambi Markov (6/7)
“The Plague Givers” by Kameron Hurley (6/7)
“Diversity: More Than White Women” by Foz Meadows (5/3)
“Where Do We Find Community as Gamers?” by Tanya DePass (5/3)
“Ludo and the Goblin King” by Sarah Monette (6/7)
“In the Hands of the Goblin King” by Stephanie Zvan (6/7)
“Deeper Than Pie” by Beth Cato (5/3)
“Brown woman at Safety Beach, Victoria, in June” by M Sereno (6/7)
“Alamat” by Isabel Yap (6/7)
Kat Howard interviewed by Deborah Stanish (5/3)
Alyssa Wong interviewed by Deborah Stanish (6/7)
Podcast 10A (5/3)
“Ye Highlands and Ye Lowlands” by Seanan McGuire, as read by Amal El-Mohtar
“Deeper Than Pie” by Beth Cato, as read by Erika Ensign
Deborah Stanish interviews Seanan McGuire
Podcast 10B (6/7)
“The Drowning Line” by Haralambi Markov
“Alamat” by Isabel Yap
An interview conducted by Deborah Stanish
We are all so thrilled. Congratulations to all of the finalists!
Gunn Center Announces Sturgeon Award Finalists
The Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction is pleased to announce the finalists for the Theodore Sturgeon A. Memorial Awardfor the best short science fiction story of 2015. The award is given during the Campbell Conference which, this year, will be part ofMidAmeriCon II, the 74th World Science Fiction Convention, in Kansas City, Mo. The awards ceremony is scheduled for the evening of Thursday, Aug. 18.
2015 finalists for the Theodore A. Sturgeon Memorial Award
“The New Mother,” Eugene Fischer. Asimov’s, Apr/May 2015.
“Our Lady of the Open Road,” Sarah Pinsker. Asimov’s, Jun 2015.
“Avery Cates: The Walled City,” Jeff Somers. Kindle edition, Jun 2015.
The Sturgeon Award recognizes the best science fiction short story each year. It was established in 1987 by James Gunn and the heirs of Theodore Sturgeon, as an appropriate memorial to one of the great short-story writers in a field distinguished by its short fiction.
The World Science Fiction Convention often offers academic programming, and this year’s WorldCon officials asked Christopher McKitterick, CSSF director, to organize an academic track that will include papers and discussions.
“Rather than host a separate Campbell Conference with WorldCon just a month later in neighboring Kansas City, thus forcing out-of-town guests to choose one or the other,” McKitterick said, “we decided to combine the two.”
MidAmeriCon II will be Aug. 17-21 at the Kansas City Convention Center.