Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Liz Argall’s Things React to Seasons of Glass and Iron!

As you may remember, one of the stretch goals for the Uncanny Magazine Year Three Kickstarter was a continuation of our 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.

For Issue 13, Liz’s things react to Amal El-Mohtar‘s reprinted story “Seasons of Glass and Iron” from the Saga Press anthology The Starlit Wood!


Uncanny Magazine 2016 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 these stories are eligible in (especially for the Hugo Awards and Nebula Awards). 2016 was the second full year of Uncanny Magazine (Issues 8 through 13). 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 eligible for the Best Editor (Short Form) Hugo Award. (Note: If you are nominating the Thomases in this category, please 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.


Novelettes (7500-17,500 Words):

The Virgin Played Bass by Maria Dahvana Headley

Love Is Never Still by Rachel Swirsky

You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay by Alyssa Wong

Snow Day by Catherynne M. Valente


Short Stories (Under 7500 Words):

Lotus Face and the Fox by Nghi Vo

The Creeping Women by Christopher Barzak

The Desert Glassmaker and the Jeweler of Berevyar by Rose Lemberg

The Sincerity Game by Brit Mandelo

The Shadow Collector by Shveta Thakrar

The Wolf and the Tower Unwoven by Kelly Sandoval

The Artificial Bees by Simon Guerrier

Big Thrull and the Askin’ Man by Max Gladstone

The Blood That Pulses in the Veins of One by JY Yang

Ye Highlands and Ye Lowlands by Seanan McGuire

The Sound of Salt and Sea by Kat Howard

The Drowning Line by Haralambi Markov

El Cantar of Rising Sun by Sabrina Vourvoulias

A Hundred and Seventy Storms by Aliette de Bodard

The Words on My Skin by Caroline M. Yoachim

An Ocean the Color of Bruises by Isabel Yap

Under One Roof by Sarah Pinsker

My Body, Herself by Carmen Maria Machado

Not a Miracle But a Marvel by Tim Pratt

The Witch of Orion Waste and the Boy Knight by E. Lily Yu

Rooms Formed of Neurons and Sex by Ferrett Steinmetz

Don’t You Worry, You Aliens by Paul Cornell

Kamanti’s Child by Jennifer Marie Brissett

Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies by Brooke Bolander

The Green Knight’s Wife by Kat Howard

White Hart, Black Knight by Alex Bledsoe

Can’t Beat ‘Em by Nalo Hopkinson

A Trump Christmas Carol by Roz Kaveney, Laurie Penny, John Scalzi, and Jo Walton


Talking Nerd Music with the Doubleclicks

As the Doubleclicks, musician duo sisters Aubrey and Angela Webber create delightfully geeky, sweet, and sometimes snarky songs. Since debuting on YouTube in 2011 with a weekly songwriting project, the Doubleclicks continue to make meaningful music that has audiences both laughing and crying about dinosaurs, nights in watching Netflix, and what would be the Worst Superpower Ever. They’ve toured the country appearing at cons and other events, been featured on programs like The Nerdist and NPR, and produce a touring variety show called #NerdNightOut. Managing Editor Michi Trota recently had a chance to catch up with Angela and talk about celebrating one’s geekiness, addressing issues of inclusivity, and what fandoms inspire the Doubleclicks’ music. 

Uncanny Magazine: You’ve spent quite a bit of the summer on tour across the country. That’s a lot of travel and energy to share with your fans! What’s your favorite part about touring?

Angela: The shows! It’s really fun because each city has a different personality, but all of them will sing about cats with us. I feel very excited and warmed about the state of humanity when I’m in a room full of nerds.

Uncanny Magazine: You’ve released three full studio albums, two EPs, a demo album, and several individual songs. You’ve developed an enthusiastic and supportive fanbase, much of it online, since your first YouTube project in 2011. How have platforms like YouTube and Patreon affected your ability to interact with your fans? 

Angela: YouTube, Twitter, and our mailing list have been the biggest help in connecting with our fans. I’m really glad that we’ve been able to connect with folks from the very beginning, and that they have stayed in touch and followed us from our very low–fi early YouTube videos from my basement to the tours and conventions and albums that we do today. Being able to connect directly with an audience is such a huge benefit of the internet, and makes it possible for folks like us to skip the need for a manager, PR company, radio placement team, label, booker, and agent, and just get our music straight into the hands of the folks who want it. Patreon and Kickstarter are great media through which our fans have generously supported us through the years. It’s really cool to be able to make the things for our people with no one in–between telling us what to do and how to do it. 

Uncanny Magazine: Three years ago you released “Nothing to Prove,”* a song which pushed back against the idea that nerds and geeks, especially if they’re not men, have to prove their “nerd cred.” Do you think gatekeeping and issues of inclusion in geek communities have improved since then?

Angela: That’s a complicated question! Over the years, the issue has evolved from “fake geek testing” to “GamerGate” to twitter hacks and trolling about the election, race, Ghostbusters… On the one hand, there is still a strong, vocal contingent of trolls trying to ruin people’s day for no good reason. On the other hand, I do think the conversation about inclusiveness in the geek world has improved, opened, and elevated, and that’s great. Amazing groups like Geek Girl Brunch, Black Girl Nerds, and countless podcasts, inclusivity–based conventions and sites have developed a strong voice, and that is rad. I don’t think we’re ever going to get rid of the voices of negativity and trolling, but we can remember they are a tiny amount compared to the rad people focusing their energy on elevating the nerd world and underrepresented voices!

Uncanny Magazine: Finding inspiration in and being able to poke fun at the fandoms we love is often at the heart of your music. You’ve referenced shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The X–Files, as well as Dungeons & Dragons, superheroes, cats, and dinosaurs—are there any fandoms or characters you haven’t yet written about that you’d like to?

Angela: It’s hard to know where we’ll go next. We usually start with a message and the feelings, but you’re right—nerd stuff does often sneak its way into what we’re doing. We just released a song and music video called “Lord of the Rings”—the books and movies are a big emotional part of my life, so it was amazing to be able to dress up as the characters and majestically reclaim that franchise in our own way. The song, ultimately, is about something much different than the Lord of the Rings, but it was definitely great to get that out there. 

I don’t know what nerdy place we’ll go next, but we have some songs about self–esteem and depression coming soon that I’m sure will be inhabited by the dorky stuff that’s on our mind when the songs come together.

Uncanny Magazine: You’ve been outspoken about creating inclusive, welcoming spaces in nerd communities. Why is this so important to you?

Angela: I think it’s just intuitive. Until I found geek culture, I felt like a broken person who would never fit in, who was just “built wrong,” and it made me angry and vengeful. Geek culture was there for me when I needed it, and I think that we should offer that same sense of acceptance to everyone. The forces of negativity are still around, but we need to approach folks with empathy to demonstrate that we can be in here together, and welcoming in voices that are different than our own can only elevate us.

Uncanny Magazine: What are some books, TV shows, games, or other nerdy things that you’re particularly enthusiastic about right now?

Angela: We’re playing a lot of Betrayal at the House On The Hill—the expansion just camp out (and we were asked to write for it!) so we are experiencing the cool tone of the new haunts and mechanics there. We’re also playing lots of Fiasco—as always—a game we like so much that we decided to start a podcast (Gosh Darn Fiasco!) so we can play it with our friends. We’re also loving Luke Cage, Steven Universe, Supergirl, and can’t wait for iZombie to be back. The piece of media I’m most excited about is nerd–inspired rapper/producer Sammus’ new album. We heard some of the tracks on tour with her last year and it’s going to blow people’s minds when it comes out. She says tons of important stuff about the world (not just the nerd part) and she rules.

Uncanny Magazine: Are there any upcoming projects you’d like to share?

Angela: Folks can subscribe to us on YouTube for upcoming videos and check out our live online show #DoubleclicksLive on Thursday, November 17, 2016, 6pm Pacific/9pm Eastern. People can RSVP and request songs on our Facebook event page, too!

Uncanny Magazine: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us!

*Editors’ Note: Michi appears in the music video of “Nothing to Prove.”

banana-768x503The Doubleclicks ( are a folk–pop sister duo, featuring clever lyrics about dinosaurs, literature, love and the Internet—with a cello, guitar, and meowing kitten keyboard. Their latest CD President Snakes debuted in the top 10 Billboard comedy albums chart, and their 2014 release Dimetrodon was funded by a $80,000 Kickstarter project. Their songs and YouTube videos have been viewed over 3 million times and are featured on BoingBoing, Kotaku, Huffington Post, and on NPR shows Live Wire, All Things Acoustic, and State of Wonder.

Liz Argall’s Things React to Star Trek!

As you may remember, one of the stretch goals for the Uncanny Magazine Year Three Kickstarter was a continuation of our 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.

For Issue 12, Liz’s things react to our two Star Trek essays: “This Is Our Work: What Star Trek Asks of Us” by Mary Anne Mohanraj and “All True, Especially the Lies—Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Cardassia” by Una McCormack.


Uncanny Magazine Issue 13 Cover and 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 December 6th.

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 13 Table of Contents

Julie Dillon “Impact Crater”

The Uncanny Valley (11/1)

Paul Cornell- “Don’t You Worry, You Aliens” (11/1)
Brooke Bolander- “Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies” (11/1)
Jennifer Marie Brissett- “Kamanti’s Child” (11/1)

Alex Bledsoe- “White Hart, Black Knight” (12/6)
Kat Howard- “The Green Knight’s Wife” (12/6)
Nalo Hopkinson- “Can’t Beat ‘Em” (12/6)

Amal El-Mohtar- “Seasons of Glass and Iron” (11/1)

Alyssa Wong- “They Love Me Not: How Fictional Villains Saved My Life” (11/1)
Monica Valentinelli- “We Have Always Been Here, Motherfucker” (11/1)
Navah Wolfe- “A Saga of Ink and Tea: Welcome to the Woods” (11/1)

Tansy Rayner Roberts- “How The Avengers Killed the Justice League” (12/6)
Keidra Chaney- “Living, working, and Fangirling with a Chronic Illness” (12/6)
Hao Jingfang (Translated by Ken Liu)- “I Wanted to Write a History of Inequality” (12/6)

Neil Gaiman- “The Long Run” (11/1)
Theodora Goss- “Rose Child” (11/1)

Sofia Samatar – “Blue Flowers: Fragments” (12/6)

Jennifer Marie Brissett Interviewed by Julia Rios (11/1)
Alex Bledsoe Interviewed by Julia Rios (12/6)

Podcast 13A (11/1)
Paul Cornell- “Don’t You Worry, You Aliens” (Read by Heath Miller)
Brooke Bolander- “Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies” (Read by Erika Ensign)
Theodora Goss- “Rose Child” (Read by Amal El-Mohtar)
Brooke Bolander Interviewed by Deborah Stanish

Podcast 13B (12/6)
Kat Howard- “The Green Knight’s Wife” (Read by Erika Ensign)
Nalo Hopkinson- “Can’t Beat ‘Em” (Read by Amal El-Mohtar)
Sofia Samatar – “Blue Flowers: Fragments” (Read by Amal El-Mohtar)
Tansy Rayner Roberts Interviewed by Deborah Stanish

Stories Full of Teeth, by Cassandra Khaw

(Guest Post by Cassandra Khaw)

I remember a comic from a few months, a few years back. It had a goblin who wouldn’t stop creating nightmares, who wouldn’t cease building spiked balls and grotesqueries. All the while, everyone else reveled in the light, in figments of beauty. Bright, shiny, happy things.

And of course, one of the jovial creators caved and asked: “Why do you make these things?” Why do you summon horror to our doorsteps? Why do you insist on inventing new entities to fear when the world itself is already such a terrible place? (I’m obviously taking some creative license here, but bear with me.) He said nothing. Instead, he stared for a moment and then allowed his newest monstrosity to drift into the abyss, where it floated among all the other dark things he’d dreamt up.

A hand eventually shot out of the murk and grabbed ahold of the line. The comic ended with a dirty, tattered silhouette allowing itself to be carried away.

There are days when you need happy endings and there are days when you don’t.

Sometimes, we need to be told that it gets better, that tomorrow comes, that the dawn will follow the sleepless night spent folded into a plastic chair, your mother’s breath rasping through the hospital room.

(Rachael K. Jones’ “Travelling Mercies” and Rose Lemberg’s “The Desert Glassmaker and the Jeweler of Berevyar” are those stories for me. I reread them often. When a convention ends and I’m nothing but nerves, all alone and starved for touch. When I’m a thousand miles from the person I love, when they’re just a jumble of selfies and I miss you’s. Those stories and stories like them, they keep me alive, keep me nourished.)

Sometimes, though, we need something else.

I think a lot about Delilah S. Dawson’s “Catcall.” It is angry, vicious, seething with so much venom that I choke on the words each time. It is her story, my story, the story of every woman who’d ever squeezed their fists around a ring of keys as they stalked down a dark alley. It is a snarl, a snapping of teeth, a warning against every Hey baby and Smile for me honey. It doesn’t go pretty places. It doesn’t need to.

But for the longest time, I didn’t get that. I didn’t understand. Why would I want to be reminded of all the things that had happened? I carried them under my lungs, tasted them – soot, sour sweat – in every breath I took.

And then it clicked.

People like to say there are no new experiences; everything that happens is something that has happened before; the answer to Am I the only one? is always a disdainful No: someone has always had it worse. In other words: Don’t bitch. Don’t whine. Don’t cry. Don’t argue.

You’re not the first.

You’re not the last.

So deal with it.

All that is poison. Lies. Vileness concealed as platitudes. And we know it intellectually. All of us do. But when your lungs burn, when you’re at your doorstep, shaking from the laughter that hounded you down the street, when you start planning a hundred contingency plans, a thousand new routes so you’ll never have to cross their paths again? It doesn’t feel like that. Instead, it feels like you’re drowning.

Like you’re suffocating on the memory, on all those helpful questions that follow, all those attempts to figure out what’s happening to you: What were you wearing? Did you smile at them? Did you come home too late? Did you linger too long? Did you swing your hips? Did you make yourself look like prey?

After a while, you close up. You start fighting for air. You knife up against the waters as they close down on you, as your brain starts to wonder if it was your fault all along. Sometimes, you win that argument. Sometimes, you don’t.

And stories likeCatcall” are for when we give up, when we start doubting ourselves. We clutch at them and they pull us out, singing their rage, our rage. All the songs bled from our skins, cut from our hearts by a world too broken by half.

Not every story needs a happy ending.

Occasionally, all they need to do is remind us that we’re not alone, someone was here before and they survived.

I’m hoping to do the same with Hammers on Bone. I wrote the novella in desperation after learning what’d happened to two little boys I knew. When I started writing the book, I wanted to give them a happy ending, a better present. I wanted to rescue them, or at least the idea of them because I couldn’t do anything else.

But then I stopped and thought about it. And Hammers on Bone became something else. I molded it into a scream, a snapping of teeth, a bubbling rage that could be weaponized by a reader, a reminder that you don’t have to be a monster to survive in this world, a demand that we stop and pay attention to the things that are happening behind closed doors, that we do not dismiss the whimpering child as “childish” but consider the truth: is something worse happening to them?

We’ll see. I hope the right message gets out there.

(Editors’ Note: Cassandra Khaw’s Hammers on Bone was released by Publishing on October 11th)

cassandra-1Cassandra Khaw writes a lot. Sometimes, she writes press releases and excited emails for Singaporean micropublisher Ysbryd Games. Sometimes, she writes for technology and video games outlets like Eurogamer, Ars Technica, The Verge, and Engadget. Mostly, though, she writes about the intersection between nightmares and truth, drawing inspiration from Southeast Asian mythology and stories from people she has met. She occasionally spends time in a Muay Thai gym punching people and pads.

The Uncanny Magazine Podcast Won the Parsec Award!

Excellent news, Space Unicorns! Over the weekend at Dragon*Con, The Uncanny Magazine Podcast won a 2016 Parsec Award in the Best Speculative Fiction Magazine or Anthology Podcast category!

We are positively thrilled. Thank you to our excellent Year Two podcast team of Deborah Stanish, Amal El-Mohtar, C. S. E. Cooney, Erika Ensign, and Steven Schapansky. You made the podcast so special, and all of you will be getting nifty Parsec Award star trophies. Also, thanks to our guest readers Heath Miller and Max Gladstone, and all of the creators who had their works featured or participated in the interviews.

And of course a gigantic thank you to all of our listeners and the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps for making the podcast possible.

Also, a huge congratulations to the Verity! Podcast (featuring Uncanny‘s Deborah, Erika, and Lynne, plus Katrina Griffiths, L.M. Myles, and Tansy Rayner Roberts) for winning a Parsec Award in the Best Speculative Fiction Fan or News Podcast (Specific) category!

Look! They sent us WINNING ART!



Uncanny Magazine Issue 12 Cover and 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 OCTOBER 4th.

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 12 Table of Content

Kirbi Fagan- “Extrahumans,” courtesy of Susan Jane Bigelow and Book Smugglers Publishing

The Uncanny Valley (9/6)

Carmen Maria Machado- “My Body, Herself” (9/6)
Tim Pratt – “Not a Miracle But a Marvel” (9/6)
Sarah Pinsker- “Under One Roof” (9/6)
E. Lily Yu- “The Witch of Orion Waste and The Boy Knight” (10/4)
Ferrett Steinmetz- “Rooms Formed of Neurons and Sex” (10/4)

Reprint Fiction
Sofia Samatar- “Ogres of East Africa” (10/4)

Mary Anne Mohanraj- “This Is Our Work: What Star Trek Asks of Us” (9/6)
Una McCormack- “All True, Especially the Lies – Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Cardassia” (9/6)
Aidan Moher- “Blood Matters: Growing Up in an SF/F House” (10/4)
Dominik Parsien- “Growing Up in Wonderland” (10/4)

S. Qiouyi Lu- “肉骨茶 (Meat Bone Tea)” (9/6)
Ada Hoffmann- “Million-Year Elegies: Tyrannosaurus” (10/4)
Sonya Taaffe- “The Ghost Marriage” (10/4)

Carmen Maria Machado by Deborah Stanish (9/6)
Sarah Pinsker by Deborah Stanish (9/6)

Podcast 12A (9/6)
Story- Carmen Maria Machado- “My Body, Herself,” as read by Erika Ensign
Poem- S. Qiouyi Lu- “肉骨茶 (Meat Bone Tea),” as read by Amal El-Mohtar
Deborah Stanish Interviews Una McCormack

Podcast 12B (10/4)
Story- E. Lily Yu- “The Witch of Orion Waste and The Boy Knight,” as read by Amal El-Mohtar
Poem- Ada Hoffmann- “Million-Year Elegies: Tyrannosaurus,” as read by Erika Ensign
Deborah Stanish Interviews Dominik Parsien and Navah Wolfe


The Uncanny Kickstarter Reached EVERY STRETCH GOAL!

Hello Space Unicorns!

Yes, we know this is older news, but we’re just recovering from Worldcon and the Hugos.


Uncanny Magazine Year 3 is fully funded and reached every stretch goal! Uncanny will stay the same size! We’ll have original covers by Galen Dara and Kirbi Fagan plus Grace Fong illustrations for Alyssa Wong’s story! There will be more Uncanny blogging including keeping Liz Argall’s Things Without Arms And Things Without Legs reaction comic per issue, and adding the new Max and Amal Go to the Movies column, PLUS new columns by Michael Damian Thomas and Michi Trota!

You made this happen. As we’ve said, this is your magazine. It only exists because of the support of this community.

Thank you.

We promise that we will once again try our hardest to live up to your trust and expectations.

We did a Livestream on the Uncanny Magazine Year 3 Kickstarter page for our last hour featuring the Thomases, Michi Trota, Amal El-Mohtar, Tanya DePass, And Isabel Yap. If you missed it, you can watch it here!