Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Tran Nguyen’s Uncanny Magazine Cover Wins A Spectrum 23 Award!

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.

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Folding Beijing Is a Locus Award Finalist!

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 FinalistChinese 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.

 

The Uncanny Magazine 2016 Weightless Books Subscription Drive!

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 GaimanMaria Dahvana HeadleyMax GladstoneKen LiuChristopher BarzakSam J. MillerSofia 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…

Uncanny Is a Best Semiprozine Hugo Award Finalist and Folding Beijing Is a Best Novelette Finalist!

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.

Uncanny Magazine Issue 10 Cover and Table of Contents!

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.

Don’t forget eBook Subscriptions to Uncanny Magazine are available from Weightless Books, Amazon Kindle, and you can support us on our Patreon.

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!

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Uncanny Magazine Issue 10 Table of Contents

Cover
“Bubbles and Blast Off” by Galen Dara

Editorial
“The Uncanny Valley” by Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas (5/3)

Fiction
“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)

Reprint Fiction
“The Plague Givers” by Kameron Hurley (6/7)

Nonfiction
“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)

Poetry
“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)

Interviews
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

Folding Beijing Is a Sturgeon Award Finalist!

Wonderful news, Space Unicorns! “Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfang (translated by Ken Liu) is a FINALIST for the prestigious Sturgeon Award!

We are all so thrilled. Congratulations to all of the finalists!

[PRESS RELEASE]

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

“And You Shall Know Her By The Trail Of Dead,” Brooke Bolander.Lightspeed, Feb 2015.

“The Four Thousand, the Eight Hundred,” Greg Egan. Asimov’s, Dec 2015.

“The New Mother,” Eugene Fischer. Asimov’s, Apr/May 2015.

“Folding Beijing,” Hao Jingfang, tr. Ken Liu. Uncanny Magazine, Jan/Feb 2015.

“Emergence,” Gwyneth Jones. Meeting Infinity, ed. Jonathan Strahan.Solaris.

“Damage,” David D. Levine. Tor.com, 21 Jan 2015.

“The Game of Smash and Recovery,” Kelly Link. Strange Horizons, 17 Oct 2015.

“Botanica Veneris: Thirteen Papercuts by Ida Countess Rathangan,” Ian McDonald. Old Venus, eds. G.R.R.Martin and Gardner Dozois. Bantam Books.

“Our Lady of the Open Road,” Sarah Pinsker. Asimov’s, Jun 2015.

“The Three Resurrections of Jessica Churchill,” Kelly Robson.Clarkesworld, Feb 2015.

“Gypsy,” Carter Scholz. Fantasy & Science Fiction, Nov/Dec 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.

Liz Argall’s Things React to Men of Their Times

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 Jim C. Hines’s “Men of Their Times” from Uncanny Magazine Issue 9.

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Not as Crazy as You’d Think: The Borderline Protagonist in Fantasy

(Guest Blog Post by Mishell Baker)

As an author who shares a little-understood diagnosis with the protagonist of her novel, lately I’ve found myself writing and talking a great deal about Borderline Personality Disorder: in the novel itself, in an informal introduction to the disorder from a patient’s perspective at SF Signal, in self-disclosure on my own blog, and conversations both online and in person about all of these things. My urban fantasy novel Borderline was intended as a quirky, entertaining romp through Hollywood and fairyland, but the protagonist Millie and her inner landscape of BPD have proven as mysterious to many readers as the arcane components of the novel. (For the basics, I recommend this summary on the NIH’s web site http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/borderline-personality-disorder/index.shtml.)

When I begin a dialogue about BPD, the responses can at times be disheartening. Even once the first barrier of unawareness is passed, I immediately run into palpable waves of dismay and loathing. It would be difficult to find a mental illness that has a worse reputation than BPD among those who understand it. The hallmarks of the related dysphoria have spawned the reductive “Crazy Ex” stereotype: intensity, neediness, impulsivity, addiction, self-harm (particularly when faced with abandonment), fits of terrifying rage, and inability to hold long-term jobs, relationships, or even identities.

Why, then, would a writer choose to saddle her protagonist — the character for whom audience identification is most important — with a disorder that provokes such an antipathetic response in nearly everyone who understands it? The obvious answer would be, “To raise awareness,” but what good is awareness if it brings only revulsion? So there must be something else at work if the experiment is to succeed, and in the process of creating Millie I discovered something interesting. A Borderline (if you’ll forgive the reductive label for the sake of brevity) is uniquely qualified to excel in a fantasy narrative — especially a story wherein the existence of magic is a well-kept secret.

Millie spent the first twenty-six years of her life unaware of the existence of magic, and now has to accept (and operate within the rules of) of a magical parallel universe, all within the space of a week. A tall order, but perhaps the most powerful advantage a Borderline has in adjusting to an influx of fantastic knowledge is that for her, paradigm shifts — those moments when we realize that the rabbit we’ve been looking at is actually a duck — come more easily. Borderlines tend to question everything. Their world is never stable; everything is continually reinvented and recategorized, and drastic paradigm shifts are regularly accomplished with minimal supporting evidence. Sometimes this learned malleability is dangerous — it could make Borderlines vulnerable to cult leaders, pyramid schemes, and conspiracy theories — but at other times it can be extraordinarily useful. Borderlines are so accustomed to finding out everything they know is wrong that it may not take much effort to convince them of a shocking truth.

Another fantasy-relevant bug in Borderline cognition is the defense mechanism known as “splitting” – the tendency to sort people or ideas into extremes of black and white. In the real world this is catastrophic in relationships and discourse, but from Tolkien to Rowling, fantasy realms have long been welcoming habitats for ethical extremes. The intensity with which a typical Borderline yearns to cooperate with “good guys” and destroy “bad guys” serves her well in a universe where such categories cleanly manifest. The very same polarity of idealization and devaluation that makes a Borderline difficult to relate to in real life renders her heroic once she is placed into a context where swift identification and categorization of morality is important to survival. Those who vacillate when faced with True Evil rarely live to tell the tale. By nature, a realm with an extreme ethical binary can only be a fantastic one, but if the story you’re writing happens to be a fantasy, a Borderline can serve well as a protagonist even if her course of treatment has not yet managed to bring her “splitting” under control.

Perhaps the most infamous Borderline trait — and a common feature of “Crazy Ex” stories — is intensity of emotion. This intensity is seen as so excessive by neurotypical adults that it is usually dismissed as a performance, leading to the historical confusion of Borderline Personality Disorder with sociopathy (the name itself comes from the now-rejected theory that those with the disorder are not fully sociopaths, but just at the border). For the Borderline herself, the disorienting gulf between her emotions and others’ responses contributes in part to a staggering suicide rate: Borderline Personality Disorder is fatal to one in ten people diagnosed with it. Fantasy, however, is merciful to volatile people. Intensity is organic to magical worlds: curses cripple, enchantments enthrall, worlds hang in the balance. In many plotlines involving magic and monsters, cool detachment is not only unnecessary but perhaps even contraindicated.

So in fantasy, at least, a Borderline is in her element. And if we can imagine a context in which a stigmatized disorder does not destroy the life of the person who suffers from it, what questions does that raise? In the absence of magic, could we find a context in which a person with Borderline Personality Disorder could thrive: where mental flexibility can be crucial, and where the caustic fuel of emotional intensity can be burned to good purpose?

My own experience suggests that this is not so far-fetched. While there is no cure for Borderline Personality Disorder, those with the diagnosis are not doomed to miserable lives. With carefully practiced coping skills to blunt the most painful edges of the disorder’s symptoms, and with a context that makes use of an intense and agile mind, some of the more intractable quirks of Borderline cognition and motivation can be every bit as useful as they are frustrating.

A fantasy novel isn’t the only place where a Borderline can have a happy ending. For now, though, it’s possible that the idea of a fulfilling and dignified future for the Crazy Ex is too drastic a paradigm shift for many. Luckily, we have fantasy: a dress rehearsal for hope, a place where even the most comfortably settled minds can give themselves permission to train for the impossible.

(Editors’ note: Mishell Baker’s Borderline was released on March 1st and is now available from Saga Press.)

Mishell Baker (Vanie Poyey, Headshots LA)Mishell Baker is a 2009 graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop, and her short stories have appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Redstone Science Fiction, and Electric Velocipede. She has a website at MishellBaker.com and frequently Tweets about writing, parenthood, mental health, and assorted geekery at @MishellBaker. When she’s not attending conventions or going on wild research adventures, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband and children. Borderline is her debut novel.

(Photo by Vanie Poyey)

Uncanny Magazine Issue 9 Cover and Table of Contents!

Coming March 1, THE NINTH 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 April 5.

Don’t forget eBook Subscriptions to Uncanny Magazine are available from Weightless Books, and you can support us on our Patreon.

Great news! eBook subscriptions are also now available through Amazon! Have the new issue of Uncanny Magazine sent directly to your Kindle device!

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Cover
“Strange Companions” by Katy Shuttleworth

Editorial
“The Uncanny Valley” by Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas (3/1)

Fiction
“Love Is Never Still” by Rachel Swirsky (3/1)
“The Shadow Collector” by Shveta Thakrar (3/1)
“Big Thrull and the Askin’ Man” by Max Gladstone (4/5)
“The Wolf and the Tower Unwoven” by Kelly Sandoval (4/5)
“The Artificial Bees” by Simon Guerrier (4/5)

Reprint
“Just Another Future Song” by Daryl Gregory (3/1)

Nonfiction
“Men of Their Times” by Jim C. Hines (3/1)
“Furry Fandom” by Kyell Gold (3/1)
“The Transmigration of George R. R. Martin” by Javier Grillo–Marxuach (4/5)
“Closing the Gap: The Blurring of Fan and Professional” by Mark Oshiro (4/5)

Poetry
“Fox Girl Cycle 1” by C. S. E. Cooney (3/1)
“The Book of Forgetting” by Jennifer Crow (4/5)
“god–date” by Brandon O’Brien (4/5)

Interviews
Rachel Swirsky interviewed by Deborah Stanish (3/1)
Simon Guerrier interviewed by Deborah Stanish (4/5)

Podcast 9A (3/1)
“The Shadow Collector” by Shveta Thakrar, as read by Amal El-Mohtar
“Fox Girl Cycle 1” by C. S. E. Cooney, as read by Erika Ensign
Deborah Stanish interviews Shveta Thakrar

Podcast 9B (4/5)
“Big Thrull and the Askin’ Man” by Max Gladstone, as read by Heath Miller
“The Book of Forgetting” by Jennifer Crow, as read by Erika Ensign
Deborah Stanish interviews Max Gladstone

Liz Argall’s Things React to The Desert Glassmaker and the Jeweler of Berevyar

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 story in the current issue of Uncanny Magazine.

This month, they’re reacting to Rose Lemberg’s “The Desert Glassmaker and the Jeweler of Berevyar” from Uncanny Magazine Issue 8.

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