Archive for the ‘News’ Category

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.

WE DID IT!

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!

Uncanny Magazine Won a Hugo! So Did Folding Beijing!

Oh, Space Unicorns. We have so much glorious news to share. We’ll talk about the Kickstarter in our next post (EVERY STRETCH GOAL REACHED), but first…

UNCANNY MAGAZINE WON A HUGO AWARD FOR BEST SEMIPROZINE!!!

And “Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfang (translated by Ken Liu) WON A HUGO AWARD FOR BEST NOVELETTE!

We are so honored. This is such a major honor for our first year of publication. Thank you to all of our readers, creators, and staff. This award is only possible because of your support and brilliance.

Here are Lynne, Michael, and Michi giving their speeches!

And here are Hao Jingfang and Ken Liu giving their speeches!

It is all amazing and a little overwhelming. There are articles all over the world for these wins, including China due to Jingfang’s historic win and the Philippines because of Michi being the first Filipina winner in Hugo Award history.

You can read Michi’s speech on her website.

And Charles Tan made this GIF of Michael!

via GIPHY

Shine on, Space Unicorns!

I Want to Write A History of Inequality, by Hao Jingfang, translated by Ken Liu

(Guest Post by Hao Jingfang, translated by Ken Liu.)

My Hugo nomination has brought a sudden burst of media interest in China.

Some have asked me how my life will be changed; I want to tell them there will be no change at all.

The nominated story, “Folding Beijing,” was published two years ago in Chinese. After that, my life has gotten busy. I’m busy with the natural flow of life, a river that won’t be interrupted because of a few waves spraying foam against the bow of the ship.

I’m not a fulltime writer, and I won’t become one in the future. I have a job that requires dedication, that makes me run to catch the subway every day, traverse the bustling city, swipe the card at the office door, and work late and long hours to meet deadlines. Writing is like the crystalline bubbles in a tributary of my life; I know where the main stem of my life lies.

I wrote a story about inequality, and it has won some recognition and praise. I suppose you can say this is some sign that inequality is a problem that resonates across the globe. Indeed, inequality is a troubling problem. Why do we have inequality in the world? And why is it so hard to eliminate?

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Let me be clear: “Folding Beijing” represents just one of the many ways I’ve thought about inequality. It may be the most vivid, but it certainly isn’t the most important.

I’ve been troubled by inequality for a long time. When I majored in physics as an undergraduate, I once stared at the distribution curve for American household income that showed profound inequality, and tried to fit the data against black-body distribution or Maxwell–Boltzmann distribution. I wanted to know how such a curve came about, and whether it implied some kind of universality: something as natural as particle energy distribution functions, so natural it led to despair.

In one sense, the entire economic history of dynastic China can be understood as the history of struggles against inequality. Numerous dynasties engaged in reform measures such as land redistribution into equal tenements, enacting laws to prevent the wealthy from acquiring large estates by squeezing off small tenants, etc. But even if land ownership was relatively even at the beginning of a dynasty, waves of mergers into large estates eventually swept through the country until tax reforms by the middle of the dynasty had to accept unequal land ownership as a fact. Indeed, if the regimes had insisted on resisting the economic impetus driving such mergers, the economy of the country would have stayed at the relatively primitive stage of inefficient household farms. Throughout this process, successive Chinese governments committed many violent errors and acts of tyranny, but their intentions and goals were often positive.

If we broaden our perspective to today’s world, the problem remains unsolved. Some small countries or city-states which stand near the top of our global economic value chain have indeed mostly achieved equality, but down the value chain live many larger populations still mired in poverty.

If the chance presents itself, I want to write A History of Inequality in the future, chronicling humanity’s millennia-long war against inequality (and our repeated defeats). We still see no sign of true victory, at least not at this moment.

I may not get a chance to write such a book for a long time.

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Actually, part of my job actually involves research into this question.

I’m employed by the China Development Research Foundation. I’ve been there since the day I got my PhD, more than three years ago now.

From time to time, people ask me: What sort of investment do you make?

I have to clarify this: the foundation is a nonprofit research organization that makes no investments at all. We were founded by the Development Research Center of the State Council (DNC), but our operations are independent. Most of our projects involve: research on specific topics, organizing conferences, knowledge exchange with other research institutes, public interest work, and so on.

The foundation is responsible for organizing many research conferences. Every March, an international conference called “China Development Forum” is held at Diaoyutai (the government’s guesthouse complex), and the last one was attended by both the premier and the vice premier, as well as more than eighty of the executives of the Fortune Global 500.

The foundation also has specific research projects directed at questions of policy. Some of the research is commissioned by the government, others by private companies. These projects cover economics, sociology, and management. The results of the research are generally presented as policy proposals, delivered to the commissioning party or the DNC.

Another important part of the foundation’s work involves public interest research intended to benefit children from rural, poverty-stricken parts of China.

I get emotional whenever I have to talk about this aspect of the foundation. I can’t express the depth of my admiration for my colleagues’ dedication to their task. These projects involve the most remote, poorest parts of China, and those working on them spend most of the year away from Beijing, staying in villages without modern conveniences, visiting each family one by one. Some of my colleagues kept on working even when they were pregnant, riding bumpy buses through dusty roads for hours to reach their destinations.

The foundation suggested a nutritional supplement program for children from rural, poor regions, and the program is now national policy. The foundation also built kindergartens for children in mountainous regions left behind when their parents left their ancestral villages to be migrant workers in distant cities. A poor county might contain a hundred tiny villages scattered in the mountains, and the foundation would build a kindergarten in every single village. These children might not see their parents for the whole year, and receive practically no education before they are old enough for school. We don’t necessarily know what it means to win the race of life at the starting line, but we certainly know what it looks like when children fall behind at the starting line.

Compared to the enormous population of China, the efforts of the foundation are so insignificant it is like trying to rescue a burning house with a single cup of water. But even such small efforts, maintained over years, may still make a difference.

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This is why I won’t leave my job. Even if I were to win the Hugo, it won’t have much impact on my life.

I need that persistence, that sense I’m part of a worthwhile effort, with a set direction. Secretary-General Lu Mai at the foundation has already spent decades traversing the country on behalf of children from rural, poor regions, and the children’s welfare is all he thinks about. Many of my colleagues are not interested in pretty words; they’ve spent years on their projects, having seen much and accomplished much, but rarely do they talk about what they’ve done. But I can see in them the hardened strength I need. Their actions tell me that in this superficial world filled with cynical laughter and ironic detachment, there are still some who hold onto their ideals and try to make them come true. Even the most magnificent fireworks will fade after a moment, but steady strides, one step after another on solid ground, will bring hope of change.

The foundation is a small group that can touch First Space, but chooses to cheer on Third Space. We’re not many, but we’ll never give up.

 

hao_jingfang2Hao Jingfang has an undergraduate degree from Tsinghua University’s Department of Physics and a PhD from Tsinghua in Economics and Management. Her fiction has appeared in English various publications, including Lightspeed, Clarkesworld, and Uncanny. She has published three full-length novels, Wandering Maearth, Return to Charon, and Born in 1984; a book of cultural essays, Europe in Time; and several short story collections, Star Travelers, To Go the Distance, and The Depth of Loneliness. In 2016, her novelette, “Folding Beijing” (translated by Ken Liu), was a Hugo finalist. Several of her stories, including “Folding Beijing,” are collected in Invisible Planets, an anthology of contemporary Chinese SF edited and translated by Ken Liu.

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Uncanny Magazine, Pockets, and Heat of Us Are All World Fantasy Award Finalists!

SPACE UNICORNS! UNCANNY MAGAZINE‘S LYNNE M. AND MICHAEL DAMIAN THOMAS, AMAL EL-MOHTAR’S “POCKETS,” AND SAM J. MILLER’S “THE HEAT OF US: NOTES TOWARD AN ORAL HISTORY” ARE ALL WORLD FANTASY AWARD FINALISTS

This is such an amazing and unexpected honor. A huge thanks to all of the World Fantasy Convention members and the World Fantasy Award jury for nominating Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, for Uncanny, in the Special Award, Nonprofessional category, and both Amal El-Mohtar’s “Pockets” and Sam J. Miller’s “Heat of Us: Notes Toward an Oral History” in the Short Fiction category. (Both stories are available for free on the website and in our podcast.)

We had many hopes for our first year of Uncanny Magazine, but even in our wildest dreams we didn’t foresee this much award attention.  Stories, covers, the podcast, and the magazine itself have been named as finalists for the Hugo, the Locus, the World Fantasy, the Chesley, the Spectrum, the Parsec, the Theodore Sturgeon, and many other awards. Thank you, you phenomenal Space Unicorn Ranger Corps for making Uncanny Magazine possible, and giving us the means to share these special pieces with all of you.  This is the best community of staff, contributors, and readers possible.

If it is possible to be both proud and completely floored, you’re looking at it.

Shine on, Space Unicorns!

Uncanny Magazine Issue 11 Cover and Table of Contents!

Coming July 5, THE ELEVENTH 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 August 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!

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Uncanny Magazine Issue 11 Table of Contents

Cover
“Those Who Came First” by Antonio Caparo

Editorial
“The Uncanny Valley” by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas (7/5)

Fiction
“A Hundred and Seventy Storms” by Aliette de Bodard (7/5)
“El Cantar of Rising Sun” by Sabrina Vourvoulias (7/5)
“The Words on My Skin” by Caroline M. Yoachim (7/5)
“Snow Day” by Catherynne M. Valente (8/2)
“An Ocean the Color of Bruises” by Isabel Yap (8/2)

Reprint Fiction
“Travels with the Snow Queen” by Kelly Link (7/5)

Nonfiction
“We Were All Trini: Searching for Asian American Mirrors in SF/F” by Sarah Kuhn (7/5)
“So You Want to Start a Podcast” by Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky (7/5)
“The Death of Very Special Diversity Comics” by Sigrid Ellis (8/2)
“Myth Has Momentum, or: How I Accidentally Deified a Jar of Jelly” by Kelly McCullough (8/2)

Poetry
“Good Neighbors” by Jessica P. Wick (7/5)
“Phaya Nak Goes to the West” by Bryan Thao Worra (8/2)
“The Persecution of Witches” by Ali Trotta (8/2)

Interviews
Sarah Kuhn interviewed by Deborah Stanish (7/5)
Sabrina Vourvoulias interviewed by Deborah Stanish (7/5)

Podcast 11A (7/5)
“A Hundred and Seventy Storms” by Aliette de Bodard, as read by Erika Ensign
“Good Neighbors” by Jessica P. Wick, as read by Amal El-Mohtar
An interview conducted by Deborah Stanish

Podcast 11B (8/2)
“An Ocean the Color of Bruises” by Isabel Yap, as read by Amal El-Mohtar
“The Persecution of Witches” by Ali Trotta, as read by Erika Ensign
An interview conducted by Deborah Stanish

Uncanny Cabin II: The Reckoning. A Review by Anne M. Gibson

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.

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.