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The Utmost Bound

… and this gray spirit yearning in desire To follow knowledge like a sinking star, Beyond the utmost bound of human thought. —Tennyson The check-in chime in his headset: on time, annoyingly on time, as usual, waking him as they came around the curve of Venus. “Aphrodite-1, this is Honolulu, do you read?” Faint washes […]

She Still Loves the Dragon

She still loves the dragon that set her on fire. The knight-errant who came seeking you prepared so carefully. She made herself whole for you. To be worthy of you. To be strong enough to reach you, where you live, so very high. She found the old wounds of her earlier errantry and of her […]

Mobile Matchmaking Hell

My cell phone, it turned out, was not compatible with The Future of Dating. I can’t blame it for its betrayal. My Nexus 5 had served me well and faithfully for three years now, bouncing from school to school and country to country. The poor thing was tired. But it was also the only weapon […]

The Hydraulic Emperor

The Hydraulic Emperor is nine minutes and twenty-seven seconds long. It was filmed on an eighteen-quadcopter neocamera rig back when neocameras were the only way to make immersive film: an early effort by Aglaé Skemety, whose Bellfalling Ascension is still the critical darling of the immersion-culture literati. The Hydraulic Emperor falls sometime between her earliest […]

Conservation Laws

I met Gyanendra Sahai for the first time in the bowels of the Lunar Geological Institute, in front of a display case containing an old-fashioned, heavy-built moonsuit. There was a large crack along one side of the suit and a rust-coloured discolouration along the opening. I was thinking about the pre-colonization days of moon exploration […]

Thank You, Patreon Supporters!

Uncanny Magazine would like to thank the following people for supporting us on Patreon. This magazine would not be possible without their support. Space Unicorn Ranger Corps COMMANDERS Adam Leff, Alan J. Zimmerman, Bliss Ehrlich, Crystal Huff, Dain Unicorn, Daniel Sales, Edmund Schweppe, Hisham El-Far, Jayme Lundeen, Kate O’Conner, Kevin Lyda, Marielle Kaifer, Naomi Scott, […]

Contingency Plans for the Apocalypse

My apocalypse doesn’t ride on horseback or raise the dead or add suns to the sky. It arrives by tank and drone, the strict report of automatic weapons, the spying eyes of neighbors. It seeks my spouse’s life. Mine, too. I don’t expect to survive. Chula has better odds. She is a four-time triathlete, perfect […]

Sorrow and Joy, Sunshine and Rain

You weren’t born so much as you flared into being, surrounded by a multiplicity of tongues and the sloshing sway of the mother waters. Had you been a human child, you would have wailed. Instead, your birth-song was the death rattle and prayers of these chained humans calling, together, a plaintive babble for release, for […]

The Secret of NIMH

(Editors’ Note: This essay is a side-step to Mari Ness’s exquisite Disney Read-Watch series of essays on Tor.com.) Don Bluth entered Disney in 1955 with high hopes. As a child, he had been mesmerized by Disney films and shorts, later telling interviewers that he spent hours copying Disney comic books. To his delight, he was […]

Monitoring My Mind: MST3K and Me

(Content note: This essay contains descriptions of child abuse.) Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) was, for those who don’t know, a show that aired in the 80s and 90s. It aired on a lot of different channels: first on local Minneapolis television, then on the Comedy Channel, and when that channel merged with Ha the […]