2019 Hugo Award for Best Semiprozine Acceptance Speech

(Editors’ Note: Speech portions appear in the order in which they were given at the awards ceremony.)

We are deeply honored by this Hugo Award. It was a fantastic group of finalists.

Uncanny Magazine is the work of numerous people, so we want to thank our 2018 regular staff of Michi Trota, Mimi Mondal, Erika Ensign, Steven Schapansky, Stephanie Malia Morris, Chimedum Ohaegbu, and Caroline M. Yoachim; our Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction guest editors-in-chief Elsa Sjunneson-Henry and Dominik Parisien and guest editors Nicolette Barischoff, S. Qiouyi Lu, and Judith Tarr; all of our submissions editors; every contributor; the Uncanny Penguin for moral support; and of course our ombudsman and world’s greatest daughter, Caitlin. Thank you to every single member of the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps. We couldn’t do this without the support of our community.

Shine on, Space Unicorns!

(Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, Publishers & Co-Editors-in-Chief)

It’s an incredible honor to  be among such amazing colleagues in the Best Semiprozine category. The quality of your work is what keeps pushing and inspiring us at Uncanny to do our best because all of you set a hell of a high bar to clear. Thank you for making SF/F publishing a community to be proud of.

(Michi Trota, Managing Editor)

My name is Elsa Sjunneson-Henry, and I’m the first deafblind woman to win a Hugo Award!

If you’re disabled, and you’ve ever been told you don’t belong in publishing? Or just in the world in general?

This award, this rocketship?

It’s ours to use to reach the stars.

Disabled narratives are desperately needed in our fiction. Disabled people will be in our future.

We have always been on this spaceship.

First I want to both thank and congratulate my Co-Editor-in-Chief of Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction, Dominik Parisien. Without him, DPDSF would not be the incredible issue that it was.

Speaking for both Dominik and myself: We want to thank our authors, without whom DPDSF would not have the might of disabled words behind it. We also cannot go without thanking our Personal Essays editor Nicolette Barischoff, poetry editor S. Qiouyi Lu, and reprints editor Judith Tarr. And to Lynne and Michael Thomas for undertaking this project in the first place, and trusting us with editing it. 

As the first deafblind woman to win a Hugo Award, I am overwhelmed to be holding this rocketship as an achievement of work done with fellow disabled people.

Nothing about us without us includes in our fiction, in our publications, in the future we dream about, and the world we live in now.

Thank you.

(Elsa Sjunneson-Henry, Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction Guest Co-Editor-in-Chief & Nonfiction Editor)


photo collage of Elsa Sjunneson-Henry, Lynne M. Thomas, Michael Damian Thomas, and Michi Trota

Elsa Sjunneson, Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, and Michi Trota

Nonfiction Editor Elsa Sjunneson is a Hugo Award-winning author and editor, and the first deafblind person to win a Hugo Award. She was the Guest Co-Editor-in-Chief of Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction, where she edited the nonfiction section. Her own nonfiction writing has appeared on CNN Opinion,, Fireside, and The Boston Globe. She teaches about disability in fiction on a regular basis. She has an MA in Women’s History from Sarah Lawrence College, where she learned how to write a killer polemic. You can find her talking about being deafblind, having a guide dog, and liking bats @snarkbat on Twitter, and on her website

Publishers & Editors-in-Chief Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas guide the four-time Hugo and Parsec Award-winning Uncanny Magazine. Eight-time Hugo Award winner Lynne M. Thomas was the Editor-in-Chief of Apex Magazine (2011-2013). She co-edited the Hugo Award-winning Chicks Dig Time Lords (with Tara O’Shea) as well as Whedonistas (with Deborah Stanish) and Chicks Dig Comics (with Sigrid Ellis). Along with being a five-time Hugo Award-winner, Michael Damian Thomas was the former Managing Editor of Apex Magazine (2012-2013), co-edited the Hugo-nominated Queers Dig Time Lords (Mad Norwegian Press, 2013) with Sigrid Ellis, and co-edited Glitter & Mayhem (Apex Publications, 2013), with John Klima and Lynne M. Thomas. Together, Lynne and Michael won the Best Editor: Short Form Hugo Award in 2018. Also, they solve mysteries.

Managing Editor & Nonfiction Editor Michi Trota is a four-time Hugo Award-winning writer and editor, and the first Filipina to win a Hugo Award. Michi has been published in The Book Smugglers, The Establishment, and Invisible: An Anthology of Representation in SF/F, and the text writer for the 2018-2019 exhibit Worlds Beyond Here: Expanding the Universe of APA Science Fiction at the Wing Luke Museum in Seattle, WA. She’s spoken at C2E2, the Chicago Humanities Festival, and on NPR. She served five years as a member of the Chicago Nerd Social Club’s Board of Organizers, including two years as Board President. She is also a professional fire spinner, often performing with the fire/flow+bellydance showcase, Raks Geek. She can often be found on Twitter at @geekmelange posting about publishing, pop culture, Filipina identity, food, her cats, and often yelling about The Good Place.

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