The Uncanny Valley

Okay, normally we would have some sort of opening to the editorial before the news, but there is no way we are burying this lede (even if you’ve seen this story a million times already). Two Uncanny Magazine stories are finalists for the prestigious Hugo Award! “Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies” by Brooke Bolander is a finalist for Best Short Story, and “You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay” by Alyssa Wong is a finalist for Best Novelette! As you may recall, these stories are also Nebula Award Finalists! Congratulations Brooke and Alyssa!

Even more excellent news! Uncanny Magazine (edited by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, Michi Trota, Julia Rios, and podcast produced by Erika Ensign & Steven Schapansky) is also once again a finalist for Best Semiprozine!

One more thing! Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas are finalists for the Best Editor—Short Form Hugo Award! This is their first time as finalists in this category. This is also the first time a couple has been nominated for an individual Hugo Award since Leo and Diane Dillon won the Best Professional Artist Hugo Award in 1971.

Finally, “Seasons of Glass and Iron” by Amal El-Mohtar from the Saga Press anthology The Starlit Wood (edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe, who is also a Hugo finalist for Best Editor—Long Form), which we reprinted in Uncanny Magazine, is a finalist for Best Short Story, just like it was for the Nebula Award! Congratulations Amal and Navah!

It is an amazing list of Hugo Award finalists, many of whom are Uncanny authors and friends. CONGRATULATIONS EVERYBODY!!!

Now back to your regularly scheduled introduction…

Daffodils are emerging from the ground. Squirrels are using our roof as a highway between the front and back yard trees. The Cubs have hoisted the World Series banner over Wrigley Field. It is spring, a time of… hope?

Many things remain grim. Though the Trump regime continues to stumble, they also have managed to dismantle and wound many facets of our government. There are too many awful things to list here, and we will miss many between when we write this and when it’s published. Still, we fight on.

As you all know, in early February, Michael made an open call for essay pitches about how we can battle the current white supremacist kleptocrats in charge of the USA. This issue features the second batch of political essays. So many amazing essay pitches came in that we’ve expanded from our 4 normal essay slots to ten! Like last issue, these essays are filled with passion, strategy, and bold resistance. As we said last issue:


So, do you want to help support the continuation of this community? We’re recruiting new members to the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps! A small investment from you goes a long way towards paying our creators and staff. We have a long fight ahead, and your help means we can battle the darkness with more art, beauty, and truth!

There are many ways to join:

  1. There is a Subscription Drive going on at Weightless Books for a year’s worth of Uncanny Magazine eBooks! The drive will run from May 2-May 16. For that limited time, you can receive a year’s worth of Uncanny for $2 off the regular price! We will have some nifty giveaways for a few lucky new or renewing subscribers at particular milestones, too. (T-shirts! Back issues! Fancy custom tea blends! Tote bags!). And all new or renewing subscribers will get a vinyl Space Unicorn sticker and a fancy postcard!
  2. The Uncanny Magazine Patreon! Do you love our magazine and podcast and want to see them continue, but aren’t interested in an eBook subscription? This is an excellent way to support our magazine! You can support us for as little as $1 per month! And you can get UNCANNY SWAG at other levels!
  3. You can subscribe through Amazon Kindle! It’s simple and easy and every wonderful Uncanny eBook issue magically arrives on day of release on your Kindle without any fuss!

More award news! Alyssa Wong’s Uncanny Magazine story, “You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay” is a finalist for the Eugie Award! Plus, Amal El-Mohtar’s “Seasons of Glass and Iron,” from The Starlit Wood (edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe), which was reprinted in Uncanny, is also a Eugie Award finalist!

Congratulations to this year’s finalists for the Eugie Award! They’re an amazing selection of works for an award honoring the memory of a wonderful person and author, Eugie Foster.

So, after some quiet time at home, or what passes for quiet time, May and June will be very busy for Team Thomas. Lynne will be at The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s 51st Annual Nebula Conference in Pittsburgh, PA, from May 18-21. She will be there as the official SFWA Archivist while also cheering on the Uncanny Nebula Award story finalists, Alyssa Wong and Brooke Bolander, plus Uncanny Podcast Reader Amal El-Mohtar!

Team Thomas will be together, plus a Michi Trota, at WisCon from May 26-29. Amal El-Mohtar is one of the Guests of Honor, and it is very possible that we will hold a Space Unicorn Party!

Finally, Michael is planning to attend the Locus Awards Weekend from June 23-25. Voting is still open as we’re writing this, but we’re hopeful that Michael will be cheering on some Uncanny finalists! If not, there will still be plenty of amazing people there!

We hope to see some of you at these events!

And finally, here are the contents of Uncanny Magazine Issue 16! Our cover by Galen Dara is a Resistance-themed sequel to her Issue 10 cover, “The Nas*T* Lady Doth Persist”! Our new fiction this month includes Ursula Vernon’s heartwarming take on love and potato farming, “Sun, Moon, Dust,” John Chu’s fascinating look at a very unusual travel service, “Making the Magic Lightning Strike Me,” Chinelo Onwualu’s fiery tale of future scholarship, “Read Before Use,” Naomi Kritzer’s darkly playful time-travel story, “Paradox,” Hiromi Goto’s passionate and insightful interstitial piece, “Notes from Liminal Spaces,” and finally K.M. Szpara’s wondrous vampirical tale of transformation, “Small Changes Over Long Periods of Time.” Our reprint this month is Carlos Hernandez’s spellbinding story of gods and the moon, “Origins,” from 2016’s The Grimm Future anthology.

As mentioned above, we have ten nonfiction essays this month including Javier Grillo-Marxuach’s examination of the Deus Ex Machina trope, Sarah Gailey’s different take on the Batman, Sam J. Miller’s continuing series of Resistance 101 how-to essays, Sarah Pinsker’s guide to talking to legislators, Mimi Mondal’s powerful confessional about being a new immigrant in America, David J. Schwartz’s celebration and critique of gender in Deep Space Nine, Kelly McCullough’s guide to becoming a local politician, LaShawn M. Wanak’s look at her own journey as a black reader and writer, Yamile Saied Méndez’s memoir of leaving Argentina for America, and DongWon Song’s remembrances of food, literature, culture, and meaning. Our poetry this month includes Roshani Chokshi’s “Dancing Princesses,” Sonya Taaffe’s “Twenty Seventy-One,” Betsy Aoki’s “What to expect from the Hadron Collider as a college roommate,” and Theodora Goss’s “Seven Shoes.” Finally, Julia Rios interviews John Chu and Hiromi Goto.

The Uncanny Magazine Podcast 16A features Ursula Vernon’s “Sun, Moon, Dust” as read by Amal El-Mohtar, Roshani Chokshi’s “Dancing Princesses” as read by Erika Ensign, and Julia Rios interviewing Ursula Vernon. Episode 16B features Naomi Kritzer’s “Paradox” as read by Erika Ensign, Theodora Goss’s “Seven Shoes” as read by Amal El-Mohtar, and Julia Rios interviewing Naomi Kritzer.

We have one last important thing. This issue is dedicated to the memory of SFF scholar Michael M. Levy. Mike was a brilliant academic and writer, and a very dear friend of ours. We saw him every couple of months, and he was always kind and supportive. Loved by many, Mike will be dearly missed.

Please enjoy the latest issue of Uncanny Magazine, and thank you all so much for your continued support.

Fight and shine on, Space Unicorns! Enjoy!


Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas

Lynne and Michael are the Publishers/Editors-in-Chief of Uncanny Magazine.

Ten-time Hugo, British Fantasy, and 2-time Parsec 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) and Hugo Award-finalist Chicks Dig Comics (with Sigrid Ellis).

Seven-time Hugo, British Fantasy, and Parsec Award-winner Michael Damian Thomas was the former Managing Editor of Apex Magazine (2012-2013), co-edited the Hugo-finalist Queers Dig Time Lords (with Sigrid Ellis), and co-edited Glitter & Mayhem (with John Klima and Lynne M. Thomas).

Together, they solve mysteries.

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