The Uncanny Valley

Happy New Year! We made it to 2019!

Somebody shook the Champaign-Urbana snowglobe. Wet whiteness drapes the campus trees as we write this in Espresso Royale—the coffeehouse where we’ve been writing things since Nirvana and REM ruled the radio charts. And people listened to radio. And knew what charts were.

The Thomases have been taking it easy over the last couple of months. (Well, except for taking care of Caitlin, running the magazine, Lynne’s rare books administrator day job, etc.) We had a fabulous time with the Team Uncanny of Erika Ensign, Steven Schapansky, and Michi Trota at the Chicago TARDIS convention. Caitlin had a blast watching her mom interviewing second Doctor companions Wendy Padbury and Frazer Hines onstage. We came home with autographs, toys, wonderful memories… and a norovirus. Only Lynne got sick, but that was a not-fun week!

In this moment of forced rest, the Thomases dug into watching old Doctor Who episodes, which is their lifestyle after all, and Hollywood musicals on Turner Classic Movies.

Specifically, we’ve been watching a lot of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers films. The gorgeous beauty of their dances, viewing them gliding to the songs of Gershwin, Berlin, Kern, and others—transports us away from a world of anxiety and uncertainty. This was, after all, what the romance of their dances and music did for the viewers who first saw these films during the Great Depression—that frightening time between two cataclysmic world wars. Because even in that dark time, there was still some escape in celluloid made of hope, beauty, romance, and art.

Which brings us to this issue. America just had a more hopeful midterm election. Relentless people campaigned and joined their voices in rebuke to tyranny and hate. There is a long road still, but together we will travel it. We will resist, push back, and hold onto community and kindness. As you read this issue of Uncanny, you will see those threads in all of the phenomenal works here. They don’t sugarcoat or accept the horrors of the universe. Each work has a light embedded within it—a light of family, art, love, and rejection of cruelty. We will get through this, and we will all be magnificent, Space Unicorns.

Fabulous news, Space Unicorns! Uncanny Magazine’s Managing Editor Michi Trota is getting an additional title! Along with being Uncanny’s PHENOMENAL Managing Editor, Michi will now have the additional title of Nonfiction Editor starting with this issue!

Michi has been involved with the nonfiction editing since day one, and we are super excited to have her increase her involvement in this area. Congratulations, Michi!

Fantastic news, Space Unicorns! Uncanny’s fabulous Assistant Editor Chimedum Ohaegbu is being honored as one of the recipients of the Katherine Brearley Arts Scholarship at the University of British Columbia!

In selecting recipients, consideration is given to both scholarly excellence and the demonstrated ability to work with and lead others in student and community activities at the university, local, national, and/or international level.

Chimedum has done a huge amount of work and contributed her leadership skills to her community to earn this award. She’s an integral part of Uncanny’s success, and we’re so proud of her for this achievement! Please join us in congratulating her!

It’s the time of year when people post their year-in-reviews to remind voters for the different SF/F awards what’s out there that they might have missed and which categories these stories are eligible in (especially for the Hugo Awards and Nebula Awards). 2018 was the fourth full calendar year of Uncanny Magazine (Issues 20 through 25, including the Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction special issue). We are extremely proud of the year we had.

This year, Uncanny Magazine is still eligible for the Best Semiprozine Hugo Award. Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas are also still eligible for the Best Editor (Short Form) Hugo Award for editing issues 20-23, and 25. (Note: If you are nominating the Thomases in this category, please continue to nominate them together. They are a co-editing team.)

If you are a SFWA member nominating for the Nebula Awards, you can find eBook copies of all of our issues in the SFWA Forums.

Please also note that essays are eligible for the Best Related Work Hugo Award, and poetry is eligible for the Rhysling Award. As Uncanny is a semiprozine, all of the essays and original art also contribute towards the creators’ Best Fan Writer and Best Fan Artist Hugo Award eligibility.

You can find links to all of the Uncanny Magazine 2018 stories along with their award categories on our blog!

Fantastic news, Space Unicorns! We’re excited we can now announce another Disabled People Destroy Fantasy GUEST EDITOR!

The Guest Poetry Editor is… Lisa M. Bradley!!!

Originally from South Texas, Lisa M. Bradley now lives in Iowa with her spouse and their teenager. Her speculative fiction and poetry examine borders, taboos, and transgressions, no doubt influenced by her experiences growing up a bi-ethnic bisexual Tejana living with an invisible illness on an international border. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Strange Horizons, Uncanny, Fireside, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies, among other venues. Her first collection of fiction and poetry is The Haunted Girl. Watch for her debut novel, EXILE, coming from Rosarium in 2019. For updates, follow Lisa on Twitter (@cafenowhere) or check out her website:

We are so thrilled to be working with Lisa! Disabled People Destroy Fantasy will be AMAZING! Thank you again to all of the Uncanny Magazine Year 4/Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction Kickstarter Backers who made the Disabled People Destroy Fantasy special issue happen!

Speaking of the Disabled People Destroy Fantasy special issue, DPDF will have open submissions for short fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, and we posted the guidelines on our website in case you would like to submit something for consideration. Submissions will be open from January 15, 2019, through February 28, 2019. We can’t wait to see your pieces!

And now the contents of Uncanny Magazine Issue 26! The fabulous cover is Julie Dillon’s Pearls and Stardust. Our new fiction includes Fran Wilde’s stunning story of family and sacrifice “A Catalog of Storms,” Natalia Theodoridou’s gorgeous exploration of post-apocalyptic love and poesy “Poems Written While,” Senaa Ahmad’s touching and fantastic tale of siblings and discovery “Nothing to Fear, Nothing to Fear,” Delilah S. Dawson’s Southern gothic story that drips with the sensual and the horrific “The Willows,” Marissa Lingen’s hopeful and loving tale of trust and resistance “The Thing, With Feathers,” and Inda Lauryn’s exploration of self-discovery and identity “Dustdaughter.” Our reprint story is Ellen Kushner’s story “The Duke of Riverside,” originally published in Naked City: Tales of Urban Fantasy and revised by the author for this publication.

Our essays this month include Linda D. Addison’s WFC Award Ceremony 2018 Toastmaster Speech about Safe Havens, Elsa Sjunneson-Henry exploring anger and art, Alec Nevala-Lee looking at the impact of John W. Campbell and if an editor could have that influence today, and finally Keidra Chaney musing about being a fangirl in age where fandom has been co-opted by capitalism. Our gorgeous and evocative poetry this month includes Cassandra Khaw’s “A Letter From One Woman to Another,” Sonya Taaffe’s “The Watchword,” Hal Y. Zhang’s “Steeped in Stars,” and Jennifer Crow’s “Red Berries.” Finally, Caroline M. Yoachim interviews Natalia Theodoridou and Marissa Lingen about their stories.

The Uncanny Magazine Podcast 26A features Fran Wilde’s “A Catalog of Storms,” as read by Erika Ensign, Cassandra Khaw’s “A Letter From One Woman to Another,” as read by Stephanie Malia Morris, and Lynne M. Thomas interviewing Fran Wilde. The Uncanny Magazine Podcast 26B includes Delilah S. Dawson’s “The Willows,” as read by Stephanie Malia Morris, Hal Y. Zhang’s “Steeped in Stars,” as read by Erika Ensign , and Lynne M. Thomas interviewing Delilah S. Dawson.

As always, we are deeply grateful of your support of Uncanny Magazine. Shine on, Space Unicorns!


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.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment. You can register here.