The Uncanny Valley

We are writing this on the fifth anniversary of our daughter Caitlin dying and being resuscitated during surgery. Winds howl, making it feel well below zero. A sheet of ice covers Central Illinois. Spring feels a million years away.

We opened our first editorial of our new magazine, Uncanny, talking about how Caitlin’s frightening surgery day was the worst day of our lives. And thankfully, that remains true. Caitlin has remained healthy and happy for quite some time. Her Aicardi syndrome remains terrifying, but she has thrived over the past few years, traveling with us, going to high school, making numerous friends, and even appearing onstage at the 2018 Hugo Awards. There have been ups and downs, but Caitlin will finally be going back to a Disney park in a few weeks—nine years after her Make-a-Wish trip. This is all worth celebrating.

Why mention this? The world is still very scary. And there will be more bad, and not everyone will get happy endings. But good continues to fight. Small and large victories are everywhere. Together, Space Unicorns, we resist and push back and have hard discussions and progress continues. Dreams of a better world cannot be crushed by one corrupt, authoritarian regime. We have feathers and a strong wind. There is always more kindness, art, beauty, and love coming—even when things feel oh so bleak.

Outstanding news, Space Unicorns! “And Yet” by A. T. Greenblatt is a 2018 finalist for a Best Short Story Nebula Award!

Congratulations, Aliza!

It is an amazing list of finalists. CONGRATULATIONS TO EVERYBODY!!!

From the SFWA Nebula Award announcement:

“The Nebula Awards will be presented during the annual SFWA Nebula Conference, which will run from May 16th-19th and feature programming developed and geared toward SFF professionals. On May 18th, a mass autograph session will take place at the Warner Center Marriott Woodland Hills and will be free and open to the public.

The Nebula Awards, presented annually, recognize the best works of science fiction and fantasy published in the previous year. They are selected by members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. The first Nebula Awards were presented in 1966.

The Nebula Awards include four fiction awards, a game writing award, the Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, the Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book. SFWA also administers the Kate Wilhelm Solstice Awards, the Kevin O’Donnell, Jr. Service to SFWA Award, and the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award.”

More outstanding news, Space Unicorns! There are seven Uncanny Magazine stories on the prestigious 2018 Locus Recommended Reading List! WE ARE SO CHUFFED!

Congratulations to all of the authors!

This means you can vote for these stories in the 2019 Locus Poll and Survey which determines the Locus Awards! Voting is FREE TO ALL! Along with these stories, Uncanny Magazine is also eligible for a Locus Award in the Best Magazine or Fanzine category, and Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas are eligible in the Best Editor—Pro or Fan category! Vote for the things you liked, and you can even write in things that didn’t make the 2018 Locus Recommended Reading List! YOUR VOTE ALWAYS COUNTS!

Speaking of polls, Space Unicorns, we’ve revealed the TOP STORY in our Uncanny Magazine 2018 Favorite Fiction Reader Poll! It is…


The Tale of the Three Beautiful Raptor Sisters, and the Prince Who Was Made of Meat” by Brooke Bolander!!! Congratulations, Brooke! Brooke will be receiving a SNAZZY CERTIFICATE!

The rest of the Top Five are:

2: “The Rose MacGregor Drinking and Admiration Society” by T. Kingfisher

3: “How to Swallow the Moon by Isabel Yap

4: “The Thing About Ghost Stories” by Naomi Kritzer

5: Is a tie!!!

Congratulations to T. (Ursula Vernon), Isabel, Naomi, Arkady, and Elizabeth!

Thank you to everybody who voted!

Fabulous news, Space Unicorns! The phenomenal Subterranean Press will be releasing a massive hardcover edition of The Best of Uncanny in December 2019! The Best of Uncanny is a collection edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas bringing together some of their favorite Uncanny Magazine stories and poems from the first few years of the magazine, including many works which were nominated for or won awards. Over 40 authors!

There is also a limited-edition version SIGNED by all but one of them, which is already amazingly sold out!

But you can still pre-order the massive regular hardcover edition right now at The Subterranean Press website!

Hugo Award nominations are now open! If you are an eligible member of Worldcon 76 or Dublin 2019, you should already have your membership and PIN information so you can start nominating online!

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. (Note: If you are nominating the Thomases in this category, please continue to nominate them together. They are a co-editing team.)

You can see all of the eligible Uncanny Magazine stories and their appropriate categories here

Here is Managing Editor/Nonfiction Editor Michi Trota’s 2018 Awards Eligibility post!

And Interviewer Caroline M. Yoachim’s 2018 Awards Eligibility post!

And Assistant Editor Chimedum Ohaegbu’s 2018 Awards Eligibility post!

And Podcast Producer/Reader Erika Ensign’s 2018 Awards Eligibility post!

Just one Thomas traveling this month. Michael will be at FogCon, March 8-10, in the San Francisco Bay Area. This will be his first time there! Michael looks forward to seeing people and maybe penguins there! (It is very cold right now, so we are assuming there will be penguins everywhere.)

And now the contents of Uncanny Magazine Issue 27! The spectacular cover is Christopher Jones’s Traveler. Our new fiction includes Karen Osborne’s intense story of sins and duty “The Dead, In Their Uncontrollable Power,” Tina Connolly’s gorgeous story of transformation “A Sharp Breath of Birds,” Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam’s bittersweet tale of love and loss “Every Song Must End,” Marie Brennan’s dark and poignant examination of magic and academia “Vīs Dēlendī,” Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s gothic seaside tale “On the Lonely Shore,” and A. T. Greenblatt’s story of love during a slow apocalypse “Before the World Crumbles Away.” The reprint is Aliette de Bodard’s “The Dragon That Flew Out of the Sun,” originally published in 2017 in the anthology Cosmic Powers.

Our essays this month include Tracy Townsend examining the intersection of being an SF/F author and teaching SF/F to high school students, Briana Lawrence exploring her relationship with fanfic as a writer, Marissa Lingen pondering misplaced skepticism and the mechanisms of suspension of disbelief, and Suzanne Walker revisiting and examining the Star Wars expanded universe and how it has impacted her life. Our gorgeous and evocative poetry includes Beth Cato’s “Childhood Memory from the Old Victorian House on Warner,”  D.A. Xiaolin Spires’s “Taho,” Cassandra Khaw’s “things you don’t say to city witches,” Sandi Leibowitz’s “Wendy, Waiting,” and Chloe N. Clark’s “Other Forms of Conjuring the Moon.” Finally, Caroline M. Yoachim interviews Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam and A. T. Greenblatt about their stories.

Uncanny Magazine Podcast 27A features Karen Osborne’s “The Dead, In Their Uncontrollable Power,” as read by Stephanie Malia Morris, Beth Cato’s “Childhood Memory from the Old Victorian House on Warner,” as read by Erika Ensign, and Lynne M. Thomas interviewing Karen Osborne. Uncanny Magazine Podcast 27B features Marie Brennan’s “Vīs Dēlendī ,” as read by Erika Ensign, Cassandra Khaw’s “things you don’t say to city witches,” as read by Stephanie Malia Morris, and Lynne M. Thomas interviewing Marie Brennan.

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.

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