The Uncanny Valley


As we write this, the Thomas family should be in celebratory mode. Caitlin has been out of the hospital for three months and has remained healthy so far. We just purchased a new home in Champaign—a dream house that is super accessible for Caitlin, which, by the time you read this, we will have moved into. Uncanny Magazine continues to be honored in different ways.

It is hard to take much joy from any of this, though. Not while people are dying. Not when people are losing their jobs. Not when a corrupt regime mismanages the crisis in every possible way.

These are terrifying times. The COVID-19 pandemic is devastating the world. Many of you are isolated at home. Others of you are out on the front lines providing care and supplies to the world. So many of us are ill or vulnerable or suddenly in horrible situations.

Uncanny Magazine remains here for you. We will continue to provide art and beauty throughout the rest of 2020. We are able to do this because of your generosity: it means we can continue to pay our writers, artists, and staff through the rest of 2020.

As scary as these times are, the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps will remain strong. We will battle through this together. We will continue to value kindness above all things. As a community, we will always fight the darkness.

So, let’s talk about some things worth celebrating; they are especially important in dark times.

PHENOMENAL news, Space Unicorns! Three Uncanny  Magazine stories are finalists for the prestigious Hugo Award! “The Blur in the Corner of Your Eye” by Sarah Pinsker is a finalist for Best Novelette, “Away With the Wolves” by Sarah Gailey (from the Disabled People Destroy Fantasy special issue) is a finalist for Best Novelette, and “A Catalog of Storms” by Fran Wilde is a finalist for Best Short Story! Congratulations to everybody!

Even more wonderful news! Uncanny Magazine (Publishers/Editors-in-Chief Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas, Managing/Nonfiction Editor Michi Trota, Managing Editor Chimedum Ohaegbu, and Podcast Producers Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky) is once again a finalist for Best Semiprozine!

Another fantastic thing! Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas are also once again finalists for the Best Editor, Short Form Hugo Award!

Finally, two members of our current staff are finalists for different Hugo Awards! Nonfiction Editor Elsa Sjunneson is a finalist as former Managing Editor of Fireside Magazine in Best Semiprozine! And Uncanny Magazine Interviewer Caroline M. Yoachim’s “The Archronology of Love” from Lightspeed Magazine is a finalist for Best Novelette!

It is an amazing list of Hugo Award finalists, many of whom are Uncanny authors and friends. CONGRATULATIONS TO EVERYBODY!!! Thank you to everyone who nominated these works, and to the hard-working CoNZealand staff. We are honored, ecstatic, and overwhelmed.

As you may remember, four Uncanny Magazine stories are finalists for the prestigious Nebula Award from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America! “The Blur in the Corner of Your Eye” by Sarah Pinsker is a finalist for Best Novelette, “The Dead, In Their Uncontrollable Power” by Karen Osborne is a finalist for Best Short Story, “How the Trick Is Done” by A.C. Wise is a finalist for Best Short Story, and finally “A Catalog of Storms” by Fran Wilde is a finalist for Best Short Story!

Michael and the Uncanny Penguin were planning to attend, but like all conferences, there will no longer be an in-person Nebula Conference. Like many other conferences, though, the SFWA Nebula Conference will now be VIRTUAL! Visit this website for more details!

And now the contents of Uncanny Magazine Issue 34! The spectacular cover is Taking Flight by Julie Dillon. Our new fiction includes Arkady Martine’s intense exploration of the costs of a city and community “A Being Together Amongst Strangers,” Jennifer Marie Brissett’s evocative tale of science and escape “Through the Veil,” Emma Törzs’s layered story of transformation, betrayal, and friendship “High in the Clean Blue Air,” A. T. Greenblatt’s delightful recounting of a superhero’s origins “Burn or The Episodic Life of Sam Wells as a Super,” Meg Elison’s emotional and touching tale of wedding dresses and drag “Dresses Like White Elephants,” and Suzanne Walker’s lyrical story of discovery “We Chased the Sirens.” Our reprint is Sonya Taaffe’s “Where the Sky Is Silver and the Earth Is Brass,” originally published in Machinations and Mesmerism: Tales Inspired by E.T.A. Hoffmann (Ulthar Press, July 2019).

Our provocative and compelling essays this month include “It Is Not That The Spoon Must Bend, or: Cypher’s Steak and Our Online Lives” by Fran Wilde, “Cons, Crud, and Coronavirus” by Kelly Lagor, “Prayer Room Science Fiction” by Khairani Barokka, and “Censorship and Genre Fiction—Broaden our Broader Reality” by Ada Palmer. This month also includes a new editorial column by Nonfiction Editor Elsa Sjunneson called “Imagining Place: Self-Quarantine Edition.”

Our gorgeous and evocative poetry includes “Assimilation” by Valerie Valdes, “Athena Holds Up a Mirror to Strength” by Ali Trotta, “deep sleep” by Roshani Chokshi, and “ask them who is doing the haunting (a vietnamese american underwater fairytale)” by T.K. Lê. Finally, Caroline M. Yoachim interviews Emma Törzs and Meg Elison about their stories.

The Uncanny Magazine Podcast episode 34A features “A Being Together Amongst Strangers” by Arkady Martine, as read by Joy Piedmont, “Athena Holds Up a Mirror to Strength” by Ali Trotta, as read by Erika Ensign, and Lynne M. Thomas interviewing Arkady Martine. The Uncanny Magazine Podcast episode 34B features “Burn or The Episodic Life of Sam Wells as a Super” by A. T. Greenblatt, as read by Erika Ensign, “deep sleep” by Roshani Chokshi, as read by Joy Piedmont, and Lynne M. Thomas interviewing A. T. Greenblatt.

As always, we are deeply grateful for your support of Uncanny Magazine.

Shine on and be safe, 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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