The Uncanny Valley

The snow swirls outside of Caitlin’s Lurie Children’s Hospital window. From 20 floors up, we watch cars slip and slide, thankful we’re not traveling home in dangerous weather while also wanting to be anywhere but here. Caitlin is back in the hospital tonight after a mostly healthy 2020. The current kidney stone surgery didn’t go as well as we hoped and we’ll need a repeat in about three weeks; she’s battling pain and nausea. Earlier this week, we received the fabulous news that many of the stories we edited in this hospital made the Locus Recommended Reading List. And here we are, editing in a hospital room once again. Tomorrow we’ll be sent home until her next surgery. Hopefully in a few weeks’ time, Caitlin will be back to her normal self.

Otherwise, the world is a much better place than it was a couple of months ago, but the pandemic rages on. Too many people are sick or dead. Fascism and white supremacy are being fought, but aren’t gone by any means. So much damage was done over the last few years—part of a long history of injustices. As we reach out to folks during Caitlin’s current hospitalization—and folks reach out to us—we are reminded that our community is full of kind and thoughtful people. People who come together and help one another. People who fight side by side to make the world a better and more equitable place.

As always, we can’t do it without all of you.

We hope that you will enjoy this issue of Uncanny Magazine. We often feel fairly helpless to fight the darkness of our world, but maybe this gorgeous and provocative art will add something good to the universe. We believe it does. Just like we believe you do, Space Unicorns. You are magnificent. Thank you.

FABULOUS NEWS, SPACE UNICORNS! HAPPIEST OF DAYS!!! TWELVE Uncanny Magazine stories are on the prestigious 2020 Locus Recommended Reading List! WE ARE SO THRILLED! Congratulations to all of the authors!

Best Novelette:

The Inaccessibility of Heaven” by Aliette de Bodard

Burn or the Episodic Life of Sam Wells as a Super” by A.T. Greenblatt

Best Short Story:

Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse” by Rae Carson

Dresses Like White Elephants” by Meg Elison

The Sycamore and the Sybil”  by Alix E. Harrow

50 Things Every AI Working with Humans Should Know”  by Ken Liu

The Ruby of the Summer King”  by Mari Ness

The Nine Scents of Sorrow” by Jordan Taylor

Georgie in the Sun” by Natalia Theodoridou

Juvenilia”  by Lavie Tidhar

High in the Clean Blue Air” by Emma Törzs

My Country Is a Ghost”  by Eugenia Triantafyllou

This means you can vote for these stories in the 2021 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 2020 Locus Recommended Reading List! YOUR VOTE ALWAYS COUNTS!

Space Unicorns! It is time to announce the TOP STORY in our Uncanny Magazine 2020 Favorite Fiction Reader Poll!

It is…*drumroll*

The Salt Witch” by Martha Wells!

Congratulations, Martha! A SNAZZY CERTIFICATE is on the way!

The rest of the Top Five are:

2- “Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse” by Rae Carson

3- Tie!

My Country Is a Ghost” by Eugenia Triantafyllou

The Bottomless Martyr” by John Wiswell

4- Tie!

The Sycamore and the Sybil” by Alix E. Harrow

Metal Like Blood in the Dark” by T. Kingfisher

5- “Burn or The Episodic Life of Sam Wells as a Super” by A. T. Greenblatt

Congratulations to everybody!

Thank you to everybody who voted!

We have some wonderful news, Space Unicorns! We’re adding a Podcast Reader!

Starting with Uncanny Magazine Podcast #38B, the new Podcast Reader will be…

Matt Peters!

Matt Peters is a passionate Chicago-based voice talent. Having amassed hundreds of hours behind the mic through podcasting, Matt trained with Acting Studio Chicago to improve his skill set. Since then, he’s lent his voice to hosting events, ad campaigns, and audiobook narration. Matt is now a proud member of the Uncanny Magazine family and is excited to share some of our favorite stories with you.

You will probably remember Matt as Michi Trota’s co-host on Uncanny TV! Matt will be joining Erika Ensign and Joy Piedmont in our rotation of regular podcast readers. Matt’s debut is already live as he reads “Femme and Sundance” by Christopher Caldwell!

Hugo Award nominations are now open! If you are an eligible member of CoNZealand or DisCon III, you should already have your membership and voting 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!

And now the contents of Uncanny Magazine Issue 39! The phenomenal cover is Kianga by Paul Lewin. Our new fiction includes Catherynne M. Valente’s cathartic tale of sin and horrors “The Sin of America,” Dominica Phetteplace’s exploration of love, nostalgia, and future immortality “The Perils of a Hologram Heart,” Caroline M. Yoachim’s story of art, identity, and past immortality “Colors of the Immortal Palette,” Carrie Vaughn’s tale of ships and friendships “The Book of the Kraken,” Rati Mehrotra’s epic of war and sacrifice “Eighteen Days of Barbareek,” and Sarah Pinsker’s deep dive into a ballad and its origins “Where Oaken Hearts Do Gather.” Our reprint is “They Shall Salt the Earth with Seeds of Glass” by Alaya Dawn Johnson, originally published in Asimov’s Science Fiction, and also published in Alaya Dawn Johnson’s collection Reconstruction (Small Beer Press).

Our provocative and compelling essays this issue includeDeadly Frocks and Other Tales of Murder Clothes” by Tansy Rayner Roberts, “Seduced by the Ruler’s Gaze: An Indian Perspective on Seth Dickinson’s Masquerade” by Sid Jain, “Protector of Small Steps” by Marieke Nijkamp, and “Please Be Kind to the Singularity” by Jay Edidin. Our gorgeous and evocative poetry includes “the most humane methods could involve a knife” by Tamara Jerée, “lagahoo culture (Part II)” by Brandon O’Brien, “Future Saints” by Terese Mason Pierre, and “Of Monsters I Loved” by Ali Trotta. Finally, Tina Connolly interviews Caroline M. Yoachim and Caroline M. Yoachim interviews Sarah Pinsker about their stories.

The Uncanny Magazine Podcast 39A features “The Sin of America” by Catherynne M. Valente, as read by Heath Miller, “lagahoo culture (Part II)” by Brandon O’Brien, as read by Matt Peters, and Lynne M. Thomas interviewing Catherynne M. Valente. The Uncanny Magazine Podcast 39B features “The Book of the Kraken” by Carrie Vaughn, as read by Joy Piedmont, “Of Monsters I Loved” by Ali Trotta, as read by Heath Miller, and Lynne M. Thomas interviewing Carrie Vaughn.

As always, we are deeply grateful for 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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