The Uncanny Valley

We didn’t expect to be writing this editorial at home. We really thought this would be composed at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago.

As many of you know, our daughter, Caitlin, has been very ill over the last two months. She was hospitalized for 34 out of 38 total days in that period with a brief respite in the middle. This included her 17th birthday, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. It’s been a scary and stressful time, but thankfully we have a fabulous support system of loved ones, friends, colleagues, and the entire Space Unicorn Ranger Corps. They’ve all been there for us, helping out and supporting in every possible way. We launched Uncanny Magazine Issue 31 in an Urbana hospital, the December half in Lurie Hospital, and edited much of this issue in Caitlin’s hospital rooms and quiet spaces in lobbies. We are exhausted, but all of you gave us enough love and strength so we could push through. We’re back at the hospital in a week for follow up, but we know you will be there for us again, Space Unicorns.

That is the power of this Uncanny Magazine community. We band together with our love of art, beauty, intellectualism, resistance to evil, and kindness. We become so much stronger and better. There are no evils we can’t tackle together. Thank you, Space Unicorns.

Excellent award news, Space Unicorns! The 2019 World Fantasy Award winners were announced, and “Like a River Loves the Sky” by Emma Törzs was the co-winner for the Best Short Story World Fantasy Award (shared with “Ten Deals with the Indigo Snake” by Mel Kassel from Lightspeed)! THIS IS SUCH FABULOUS NEWS! This is also the first time an Uncanny Magazine story has won a World Fantasy Award! (Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas were also finalists for the Special Award–Non-Professional World Fantasy Award for Uncanny Magazine.) Congratulations to Emma, and to all of the winners and finalists!

As you may know, starting with this Uncanny Magazine issue, our new Nonfiction Editor is Elsa Sjunneson! Uncanny readers should be very familiar with Elsa. She was the guest Editor-in-Chief (with Dominik Parisien) and Nonfiction Editor of Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction, and has had her essays and fiction published in Uncanny on numerous occasions. We are so thrilled to have Elsa taking over the nonfiction editing. She did a tremendous job as a DPDSF guest editor, and has proven time and time again that along with being a brilliant writer, she is one of the best editors in the business.

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 those stories are eligible in (especially for the Hugo Awards and Nebula Awards). 2019 was the fifth full year of Uncanny Magazine (Issues 26 through 31, including the Disabled People Destroy Fantasy 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 26-29, and 31. (Note: If you are nominating the Thomases in this category, please continue to nominate them together. They are a co-editing team.)

You can find links to all of the Uncanny Magazine 2019 stories along with their award categories on our blog!

(Please 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.)

The forthcoming The Best of Uncanny (edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas) from Subterranean Press received a coveted STARRED REVIEW from Library Journal!

“… the diverse range of voices, works, and prose show the wealth of creativity, humanity, and talent in today’s science fiction and fantasy writers. The introduction from editors Thomas and Thomas show their passion for the genre. VERDICT: This delightful volume of imaginative writing will be devoured by genre fans and newcomers alike.”

This is in addition to the starred reviews from Publishers Weekly Booklist, and Kirkus!

You can order this GIGANTIC BOOK from Subterranean Press or from most places that sell books! Unless it is already out of print, which we were told by the publisher is possible!

Space Unicorns! Are you excited about the forthcoming The Best of Uncanny (edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas) from Subterranean Press? We have more great news! There will be four launch events next year featuring the editors and writers!

University Book Store
Seattle, WA
Friday, January 17th at 6:30 PM
Attending: Michael Damian Thomas, Caroline M. Yoachim, and E. Lily Yu

Shakespeare & Co.
Philadelphia, PA
Saturday, January 25 around 6 PM
Attending: Lynne M. Thomas, Fran Wilde, Sarah Pinsker, C. S. E. Cooney, Shveta Thakrar, Sara Cleto, Ali Trotta, and K.M. Szpara

Illini Union Bookstore
Champaign, IL
Wednesday, February 5 at 6:30 PM
Attending: Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas

Uncle Hugo’s Science Fiction Bookstore
Minneapolis, MN
Saturday, February 15 at 1 PM
Attending: Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas, and Merc Fenn Wolfmoor, plus Kelly McCullough

We hope to see you at one of these events, Space Unicorns!

And now the contents of Uncanny Magazine Issue 32! The spectacular cover is Fallen Embers by Nilah Magruder. Our new fiction includes Rae Carson’s thunderous tale of motherhood in terrifying circumstances “Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse,” Eugenia Triantafyllou’s heartfelt tale of immigration, family, and loss “My Country Is a Ghost,” C.L. Clark’s powerful story of competition and terrible stakes “You Perfect, Broken Thing,” Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam’s heart-wrenching exploration of a lifetime’s sex and love “Where You Linger,” Sharon Hsu’s dissection of portal fantasies and colonialism “And All the Trees of the Forest Shall Clap Their Hands,” and Alex Bledsoe’s sharp and horrific yarn of faith and monsters “The Spirit of the Leech.” Our reprint is E. Lily Yu’s “Braid of Days and Wake of Nights,” originally published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Jan/Feb 2016.

Our provocative and compelling essays this month include “Writing with My Keys Between My Fingers” by Meg Elison, “Save Me a Seat on the Couch: Spoiler Culture, Inclusion, and Disability” by Marissa Lingen, “Speculative Fictions, Everywhere We Look” by Malka Older, and “Street Harassment Is an Access Issue” by Katharine Duckett. This month also includes a new editorial column by Nonfiction Editor Elsa Sjunneson called “Imagining Place: The BBC Miniseries.” Our gorgeous and evocative poetry includes “Who Do You Think You Are” by Ada Hoffmann, “Elegy for the Self as Villeneuve’s Belle” by Brandon O’Brien, “The Death of the Gods” by Leah Bobet, and “A tenjō kudari (“ceiling hanger” yōkai) defends her theft” by Betsy Aoki. Finally, Caroline M. Yoachim interviews Eugenia Triantafyllou and Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam about their stories.

The Uncanny Magazine Podcast 32A features “Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse” by Rae Carson, as read by Erika Ensign, “Who Do You Think You Are” by Ada Hoffmann, as read by Joy Piedmont, and Lynne M. Thomas interviewing Rae Carson. The Uncanny Magazine Podcast 32B features “And All the Trees of the Forest Shall Clap Their Hands” by Sharon Hsu, as read by Joy Piedmont, “The Death of the Gods” by Leah Bobet, as read by Erika Ensign, and Lynne M. Thomas interviewing Sharon Hsu.

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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