The Uncanny Valley

As we write this, our daughter Caitlin has been home from the hospital for six months and remains healthy in our new house. We’re extremely grateful, but the world is otherwise terrifying right now. The COVID-19 pandemic continues with no end in sight. Horrible regimes around the world continue policies that harm people in so many ways.

There’s a lot going on, though, to fight that darkness, and Space Unicorns shine on together. Uncanny Magazine is a community—a community that does the work. Space Unicorns, keep speaking out. Keep donating money and time. Keep marching and protesting in uprisings around the world. Keep voting and staying informed. We’ve come together here to enjoy stories, essays, poems, podcasts, and interviews, but each of us does so much more. You are phenomenal, Space Unicorns. You will win. You will make this world better. You are so much stronger than those cruel, capricious fuckers.

Uncanny Magazine condemns the murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis Policethe murder of Tony McDade by the Tallahassee Policethe murder of Breonna Taylor by the Louisville Metro Police, the murder of Regis Korchinski-Paquet by the Toronto Police, the murders of countless other Black people by the police across the United States, Canada, and worldwide, and the police and government attacks on protesters across the United States. We further condemn the rise of white supremacists and fascists, the continued embracing of racist policies and white supremacists by American political officials of both parties, including the GOP and President Trump, and the systemic racism that permeates every corner of American, Canadian, and global life.

We unequivocally support the Black Lives Matter movement. We support the continued efforts to fight racism and hate through all available means. We will do everything in our power to help dismantle white supremacy and work with those fighting for the same goal.

Uncanny started as a magazine, but we quickly became a community. As a community, we hold onto certain beliefs. These beliefs encompass more than loving art and kindness and stories that make you feel. We at Uncanny Magazine recognize that anti-Blackness is rampant throughout SFF publishing, and publishing in general. It is our responsibility as a community to confront our biases and work to correct them, and visibly support Black creators and audiences. Uncanny will continue to work on this by having Black staff members in editorial positions, by having Black staff members in first reader positions, by encouraging Black writers to submit to Uncanny, by soliciting works directly from Black creators, and by showcasing Black works. We welcome essay pitches from Black authors now and into the future. We will also continue dialogues with other publishers, editors, and markets about how to continue to confront and correct the anti-Blackness in SFF publishing in a sustained, long-lasting way.

We urge the entire Uncanny Magazine community to join us in this fight. Protest. Donate. Speak out. Boost and listen to Black voices.

Black lives matter.

Are you looking for a way to support Uncanny Magazine? Fear not, Space Unicorns! We will be running an Uncanny Magazine Year 7 Kickstarter starting REALLY SOON! Keep watching our Twitter and Facebook feeds for more information!

We have some bittersweet news, and some wonderful news, Space Unicorns.

Uncanny Magazine Assistant Editor Angel Cruz is moving on after issue 36. Angel has been with us for over a year and has done a spectacular job, especially with our newsletter. We know Angel will continue to do brilliant things, and we will greatly miss her.

And now for the wonderful news! We’re searching for a brand new Assistant Editor! The pool is fabulous, and we know that the next Assistant Editor will be phenomenal.

Tremendous news, Space Unicorns! Elizabeth Bear’s “A Time to Reap” was a Best Novella Locus Award finalist, Sarah Pinsker’s “The Blur in the Corner of Your Eye” was a Best Novelette Locus Award finalist, Elizabeth Bear’s “Lest We Forget” was a Best Short Story Locus Award finalist, and Fran Wilde’s “A Catalog of Storms” was a Best Short Story Locus Award finalist! Congratulations to Elizabeth, Sarah, and Fran! Plus, Uncanny Magazine was a Best Magazine Locus Award finalist, and Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas were a Best Editor Locus Award finalist! AND The Best of Uncanny (edited by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas) from Subterranean Press was a Best Anthology Locus Award finalist!

We are so honored!

The Locus Awards were held on June 27. None of the Uncanny pieces won, but there were some fabulous winners. Congratulations to all of winners and finalists!

Spectacular news, Space Unicorns! Karen Osborne’s “The Dead, In Their Uncontrollable Power” is a Sturgeon Memorial Award finalist! And that’s not all! Uncanny Magazine Interviewer Caroline M. Yoachim’s “The Archronology of Love” from Lightspeed Magazine is also a Sturgeon Award finalist! Congratulations to Karen, Caroline, and all of the finalists!

Lastly, speaking of reminders, voting for the Hugo Awards finalists closes soon, and memberships for both attending and supporting levels are still open! The list of Uncanny finalists can be read on our website. If you’re a member of the ConZealand Worldcon, you can read eBooks  of all of Uncanny’s nominated stories, highlights of Uncanny’s 2019, and The Best of Uncanny in the Hugo Voter Packet!

And now the contents of Uncanny Magazine Issue 35! The spectacular cover is Kirbi Fagan’s Walking in the Cosmos. Our new fiction includes Tina Connolly’s sugar-fueled party “Once More Unto the Breach (But Don’t Worry, the Inflatable Swords Are Latex-Free),” Jenn Reese’s road-trip time-loop tale “The World Ends in Salty Fingers and Sugared Lips,” M Evan MacGriogair’s song of hope and friendship in terrible times “A Pale Horse,” Chinelo Onwualu’s uncanny hotel tale “A Love Song for Herkinal, as composed by Ashkernas amid the ruins of New Haven,” Aliette de Bodard’s sweeping noir of fallen angels “The Inaccessibility of Heaven,” Mari Ness’s intricate tale of love and seasons “The Ruby of the Summer King,” and Jordan Taylor’s story of perfumes and the aristocracy “The Nine Scents of Sorrow.”

Our provocative and compelling essays this month include “Will I Live to See My Utopia?” by P. Djèlí Clark, “Hands On” by Caitlin Starling, “Transforming Anxiety” by Danny Lore, and “The People You Only Think You Know” by Hillary Monahan. This month also includes a new editorial column by Nonfiction Editor Elsa Sjunneson called “Imagining Place: Without Police.”

Our gorgeous and evocative poetry includes “lagahoo culture (Part I)” by Brandon O’Brien, “saltwashed” by Jennifer Mace, “The Trouble Over” by Sonya Taaffe, and “fair exchange” by Ewen Ma. Finally, Caroline M. Yoachim interviews M Evan MacGriogair and Aliette de Bodard about their stories.

The Uncanny Magazine Podcast episode 35A features “Once More Unto the Breach (But Don’t Worry, the Inflatable Swords Are Latex-Free)” by Tina Connolly, as read by Joy Piedmont, “The World Ends in Salty Fingers and Sugared Lips” by Jenn Reese, as read by Joy Piedmont, “saltwashed” by Jennifer Mace, as read by Erika Ensign, and Lynne M. Thomas interviewing Tina Connolly. The Uncanny Magazine Podcast episode 35B features “The Ruby of the Summer King” by Mari Ness, as read by Erika Ensign, “fair exchange” by Ewen Ma, as read by Joy Piedmont, and Lynne M. Thomas interviewing Mari Ness.

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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