The Uncanny Valley

We did it. This is the final issue of Uncanny Magazine Year 6.

As this is the sixth time we’ve managed to complete an entire year of issues, that might not seem like a huge deal. The first two issues, however, were not created in our home. Thanks to the magic of Wi-Fi, tablets, and laptops, we made them in a series of pediatric ICU rooms and hospital lobbies. We mapped out the entire year on index cards on a hospital tray table in between doctors’ visits and nurses taking our child’s vitals. We didn’t know what was going on with our daughter Caitlin, and what was going to happen next. But we pushed through with the magazine. The Space Unicorn Ranger Corps was so kind to us during these terrifying months, and we owed it to you to keep the magazine coming (with the help of our phenomenal staff and contributors).

And here we are. Caitlin has been happy and healthy for eight months. We moved into a new house that’s much more accessible for her. Hugo the Cat even found a bunny nemesis in our new backyard for staredowns. In so many ways, our lives are better.

But also, not. The world remains awful. Daily news of the incompetence, corruption, and malice of the current American regime fills our news feeds. We’re still in the middle of a horrifying pandemic which has killed far too many. Systematic horrors continue against the marginalized.

In one month in the US, though, we can continue to work to change some things. The elections are upon us. If you can, please vote. Keep resisting. Keep being loud about the injustices. And keep doing the work to make this a kinder and fairer world. You are AMAZING as a community. We can make the universe a better place, Space Unicorns!

Space Unicorns! We have wonderful news! Uncanny Magazine won its fifth Hugo Award for Best Semiprozine (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)! We are deeply honored by this Hugo Award. It was a stellar group of finalists.

A magazine is the work of numerous people, so we want to thank our 2019 regular staff of Michi Trota, Erika Ensign, Steven Schapansky, Joy Piedmont, Angel Cruz, Chimedum Ohaegbu, and Caroline M. Yoachim; our Disabled People Destroy Fantasy guest editors Nicolette Barischoff, Lisa M. Bradley, and Katharine Duckett. (We want to apologize to them. We accidentally omitted them from our Hugo acceptance speech. They did phenomenal jobs, & we’re so very sorry for not thanking them in our video); all of our submissions editors; all of our contributors; and, of course, our ombudsman and world’s greatest daughter, Caitlin. Thank you to every single member of the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps and all of the Hugo voters. We couldn’t do this without the support of this community.

Once again, congratulations to the three Uncanny Magazine stories that were finalists: “The Blur in the Corner of Your Eye” by Sarah Pinsker for Best Novelette, “Away With the Wolves” by Sarah Gailey (from the Disabled People Destroy Fantasy special issue) for Best Novelette, and “A Catalog of Storms” by Fran Wilde for Best Short Story!

Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas didn’t win the Best Editor – Short Form Hugo Award. A huge congratulations to the winner, Ellen Datlow!

Congratulations to all the Hugo Awards winners and finalists!

Excellent award news, Space Unicorns!

The World Fantasy Award finalists have been announced! “The Blur in the Corner of Your Eye” by Sarah Pinsker is a finalist for the Best Short Story World Fantasy Award! Also, Editors-in-Chief Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas are finalists for the Special Award–Non-Professional World Fantasy Award for their Uncanny Magazine work! We are thrilled and honored! Congratulations to Sarah and all of the finalists!

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!

Starting with Uncanny Magazine #37 (November/December 2020), the new Assistant Editor will be…

Naomi Day!

Naomi is a fantastic writer and brings a lot of enthusiasm to the position. We can’t wait to start working with her!

Naomi’s Bio:

Naomi Day (she/her) is a queer Black woman who enjoys interrogating the strange ways her mixed-race experience has shaped the way she moves through the world. She primarily writes short Afro-centric futurist fiction, and her work has appeared in Black Warrior Review and The Seventh Wave. She is part of the Clarion West class of 2020/21. She considers herself a lifelong student and much prefers the nomadic life, finding home in cities from Chicago to London.

It was a phenomenal pool of applicants. Thank you to everyone who applied!

Uncanny Magazine Year 7 will be fantastic, Space Unicorns. Though many changes are happening, we will continue to have the BEST STAFF in the universe.

As you read this, the Uncanny Magazine Year 7: Space Unicorns Shine On Together Kickstarter is wrapping up. We had a fabulous opening few days—fully funding for Year 7 in 34 hours and reaching our first stretch goal a day later. We don’t know where it will be when you read this, but hopefully we’ve reached even more stretch goals and are approaching some of our final stretch goals, including paying our Submission Editors, raising our rates on essays, and including an extra novella in year 7. If you already backed the Kickstarter, THANK YOU! If not, please consider rejoining the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps!

And now the contents of Uncanny Magazine Issue 36! The spectacular cover is Connected by Christopher Jones. Our new fiction includes T. Kingfisher’s retelling of Hansel and Gretel IN SPACE “Metal Like Blood in the Dark,” Samantha Mills’s story of space travel, survival, faith, and secrets “Anchorage,” Kenneth Schneyer’s tale of change and language “Laws of Impermanence,” Lavie Tidhar’s tale of a strange house and its unusual history “Juvenilia,” Marie Brennan’s sprawling and mythic account of a city’s survival “The City of the Tree,” and James Yu’s bittersweet story of love, discovery, and science “In the Space of Twelve Minutes.” Our reprint is P. Djèlí Clark’s “The Mouser of Peter the Great,” originally published in Hidden Youth: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History.

Our provocative and compelling essays this month include “Finding Myself in Speculative Fiction Again After Leaving Other Worlds Behind” by Del Sandeen, “The Roots of Hope: Toward an Optimistic Near-Future SF in a Pandemic” by Marissa Lingen, “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Excellence” by Nibedita Sen, and “Sticks and String” by Christopher Mark Rose. This month also includes a new editorial column by Nonfiction Editor Elsa Sjunneson called “Imagining Place: Worldbuilding As.” Our gorgeous and evocative poetry includes “Fin” by Terese Mason Pierre, “My Cat, He” by Beth Cato, “The Body in Revolt” by Rita Chen, and “As if My Flesh was Summer Soil” by Lora Gray. Finally, Caroline M. Yoachim interviews Kenneth Schneyer and Lavie Tidhar about their stories.

The Uncanny Magazine Podcast 36A features “Metal Like Blood in the Dark” by T. Kingfisher, as read by Erika Ensign, “Fin” by Terese Mason Pierre, as read by Joy Piedmont, and Lynne M. Thomas interviewing T. Kingfisher. The Uncanny Magazine Podcast 36B features “In the Space of Twelve Minutes” by James Yu, as read by Joy Piedmont, “As if My Flesh was Summer Soil” by Lora Gray, as read by Erika Ensign, and Lynne M. Thomas interviewing James Yu.

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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