The Uncanny Valley

We’re writing this editorial in room 2139 at Lurie Children’s hospital. This is day 50 of our daughter Caitlin’s current hospitalization (day 60 since July 27). She was supposed to be discharged last week. It didn’t happen. Yet another major and heartbreaking setback occurred about an hour before we were supposed to get on the road. We’ve had far too many scares during this hospitalization, and have no idea when she will be able to go home. We’re exhausted and terrified, as the doctors gave us the absolute worst news for Caitlin.

We planned on being with our friends at Chicon, celebrating all that is wonderful in the SF/F community. Caitlin and Lynne had spectacular dresses for the Hugo Awards. Instead, we watched on our laptop from here in the hospital.

The one positive of the last few months has been the outpouring of love and support for Caitlin and us during this hospitalization. The well wishes, cards, balloons, donations, and kind words have meant so much to us. We are deeply, deeply grateful.

We very much hope this is the last editorial written at this hospital.

Thank you, Space Unicorns. We love you all. Your kindness remains bigger than galaxies.

And now, happier news!

PHENOMENAL news, Space Unicorns! “Where Oaken Hearts Do Gather” by Sarah Pinsker won the Hugo Award for Best Short Story! Congratulations to Sarah!

Even more wonderful news! Uncanny Magazine (Publishers/Editors-in-Chief Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas, Poetry/Managing Editor Chimedum Ohaegbu, Nonfiction Editor Elsa Sjunneson, and Podcast Producers Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky) won the Hugo Award for Best Semiprozine! THANK YOU, SPACE UNICORNS!!!

Once again, congratulations to the other five Uncanny Magazine  stories that were finalists: “Colors of the Immortal Palette” by Caroline M. Yoachim for Best Novelette, “That Story Isn’t the Story” by John Wiswell for Best Novelette, “Unseelie Brothers, Ltd.” by Fran Wilde for Best Novelette, “The Sin of America” by Catherynne M. Valente for Best Short Story, and “Proof by Induction” by José Pablo Iriarte for Best Short Story! Congratulations to everybody!

It was an amazing list of Hugo Award winners and 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 Chicon 8 staff. We are honored, ecstatic, and overwhelmed.

You can read our acceptance speeches on the Uncanny Magazine website!   

And here comes the bittersweet part of our editorial. As all of you have known since May, after four years, Managing and Poetry Editor Chimedum Ohaegbu has decided to move on from her Uncanny editorial duties after this issue. We can’t overstate how important Chimie has been to Uncanny. She started with us as an intern in 2018, became an Assistant Editor later that year, took over as Managing Editor in late 2019, and became Poetry Editor in 2020. She made everything look slick and professional, always had a strong voice in the poetry, stepped up to every challenge, and has been exemplary in every way. We really can’t say enough great things about Chimie and what she did to make Uncanny what it is today. We know that Chimie is going to do more fabulous things in the future. We wish her so much joy in the next step of her journey. 

Along with Chimie, Uncanny Magazine Senior Assistant Editor Naomi Day is also moving on after Issue 49. Naomi has been with us since Issue 37, and has done a fabulous job. We know Naomi will continue to do brilliant things, and we will greatly miss her.

Along with the bittersweet news, though, we have some fabulous news. This issue is the first issue for new Managing Editor Monte Lin! Monte started as an Uncanny Magazine Assistant Editor in 2021. He has done a phenomenal job, and we expect more tremendous things from him. He is working closely with Chimie, so we know this will be a fabulous transition. Monte is a rising superstar writer and editor, and it is such a joy to work with him. We are very excited about this!

And that’s not all! This issue is the first issue for our new Assistant Editor Tania Chen! Tania brings a lot of enthusiasm to the position, and is already doing a stupendous job!

Excellent news, Space Unicorns! Sarah Pinsker’s “Where Oaken Hearts Do Gather” won the Eugie Foster Memorial Award for Short Fiction! Congratulations to Sarah!!!

Congratulations also to Caroline M. Yoachim, whose “Colors of the Immortal Palette” was also a finalist!

And congratulations to all of the other wonderful finalists!

Fabulous news, Space Unicorns! “If the Martians Have Magic” by P. Djèlí Clark won the Best Short Story Ignyte Award, and “POST MASSACRE PSYCHE EVALUATION” by Abu Bakr Sadiq won the Best in Speculative Poetry Ignyte Award! Congratulations to them both!

Once again, congratulations to the other Uncanny Magazine pieces that were finalists: “Colors of the Immortal Palette” by Caroline M. Yoachim for a Best Novelette Ignyte Award, “The Necessity of Slavery Stories” by Troy L. Wiggins for a Best in Creative Nonfiction Ignyte Award, and “What You Might Have Missed” by Arley Sorg for a Best in Creative Nonfiction Ignyte Award, plus Uncanny Magazine Assistant Editor Monte Lin’s essay “Where Will You Place us When We Are Dead?” for a Best in Creative Nonfiction Ignyte Award! Congratulations to everybody!

It was a fabulous ballot! Congratulations to all of the Ignyte Award Winners and finalists!

Wonderful news, Space Unicorns! Uncanny Magazine is the Spotlight Guest of Honor at Norwescon 45Uncanny Magazine Editors-in-Chief Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas will be representing Uncanny (along with Caitlin!). Norwescon 45 will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Seattle Airport, located in SeaTac, WA, from April 6-9, 2023. EXPECT SHENANIGANS!

And now the contents of Uncanny Magazine Issue 49! The fabulous cover is The Light Between the Sea by Maxine Vee. Our new fiction includes Samantha Mills’s timely tale of pregnancies and abortion “Rabbit Test,” Vivian Shaw’s dark story of art and tattoos “Transference,” Matthew Olivas’s exploration of family and magic “The Other Side of Mictlān,” Nina Kiriki Hoffman’s travelogue of an alien world “Travelers’ Unrest,” Iori Kusano’s story of fast food, identity, and longing “can i offer you a nice egg in this trying time,” Anya Ow’s story of family bonds and self-reliance “Earth Dragon, Turning,” and Emily Y. Teng’s exploration of possibilities “To Walk the River of Stars.” Our reprint is “A Fall Counts Anywhere” by Catherynne M. Valente, which appeared in Robots vs. Fairies in 2018.

Our provocative and compelling essays this month include “The Necessity of Trans Joy” by Izzy Wasserstein, “For Your Re-Consideration” by Jennifer Marie Brissett, “Across the Afterverse: A Conversation with Afropunk SF/F Author Alex Smith” by Alex Jennings, “What Do the Dying Know?” by Karen Heuler, and Nonfiction Editor Meg Elison’s editorial “The Horny Body Problem.” Our gorgeous and evocative poetry includes “A Dead, Divine Thing” by Eshqin Ahmad, “Crossing” by Ewen Ma, “Sang Kancil at the Protest” by May Chong, “A Testament of Bloom” by Taiwo Hassan, and “I Am a Little Hotel” by Ai Jiang. Finally, Caroline M. Yoachim interviews Vivian Shaw and Iori Kusano about their stories.

The Uncanny Magazine Podcast Episode 49A features “Rabbit Test” by Samantha Mills, as read by Erika Ensign, “Crossing” by Ewen Ma, as read by Erika Ensign, and Lynne M. Thomas interviewing Samantha Mills. The Uncanny Magazine Podcast Episode 49B features “Travelers’ Unrest” by Nina Kiriki Hoffman, as read by Matt Peters, “A Testament of Bloom” by Taiwo Hassan, as read by Matt Peters, and Lynne M. Thomas interviewing Nina Kiriki Hoffman.

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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