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The Uncanny Valley

This is Uncanny Magazine Issue 50. Our double-sized, milestone Issue 50.

There’s been 100 months of Uncanny Magazine on the Internet. 

HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?!?! 😊

We are massively proud of this achievement, Space Unicorns. When we launched our first issue in 2014, we had no idea that we would make it to 50 issues. It’s not easy for magazines to achieve that, especially a magazine that does it with yearly crowdfunding. We are gobsmacked and humbled by reaching this fabulous milestone.

We could only have done it with your support, Space Unicorns, and with the help of the greatest staff in the universe. We think we’ve made a fairly dandy magazine over the last 9 years. In that time, Uncanny Magazine, or pieces from Uncanny, accumulated 166 award nominations and 35 award wins—wins that include 6 Hugo Awards for Uncanny, a Hugo Award for the Uncanny Thomases’ editing, and Uncanny stories winning Hugo, Nebula, Locus, Ignyte, and World Fantasy Awards. This is completely beyond our original dreams and expectations. 

We opened our first editorial in November 2014, with: “January 28, 2014 was the worst day of our lives: A parade of awful news culminating in our 11-year-old daughter Caitlin nearly dying during her spinal fusion surgery.” It was worse than that in the autumn of 2019, when Caitlin almost died many more times. The absolute worst, though, has been the last 6 months. Caitlin has been through so very much, and is currently home in palliative care. (The doctors have told us her current health issues are terminal, and we are doing everything we can to make the time she has left as wonderful and loving as possible.) Somehow, during all of the hospitalizations and life changes and chaos, we’ve managed to get every single issue of Uncanny Magazine out on time and to our standards. 

We’re still here. Caitlin, Lynne, and Michael persist—as does Hugo the Cat.

It hasn’t been easy. Magazines are tricky in the best of times, and we’ve created Uncanny during tremendous challenges. Often we will check in with each other to make sure that the time and energy spent on the magazine are worth it.

It has, and always will be worth it. 

We believe in this art. We believe stories matter. We believe in this community. We believe that the best way to build a better world is to create things—things that give hope and catharsis. We want to help spread art that has meaning and escape. We’re here to bring you beautiful words and to always, always Space Unicorns, make you feel.

Thank you, all of you. We couldn’t have done this without our devoted readership, our phenomenal writers and artists, and our tremendous staff, which includes our Managing Editor Monte Lin, Nonfiction Editor Meg Elison, Podcast Producers Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky, Podcast Reader Matt Peters, Interviewer Caroline M. Yoachim, and Assistant Editor Tania Chen, plus our alumni staff of Managing /Poetry Editor Chimedum Ohaegbu, Managing/Nonfiction Editor Michi Trota, Nonfiction Editor Elsa Sjunneson, Poetry/Reprint Editor Julia Rios, Poetry/Reprint Editor Mimi Mondal, Senior Assistant Editor Naomi Day, Assistant Editor Angel Cruz, podcast readers Amal El-Mohtar, C. S. E. Cooney, Joy Piedmont, and Stephanie Malia Morris, and our interviewers Deborah Stanish and Shana DuBois, and finally, all of our many Submissions Editors through the years.

LET’S MAKE 50 MORE!!! 

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 in which categories those stories are eligible (especially for the Hugo Awards and Nebula Awards). 2022 was the eighth full year of Uncanny Magazine (Issues 44 through 49). 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 44–49. (Note: If you are nominating the Thomases in this category, please continue to nominate them together. They are a co-editing team.)

The stories at the link below are eligible in either the short story, novelette, or novella categories of the SF/F awards. If you are a SFWA member nominating for the Nebula Awards, you can find eBook copies of these stories in the SFWA Forums.

Please also 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.

You can see the entire list here!

And now the contents of the DOUBLE-SIZED Uncanny Magazine Issue 50! The fabulous cover is Sharps and Soft by Galen Dara (who also was the Issue #1 artist). Our fabulous new fiction includes “Collaboration?” by Ken Liu and Caroline M. Yoachim, “Cold Relations” by Mary Robinette Kowal, “How to Raise a Kraken in Your Bathtub” by P. Djèlí Clark, “Waystation City” by A. T. Greenblatt, “Horsewoman” by A.M. Dellamonica, “Flower, Daughter, Soil, Seed” by Eugenia Triantafyllou, “One Man’s Treasure” by Sarah Pinsker, “The Father Provincial of Mare Imbrium” by E. Lily Yu, “Silver Necklace, Golden Ring” by Marie Brennan, “Miz Boudreaux’s Last Ride” by Christopher Caldwell, “Bad Doors” by John Wiswell, and “Prospect Heights” by Maureen McHugh.

Our provocative and compelling essays this month include “Something in the Way: AI Art and the Real Killer” by John Picacio, “The Haunting of Her Body” by Elsa Sjunneson, “What a Fourteenth Century Legal Case Can Teach Us about Storytelling” by Annalee Newitz, “The Magic of the Right Story” by A. T. Greenblatt, “The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm: Audio Writing” by Diana M. Pho, and “Building Better Worlds” by Javier Grillo-Marxuach. Our gorgeous and evocative poetry includes “The Hole Thing” by Neil Gaiman, “Love Poem: Phoenix” by Terese Mason Pierre, “The Credo of Loplop” by Sonya Taaffe, “Kannazuki, or the Godless Month” by Betsy Aoki, “The Witch Makes Her To-Do List” by Theodora Goss, “Temperance and The Devil, Reversed” by Ali Trotta, “Driving Downtown” by Abu Bakr Sadiq, “Hel on a Headland” by Elizabeth Bear, and “To Whomsoever Remains” by Brandon O’Brien. Finally, Tina Connolly interviews Ken Liu and Caroline M. Yoachim about their story, and Caroline M. Yoachim interviews Eugenia Triantafyllou, E. Lily Yu, and Christopher Caldwell about their stories.

The Uncanny Magazine Podcast Episode 50A features “Cold Relations” by Mary Robinette Kowal, as read by Erika Ensign, “Love Poem: Phoenix” by Terese Mason Pierre, as read by Matt Peters, and Lynne M. Thomas interviewing Mary Robinette Kowal. The Uncanny Magazine Podcast Episode 50B features “How to Raise a Kraken in Your Bathtub” by P. Djèlí Clark, as read by Matt Peters, “Kannazuki, or the Godless Month” by Betsy Aoki, as read by Eika Ensign, and Lynne M. Thomas interviewing P. Djèlí Clark. The Uncanny Magazine Podcast Episode 50C features “One Man’s Treasure” by Sarah Pinsker, as read by Matt Peters, “The Witch Makes Her To-Do List” by Theodora Goss, as read by Erika Ensign, and Lynne M. Thomas interviewing Sarah Pinsker. Finally, the Uncanny Magazine Podcast Episode 50D features “Bad Doors” by John Wiswell, as read by Erika Ensign, “Driving Downtown” by Abu Bakr Sadiq, as read by Matt Peters, and Lynne M. Thomas interviewing John Wiswell.

As always, we are deeply grateful for your support of Uncanny Magazine. Shine on, Space Unicorns!

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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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