The Uncanny Valley

“Greetings, my friend. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future. You are interested in the unknown, the mysterious, the unexplainable. That is why you are here.”

Criswell Explains, the opening to the classic Plan 9 from Outer Space

Have truer words ever been spoken?

As we’ve become better at the Uncanny Magazine workflow, these editorials have counterintuitively become more and more difficult. We’re writing this piece one month before it will be released into the wicked world. When you read this, the Uncanny Magazine Year Three Kickstarter will be over, the Hugo Awards decided, and a wonderful Worldcon added to our memories. These are not insignificant events, and all we can do now is guess and dream. (Or STOP THE PRESSES and make a series of parenthetical additions!)

The Uncanny Magazine Kickstarter has already funded, and we’re rolling to our third stretch goal of returning the extra story as of this writing. Hopefully, we reached that and beyond. No matter where we end, we are deeply humbled by your support, and excited to bring you the next year of Uncanny Magazine. The support of the Space Unicorn Ranger Community is wonderfully overwhelming. You are all shareholders in this magazine. It only exists because of you. (The Uncanny Magazine Year Three Kickstarter reached every stretch goal! We’ll have original covers by Galen Dara and Kirbi Fagan, art for Alyssa Wong’s story by Grace P. Fong, more blogging, and Uncanny Magazine will remain the same size! THANK YOU, SPACE UNICORN RANGER CORPS!)

As for the Hugo Awards, we congratulate all of the deserving winners. (WE WON! Uncanny Magazine won a Best Semiprozine Hugo Award! “Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfang and translated by Ken Liu won a Best Novelette Hugo Award! Tran Nguyen also won a Best Cover Illustration—Magazine Chesley Award for her Issue Four cover!)

MidAmeriCon II, the Kansas City Worldcon, was an amazing week of good food, interesting conversations, friendships, and… shenanigans of which we can never speak of again! (This all came true.)

Since the last editorial, there has been more award news for Uncanny! Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas are World Fantasy Award Finalists, for Uncanny Magazine, in the Special Award, Nonprofessional category, and both Amal El–Mohtar’s Pockets” and Sam J. Miller’s Heat of Us: Notes Toward an Oral History” are World Fantasy Award Finalists in the Short Fiction category! This is such an amazing and unexpected honor. A huge thanks to all of the World Fantasy Convention members and the World Fantasy Award jury for the nominations. We will find out the results at the World Fantasy Convention in Columbus from October 27–30. Michael will be there in his new fancy Fluevog shoes!

The Uncanny Magazine Podcast is also a Finalist for a 2016 Parsec Award, along with Lynne, Erika, and Deborah’s Verity! podcast! We will find out the results on September 4 when the award is presented at Dragon*Con. Sadly, none of Team Uncanny will be there. This is our second time as a Parsec finalist, and we continue to be pleased by this recognition, particularly for our podcast team.

No rest for the Thomases after Worldcon! Our September includes the Writing Excuses 2016 Out of Excuses Writing Workshop and Retreat. We’ll be teaching and sharing our editorial experience with all of the amazing and awesome students. We’re honored to be asked to join such a phenomenal instructor line–up. Most importantly, this is a CARIBBEAN CRUISE! This will be our first cruise, and we are so excited. There will even be an editorial outing to see a Cats performance on the ship! (Seriously, this is the one thing we managed to actually plan.) We will not confirm or deny that all of us are making jellicle costumes so we can cosplay as we watch the show.

There are some comings and goings from the Submission Editor ranks. We say goodbye to the phenomenal Ashley Gallagher and Mishell Baker, with our deep thanks for their help. Meanwhile, please welcome new Submissions Editors Jaime O. Mayer, Andrew Adams, and Matt Peters! Hooray new Space Unicorns!

Speaking of Kickstarters, this is the final issue of Uncanny Magazine Year Two. It has been another astonishing journey, bringing you wonderful fiction, essays, art, poetry, and interviews. These pieces exist because of your excitement and passion. The Space Unicorn Ranger Corps is really and truly the BEST.

Our cover is by artist Kirbi Fagan and is called “Extrahumans,” from Susan Jane Bigelow’s book of the same name. It’s courtesy of Susan and Book Smugglers Publishing. Our fiction this month includes Carmen Maria Machado’s haunting tale of death and discovery “My Body, Herself,” Tim Pratt’s weird and wonderful vacation story “Not a Miracle But a Marvel,” Sarah Pinsker’s chilling story of moving and settling “Under One Roof,” E. Lily Yu’s powerful tale of witchcraft, identity, and relationships “The Witch of Orion Waste and the Boy Knight,” and Ferrett Steinmetz’s shocking and surreal love story “Rooms Formed of Neurons and Sex.” Our reprint is Sofia Samatar’s phenomenal “Ogres of East Africa” from the anthology Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History.

We honor the 50th anniversary of Star Trek with two essays that examine the lasting impact of Star Trek on their lives and careers: Mary Anne Mohanraj’s “This is Our Work: What Star Trek Asks of Us” and Una McCormack’s “All True, Especially the Lies—Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Cardassia.” If Lynne was co–editing a Chicks Dig Star Trek, the essays would look very much like these two. Our other essays include Aidan Moher’s “Blood Matters: Growing Up in an SF/F House,” where he talks to many SF/F authors about the intersection of writing and parenting, and Dominik Parisien’s “Growing Up in Wonderland,” where he explores his own rare syndrome and how it’s affected him as a writer and editor.

Our poetry includes S. Qiouyi Lu’s heartwarming “肉骨茶 (Meat Bone Tea),” Ada Hoffmann’s delightful “Million–Year Elegies: Tyrannosaurus,” and Sonya Taaffe’s powerful “The Ghost Marriage.” Finally, Deborah Stanish interviews Carmen Maria Machado and Sarah Pinsker.

The Uncanny Magazine Podcast Episode 12A features Carmen Maria Machado’s “My Body, Herself” as read by Erika Ensign, S. Qiouyi Lu’s “肉骨茶 (Meat Bone Tea)” as read by Amal El–Mohtar, and Deborah Stanish interviewing Una McCormack. The Uncanny Magazine Podcast 12B features E. Lily Yu’s “The Witch of Orion Waste and the Boy Knight” as read by Amal El–Mohtar, Ada Hoffmann’s “Million–Year Elegies: Tyrannosaurus” as read by Erika Ensign, and Deborah Stanish interviewing Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe.

Please enjoy the latest issue of Uncanny Magazine, and thank you all so much for your continued support.

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.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment. You can register here.