The Uncanny Valley

Is it that time of year again? Is there a crispness in the air? Are decorations going up around your town? Are you hearing joyful songs of the season?


Is there really a more magical time of year?

So sing an Uncanny carol! Decorate your house with your Uncanny swag! Top a tree with a Space Unicorn! Let’s all be thankful that we have another whole year of awesome stories, essays, poems, art, and community to look forward to! Huzzah Year Three!

A huge thanks once again to the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps of Kickstarter, Patreon, and subscribers who make this magazine possible.

For the second editorial in a row, we are going to press before the results of an award can be incorporated into this column. As you read this, you will know if the Thomases won or lost the 2016 World Fantasy Award– Special Award Nonprofessional for Uncanny Magazine, and if the Uncanny Magazine stories “Pockets” by Amal El–Mohtar and “The Heat of Us: Notes Toward an Oral History” by Sam J. Miller won or lost the 2016 World Fantasy Awards—Best Short Fiction.

Win or lose, we are so honored to be finalists along with so many other deserving things. We never expected this, and are just so chuffed to get this recognition from the World Fantasy Awards for our first year of existence.

Since our last editorial, we do have some more award news you probably already know! At this year’s Dragon*Con, the Uncanny Magazine Podcast won a 2016 Parsec Award in the Best Speculative Fiction Magazine or Anthology Podcast category!

We are positively thrilled. Thank you to our excellent Year Two podcast team of Deborah Stanish, Amal El–Mohtar, C. S. E. Cooney, Erika Ensign, and Steven Schapansky. They made the podcast so special, and all will be getting nifty Parsec Award star trophies. Also, thanks to our guest readers Heath Miller and Max Gladstone, and to all of the creators who had their works featured or participated in the interviews.

And of course a gigantic thank you to all of our listeners and the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps for making the podcast possible.

Also, huge congratulations to the Verity! Podcast (featuring Uncanny‘s Deborah, Erika, and Lynne, plus Katrina Griffiths, L.M. Myles, and Tansy Rayner Roberts) for winning a Parsec Award in the Best Speculative Fiction Fan or News Podcast (Specific) category!

Since our last editorial, the Thomas family was on a Caribbean cruise as instructors on the Writing Excuses 2016 Out of Excuses Writing Workshop and Retreat. We cannot overstate what an amazing time we had with the students, fellow instructors, and organizers. We had phenomenal interactions, saw stupendous shows on a cruise ship five times bigger than the Titanic (WE SAW THE MUSICAL CATS!), visited islands, and basically had our lives changed. We made friends and developed deeper relationships with the people we knew going in. Thank you, Team Writing Excuses for having us there!

The next couple of months are convention–light for the Thomases. We are only planning on being at Chicago TARDIS over Thanksgiving weekend. If you love Doctor Who like we do, we hope to see you there!

Michael has just returned from the World Fantasy Convention. If you were there, you might have said hi to him! Michael in his role as Uncanny Magazine co–publisher, co–hosted a party with the folks from Saga Press to launch the outstanding anthology The Starlit Wood, co–edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe. If you went, we hope you had an excellent time!

Speaking of Saga Press, they are the Issue Thirteen sponsors! Along with some spiffy ads, one of their fantastic editors, Navah Wolfe, has written a special column for this issue. The Uncanny readers are also getting the opportunity to read Amal El–Mohtar’s story from The Starlit Wood! We love the books from Saga Press. They publish many Uncanny authors, including Ken Liu, Kat Howard, Catherynne M. Valente, Theodora Goss, and former Submission Editor Mishell Baker. If you love what you read here, you should check out their book line!

And now, the contents of our magnificent thirteenth issue! 

Our stunning cover “Impact Crater” comes from the always phenomenal Julie Dillon. Our fiction this month includes Paul Cornell’s delightfully bleak English village tale “Don’t You Worry, You Aliens,” Brooke Bolander’s wonderfully vicious gut–punch “Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies,” Jennifer Marie Brissett’s stunning tale of survival and unlikely friendship “Kamanti’s Child,” Alex Bledsoe’s sword jockey Eddie LaCrosse (star of many of his novels) takes on another complicated case in “White Hart, Black Knight,” Kat Howard powerfully retells a famous medieval romance in “The Green Knight’s Wife,” and Nalo Hopkinson spins a charming tale of attraction, cosmic theories, and plumbing in “Can’t Beat ‘Em.” As mentioned above, our reprint this month is Amal El–Mohtar’s fairy tale remix “Seasons of Glass and Iron” from the Saga Press 2016 anthology The Starlit Wood.

Our essays this month include a discussion of villains from marginalized backgrounds by Alyssa Wong, author Monica Valentinelli exploring the challenges, barriers, and erasures in her publishing and gaming career as a woman, Hao Jingfang (translated by Ken Liu) discussing some of the background of her Hugo Award–winning story “Folding Beijing,” Tansy Rayner Roberts expounding on how the movie The Avengers created huge problems for the Justice League movie, and Keidra Chaney looking at the barriers she’s experienced as a disabled fan and pro. In the Saga Press editor column, Navah Wolfe looks at how a lifetime of fairy tale reading influenced her anthology The Starlit Wood.

Our poetry this month includes Neil Gaiman’s haunting “The Long Run,” Theodora Goss’s gorgeous “Rose Child,” and Sofia Samatar’s powerful “Blue Flowers: Fragments.” And finally, Julia Rios interviews Jennifer Marie Brissett and Alex Bledsoe about their stories.

The Uncanny Magazine Podcast 13A features Paul Cornell’s “Don’t You Worry, You Aliens” as read by Heath Miller, Brooke Bolander’s “Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies” as read by Erika Ensign, Theodora Goss’s poem “Rose Child” as read by Amal El–Mohtar, and Brooke Bolander interviewed by Deborah Stanish. The Uncanny Magazine Podcast 13B features Kat Howard’s “The Green Knight’s Wife” as read by Erika Ensign, Nalo Hopkinson’s “Can’t Beat ‘Em” as read by Amal El–Mohtar, Sofia Samatar’s “Blue Flowers: Fragments” as read by Amal El–Mohtar, and Tansy Rayner Roberts interviewed by Deborah Stanish.

One final sad note—we dedicate this issue to the memory of our friend, Kate Yule, who passed away on October 4th. She was whip–smart, funny, and made the world better by existing in it. Our thoughts and love are with her friends and family, especially with her husband, author David D. Levine.


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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