Author Archive

Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction Editors-in-Chief Dominik Parisien & Elsa Sjunneson-Henry Win an Aurora Award, and Uncanny Magazine Wins a British Fantasy Award!!!

Tremendous news, Space Unicorns!

The 2019 Aurora Awards winners have been announced, and Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction,  (Elsa Sjunneson-Henry and Dominik Parisien, Editors-in-Chief), won the Aurora Award for Best Related Work!!! Congratulations to Dominik and Elsa and to everyone involved with this special issue!

Osiris” by Leah Bobet (Uncanny Magazine #25) was also a finalist for Best Poem/Song, and “Constructing the Future” by Derek Newman-Stille (Uncanny Magazine #24) was a finalist for Best Fan Writing and Publications. Congratulations once again to Leah and Derek, and to all of the phenomenal Aurora Award finalists and winners!

But that’s not all!

Uncanny Magazine won a 2019 British Fantasy Award for  Best Magazine / Periodical! We are so honored! It was a fantastic group of finalists. Congratulations to all of the spectacular British Fantasy Award winners and finalists! Thank you again to the world’s greatest staff, all of the contributors, the British Fantasy Society, the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps, and to Dr. Una McCormack (our award acceptor at the ceremony). WE ARE EXTREMELY CHUFFED, SPACE UNICORNS!!!

Best of Uncanny Has a Starred Review from Booklist!

More fabulous news, Space Unicorns! The forthcoming The Best of Uncanny (edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas) from Subterranean Press will receive a coveted STARRED REVIEW in the American Library Association’s November 2019 issue of Booklist magazine!

“This anthology contains a gluttonous surfeit of narrative riches. The works in this collection are inventive, gorgeous, occasionally difficult, and immensely rewarding. Truly, the best of Uncanny.”

This is in addition to the starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus!

You can pre-order this GIGANTIC BOOK from Subterranean Press or from most places that sell books!

Best of Uncanny Has a Starred Review from Kirkus!

Fabulous news, Space Unicorns! The forthcoming The Best of Uncanny (edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas) from Subterranean Press received a coveted STARRED REVIEW from Kirkus!

“…there are no weak links in this transcendent anthology. A deliciously diverse sampler of speculative-fiction bonbons, created by some of the most talented literary confectioners on the planet.”

Read the entire review here!

This is in addition to the starred review from Publishers Weekly!

You can pre-order this GIGANTIC BOOK from Subterranean Press or from most places that sell books!


The Revolution of Giving a Sh*t- A Guest Post by Tyler Hayes

(Author Tyler Hayes’s novel, The Imaginary Corpse was released by Angry Robot Books on September 10, 2019, and can be found at all major booksellers.)

(CN: mention of 2016 U.S. Presidential election)

When I started writing, I wrote grimdark. I wrote awful people in awful worlds, and plots where lots of people died and no one left happy. My debut novel is about a plush triceratops with a surplus of empathy who feels pain if anyone says a dirty word. What happened?

What happened is, I realized I like giving a shit.

No insult meant to grimdark. I’ve read grimdark with a ton of heart, and I know grimdark writers who care very deeply. But when I started writing, I thought it was grimdark or nothing; that I had to be bleak and upsetting in order to be a serious writer.  I was also miserable. My politics were toxic, my jokes peppered with misogyny and racism. I had anger issues I could neither breathe deep enough nor rage loud enough to get out of me. I broke down crying on a near-weekly basis. My guiding light was my writing career: if I could sell a book, I thought, wading through all the garbage would be worth it.

It didn’t happen. I published a couple short stories, but no one was biting on my novels. I got more angry, more hopeless. But one of my friends was dating a writer, and she mentioned this writer would do a critique of a short story for forty bucks. Forty bucks seemed like a reasonable price for some direction re: my whole entire future. So I ponied up, and I emailed him my story.

Reader, he destroyed me. He had a lot of feelings about the story (all of them negative), but the advice that’s burned into my brain tissue is this: stop writing stories in the style of another author, and start writing Tyler Hayes stories.

It wasn’t an immediate epiphany, less a light-switch than the starting point of a Rube Goldberg machine, but it eventually brought me to a realization that quite literally saved my life.

I had been pretending to be grimdark. I wasn’t writing it for exploration or catharsis, I was writing it to tick a box. And I wasn’t just pretending to be a grimdark writer, I was pretending to be a grimdark person. I acted like I cared about nothing when I actually cared about everything. I wanted to be enthusiastic. Kind. Hopeful. When I heard the term “hopepunk” for the first time, I finally had a word for what I wrote–and what I was.

The darkness in my stories hasn’t stopped; honestly, I think I’ve gotten better at it. But I’ve learned that what I love isn’t the darkness, it’s the light shining in the middle of it. The idea that no matter how awful things get, the best thing we can do is to remember to give a shit. And when I focused on that, I saw results.

I sold a story, with a main character I actually felt some sympathy for. Then one about learning empathy in the wake of tragedy. Then one about leaving an abusive relationship. Tyler Hayes stories: stories about how the good things among the bad are worth fighting to hold onto. And as I wrote about holding onto the good things in life, I learned to do it for myself.

I stopped making ‘edgy’ jokes. I started using trigger warnings and content notices. I went into therapy for anxiety and what turned out to be PTSD, and I sought medication, and the anger in me finally started to go quiet. I tried to listen more, to take up less space, to meet people where they are. I learned to practice radical empathy, toward others and toward myself. I forged new friendships, improved old ones. I was the happiest I can remember being since middle school.

Then November 2016 happened.

As soon as the election results were foregone, I scream-cried into a pillow for hours, terrified by what I knew would come next. I was ready to throw in the towel, put myself under with junk food and booze and wait for the appointment with the coroner. But in a moment of clarity, I got on Twitter, and made a promise: I would continue to give a shit. I would try to help people, whether they needed to be cheered up or told it’s okay to be upset–and when a day came that I needed an assist, I would be vulnerable and ask for it. And I would try to write worlds where, ultimately, the right choice is to do the same. I had never felt more sure this was the right path to go down than when that was the novel that finally, finally sold.

We can’t smile a Nazi march out of existence. We can’t write a predator into a jail cell. But faced with people who want to paint compassion as weakness and cruelty as justice, giving a shit is an act of rebellion. Faced with people who want to tell us who counts as human, being who you are is an act of self-defense. And telling others it’s okay to do those things is arming the troops.

Take care of each other. Take care of yourselves. Be who you are inside, as much and as safely as you can. If that means being there for your friends, keep those DMs open. If that means writing grimdark catharsis, break out the chainswords. Just, please, give a shit. You might save someone–and even if you only save yourself, that’s more than enough.

With thanks to Alexandra Rowland for the term “hopepunk” and to an unknown Tumblr user for the title of this essay.


Tyler Hayes is a science fiction and fantasy writer from Northern California. He writes stories he hopes will show people that not only are we not alone in this terrifying world, but we might just make things better. His fiction has appeared online and in print in anthologies from Alliteration InkGraveside Tales, and AetherwatchThe Imaginary Corpse is Tyler’s debut novel.

Uncanny TV- The Pilot IS LIVE!!!!

Space Unicorns, the day has come!

Behold the Pilot Episode of Hugo Award-winning Uncanny Magazine‘s Uncanny TV! Brought to you by the generosity of the Uncanny Magazine Year 5 Kickstarter Backers! Featuring geeky talk from phenomenal Chicago-based nerds working to make the world more awesome.

Hosts & Showrunners: Matt Peters & Michi Trota
Guests: Keisha Howard, Daniel Jun Kim, Dawn Xiana Moon
Audio/Video Crew: Aaron Amendola & Chris Chapin
Tech Support: Morgan Csejtey
Producer: Warren Frey
With extra thanks to Cards Against Humanity, Erika Ensign, Jesse Lex, Dolores Peters, Steven Schapansky, Lynne M. Thomas, Michael Damian Thomas, and the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps!

Thank you to all of the AMAZING people above who made this happen!

Uncanny Magazine Issue 30- Disabled People Destroy Fantasy Cover and Table of Contents!

Coming September 3rd THE 30TH ISSUE OF THE 2016, 2017, 2018,  & 2019 HUGO AWARD-WINNING UNCANNY MAGAZINEthe Disabled People Destroy Fantasy special issue!!!

Disabled People Destroy Fantasy is guest edited by: Nicolette Barischoff (Nonfiction), Lisa M. Bradley (Poetry), and Katharine Duckett (Fiction)!

All of the content will be available in the eBook version on the day of release.

The free online content will be released in 2 stages- half on day of release and half on October 1.

Don’t forget eBook Subscriptions to Uncanny Magazine are available from Weightless Books and Amazon Kindle, and you can support us on our Patreon!

Uncanny Magazine Issue 30- Disabled People Destroy Fantasy Table of Contents

Menagerie by Julie Dillon

“The Uncanny Valley” by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas (9/3)
“2019 Hugo Award for Best Semiprozine Acceptance Speech” by Elsa Sjunneson-Henry, Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas,
and Michi Trota (9/3)

“Disabled People Destroy Fantasy Fiction Introduction” by Katharine Duckett (9/3)
“Away With the Wolves” by Sarah Gailey (9/3)
“Tower” by Lane Waldman (9/3)
“Seed and Cinder” by Jei D. Marcade (9/3)

“The Fifth Day” by Tochi Onyebuchi (10/1)
“This Is Not My Adventure” by Karlo Yeager Rodríguez (10/1)
“The Tailor and the Beast” by Aysha U. Farah (10/1)

“Build the Door, Hold the Door: Protecting the Citadel of Diverse Speculative Fiction–Nonfiction Introduction” by Nicolette Barischoff (9/3)
“The Blind Prince Reimagined: Disability in Fairy Tales” by Kari Maaren (9/3)
“Sudden and Marvelous Invention: Hearing Impairment & Fabulist (non) Fiction” by Gwendolyn Paradice (9/3)
“Fears and Dragons and the Thoughts of a Disabled Writer” by Day Al-Mohamed (9/3)

“How To Send Your Disabled Protagonist on an Adventure in 7 Easy Steps” by A. T. Greenblatt (10/1)
“Part of That World: Finding Disabled Mermaids in the Works of
Seanan McGuire” by Cara Liebowitz (10/1)
“The Visions Take Their Toll: Disability and the Cost of Magic” by Dominik Parisien (10/1)

“Poetry Introduction” by Lisa M. Bradley (9/3)
“Monsters & Women—Beneath Contempt” by Roxanna Bennett (9/3)
“Cavitation” by Toby MacNutt (9/3)
“Neithal from abroad” by Shweta Narayan (9/3)

“‘Eating Disorder’ does not begin to describe it” by R.B. Lemberg (10/1)
“goddess in forced repose” by Tamara Jerée (10/1)
“The Thing In Us We Fear Just Wants Our Love” by Julian K. Jarboe (10/1)

Lane Waldman interviewed by Sandra Odell (9/3)

Karlo Yeager Rodríguez interviewed by Sandra Odell (10/1)

30A (9/3)
“Away With the Wolves” by Sarah Gailey, as read by Erika Ensign
“Neithal from abroad” by Shweta Narayan, as read by Joy Piedmont
Haddayr Copley-Woods Interviews Sarah Gailey

30B (10/1)
“The Fifth Day” by Tochi Onyebuchi, as read by Joy Piedmont
“‘Eating Disorder’ does not begin to describe it” by R.B. Lemberg, as read by Erika Ensign
Haddayr Copley-Woods Interviews Tochi Onyebuchi

Note: The gorgeous reprint cover is “Menagerie” by Julie Dillon. The original commissioned cover was unfortunately not completed in time for our retailer deadlines. We plan to use it as a cover for a later Year 6 issue. Thank you to the commissioned artist for working so hard in an attempt to make the deadline, and to Julie Dillon for providing this cover at the very last second. 

Uncanny Magazine Wins the 2019 Best Semiprozine Hugo Award!

We have wonderful news! Uncanny Magazine won its fourth Hugo Award for Best Semiprozine (Publishers/Editors-in-Chief Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas, Managing Editor Michi Trota, Podcast Producers Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky, Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction Special Issue Editors-in-Chief Elsa Sjunneson-Henry and Dominik Parisien)! We are deeply honored by this Hugo Award. It was a stellar group of finalists. We are especially excited because this Hugo Award includes the landmark Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction Special Issue.

A magazine is the work of numerous people, so we want to thank our 2018 regular staff of Michi Trota, Mimi Mondal, Erika Ensign, Steven Schapansky, Stephanie Malia Morris, Chimedum Ohaegbu, and Caroline M. Yoachim; our Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction guest editors-in-chief Elsa Sjunneson-Henry and Dominik Parisien and guest editors Nicolette Barischoff, S. Qiouyi Lu, and Judith Tarr; all of our submissions editors; 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 which were finalists for the Hugo Awards: “The Thing About Ghost Stories” by Naomi Kritzer for Best Novelette, “The Rose MacGregor Drinking and Admiration Society” by T. Kingfisher for Best Short Story, and “The Tale of the Three Beautiful Raptor Sisters, and the Prince Who Was Made of Meat” by Brooke Bolander for Best Short Story

Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas didn’t win the Best Editor- Short Form Hugo Award. A bittersweet congratulations to the winner, the late and legendary Gardner Dozois.

Congratulations to all the Hugo Awards winners and finalists. What an absolutely amazing night, ballot, and community to be part of!

Two Uncanny Magazine Stories Are 2019 WSFA Small Press Award Finalists!

Fabulous news, Space Unicorns! “The Tale of the Three Beautiful Raptor Sisters, and the Prince Who Was Made of Meat” by Brooke Bolander and “The Hydraulic Emperor” by Arkady Martine are 2019 WSFA Small Press Award Finalists! Congratulations to Brooke, Arkady, and all of the finalists!

From the WSFA website:

The award honors the efforts of small press publishers in providing a critical venue for short fiction in the area of speculative fiction. The award showcases the best original short fiction published by small presses in the previous year (2018). An unusual feature of the selection process is that all voting is done with the identity of the author (and publisher) hidden so that the final choice is based solely on the quality of the story. The winner is chosen by the members of the Washington Science Fiction Association ( and will be presented at their annual convention, Capclave (, held this year on October 18-20, 2019 at the Rockville Hilton, 1750 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD.

Best of Uncanny Has a Starred Review from Publishers Weekly!

Fabulous news, Space Unicorns! The forthcoming Best of Uncanny (edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas) from Subterranean Press received a coveted STARRED REVIEW from Publishers Weekly!

“Hugo-winning editors Thomas and Thomas have assembled some of the most well known, internationally respected, and utterly evocative pieces from Uncanny’s five-year history into this substantial and impressive collection. With a wealth of diverse voices, topics, and themes, these pieces attest to the limitless creativity of Uncanny’s writers…”

Read the entire review here!

You can pre-order this GIGANTIC BOOK from Subterranean Press or from most places that sell books!

The Thomases and Törzs’s Story Are World Fantasy Award Finalists!

More excellent award news, Space Unicorns!

The World Fantasy Award Finalists have been announced! Once again, Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas are Finalists for the Special Award–Non-Professional World Fantasy Award for Uncanny Magazine! Also, “Like a River Loves the Sky” by Emma Törzs is a Finalist for the Best Short Story World Fantasy Award! We are thrilled and honored! Congratulations to Emma and all of the finalists!