Uncanny Magazine and Sarah Pinsker’s “Where Oaken Hearts Do Gather” Won Hugo Awards!

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.


Here is the text of the Editors-in-Chief Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas’s acceptance speech that was graciously read by Caroline M. Yoachim at the ceremony:

We (Michael, Lynne, and Caitlin) are currently a 19 minute walk north from this ballroom at Lurie Children’s Hospital. We don’t know what will be going on with Caitlin when you are hearing this, but she is getting the absolute best care possible. We planned to be there tonight with all of you, celebrating the fabulous works and people in Science Fiction and Fantasy literature and its Fandom. We really miss all of you, especially Caitlin’s SF/F aunts and uncles. You know who you are.

A couple of months ago, Uncanny Magazine published an essay by Gay Haldeman about the good things in Fandom. She ended it with a particularly moving passage about all of the fans who were there for her and her husband, Joe, when he became seriously ill and hospitalized while he was a guest at a con. She talked about the kindness and generosity of the fan community. That is our experience, too.

Every community has its issues, and we acknowledge there is always work to do to improve the SF/F community and make it as welcoming as possible. But we also don’t want to forget that when this community is at its best,  it’s filled with compassion, joy, imagination, friendship, and love. We’ve received a tremendous outpouring of support for Caitlin, and us, while she’s been battling her medical problems. Twitter and Facebook are filled with well wishes. Folks sent balloons and meal gift certificates. There is even a get well card for Caitlin in the exhibit hall.

Our hearts are filled with the deepest gratitude.

We are so very honored to win the Best Semiprozine Hugo Award. This was a fabulous group of finalists, filled with friends, colleagues, and people who inspired us as editors.

Uncanny Magazine is the work of numerous people, so we want to thank our 2021 staff of Managing/Poetry editor Chimedum Ohaegbu, Nonfiction Editor Elsa Sjunneson, Podcast Producers Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky, Assistant Editor Naomi Day, Podcast Reader Matt Peters, Interviewer Caroline M. Yoachim, and all of our submissions editors. We also wish to thank the Chicon members; the Hugo Award staff, and of course our Ombudsman and world’s greatest daughter, Caitlin, who is the strongest, fiercest, most loving, and most amazing human we have ever known. And finally, a thank you to every single member of the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps.

We make Uncanny Magazine for all of you, you magnificent Space Unicorns. Thank you.


Here is the text of Managing/Poetry Editor Chimedum Ohaegbu’s acceptance speech that was graciously read by Caroline M. Yoachim at the ceremony:

We’re so thrilled to be honoured with this Hugo Award. This is my last year working with Uncanny, and though the work itself has been reward enough, I’m pleased and appreciative now more than ever to witness, not just today but over the past five years, the community’s  enthusiasm for our magazine, and for all the beautiful semiprozines nominated alongside us. Thank you!


Here is the text (with some additions) of Nonfiction Editor Elsa Sjunneson’s acceptance speech:

Thank you all so very much for this honor. I didn’t have my thoughts entirely collected when onstage, so I wanted to share my full thanks here.
I am so grateful to every author who worked with me at Uncanny Magazine as non-fiction editor. It was an honor. Thank you for telling the truth with me, it is always brave and challenging to do so.
I also owe an enormous debt of gratitude to my husband, Nate, who has supported me in every facet of my career. I’m so grateful to be married to a fellow writer, because it makes me better at what I do. I also want to thank every peer I have in the writing community for engaging with me in critical thought. It matters to an editorial vision.
I can’t go without acknowledging the ASL interpreters from the live event, who agreed to step up next to me. I wanted to show hearing people that seeing an interpreter did not change their experience of a live-streamed event – only that it equalized access for everyone who needed it, without hiding our needs away.
This was my last year at uncanny, and it was truly a joy to craft essays and editorials that supported the change of minds, and the development of dialogues.
Thank you, all.
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