Around here, we’re big fans of Uncanny Magazine, an excellent source from some of today’s best SFF short fiction. In support of the publication’s Year Three Kickstarter, we’re handing over the virtual floor to publishers Lynne M. and Michael Damian Thomas, who share their personal picks for the uncanniest stories they’ve ever published.
We’re Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas, the editors-in-chief and publishers of 2016 Hugo Award and World Fantasy Award finalist Uncanny Magazine, a Science Fiction and Fantasy magazine featuring passionate fiction and poetry, gorgeous prose, provocative nonfiction, and a deep investment in inclusive SF/F culture. Each issue contains intricate, experimental stories and poems with verve and imagination that elicit strong emotions and challenge beliefs, from writers of every conceivable background. Uncanny believes there’s still plenty of room in the genre for tales that make you feel.
We’re currently running our Uncanny Magazine Year Three Kickstarter, and it’s going extremely well. We’ve built a community of creators and readers who love Uncanny’s stories, and it’s wonderful to see them support us every year so we can make the eBook issues that are available for sale here at Barnes & Noble. Our readers and Kickstarter backers (whom we call the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps after our Space Unicorn mascot) are passionate about our fiction.
So what makes a story “Uncanny”? Here are five of our Uncanniest.
“Folding Beijing,” by Hao Jingfang, translated by Ken Liu
Lao Dao just wants to give his daughter a better life. A chance encounter after his work shift as a Third Space garbage processor gives him a dangerous opportunity to earn enough money to move up in the world and provide better schooling for her. In this future version of Beijing, the city literally folds to keep three classes of residents in their own zones at different times. Even with these huge scientific and sociological ideas, the story remains focused on one man and his love of family. This phenomenal story is a finalist for the 2016 Hugo, Locus, and Sturgeon Awards, and was included in multiple Year’s Best anthologies.
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“The Heat of Us: Notes Toward an Oral History,” by Sam J. Miller
This searing story by Sam J. Miller reimagines the Stonewall Riots, a landmark in American LGBTQ history. From multiple viewpoints, Miller retells that night at the Stonewall Inn as a supernatural event where the collective rage of the participants sets off pyrokinesis. This powerful story is a 2016 World Fantasy Award finalist debuted in Uncanny Issue Two and was included in The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016.
“Planet Lion,” by Catherynne M. Valente
Catherynne M. Valente spins a gorgeous tale of space wars, emotional echoes, fractured relationships, and psychic space lions. A rich, layered, and complex story that unfolds as the reader understands more and more what’s going on and the cost of using certain technologies in these future battles. This beautiful story is included in The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016.
“Pockets,” by Amal El-Mohtar
When Nadia discovers her pockets are producing odd items she didn’t place in them, she does her best to investigate with her scientist friend, Tessa. This is a story of oddities, exploration, and ultimately friendship. What starts out as a quirky concept flows deeper into the human need for connection. The brilliant “Pockets” is a 2016 World Fantasy Award finalist.
“You’ll Surely Drown Here if You Stay,” by Alyssa Wong
Ellis is a child of the desert with unique and terrifying powers, living at Madame Lettie’s bordello. When a disturbing stranger comes to town, Ellis and his friend Marisol must rely on their friendship and his unique gifts to survive. Alyssa Wong weaves an impactful and weird tale of loss, greed, and hard choices.
It was challenging to choose only five stories from our first 11 issues to share with you. We are immensely proud of all the stories, essays, poetry, interviews, and art we’ve published in Uncanny Magazine. We expect there to be many more “Uncanny” stories in Year Three, from our fantastic mix of solicited and unsolicited authors. Our solicited authors include:
- Paul Cornell
- John Chu
- Maria Dahvana Headley
- Nalo Hopkinson
- K. Jemisin
- Mary Robinette Kowal
- Seanan McGuire
- Sam J. Miller
- Sarah Pinsker
- Delia Sherman
- Ursula Vernon
- Catherynne M. Valente
- Alyssa Wong (with art by Grace P. Fong)
- Isabel Yap
Shine on, Space Unicorns!