Neil Gaiman And Paul Cornell Are Just Two Reasons To Kickstart Uncanny Magazine

By Joelle Renstrom | Updated

This article is more than 2 years old

uncanny magIf you write for a ‘zine such as GFR, you sometimes forget that not everyone out there appreciates science fiction. I’m always surprised when people don’t know what the TARDIS is, or aren’t well versed in Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics. Despite sci-fi’s popularity among certain crowds, there is always room for more converts, and in order to win them over, authors have to keep writing and publishing awesome science fiction. Hugo award winner Lynne M. Thomas, who has worked on projects such as Apex Magazine, Chicks Dig Time Lords, and Glitter & Mayhem, is collaborating with Hugo Award nominee Michael Damian Thomas to launch a new science fiction and fantasy magazine called Uncanny.

Uncanny isn’t your run of the mill sci-fi publication. First of all, it’s been lovingly cultivated by a couple of tried-and-true geeks who know and love the genre and intend both to honor it and to push it in exciting new directions. They’ve carefully solicited contributors for the magazine’s first year, including Neil Gaiman, Catherine Valente, Paul Cornell, and many more. They’re also commissioning some pretty fantastic art. Even with the celebrated roll call, the magazine will accept unsolicited submissions by new sci-fi writers.

L-R: (row 1) Amal El-Mohtar, Sofia Samatar (photo credit: Adauto Araujo), Charlie Jane Anders, Liz Argall, Rachel Swirsky; (row 2) Maria Dahvana Headley, Mary Robinette Kowal, Neil Gaiman (photo credit: Kimberly Butler), Scott Lynch; (row 3) Catherynne M. Valente, Paul Cornell, Ken Liu, Kat Howard, Hao Jingfang, E. Lily Yu.

Every other month, Uncanny will publish an eBook issue that contains new fiction, reprints, poems, essays, interviews, and bonus content for subscribers. Non-subscribers can read for free on the magazine’s website, and the first issue is due out in November/December.

Clearly, I’m not the only one excited by this prospect. Uncanny’s Kickstarter has met its $26,000 goal and right now is teetering at just under $30,000, with 69 hours to go on the campaign. Even though the magazine has been funded, there are some worthy stretch goals that contributors can help bring to fruition, including original cover art and more content. Uncanny will pay its writers and artists, so the more money the Kickstarter brings in, the more high-quality content readers will get.

Thomas says the magazine’s name comes from the feeling readers will get when they read it — like they’ve “been here before, in the best way possible.” Such writing is “as rare as unicorns,” and publishing such writing is on the level of a space unicorn. That sounds about right to me. And if that doesn’t convince you, listen to John Scalzi!