Kickstarting Uncanny: A Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy


If you’re following me on Twitter, you may have seen me tweeting constantly about this Kickstarter for Uncanny: A Magazine of Science Fiction and FantasyThere are several reasons for this: 1) It’s a magazine project by Hugo Award-winning Lynne Marie Thomas and Hugo Award-nominated Michael Damian Thomas – they are editors who know excellent, engaging writing, how to find it, and how to package it into amazing, breath-taking collections; 2) It’s a SF/F magazine built on the principle of celebrating diverse voices and visions about what the genre is capable of, and the commitment to diversity is not in name only (seriously, just look at the list of Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy award-winning writers and artists who’ve committed to contributing for year one); and 3) Uncanny’s editorial staff includes some amazing talent, including Erika Ensign and Deborah Stanish from the podcast Verity! and Steven Schapansky, podcast co-host and producer for Radio Free Skaro.

Oh yes: I’m also the Managing Editor for Uncanny.


I’ve actually been sitting on this news for a couple of months. Which is about the length of time it took for me to process that Lynne and Michael had actually made the offer and that I was really going to be part of the kind of SF/F publication I’d been dreaming about. Because everything that Lynne and Michael presented to me about their hopes for Uncanny was practically everything I would have wanted in an SF/F magazine of my own: a publication celebrating the vast possibilities offered by SF/F, pushing the boundaries of imagination, and integrating a commitment to showcasing the incredible diversity to be found in SF/F writers, artists and the community as a whole. A publication showcasing the work of well-known writers and creating space for new voices to join them. A publication with prose, poetry and art that is challenging, evocative, and uncanny.

Uncanny is truly something that can help create the kind of open, inclusive and ground-breaking SF/F community that I know can be created. I’m humbled and honored by the opportunity to take part in making Uncanny a reality and have thrown myself into tackling this challenge whole-heartedly.

Since the Kickstarter went live on Tuesday, July 29 at 10:30am, we’ve raised over $16K and 60% of our initial $26K goal. I’m utterly floored by the enthusiasm and support Uncanny has gotten from the SF/F and larger geek community. I’ve seen posts promoting the magazine and endorsing the Kickstarter by John Scalzi, Sigrid Ellis, Mike Glyer, and VStheUniverseUncanny contributing authors and artists Liz Argall, Mary Robinette Kowal, Diana Pho, and Tran Nguyen; and too many Tweets and Facebook posts from friends, family and colleagues to count.

Even Scott Snyder was kind enough to Tweet about what his “pal” was up to (typing that just gave me the warm fuzzies).

I’ve often written critically (and angrily) about the many issues geeks and nerds deal with, but this kind of outpouring of positivity and encouragement is one of the reasons why I love being a geek and being part of this community so much. When it comes down to it, geeks and nerds will support and celebrate the things they love because the more there is of it to share, the more people we can invite to geek out with us.

So here’s what Uncanny is all about, taken directly from our Kickstarter page:

Three-time Hugo Award-winner Lynne M. Thomas (Apex MagazineChicks Dig Time LordsGlitter & Mayhem) and three-time Hugo Award nominee Michael Damian Thomas (Apex MagazineQueers Dig Time Lords) are launching year one of a new professional online SF/F magazine: Uncanny: A Magazine of Science Fiction & Fantasy

Each issue will contain new and classic speculative fiction, fiction podcasts, poetry, essays, art, and interviews.

Our Philosophy:
We’re geeks who have spent the past several years creating and sharing work that gets us excited.

Whether it’s sharing true, personal stories of how the community that loves Doctor Who changes lives in Chicks Dig Time Lords and Queers Dig Time Lordspublishing haunting, lyrical, and devastating stories in Apex Magazine, or throwing a massive, Kickstarter-funded science fictional party through Glitter & Mayhem‘s stories of the dark side of night life and roller derby (what’s more awesome than partying aliens and roller derby?), we’ve done our best to bring you stories and images that stay with you, because they feel like they were made for you.

We think that the best Science Fiction and Fantasy literature combines astonishing ideas, strong characterization, gorgeous writing, and distinctive points of view from around the world.

We love the stories that we can’t stop thinking and talking about, because of how they made us feel. We’re taking our experiences and using them to create a new online magazine.

We’re calling it Uncanny, because we want to produce a sensational magazine that feels like you’ve been here before, in the best way possible.

These kinds of stories feel as rare as unicorns. Getting to share them with our readers as editors is awesome like a space unicorn (hence our mascot).

Space unicorns for everyone!

Cover art preview: A Sentimental Swallow by Tran Nguyen (Available as postcards and prints for some backers)

Cover art preview: A Sentimental Swallow by Tran Nguyen (Available as postcards and prints for some backers)

Year One Contributors (so far):

For year one, we’ve solicited original short fiction, poetry, and nonfiction from Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award winning and nominated authors including:


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

We plan to showcase original poetry by:

… and essays by

Uncanny will also feature cover art by:

Preview art: Fortune's Favored, by Julie Dillon (Available as postcards and prints for some backers.)

Preview art: Fortune’s Favored, by Julie Dillon (Available as postcards and prints for some backers.)

There will also be slots for unsolicited submissions. We’re deeply committed to finding and showcasing new voices in our genre from around the world.

How You Can Get Uncanny:
Uncanny issues will be published as eBooks (MOBI, PDF, EPUB) bimonthly on the first Tuesday of that month through all of the major online eBook stores. Each issue will contain 4-6 new short stories, 2 reprinted stories, 2 poems, 2 nonfiction essays, and 2 interviews, at minimum. We are currently working on providing additional exclusive content just for subscribers.

Subscribers and those purchasing single issues get each issue (ex: Nov/Dec 2014 is our first planned issue) in its entirety up front, no waiting.

Those reading online for free will have to wait a week for the first half of the issue, and a month for the second half, to appear on the second Tuesday of each month (of November and December, respectively in our example) at

We will also be producing a monthly fiction podcast.

How We Will Use the Funding:
We are fundraising to cover the start up costs for launching a professional online magazine. We intend to pay our writers $ .08 per word for original fiction, our poets $30 per poem, and our essayists $50 per essay, and our artists $60 per reprinted artwork. In addition to paying our contributors, our budget includes hiring Clockpunk Studios to set up, design and host a robust website; podcast production and hosting costs; and covering backer rewards and Kickstarter fees.

To learn more, visit Uncanny’s Kickstarter page. We have some fantastic rewards for backers, including manuscript critiques by contributing authors, art postcards and more assorted goodies, but hurry, they’re going fast!

And to everyone who has backed/shared/supported Uncanny: THANK YOU!!! 

One Reply to “Kickstarting Uncanny: A Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy”

  1. Pingback: Uncanny Anniversaries – Geek Melange

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.