A year ago, Lynne and Michael Thomas made me the offer of a lifetime: become managing editor for their brand new publication Uncanny: A Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Sometimes I still have to pinch myself to prove that this last year has been real, that I’ve been working with some of the best and most amazing writers in SFF and that it’s really my name on the magazine cover next to theirs. We’re fast approaching the finish line of Year One – stories, poems, and essays are being copy-edited and production for Issue 6, our final issue of Year One, is in full swing.
Uncanny has undoubtedly eaten up quite a bit of my life since I joined the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps. Between my day job (including an unexpected lay-off which thankfully didn’t last too long), month after month of conventions and paneling, speaking at the Chicago Humanities Festival (about Doctor Who, how cool was that?!), working to grow Chicago Nerd Social Club, fire performing, and of course, Uncanny, there have been a lot of sleepness nights, stress headaches, sad excuses to my gym trainer (who also happens to be my favorite baker at our local farmer’s market), and little to no time for blogging (something I’m making sure to carve out time for moving forward – I hope!).
I don’t regret a moment of it because it’s all been worth it. Every time I look at each issue of Uncanny, I’m immensely proud of what we’ve created. I even had a chance to do a few interviews and had an essay appear in the magazine (with a second one in Issue 6). Lynne, Michael, our Ombudsman Caitlin Thomas, Erika Ensign, Steven Schapansky, Deborah Stanish, Amal El-Mohtar, C. S. E. Cooney, and our Submissions Editors (including my husband Jesse Lex) have been a dream team of dedicated and passionate professionals who are also some of the most wonderful people I’ve ever had the good fortune to work with. From the bottom of my heart, I thank them all for giving me the chance to be part of an amazing piece of the SFF world and for inspiring me to put forth some of the best work I’ve ever done. And I also thank everyone who’s supported Uncanny in so many ways over the past year, by contributing to/sharing our Kickstarter for Year One, becoming a patron on Patreon, by submitting work to the magazine, by sharing our Tweets and Facebook posts, by subscribing, and so many other ways I’m sure I’m forgetting.
Whenever I’ve despaired over the kerfuffles, barriers, and ongoing struggles within SFF, Uncanny has reminded me why I love this genre so much and why we fight so hard to create a truly inclusive community that celebrates the best that SFF has to offer everyone. This past year has been magic and I hope you’ve enjoyed Uncanny as much as I have.
But it’s not over yet!
Year One of Uncanny was only the beginning. We have incredible plans to make Year Two just as amazing – if not more so! – than Year One. While we’ve developed additional funding streams to help make Uncanny sustainable, we’re not quite there yet. So we’re running the Uncanny Magazine Year Two Kickstarter: The Return of the Space Unicorn! If you enjoyed Uncanny Year One, you’re going to love what we’ve got in store for you now:
(The following text is from Uncanny Magazine’s official Kickstarter for Year Two)
Last year, three-time Hugo Award winner Lynne M. Thomas & three-time Hugo Award finalist Michael Damian Thomas ran the Uncanny Magazine Year One Kickstarter. We promised to bring you stunning cover art, passionate science fiction and fantasy fiction and poetry, gorgeous prose, and provocative nonfiction by writers from every conceivable background. Not to mention a fantastic podcast featuring exclusive content.
With the hard work of the best staff and contributors in the world, Uncanny Magazine delivered everything as promised. All this content is available for free over the web, thanks to your support.
Though Uncanny has developed several additional funding streams to make the magazine sustainable, we’re not quite there yet. Which is why we’re running the Uncanny Magazine Year Two Kickstarter: The Return of the Space Unicorn.
If you’ve been looking for an opportunity to join or rejoin the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps, now’s your chance!
Our Year Two goals will bring Uncanny closer to sustainability by paying for more great content and making sure the magazine’s business infrastructure is solidified.
On deck for Year Two is an outstanding group of solicited contributors, fantastic backer rewards, plus some additional surprises.
- Seanan McGuire
- Aliette de Bodard
- Ursula Vernon
- Scott Lynch
- Catherynne M. Valente
- Elizabeth Bear
- Mary Robinette Kowal
- Maria Dahvana Headley
- Rachel Swirsky
- Max Gladstone
- Amal El-Mohtar
- Alyssa Wong
- Carmen Maria Machado
There will also be more slots for unsolicited submissions (we reopen in September). We’re deeply committed to finding and showcasing new voices in our genre from around the world.
Uncanny Magazine is published as an eBook (MOBI, PDF, EPUB) bimonthly (the every other month kind) on the first Tuesday of that month through all of the major online eBook stores. Each issue contains 3-5 new short stories, 1 reprinted story, 3 poems, 2 nonfiction essays, and 1 interview, at minimum. Our monthly podcast includes a story, a poem, and an exclusive interview in each episode.
Kickstarter Backers at the Subscriber Level or higher, and those purchasing single issues, get each issue in its entirety up front, no waiting. Those reading online for free wait a month for the second half, which appears on the second Tuesday of the month athttp://uncannymagazine.com/.
We at Uncanny think we’re doing important work, and we’d like to continue. Please consider supporting Uncanny Magazine Year Two.
How We’ll Use the Funding:
Our current funding goal ($18,700) is for the original version of Uncanny, as we envisioned it (and budgeted for it) at the launch of Year One.
Our funding goal pays for all six issues of Uncanny Year Two, including:
- 17,000 words of new fiction per issue (3-5 stories, depending on length)
- A reprint story
- Reprint cover art
- 3 new poems
- 2 new nonfiction essays
- 2 new interviews
We pay our writers $.08 per word for original fiction, our poets $30 per poem, our essayists $50 per essay, and our artists $100 per reprinted artwork.
In addition to paying our content contributors (upon acceptance!), our initial Year Two budget includes:
- Paying our staff (Editors-in Chief, Managing Editor, Podcast Producers and Readers, Interviewer)
- Podcast production and hosting costs
- Website hosting and maintenance costs
- Backer rewards
- Kickstarter fees and taxes
Our Year One backers were so generous we reached all our stretch goals, which added additional stories and essays to each Year One issue. Our awesome backers also sponsored several pieces of original cover art.
Each Stretch Goal we reach in this Year Two Kickstarter will allow us to provide more of the additional content that was so successful in Year One.
- $20,000 Original Covers by Katy Shuttleworth & Galen Dara
- $22,000 Bring back 2 additional essays per issue
- $26,000 Bring back 1 additional story per issue
- $30,000 Bring back a second additional story per issue
- $31,000 1 Liz Argall’s Things Without Arms And Things Without Legs reaction comic per issue, published on our website
So that’s where we’re at! You can get more details by going to the Kickstarter page. We have some fantastic rewards for backers, including manuscript critiques, Google hangouts, and blog posts on backers’ topics of choice by contributing authors (and yours truly), art postcards, and more assorted goodies, but don’t wait! If last year’s Kickstarter is any indication, these backer rewards are going to go fast!
Thank you for helping to make Uncanny Magazine Year Two a reality, I really can’t wait for you all to see what the magazine will bring you next.