It’s the first Tuesday of the month, which means Part 1 of Uncanny Magazine‘s latest issue is now free to read online (subscribers get the FULL contents of Issue 28 all at once in PDF, ePUB & MOBI formats).
While I’m excited, I’m also aware that I’m now on a countdown to my final issue as Uncanny‘s Managing Editor & Nonfiction Editor — after Issue 28, I only have two issues left (as Issue 30 for September/October is our special Disabled People Destroy Fantasy issue, with Nicolette Barischoff as Guest Nonfiction Editor). I’m really proud of my time with the magazine, and while I’ve been deeply involved with the nonfiction since day one, 2019 was when I officially took the title of Nonfiction Editor, so I’m particularly excited about sharing the essay Uncanny has published this year and in this new issue.
I’d been meaning to highlight the nonfiction from Uncanny‘s 2019 issues starting in January, but of course life got away from me. So I’m starting with Issue 28 today and will go back in a couple of weeks to highlight the essays Issue 26 and Issue 27 in separate blog posts.
For Issue 28, I had the pleasure of working with Tananarive Due, Arkady Martine, Gwenda Bond, and Nicasio Andres Reed. Both Tananarive’s and Arkady’s essays are now available to read online, while Gwenda’s and Nicasio’s will be available next month on Tuesday, June 4th.
Horror isn’t a genre I’m as familiar with, so I was thrilled when Tananarive agreed to write her essay “Black Horror Rising.” Horror isn’t just about being scared, it can confront some of the most awful truths about our experiences and still provide catharsis and understanding. And what this means when seen and executed through the lens of Black storytellers can be extremely powerful:
“As fans defended the honor of horror in general, I saw echoes of what I believe is also the power of Black Horror—to visualize trauma. To fight back. To try to heal. To seek out survival behaviors in crisis. To face the worst and be able to walk away unscathed… because, unlike the demons in our real lives, it isn’t real. By comparison, in fact, sometimes the real-life demons don’t seem quite as bad. Or sometimes, horror is the only way to help others understand.”
How do you navigate the intersections of the enormity of climate change, planning urban environments that can withstand it, and still write science fiction where there’s still a future in the face of an overwhelming crisis? Arkady Martine’s essay “Everyone’s World Is Ending All the Time: notes on becoming a climate resilience planner at the edge of the anthropocene” argues for the necessity of hope over despair:
But this is what I mean about the apocalyptic being a form of denial. If climate change is so enormous and world-collapsing that it cannot be looked at without screaming in despair, or turning away—if there is only apocalypse, only and now we all die without the promise of and we will all be changed—the rational, self-protective response is to turn away.
But that is denial. And denial is a failure of imagination. And I’m a writer, and a city planner, and my business is imagining the history of the future.
Next month I’ll highlight Gwenda’s essay on writing IP tie-ins and Nicasio’s essay on why it matters that characters default to believing each other in Star Trek.
But if you won’t want to wait til then to read those essays and the rest of Issue 28 online, you can take advantage of Uncanny‘s subscription drive on Weightless Books, which goes through May 15th! For that limited time, you can receive a year’s worth of Uncanny for $2 off the regular price, plus giveaways for new and renewing subscribers as we hit milestones!
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