The Next Project: Uncanny Magazine

July 29th, 2014

So, this is what we’ve been working on lately.

Uncanny: A Magazine of Science Fiction & Fantasy

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 Lords, publishing 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!

Here’s a preview of some of our cover art, in this case, by Tran Nguyen:

A Sentimental Swallow by Tran Nguyen
A Sentimental Swallow by Tran Nguyen

 (This is 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

More preview art, this time by Julie Dillon!

Fortune's Favored, by Julie Dillon
Fortune’s Favored, by Julie Dillon

 (This is 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 http://uncannymag.com/.

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.

5 Things make a Wednesday post

July 23rd, 2014

1. New! Verity! Extra! It’s a Big Finish Roundtable, featuring our very own LM Myles, whose Breaking Bubbles 6th Doctor Story is out this week, and Caroline Symcox, writer of Council of Nicea along with Una McCormack in an encore appearance!

2. Verity!’s very own Deb Stanish is the Geekadelphia Geek of the Week! WOO!

3. We visited Mary and Rob Kowal over last weekend. I have been inducted into the cult of Fluevog. This was our consolation prize for Being Grownups About Not Going To London. They are ridiculously cute and comfortable shoes.

4. This weekend is the Aicardi Syndrome Family Conference. This is our first conference back in quite a while, and we are a bit nervous about it. While it’s a great opportunity to connect with families having many of the same experiences, it is also a bit of an emotional roller coaster for a long list of reasons. We are counting the days until Caitlin’s GI specialist appointment. She is still barfing every 5-7 days. :-(

5. In good news, Michael will be guesting at Chicago TARDIS this year! As will Billie Piper. O_O I may be a WEE BIT EXCITED.

New SF Squeecast Episode! Episode 36: Kiddie Pools of Blood…in Phoenix

July 22nd, 2014

 

Episode 36 of the SF Squeecast is out!

Kiddie Pools of Blood…in Phoenix  was recorded LIVE at Phoenix Comic Con. With Elizabeth Bear, Catherynne Valente, Seanan McGuire, me… and CHARLAINE HARRIS.

In this episode, we generally squeed about teams, writing series, and how to kill people. We mentioned so many things that we are skipping the links this month. If you’re having trouble looking up something on your search engine of choice, please let us know.

 

5 things make a post-Convergence update post

July 16th, 2014

 

1. New Verity Episode! Episode 46: Communication Breakdown is live.

2. Work is quiet, in the sense that I’m mostly working on things like annual reports and tenure portfolio reviews, that I can poke at slowly over time well before the deadlines. We are planning Digital POWRR workshops in the fall (I will be on the road quite a bit), and waiting to hear back from our IMLS grant officer about when the white paper can be released into the wild.

3. This is good, because much of my brainspace has been taken up with worry over Caitlin (she is still continuing with the pattern of being barfy every 10-14 days for no visible reason). This kind of thing is very wearing, because when she’s in a barfy period, she needs constant vigilance. As a silent aspirator, we have to be quick to get Cait onto her side so that the barf doesn’t get into her lungs and lead to pneumonia. Also, it’s obvious that she’s not having any fun.  We see a GI specialist for her on the 29th, but waiting for that is frustrating, especially with the knowledge that we might not get concrete answers anytime soon. While she was sick at the McCulloughs before CONvergence last week, she got through most of Avatar: The Last Airbender, which she seemed to enjoy.

4. CONvergence was ABSOLUTELY lovely. We had a good time, Cait was well for the whole convention and on her very best behavior, too, and we had the opportunity to hang with friends old and new. I’m particularly proud of coming in 2nd on Paul Cornell’s Hypothetical Who game. Given that points were awarded for audience laughs as well as logical Who knowledge-based conclusions, and I lost to a professional comedian, I’m considering it a win.

5. I learned that the older brother of my best friend from high school passed away suddenly on Monday. Her whole family is heartbroken, and I am for them as well, while doing that feeling helpless from 1000 miles away thing, as I can’t make it out to the funeral. He was in his early 40s. I’m not very keen on this whole “suddenly members of my peer group are passing away” thing. At. All.

So, ups and downs. We’ve been watching a lot of cozy mystery series lately, particular Midsomer Murders  and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Enjoying them both immensely for completely different reasons, while appreciating the tidiness of the format. There is great comfort in everything making complete logical sense, like pieces of a puzzle, especially when real life is generally much messier.

Trying to be patient for August 23, the beginning of the Capaldi Age of Doctor Who. :-)

Verity! Extra! Doctor in a Strange Land

July 9th, 2014

This week’s Extra! features crossover madness! Join Deb, Erika, Katrina, and Tansy, as we muse over what it would be like to plop the Doctor into other fictional worlds. What makes a good crossover? Which Verity isn’t really comfortable with crossovers? Who coins the term “Capaldi-flicted”? And who observes that Capaldi “gives good cape”? Listen and see!

Then let us know in the comments what fictional worlds you’d like to see the Doctor (and/or his companions) visit. Inquiring Verities want to know!

^E

Related links:
Tansy’s Musketeer Space
Radio Free Skaro #428 – Believe it or Not

Download or listen now (runtime 29:36) 

00:00
00:00

An Alphabet of Embers: Signal Boost

July 8th, 2014

[signal boost from RoseLemberg.net]

AN ALPHABET OF EMBERS DAY 1, NOW WITH LETTERS

In case you missed it, the Kickstarter for An Alphabet of Embers has launched last night.  We are kickstarting for an anthology of unclassifiables – lyrical, surreal, magical, experimental pieces that straddle the border between poetry and prose.

The book will have beautiful cover art by Galen Dara, and there are so many wonderful rewards – a song by Emily Jiang, a bonus chapbook of science poetry (I will post more on that separately), additional books, posters, boxes of treasure, and even an epic performance of an Eddic poem Atlakviða in the original Old Norse.

And here’s a first of our surprises: the letter you see below is an A of Embers, from an Alphabet of Embers graciously drawn and donated to the project by Bogi Takács. The alphabet includes many other letters, which will appear in our Kickstarter updates! Some of these letters look more like Latin characters, while others are unique to the alphabet, like the letter A below.

 

A of Embers, by Bogi Takács
 

Thanks to our wonderful first-day donors, we are 18% to goal. Thank you so much to all who donated and signal boosted! Can we make it to 20% today?

ETA: Hurray, 20% reached! Can we reach 25% on Day 1?

Signal boosting is very much appreciated!

 

CONvergence Schedules!

June 26th, 2014

CONvergence is next weekend. WOW, how did that happen?

NB: we are extroverts, and should be easy to spot, as we will typically have Caitlin in tow. Please feel free to come and say hi to us if you wish to!

Here’s where you can find me:

Friday, July 4
11:00am
Are you interested in the profession? Do you want to know how to organize your library? How should you take care of your old photos? What does it take and mean to be a professional in the digital era? Panelists: Kathryn Sullivan, Sarah Barsness, Jenni Klumpp, Lynne M. Thomas, Hilary Moon Murphy
Friday July 4, 2014 11:00am – 12:00pm
Plaza 1

3:30pm

There are easy ways to write and there are mind-bogglingly difficult ways to write. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone told you which is which? Panelists: Adam Stemple, Will Shetterly, Lynne M. Thomas, Kelly McCullough, Scott Lynch
Friday July 4, 2014 3:30pm – 4:30pm
Edina

5:00pm

We only got two episodes of Doctor Who this year, but they were some big ones. Come discuss the anniversary celebration, the first multi-Doctor special of the new era, and the departure of Matt Smith! Panelists: Tim Lieder, Shawn van Briesen, Lynne M. Thomas, Kathryn Sullivan, Rob Callahan
Friday July 4, 2014 5:00pm – 6:00pm
Edina
Saturday, July 5

12:30pm

Different people have different ideas for what a strong female character should be. As a writer, how do you navigate those expectations? How do you create a strong female character without pointing out that she’s “strong” and “female” – she just is? Panelists: Elizabeth Bear, Dana Baird, Lynne M. Thomas, Scott Lynch, Will Shetterly
Saturday July 5, 2014 12:30pm – 1:30pm
Edina

11:30pm

Several Dr. Who experts will speculate on how the Who universe would have been different had certain production decisions been different. Panelists: Paul Cornell, Joseph Scrimshaw, Michael Lee, Lynne M. Thomas, Felicity Kusinitz
Saturday July 5, 2014 11:30pm – 12:30am
Plaza 1
Sunday, July 6
 2:00pm
Women in Genre Not Talking about Women in Genre 

Panelists talk about everything EXCEPT what it’s like to be a woman working in genre! Which is better, Star Wars or Star Trek? What YA series will be made into a TV show next? Audience questions will be drawn randomly and answered by the panelists. Panelists: Martha Wells, Damarra Atkins, Lynne M. Thomas, Danielle Indovino, Naomi Kritzer
Sunday July 6, 2014 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Edina
Looking for Michael?
Thursday, July 3

2:00pm

It has rocketed from obscurity to being everywhere and is used for funding great ideas to the mundane. What is it? Where is it taking us? Panelists: Tish Cassidy, Blake Hausladen, Michael Damian Thomas, Joan Marie Verba, Tania Richter
Thursday July 3, 2014 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Atrium 3

3:30pm

When does it make sense to work for exposure and when does that become exploitative? At what point do you need to insist on charging? What are the trade-offs when choosing between free and paid art? Panelists: Elizabeth Bear, Sharon Stiteler, Kameron Hurley, Michael Damian Thomas
Thursday July 3, 2014 3:30pm – 4:30pm
Atrium 6
Friday, July 4

9:30am

Doctor Who for Kids

How many of us grew up watching the Doctor explore the universe with his companions? Have you shown any of the new series (or old series) to your kids? Panelists: Shawn van Briesen, Karine Charlebois, Holley McLellan (mod), Michael Damian Thomas, Jules Mohr
Friday July 4, 2014 9:30am – 10:30am
Bloomington
Saturday, July 5

5:00pm

How did we get from Adam West to the Dark Knight? Can we reboot a series and make it more optimistic? Panelists: Scott Lynch, Sarah Prentice, Michael R. Underwood, Tabitha Anderson, Michael Damian Thomas
Saturday July 5, 2014 5:00pm – 6:00pm
Edina
Michael and I do not have a signing scheduled, so if you happen to want a book signed (our books are typically available at the Dreamhaven Books table in the dealer’s room), please feel free to grab us before or after a panel. :-)

If you’d like an update on Caitlin’s health…

June 24th, 2014

Michael has written it up.

…now we know why we’ve been so tired.

Some new stuff! in 5 things format.

June 18th, 2014

1. There’s a new Verity! Episode out! Episode 44, The Next Big Thing is now available for your listening pleasure.

2. I have a brief academic article about the Sylvester McCoy era of Doctor Who out. The Summer 2014 issue of Science Fiction Film & Television includes me! Unfortunately, it’s behind a paywall right now. Will need to check on contracts to see if I can post it elsewhere.
3. Brief hospital stay this week for an overnight EEG for Caitlin. We think she may be developing a new kind of seizure, and they haven’t had a baseline for a while. Whee.
4. On the bright side, I may make more progress on my knitting projects as a result. Also need to find a replacement yarn for what I was using for baby blankets, as a colleague just got some good news. I no longer use knitpicks. What do y’all recommend from yarn.com/WEBS?
5. I’m still a bit ouchy as yesterday I tweaked my back while lifting Caitlin during the Great 6am Formula Spill Discovery, compounded by ~ 6 hours in the car for a meeting in Champaign. The meeting itself went well, though, so it seems as though the next round of SEEKRIT LIBRARY PROJECTS may move forward. We are hopeful.

5 Things Make a Catch-Up Post Phoenix ComicCon Post

June 12th, 2014

Here are 5 things that I’ve been up to and therefore not blogging about.

1. New SF Squeecast! Episode 35: Literary Influence is a Social Disease  features Sofia Samatar as our special guest!

2. A New Verity! Extra! Summer Reading List episode has come out. The comments contain additional book recommendations from our listeners!

3. We generally had a pretty good time at Phoenix ComicCon. It. Was. HUGE. We were hearing 100K people on the Saturday, and given the crowds, I find that a believable estimate.  Oddly enough, 100K nerds with smartphones = no one can get a signal, data, zip while in the convention center. Hence my lack of tweeting.

Caitlin, unfortunately, did not have a terribly good time, as she came down with a fever on the Friday night, and didn’t recover until Sunday morning. This meant that Michael ended up missing his panels to care for her.  She had a summer virus according to our pediatrician, which meant hydration and tylenol and lots of patience. :-( The convention folks (including guest services, especially Christy C.) did an amazing job of taking care of us, with runs to drugstores, etc. that made life easier with a sick kid in a strange city. Thanks to ALL of the volunteers who helped us. It made a HUGE difference.

She was better by Sunday morning, which meant we were out and about a bit more at that point. There were tacos. (Kevin Hearne told us about Taco Guild, and I must say, those were some EPICALLY GOOD TACOS.) We had some “interesting adventures” with wheelchair taxis, unfortunately, that resulted in an hour and a half wait to get back to our hotel, but we have emerged relatively unscathed, and are now working on explaining to the taxi company in question how they hosed up, in the hopes that they don’t do so again.

4. Thing that happened at Pheonix ComicCon #1: Charlaine Harris was our guest for the SF Squeecast. That episode (assuming the recording is okay) will go live in a few weeks. I also did a memorial panel for Jay Lake, and a speculative fiction editing panel, all of which were rather excellent. Unfortunately, I was just scheduled enough that I didn’t attend any panels I wasn’t on, and didn’t do any photo ops or anything. Another time, I hope.  Luckily, the Mysterious Galaxy signing tables were directly opposite the booths for John and Carole Barrowman and Bruce Campbell, so I had an excellent view during signings. :-) I never spotted Nathan Fillion, though, which was my one minor disappointment.

5. Thing that happened at Phoenix ComicCon #2: The only Doctor Who-related panel I had was “Author Chicks Who Dig Time Lords,” with Elizabeth Bear, Catherynne Valente, Seanan McGuire, Carole Barrowman, and me. Rollicking discussion with an excellent moderator, discussing not only the series itself, but how it influenced our own work as writers and editors.

Oh, and Carole’s little brother decided to come along to the panel. O_O And ask questions from the audience. Never in my life did I think that I’d be answering the “when will we get a female Doctor” question coming from John Barrowman.  And yet he asked, and we answered. I think I managed full sentences, even. (I’m proud of this. I still get rather tongue tied around certain actors, so managing not to squeak in this particular situation is an achievement.)

But hey, if you ever wondered if John was “really” a fan with fannish opinions about Doctor Who (in addition to playing everyone’s favorite omnisexual superhero, Captain Jack Harkness), we had definitive proof at that panel. He demonstrated his proverbial geek cred, and did so without actually making the panel about him. *g*

So, that was Phoenix ComicCon.