The glowing amber crystal floats in the void, then snaps into the console with a sharp click.
“Show me the recorded history of Uncanny Magazine.” The Curator’s voice booms through the chamber, resonant from years of addressing their fellow space unicorns.
Before their eyes, a sparkling cloud solidifies into figures. Distinguished people in mid-21st century suits and gowns mingle as a Theremin orchestra plays early century hits. The Curator recognizes “Space Unicorn,” followed by “All About That Bass.” An older woman motions for quiet, and a distinguished older couple walks vigorously up to a podium, hand in hand.
“Past contributors and readers, welcome to the 50th anniversary of Uncanny Magazine! Thank you all so much for coming. We started with a dream of an online/ebook SF/F magazine with 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.”
“Thanks to the exquisite staff’s hard work, and numerous Kickstarter backers, Weightless Books subscribers, and patrons on Patreon, here we all are at the Uncanny Magazine 50th Anniversary Celebration at Space Unicorn Towers! We also want to give a warm welcome to the brave astronauts of the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps here tonight, an organization that took its name and inspiration from the title we gave the early backers of Uncanny Magazine. We have cupcakes for all of you—in both old-fashioned baked or modern food pill forms!”
The cloud dissolves and reforms. Vibrant rocket ships buzz and fire rainbow beams into space in celebration around a gigantic space station.
The Curator laughs. “Ah, the massive Rainbow Party after The Final Great War, 1000 years after the last entry. How joyous it is to watch representatives from around the universe join the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps in a tremendous dance party. Peace, art, beauty, and kindness reigning supreme in the universe. Next entry, please.”
The cloud reforms into a worn stone convent. Figures in a variety of simple robes and head coverings painstakingly copy and recopy texts onto vellum, decorating them with bright colors and shining gold leaf.
The Curator: “And here is the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps through the dark eon, saving all of the past issues on vellum. Making sure the stories and poems that made people feel could continue to inspire, even as the universe rebuilt itself. Or how I’m here now, one million years later. Off.”
The cloud dissipates and the crystal floats back to its cabinet. The Space Unicorn Curator smiles to themselves and shimmers out of sight. They can hear the call: it’s time to create more wonders. They transform into light, and stream back into the universe.
* * *
Last year, we wrote about the fake past history of Uncanny Magazine, so it felt appropriate to write up the fake future history, too.
We’re firm believers that SF/F with emotional resonance has a bright future, although a million years may be a tad optimistic. The Uncanny Year Two Kickstarter is all about making that future sustainable over time. While we’ve been building ways to support the magazine over the past year, they haven’t quite reached the point of covering production costs, so we are once again seeking recruits for the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps. Contributions to the Year Two Kickstarter not only give backers exclusive rewards, but ensure that we can continue paying our creators a professional wage for their work upon acceptance, and make it possible for us to share their work with as wide an audience as possible, for free on our website. While we’re thrilled to have just reached our initial funding goal, we have some great stretch goals that will make the magazine even better, opening up additional slots for new content.
Here are our solicited creators for Year Two. We think it’s a pretty nifty lineup!
- 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
Of course, there will also be more slots for unsolicited submissions (we reopen in September). We’re deeply committed to finding and showcasing new, diverse 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 awesome monthly podcast includes a story, a poem, and an exclusive interview in each episode.
We’re really proud of the work we’ve done with Uncanny Magazine Year One, and we’re very much looking forward to bringing our readers six more issues of the most awesome we can assemble in one place from across the planet. Please consider checking out our Kickstarter, and scooping up one of our awesome rewards, including our coveted limited edition Space Unicorn Ranger Corps embroidered patch!
Join the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps! Because the universe needs adventure, derring-do, and a bit of silliness. It’s just more awesome that way.
Lynne and Michael are the Publishers/Editors-in-Chief for Uncanny: A Magazine of Science Fiction & Fantasy. Three-time Hugo Award winner Lynne M. Thomas was the Editor-in-Chief of Apex Magazine (2011-2013). She co-edited the Hugo Award-winning Chicks Dig Time Lords, as well as Whedonistas and Chicks Dig Comics. Lynne is also a contributor to the Verity! Podcast. Along with being a two-time Hugo Award nominee as the former Managing Editor of Apex Magazine (2012-2013) Michael Damian Thomas co-edited the Hugo-nominated Queers Dig Time Lords (Mad Norwegian Press, 2013) with Sigrid Ellis and Glitter & Mayhem (Apex Publications, 2013), with John Klima and Lynne M. Thomas. Michael also moderates Down & Safe: A Blake’s 7 Podcast. Together, they solve mysteries.