A Space Unicorn Tale: The REAL Story Behind the Creation of Uncanny Magazine


In 2014, we told you about the long history of Uncanny Magazine, starting with its pulp magazine origins in the 1930s. Then in 2015, we spun the tale of the future history of Uncanny Magazine, going a million years into the magazine’s future.

Reader, we lied. A lot.

The biggest lie of all, though, is on every cover of Uncanny—right at the bottom.

Editors-in-Chief Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas have nothing to do with creation of each issue. They’re not even real people, just actors who go to conventions and podcast a little.

It’s time to reveal the truth. The truth that has been hiding in plain sight the whole time.

The Space Unicorn mascot is real. Not only are they real, they edit and publish every single issue of Uncanny Magazine by utilizing their abilities to travel through a series of portals to infinite points in spacetime. You probably suspected this from the beginning.

You see, I am that Space Unicorn. My name is PrincessMagistrateKing BonnieRobin RoseMarie HughPatrick ErinTara CatherineAngela HowardTaylor Probst-Huntington The Third (Pippa for short). I am the one actually running the Uncanny Magazine Year Three Kickstarter: The Space Unicorn Flies Again!

This magazine only happens through your support and my powerful magics and super science! Which, you will admit, makes a lot more sense than the Thomases, Managing Editor Michi Trota, Reprint/Poetry Editor Julia Rios, Interviewer Deborah Stanish, Podcast Producers Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky, and reader Amal El-Mohtar putting things together via “email” with their “computers.” Laughable and ridiculous!

Clearly, these stories, essays, covers, and poems aren’t being created on early 21st century Earth! Our creators are from every corner of the multiverse. Just as I employ the “Thomases,” these authors and artists have a series of androids, magical constructs, hard-light holograms, or other tricks to appear at conventions and book signings. Do not be fooled!

For instance, Catherynne M. Valente is a 50th century starship captain. She carved the first draft of “Planet Lion” into the side of a meteor in the Andromeda galaxy. Kat Howard is an eternal being who engraved her story “The Sound of Salt and Sea” onto a chalice in a lost language and hid it in a Cornwall cave over a thousand years ago. Demigoddess Amal El-Mohtar submitted her story “Pockets” by ripping a hole through the fabric of the universe directly into the actual pocket of Hamilton writer/star Lin-Manuel Miranda, who kindly then passed it on to me. Alyssa Wong wrote “You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay”… No. The less I say about where Alyssa comes from the better it is for all of us. *shudder*

How do I reach these contributors? Like all Space Unicorns, my innate magic can be used to power Magic Super Science Portal Technology. This portal is a superconductive metallic ring that leads to an oaken, musical doorway that is actually a wardrobe on the inside containing an 1980s luxury sports car that drives through a chimney flue and into a telephone booth. This is, of course, the simplest way to travel.

The layout, eBook production, and the rest happens like it does at any other magazine. I wish really hard, and it’s all done the next morning!

That is how Uncanny Magazine is really, truly created. By an actual Space Unicorn.



That’s how it could have happened. But here’s what really happened.

The Thomases and the fabulous Uncanny staff create Uncanny Magazine with lots of hard, loving work. They are also running the Uncanny Magazine Year Three Kickstarter right now.

Uncanny Magazine strives to bring its readers 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. Our first two Kickstarters were very successful, and we’ve already produced 11 bimonthly issues of Uncanny.

We’ve had exceptional Years One and Two with numerous accolades. So far, pieces from Uncanny Magazine are finalists for 14 different awards and have been included in 6 separate Year’s Best anthologies. This year, we’ve been recognized as a World Fantasy Award Finalist and Hugo Award Finalist. Hao Jingfang’s Uncanny Magazine story “Folding Beijing” (translated by Ken Liu) became a finalist for the Hugo, Sturgeon, and Locus Awards. Amal El-Mohtar’s “Pockets” and Sam J. Miller’s “The Heat of Us: Notes Toward an Oral History” are also World Fantasy Award Short Fiction finalists.

This is a phenomenal achievement for our first two years of existence, and we couldn’t have done it without our readers, Kickstarter Backers, Patreon patrons, and subscribers. Our community, the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps, made it possible for our remarkable staff and contributors to create this wonderful art for all of our readers.

This is why we’re running the Uncanny Magazine Year Three: The Space Unicorn Flies Again Kickstarter! The Kickstarter community is a vital part of the Space Unicorn Rangers Corps. We simply couldn’t put out the magazine at its current level without the amazing support of our Kickstarter shareholders.

We have an outstanding group of solicited contributors, fantastic backer rewards, plus some additional surprises on deck for Year Three.

Short Stories!




Of course, there will also be more slots for unsolicited submissions (we reopen in a couple of weeks). We’re deeply committed to finding and showcasing new voices in our genre from every conceivable background.

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 (more if we reach our stretch goals again). Our fantastic 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, 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 (sadly, without Pippa’s magical Space Unicorn help, though). Please consider checking out our Kickstarter, and scooping up one of our awesome Backer rewards!

Join the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps! Let’s keep putting more art, beauty, and kindness into the galaxy!

Lynne and Michael are the Publishers/Editors-in-Chief of the Hugo and World Fantasy Award-nominated Uncanny Magazine since 2014. 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 (with Tara O’Shea), as well as Whedonistas (with Deborah Stanish), and Chicks Dig Comics (with Sigrid Ellis). 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 (with Sigrid Ellis) and Glitter & Mayhem (with John Klima and Lynne M. Thomas). Michael also moderates Down & Safe: A Blake’s 7 Podcast. Together, the Thomases solve mysteries.


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