Tor.com content by

Lynne M. Thomas

The Uncanny Cabinet of Curiosities

In 2014, the editors of Uncanny Magazine told us about the (fictional) history of the publication, starting with its pulp magazine origins in the 1930s. Then in 2015, they shared the (probably fictional) future history of the magazine, traveling a million years into the future. Today they’re getting down to brass tacks, explaining what it’s really like working at an award-winning science fiction and fantasy magazine known for its literary quality and Space Unicorn mascot.

The curator ran their fingers over their newest acquisition—an uncanny cabinet of curiosities. A gorgeous work of many makers, the cabinet mixed ebony, oak, tiger maple, and mahogany—holding a cacophony of decorated drawers covered with gemstones, ivory, marble, bone, pewter, tortoiseshell, painted stone, enamel, and brass. The artwork of each drawer told its own story—unicorns, wolves, and jaguars travelling through forests and fields, or even amongst the stars. Though the cabinet of curiosities wasn’t outwardly particularly large, the curator marveled at the number of drawers and their contents. It was as if the uncanny cabinet was bigger on the inside and contained universes.

They slowly, carefully slid open a drawer. Would it be a fossil? A vial? What treasure existed within?

They withdrew a catalog of storms beaten into brass hinges, and read.

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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.]

Why We’re Creating More Uncanny: Still a Real Magazine, Now With a Fake Future History

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.

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Why We’re Creating Uncanny, a Real Magazine with a Fake History (and a Space Unicorn)

In the late 1930s, a group of dissatisfied SF/F fans pooled their resources and pitched a magazine to a dubious magazine publisher recently released from prison after serving time for seditious activities with some degenerate marmots. That magazine was called Uncanny. He loved their idea and immediately stole it. Known for its literary quality, Space Unicorn mascot, off-kilter stories, and letter column where fans argued books, politics, and cabbage roll recipes, Uncanny ran for decades as the seventh most popular pulp magazine.

When not arguing about the proper fillings for a cabbage roll, the readers found themselves developing a sense of community. As one bright woman in the letter column opined, even mythical creatures in space need to hang out with other friends on occasion to swap and discuss great stories. Uncanny readers began referring to themselves as members of the Space Unicorn Rangers Corps, reflecting the inclusivity and originality of perspectives inherent in its readership.

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Chicks Dig the Eleventh Doctor

This is a post in the Tor.com Twelve Doctors of Christmas series. Click the link to peruse the entire series.

 

Hi! We’re the editors of Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It (Mad Norwegian Press, 2010). Our book celebrates the entire classic series as well as the Russell T. Davies era of the new series. Since Chicks came out just before Matt Smith’s debut as the Eleventh Doctor, Tor.com asked us to weigh in with our reactions to the Fifth Series.

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Series: The Twelve Doctors of Christmas

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