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Michael Damian Thomas

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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