Guest Post: Michi Trota of Uncanny

Written by Natalie Luhrs

I'm a lifelong geek with a passion for books and social justice. And I give absolutely no fucks.

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August 11, 2014

Today I’m happy to present a guest post from Michi Trota, Managing Editor for the new science fiction and fantasy magazine, Uncanny. I’ve backed their Kickstarter and I hope you’ll consider it as well.


I grew up reading/watching a lot of science fiction and fantasy. A lot. Star Trek and Doctor Who were almost always on the TV. We wore out our VHS copy of Star Wars. Twice. The first book I ever remember my mom reading to me was The Hobbit and she made sure I knew every Grimm’s Fairy Tale before I ever saw a Disney film. I enjoyed every bit of those stories, but I didn’t actually fall in love with SF/F until I was seven, when we read Kurt Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron” in second grade.

It wasn’t like the science fiction that I was familiar with – there were not space battles, no aliens, no transporter pads, but it was compelling, confusing and just plain broke my heart. I couldn’t articulate it at the time, but that dystopian what-if future challenged a host of assumptions that I’d been taking for granted about how the world worked. That was the moment I understood that SF/F could be more than thrilling space battles and wizards weaving spells, that at its heart, SF/F is about exploring possibilities, exposing us to different perspectives, and understanding what it means to be human. That story has stayed with me for nearly thirty years.

That’s the kind of work that Uncanny: A Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy is going to find and publish.

I couldn’t be prouder or more excited that Lynne Thomas (Chicks Dig Time Lords, Apex Magazine) and Michael Thomas (Queers Dig Time Lords, Apex Magazine) asked me to join Uncanny’s staff as managing editor. If you were to ask me what my ideal SF/F magazine would look like, Uncanny would tick all those boxes: quality fiction and nonfiction, as well as poetry and art that’s experimental, elegant and evocative; space for new voices to be featured alongside familiar names; a commitment to both a diversity of creators as well as diversity in characters and settings; and a talented staff of professionals who absolutely love SF/F.

We even have a fantastic logo designed for us by Katy Shuttleworth, because what better way to recognize what Uncanny stands for than a SPACE UNICORN?

In short, a celebration of the best what the SF/F community and geek culture has to offer.

Our line up of contributors for Year One includes creators with unique voices, whose work epitomizes many of the things we love about SF/F: Charlie Jane Anders, Paul Cornell, Galen Dara, Julie Dillon, Neil Gaiman, Jim C. Hines, Kameron Hurley, Mary Robinette Kowal, Ken Liu, Scott Lynch, Sofia Samatar, Rachel Swirsky, Catherynne M. Valente, and many more. If you’re not familiar with some of these awesome creators, check out the series mini-interviews with some of our contributors featured as part of Uncanny’s Kickstarter.

Once our Kickstarter is fully-funded, Uncanny will also be accepting fiction and poetry submissions!

While Kickstarter will get things going, we have a solid plan to continue building Uncanny and making the magazine sustainable through growing our subscriber base, utilizing sponsorships and advertising, and whatever other fannish goodies we can come up with.

It’s been thrilling to watch the amount of support and enthusiasm come in for Uncanny over the last couple of weeks. Our Kickstarter is almost halfway over and we’ve raised $22,400, nearly 90% of our goal. We’re not there yet, so if Uncanny sounds like the kind of SF/F magazine you can’t wait to read, we hope you’ll support us.

Because space unicorns are awesome.

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