My Favorite Bit: Michi Trota talks about UNCANNY MAGAZINE YEAR TWO
Michi Trota is joining us today to talk about Uncanny Magazine Year Two: The Return of the Space Unicorn Kickstarter. Here’s the Kickstarter description:
Last year, three-time Hugo Award winner Lynne M. Thomas & three-time Hugo Award finalist Michael Damian Thomas ran the Uncanny Magazine Year One Kickstarter. We promised to bring you 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.
With the hard work of the best staff and contributors in the world, Uncanny Magazine delivered everything as promised. All this content is available for free over the web, thanks to your support.
Though Uncanny has developed several additional funding streams to make the magazine sustainable, we’re not quite there yet. Which is why we’re running the Uncanny Magazine Year Two: The Return of the Space Unicorn Kickstarter.
If you’ve been looking for an opportunity to join or rejoin the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps, now’s your chance!
Our Year Two goals will bring Uncanny closer to sustainability by paying for more great content and making sure the magazine’s business infrastructure is solidified.
On deck for Year Two is an outstanding group of solicited contributors, fantastic backer rewards, plus some additional surprises.
- 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
There will also be more slots for unsolicited submissions (we reopen in September). We’re deeply committed to finding and showcasing new 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 monthly podcast includes a story, a poem, and an exclusive interview in each episode.
Kickstarter Backers at the Subscriber Level or higher, and those purchasing single issues, get each issue in its entirety up front, no waiting. Those reading online for free wait a month for the second half, which appears on the second Tuesday of the month at http://uncannymagazine.com/.
We at Uncanny think we’re doing important work, and we’d like to continue. Please consider supporting Uncanny Magazine Year Two.
What’s Michi’s favorite bit?
I’m pretty sure the first story I remember my parents reading to me was The Hobbit. Science fiction and fantasy dominated my bookshelves as a kid, and as a 37-year-old adult, that hasn’t changed. No offense to my husband, but SFF was really my very first love. So the past year I’ve spent as managing editor for Uncanny Magazine has been absolutely incredible.
Choosing what my Favorite Bit of working on Uncanny isn’t an easy prospect because there are so many things I enjoy about it. I’m an editor and writer by education and trade, so getting to utilize my professional skills in a passion project is an unlooked for gift. Getting to see fiction, nonfiction, and poetry by authors whose work I’ve admired for years go into a publication with my name on it makes my inner fangirl squee with delight (I may or may not have run around with that first issue, pointing at it to all my friends and giggling over my name in the masthead). Also, our logo is a Space Unicorn, and we call our supporters the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps, how cool is that?
But if I had to choose, what I love the most about Uncanny is the view it’s given me into how truly inspiring, diverse, and passionate the SFF community really is.
Every piece of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction that Uncanny has published has brought a unique vision and voice to the magazine. Every story submitted to the magazine, regardless of whether or not we publish them, demonstrates an incredible amount of passion for SFF. It takes a lot of effort, love, and not a small amount of risk-taking, to submit your work for publication, and I’m in awe every day at the sheer volume of work that I see coming into Uncanny.
The magazine’s staff are some of the most skilled and enthusiastic people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. Their commitment to celebrating the best that SFF has to offer has inspired me to do some of the best work of my life (even though it often involves a lot of sleepless nights and enormous amounts of coffee and chocolate during deadline time!). Though I had spent the last several years becoming more active in my local Chicago geek community by doing panels and writing about representation issues in geek culture, becoming a part of Uncanny has allowed me to join a world of SFF fandom that’s wider, more creative, and more invigorating than I could have imagined. I’m challenged each time I read Uncanny’s stories, in the best possible way, by provocative narratives that expand my understanding of what shapes SFF can take.
I’m also reminded, with each issue we publish, that in spite of the efforts from some corners to corral SFF into a narrow little box, new voices, perspectives, and interpretations are flourishing in the genre — and people are eagerly clamoring for more. The number of supporters who joined Uncanny’s Space Ranger Unicorn Corps and made our Kickstarter for Year One such a success, who’ve bought subscriptions, individual issues, or contributed to our Patreon, stands in stark opposition to the notion that SFF fans are only interested in “heroes with swords” and “laser-firing rocket ships.” The SFF community is one that’s inexorably moving toward greater inclusion and representation, and I’m so proud to be a part of that.
A few years before Lynne and Michael Thomas asked me to join them on their newest publication adventure, I’d been falling a bit out of love with SFF, because I felt like I was reading the same stories, and each new genre kerfuffle made me wonder if there really was a place for a person like me in SFF, both as a fan and an aspiring creator. Thanks to becoming a part of Uncanny, I’ve been both reminded why I fell in love with SFF in the first place, and given the ability to see SFF with new eyes. I’ve been able to connect with fandom with a re-invigorated spirit, and new faith in what our community is capable of. And maybe, just maybe, enough inspiration to revisit that long-held dream of writing my own fiction.
At Uncanny we say we look for “intricate, experimental stories and poems with verve and imagination that elicit strong emotions and challenge beliefs from writers from every conceivable background. Uncanny believes there’s still plenty of room in the genre for tales that make you feel.” And that’s exactly what My Favorite Bit about Uncanny is: it makes me feel.
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Michi Trota is a writer, editor, speaker, communications manager and community organizer in Chicago, IL. She is the Managing Editor for Uncanny: A Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Michi writes about geek culture and fandom, focusing primarily on issues of diversity and representation, on her blog, Geek Melange, and is a member of the Chicago Nerd Social Club’s Board of Organizers. Topics guaranteed to get her talking for hours include comics, Doctor Who, and food geekery. Michi was a featured essayist in Invisible: An Anthology of Representation in SF/F (edited by Jim C. Hines). In her professional life, she is a managing editor with fifteen years of experience in the publishing industry. In her spare time, she spins fire with the fire+bellydance showcase, Raks Geek, and at the Chicago Full Moon Jams.