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An Interview with Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas

Lynne and Michael Thomas likely need no introduction, but on the off chance you’ve been living in a cave, on Mars, with your eyes shut and your fingers in your ears, allow me to introduce them by shamelessly cribbing from their bios.

Lynne M. Thomas is the former Editor-in-Chief of Apex Magazine (2011-2013). She co-edited the Hugo Award-winning Chicks Dig Time Lords, as well as Whedonistas and Chicks Dig Comics. She moderates the Hugo Award-winning SF Squeecast, a monthly SF/F podcast, and contributes to the Verity! Podcast. In her day job, she is the Curator of Rare and Books and Special Collections at Northern Illinois University, where she is responsible for the papers of over 60 SF/F authors. You can learn more about her shenanigans at lynnemthomas.com

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 (Mad Norwegian Press, 2013) with Sigrid Ellis and Glitter & Mayhem (Apex Publications, 2013) with John Klima and Lynne M. Thomas. He also has worked as an Associate Editor on numerous books at Mad Norwegian Press, including the Hugo Award-winning Chicks Dig Time Lords (edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Tara O’Shea, 2010) and Hugo Award-nominated Chicks Dig Comics (edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Sigrid Ellis, 2012). You can find out more at michaeldamianthomas.com.

As if their credits weren’t impressive enough, Lynne and Michael are in the process of launching a new online magazine, Uncanny, which they are running a Kickstarter campaign for right now.

Welcome, Lynne and Michael! Care to tell us a bit about your hopes for Uncanny? What is your vision for the magazine?

Thank you! It’s lovely to be here!

We want to create a magazine that is all about content – fiction, poetry, and nonfiction — that makes you feel. The best SF/F stays with you because of how it evokes strong emotions, through voice, elegant prose, and characterization. That’s what we’re seeking.

On a related note, you’re both obviously veterans of the genre publishing industry. What niche do you see Uncanny filling that isn’t currently being filled?

We think there’s always more room for distinctive voices from around the globe within the genre. We also hope to be a home for emotional, strongly written, experimental stories and provocative nonfiction that is relevant to our community.

You have an impressive line-up of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry authors slated for year one of Uncanny, along with several amazing cover artists. What drew you to their work? What makes their work ‘uncanny’ and/or how to you define ‘the uncanny’ in terms of your vision for this magazine?

See above! We think each of these creators epitomize what we value most in writing and art. They all have strong, distinctive prose and poetic voices. We define “uncanny” as that surprising feeling that you’ve been here before, but never quite like this. We took a lot of inspiration from Ann VanderMeer’s Weird Tales run. We want Uncanny to feel as though it has existed since the pulp era, but has evolved into modern SF/F.

I have to ask about the space unicorn logo, designed by Katy Shuttleworth. Why a space unicorn? What about a space unicorn captures the spirit of Uncanny? Do you secretly have a name for the space unicorn, outside of the Kickstarter reward level to name said unicorn? (You don’t have to tell me the name, just blink once for yes, two for no.)

*blinks twice* We were discussing with Katy what we wanted for a logo, and Michael jokingly suggested a space unicorn, and my reaction was “wait a second, that’s AWESOME. Do it for real!” We didn’t come up with anything more awesome than space unicorns in the interim, so there you are. The beauty of it is, the space unicorn does exactly what we’re hoping for Uncanny. It recognizes and honors what has been great in SF/F, and moves it forward into the modern age.

The Kickstarter campaign for Uncanny is off to a roaring start. What made you decide to go the Kickstarter route? What are your plans for funding the magazine going forward?

We have been completely, wonderfully flabbergasted at the roaring start for the Kickstarter. Since we had success funding Glitter & Mayhem last year via Kickstarter, it seemed natural to try again when we decided to jump start a magazine. It’s a great place to go with ideas and find a community who wants to make your awesome idea a reality. Going forward, our plan is to make and keep Uncanny sustainable over a hopefully short time, through growing our subscriber base, advertising and sponsorships, and other things we haven’t thought of yet. The beauty of the Kickstarter method is that it will cover the expensive start up infrastructure of the first year; our expenses drop significantly for year two.

On a broader note, what is your favorite thing about editing in general?

Our favorite thing is finding and sharing works that make our hearts skip a beat, especially when they are by new writers. There is nothing more fun than being someone’s first professional sale, and watching their careers grow.

Is there anything else you’re working on you’d like to mention?

We’re still working on the SF Squeecast and Verity!, so we should stay out of trouble for a while. There are always future ideas, of course, but right now, we are completely focused on getting Uncanny off the ground in the next few months.

Thank you for joining me here today. I look forward to everything Uncanny has to offer!

Thanks for having us!

Keep an eye out for awesome new rewards to be added to the Uncanny Magazine Kickstarter today!

ETA: The new Kickstarter rewards are here and they are awesome.

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Everything You Never Wanted to Know and Less

My official Author Spotlight, which accompanies my story over at Fantasy Magazine, is now online. This is my first ever interview. I don’t think I did too bad for a first-timer. Thanks to Marshall Payne for making it so much fun!

Head on over to Fantasy and check it out. Feel free to ask follow-up questions in the comments (here or there), or suggest ridiculous Oscars outfits. Just don’t ask what’s in the trunk.

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Filed under Random Rambling