Uncanny Magazine # 1 November/December 2014 (emag review).

November 24, 2014 | By | Reply More

From the USA, ‘Uncanny Magazine’, a new online magazine of fantasy and Science Fiction. It’s edited by Lynne M Thomas and Michael Damien Thomas with each issue containing speculative fiction, podcasts, poetry, essays, art and interviews. The question is does the world need a new SF magazine when there are already plenty of them about? Does this one have enough impact to become a success? Many magazines have come and gone, disappeared without trace in the ether, but I think this one has started well and could be a good thing for the future.

UncannyMag-1

A couple of bad points! The title isn’t original. Other magazines in the past have used the word ‘Uncanny’, even a comic I believe, but nonetheless this one probably has enough credibility to put its own stamp on the name. Secondly, the cover isn’t very appealing. Mechanical centaurs floating about in what looks like a Jovian atmosphere! Maybe this is something to do with one of the poems in the magazine but it is, in my opinion, a bit wishy-washy and it doesn’t convey enough positive feeling to the reader. The poem on which it’s based by Amal El-Mohtar is actually quite good.

Okay, that’s the bad points. What about the rest? Fortunately, the magazine was very good indeed. I found the fiction to be first-class, literary in style on occasions and the other material was interesting and relevant. Basically, it was a good read which is what you want to know!

I believe the magazine can be read online, the first half the beginning of the month of publication and the second half on the next month after. It’s also available for sale in Kindle format from Amazon for a modest price, approximately £2.50. Personally for that price I think I would want to read it upfront and pay the nominal price. After all, they do pay for fiction, something quite rare these days and they do deserve some support.

With too many stories to name individually, I would like to mention the following. ‘Presence’ by Ken Liu. I have read his fiction before and found it to be good and this story was no exception. It was about a son visiting his dying mother in a care home but it wasn’t a personal visit, it was by remote robotics. Being inside a machine, his face on a screen, he could even attend to his mother’s care by clipping her fingernails. It was a sanitised visit, separated by distance and country, but was it emotionally separate as well? Coming out of the machine and tending to his own daughter, the generations clash and feelings collide. A really great story!

‘Migration’ by Kat Howard is about a phoenix called Lara. It’s a rather strange tale about death, memory, resurrection and the hereafter. The mythical tale of the phoenix means life after death, from the ashes of remembrance. In this story, two people seem to merge in the twilight zone. This is definitely one to read.

What about an article? ‘Does Sex Make Science Fiction “Soft?”’ by Tansy Rayner Roberts. Is there romance in Science Fiction? Tansy discusses the subject from a personal point of view. Having read very little romance until comparatively late in life, she forges connections between the genre, making conclusions which are not totally unexpected but very interesting nonetheless. Thinking about the subject, it’s quite plain that romance does invade the alien, even in ‘Doctor Who’, it must be said.

There’s lots more in ‘Uncanny Magazine’ than described in this review and the best avenue of approach would be to consult the website from which you’ll be able to read some of the fiction, articles, reviews and poetry. I like the magazine. I thought it had a certain quality about it, especially the standard of the fiction and I would recommend it to any of the readers out there. Maybe the world does need a new Science Fiction magazine!

Rod MacDonald

November 2014

(pub: Price: $ 3.99 (US), £: 2.50 (UK))

check out website: www.uncannymagazine.com

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Category: Fantasy, Magazines, Scifi

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About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 15 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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