Uncanny Magazine Issue number 8 January/February 2016 (magazine review)

When ‘Uncanny Magazine’ came out, the covers were a bit wishy-washy but now they have improved remarkably. The latest issue has a cover by Priscilla H Kim who comes from Austin, Texas. Some of her work concentrates on the theme of warrior women and one such example appears on the front page. Yes, a definite improvement.


The editors, Lynne M Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas, in their editorial mention accessibility for disabled people at conventions, making the very good point that they should be available to anyone regardless of physical condition. An admirable stance, it is a move in the right direction which should be adhered to by all conventions anywhere.

Since its creation, ‘Uncanny’ has grown from strength to strength, becoming a recognisable feature with a character of its own, a definitive statement in the world of Science Fiction and fantasy publications. This issue is packed with good stories, interviews and articles covering a wide range of subjects and interests. The writing is generally very good with something for everybody. Looking into a selection of the stories we have the following.

I liked ‘The Creeping Woman’ by Christopher Barzak. It concerns a man and his wife living in a holiday retreat in the countryside. Jane has the ability to see things in inanimate objects, making visual representations from obscure shapes and pictures. She was a writer and thought that the house they inhabited was haunted but, suffering from a form of mental illness, began to deteriorate until her emotions were out of control. An interesting story, it crept over you much like the characters inhabiting the words.

I didn’t like ‘The Spy Who Never Grew Up’ by Sarah Rees Brennan, which takes the piss out of everything in the UK establishment, including the Queen. The story is okay and well written but it gets a bit boring with its constant attempts to twist words into alternate meanings. However, others may find the story amusing and witty, showing that fiction is subjective whatever one’s opinion may be.

Several articles are published, including ‘Quest For An SF/F Grandmother’ by LM Myles which relates the attempt to find a female author in her favourite subject. It’s a good article, thought-provoking and informative.

The best way to investigate ‘Uncanny’ is to look at their website which you will find at http://uncannymagazine.com/ this will give you up-to-date information on issue eight with all its contents and you will be able to see the cover. When you are there don’t forget the podcasts.

When ‘Uncanny’ came into existence nobody knew what it was going to deliver and opinions varied one way or other but now it has become established with a good track record, it’s got to be respected and taken seriously. Definitely worth a read.

Rod MacDonald

January 2016

(pub: Uncanny Magazine. Black & white Kindle edition. Price: £2.61 (UK). ASIN: B017AT4OFU)

check out website: http://uncannymagazine.com/issues/uncanny-magazine-issue-eight/

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