Urbana Couple Wins Two Hugo Awards For Online Science Fiction Magazine
An Urbana couple won two of the top awards in the science fiction world over the weekend. Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas were awarded a 2018 Hugo award for Best Editor in the short form category. And their online publication, Uncanny Magazine, won a Hugo for Best Semi-professional Publication for the third year in a row.
The Hugo awards were presented Sunday night at the annual World Science Fiction Convention, or Worldcon, in San Jose California. The Hugo Awards are voted on by science fiction fans who join the World Science Fiction Society and the Worldcon.
The Thomases launched Uncanny Magazine in DeKalb in 2013, with financing from a Kickstarter campaign. Previously, both had been editors for Apex, an online science fiction magazine founded by author Catherynne M. Valente. The Thomases have continued to publish Uncanny since their move to Urbana in 2017, when Lynne became head of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Library at the University of Illinois.
The couple told the News-Gazette their magazine and its title is meant to invoke the spirit of pulp science fiction magazines of years past.
The Hugo Award for Uncanny Magazine also honors its managing editor Michi Trota, poetry/reprint editor Julia Rios; and podcast producers Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky.
In addition to their Hugo awards, five stories published in Uncanny Magazine in 2017 were nominated for the 2018 Hugo awards, although none of them won the award. A story from Uncanny, “Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfang, won a 2017 Hugo award.
And two stories published in Uncanny are finalists for the Eugie Award, an award given for short fiction, named for the late author and Urbana native Eugie Foster. The winner of the Eugie Award will be announced at the annual Dragon Con, held in Atlanta, Georgia on Labor Day weekend.