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Uncanny Magazine Issue 18: September/October 2017

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3.98  ·  Rating details ·  380 ratings  ·  124 reviews
The September/October 2017 issue of Hugo Award-winning Uncanny Magazine.

Featuring new fiction by N.K. Jemisin, Fran Wilde, C. S. E. Cooney, Catherynne M. Valente, Vina Jie-Min Prasad, and Delia Sherman, reprinted fiction by Malinda Lo, essays by Sophie Aldred, Cecilia Tan, Sarah Kuhn, Sam J. Miller and Jean Rice, and Sabrina Vourvoulias, poetry by Jo Walton, Brandon O'Brie
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Sr3yas
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
A couple of months back, I read a news story that made me go "wait, whaaaaaaaat?". It was about an A.I. that wrote a Harry Potter fanfic, and it just really hit me how Asimov's stories are coming to fruition. Ah, what a time to be alive!

Fandom for Robots tells the short little story of Computron, an early sentient Robot from 1954 who is housed in a museum, and his emotionless journey through binge-watching and following latest anime which tells the adventures of a Robot and a Human. Computro
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
4.5 stars for the two Nebula nominated stories reviewed below; 3.5 for N.K. Jemisin's interesting "Henosis." This issue of Uncanny Magazine (free online here) has two current Nebula award nominees in the short story category, both of them IMO excellent and very worthy nominees. Reviews for these stories first posted on Fantasy Literature:

4.5 stars: “Fandom for Robots” by Vina Jie-Min Prasad: Computron, despite being the “only known sentient robot,” is dismissed by society as a quaint artifact, b
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Manny
I LIKED THIS STORY IT MADE ME WANT TO WRITE A QUIRKY MOVING FAN-FIC ABOUT A ROBOT THAT WRITES A QUIRKY MOVING FAN-FIC ABOUT A ROBOT THAT WRITES A QUIRKY MOVING FAN-FIC ABOUT A ROBOT THAT WRITES A QUIRKY MOVING FAN-FIC ABOUT A ROBOT THAT WRITES A QUIRKY MOVING FAN-FIC ABOUT A ROBOT THAT WRITES A QUIRKY MOVING FAN-FIC ABOUT A ROBOT THAT WRITES A QUIRKY MOVING FAN-FIC ABOUT A ROBOT THAT WRITES A QUIRKY MOVING FAN-FIC ABOUT A ROBOT THAT WRITES A QUIRKY MOVING FAN-FIC ABOUT A ROBOT THAT WRITES A QUIR ...more
Mir
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A shadow ducks low, then high. You hear soft breathing, a giggle. Curious?

Yes, yes I AM curious. Are you?
Well, don't get your hopes up about that curiosity being satisfied.

This was creepy and intriguing, a well-crafted read, but ultimately unsatisfying as a story.
Claudia
Apr 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Fandom for Robots
BY VINA JIE-MIN PRASAD


Another nominee for Hugo for this author, this time for Best Short Story.

Computron is a robot with no emotions which gets sucked in a fandom for a robot character; quite realistic and funny, but I liked A Series of Steaks better.

Still, totally worth reading; here's the link: https://uncannymagazine.com/article/f...
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Dennis
Fandom for Robots by Vina Jie-Min Prasad


Computron is the only known sentient robot. He was created in 1954 and is fairly outdated by now, because apparently android-bodied automatons are en vogue and our poor sentient robot protagonist is not.

So Computron’s only tasks are to take part in the Simak Robotics Museum’s Robotics Then and Now performance once a day where he has to answer four queries from the audience as proof of his sentience. And to answer his electronic mail, which consists of more
...more
Bradley
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
'18 Hugo Nom for short story.

I thought this one was rather great. Funny, recognizable, and delicious. Perfect for old anime fans and fandom in general. But more so, I love the robots squeeing over each other. :) It's a nearly perfect mild meta-story for SF fans. :)



Merged review:

'18 Hugo finalist for short story.

Probably the most vivid of the stories I've read for the noms, it's written in 2nd person and you're the exhibit for a morbid curiosity show full of horrors and history. :) Not bad, but n
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Mitticus
2.5 robotics stars

A sentient robot is the protagonist of this short-short story about a solitary existence as an obsolete object in a museum whose non-existence sees a change for an iniquitous question of a girl about an anime series. From there, the fandom consumes it.

During the wait for episode eight, Computron discovers a concept called “fanfiction.”


I think that many fanfiction fans will be very recognized in some lines and will start more than some smile. However, the idea, despite bein
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Richard Derus
Jun 03, 2018 rated it liked it
***FINALIST FOR THE 2018 EUGIE AWARD***

No to my personal taste because second-person narratives need to be burned in the cleansing fire of the sun's core.

Plus I've already read The Screwtape Letters.

Points for handling the second person better than most, plus the sheer verve of the storytelling.
...more
Jen
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-freebie
Review for Fandom for Robots. Thanks Tadiana and Corinne!

I...I’m speechless. This was beautiful and I want MORE!! 5, you need to read this right now, stars!
Cathy
Jun 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: magazines
Review for Clearly Lettered in a Mostly Steady Hand
BY FRAN WILDE

There is a ticket booth on my tongue.

This strange first sentence sets the tone of the story. Very odd. My take on this was a guy taking a tour in some sort of museum/ward/institution peopled by freaks, aka circus freaks/sideshows or maybe supernatural beings like mermaids. Someone not considered “normal“ in appearance.

Each room the visitor is taken through is increasingly weirder and more horrible. Considering the ending this c
...more
Lata
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Robot Computron is an artifact from the past, residing in a museum. A fan urges Computron to check out an animated show about a person and a robot, and becomes hooked, and begins writing fanfic -- how perfect!
I loved Computron's awkwrardness and literal-ness in conversation, and how the anonymity of the online world allows Computron the freedom to become quite the hit as a writer and collaborator of fan fiction.

Merged review:

A guided tour through an exhibit of weird stuff should have been fascin
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Carlex
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very good robots short story : )

Read it!
Jim
Apr 20, 2018 rated it liked it
A short, fun, & really interesting look at an AI & fanfic. Read it for free. It's worthy of its nomination. ...more
Peter Tillman
Review solely for "Fandom for Robots" by Vina Jie-Min Prasad. Yet Another stealth merge by GR! Bah.
Online at https://uncannymagazine.com/article/f... Nebula nominee for best short story, 2018

Wow. My new fave from this author, and for the Hugo shorts nominees.

"The Simak Robotics Museum’s commemorative postcard set ($15.00 for a set of twelve) describes Computron as “The only known sentient robot, created in 1954..."

Computron binge-watches all 6 episodes of HyperWarp. "Hyperdimension Warp Record (
...more
Rachel (Kalanadi)
Sep 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: magazines
A near miss for Uncanny, which is a bit disappointing. I truly disliked a few of the stories in this. Some of the essays didn't interest me that much too.

My favorites: "At Cooney's" by Delia Sherman (I always love her stories), "Henosis" by N.K. Jemisin (had to look up what "henosis" actually is to get it though), and "Fandom for Robots" by Vina Jie-Min Prasad. The reprint "Ghost Town" by Malindo Lo was also a suitably creepy story going into the Halloween season.
Ron
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
“Have you ever met a human? This reads as if an alien wrote it.”

In the not-too-far-distant future Artificial Intelligences may be able to write science fiction “from a certain point of view” better than humans, and of course humans may not know the difference. In this Hugo year of abounding AI stories, Fandom distinguishes itself with a compact plot and wry humor.

“My lack of emotion circuits means I cannot be ‘happy’ about performing any actions.”

(2018 Hugo Award short story finalist. Illustra
...more
Oleksandr Zholud
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a review of two Hugo nominated stories from the issue.

"Fandom for Robots" A nice SF story with nostalgia feel, a clear homage for the 50s. A sentient robot, built in 1954 becomes engaged in modern fandom

"Clearly Lettered in a Mostly Steady Hand" I may be biased but it is the weakest story in the list. May be this is because it is a borderline between SF and horror and I ain't the fan of the latter. The story depict an excursion to a strange exhibition of strange things and raises a quest
...more
J. Boo
Sep 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: interweb
A sentient robot stuck as a museum exhibit learns of an anime in which its doppleganger appears, and then learns of the existence of sexy fan fiction.

To her great credit, the author was wise enough to *not* bring some things (view spoiler) to resolution. This stands against some clunkiness in dialogue and characterization, and a no-people-don't-act-like-that passage that should've been dropped.

Anyway, despite being an award nominee, it's not bad. And Pras
...more
Jon
2018 Hugo Finalist for Best Short Story: “Clearly Lettered in a Mostly Steady Hand,” by Fran Wilde (Uncanny, September 2017) and “Fandom for Robots,” by Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Uncanny, September/October 2017)

Listened (9/9/2017) to the Uncanny podcast 18A which included two of the short stories published in this edition plus a poem by Jo Walton entitled "To Much Dystopia?" (https://uncannymagazine.com/article/t...).

Clearly Lettered in a Mostly Steady Hand by Fran Wilde (liked it)
https://uncannymag
...more
Punk
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: robots, short-stories
Vina Jie-Min Prasad's Fandom for Robots is a delightful short story about a robot who discovers fandom. Fit for anyone who likes robots, fandom, space toasters, or any combination thereof.

Read Fandom for Robots online for free at Uncanny Magazine.
...more
G33z3r
Amusing old Robot takes up writing robot fanfic.

Merged review:

I used to understand stories from Fran Wilde. This odd, angry narration of a trip through what I assume is an old fashioned carny freak show just flew right past me without making enough sense for me to have an option. File this under "what did I just read?"
Tani
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Finally finished! This was my first time reading Uncanny, and it was a pretty good experience. My thoughts:

N. K. Jemisin- “Henosis" - I liked this, but I thought it was a bit heavy-handed in making its point. I suppose it's a technique that works well for short fiction, but it's not one that I love.

Fran Wilde- “Clearly Lettered in a Mostly Steady Hand” - This one was not for me. It was beautifully written, and if I was a visual reader, I might have really liked it, but I have a big problem with
...more
Alyssia Cooke
A mixed bag and one that's taken me a while to get through, but perhaps that is the very nature of anthologies of collected works. Some strike and others, simply don't. In honesty, I picked this up in order to see how the Hugo nomination Fandom For Robots would have been presented in publication. Shorts aren't really my thing and so perhaps I am a less than ideal reviewer. But we work with what we have.

In terms of the fiction, I really enjoyed Honosis with it's different narrative style, disjoin
...more
Alpacapanache
Adorable. Underused, sentient robot finds fanfic and purpose. You can read it free here!

Finding this right after reading the new Murderbot novella (Artificial Condition) was perfect timing as it had similar themes, humour, and clever analysis of robot/human interaction filtered through a stark under-appreciated reality, and the broader world of fanfic and creating your own realities socially.
...more
Paul
Fiction
N. K. Jemisin- “Henosis" - OK
Fran Wilde- “Clearly Lettered in a Mostly Steady Hand” - Nope
C. S. E. Cooney- “Though She Be But Little” - Nope
Catherynne M. Valente- “Down and Out in R’lyeh” - Meh
Vina Jie-Min Prasad- “Fandom for Robots” - Great
Delia Sherman- “At Cooney’s” - Good

Reprint
Malinda Lo- “Ghost Town” - Good

Video review: https://youtu.be/ovbeE5dtD6k?t=35s
...more
victoria.p
Apr 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Very cute! Now I want all the AI crossovers!
Kathleen
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
This story is amazing. Anyone who has ever taken part in fandom should definitely read it.
Margaret
If I had to pick a favorite from this issue, it would be Fran Wilde's circus monster sideshow short story "Clearly Lettered in a Mostly Steady Hand." Overall, it's a good issue, with 2 of my favorite SFF writers contributing fiction though, oddly, those were not my favorite short stories!

Fiction
N. K. Jemisin- “Henosis”: The story of a writer in the future told in disorganized fragments of a book. Interesting concept. Sorry Jemisin, I'm not ready to give you that award! 3/5

Fran Wilde- “Clearly Le
...more
Caitlin
In this short story (nominated for a Nebula award and available to read for free), an older robot at the Simak Robotics Museum gets involved in writing robot fanfic. Computron is in one of the older exhibits at the museum (having been built in 1954) and its boxy design has many labeling it as an obsolete curiosity. Computron lives at the museum, taking part in the Robotics Then and Now performance at the museum and answering students' questions via email. When a student asks Computron about an a ...more
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The Evolution of ...: "Fandom for Robots" by Vina Jie-Min Prasad 14 24 Sep 25, 2019 03:34PM  

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