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Uncanny Magazine Issue 24: Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction! Special Issue

(Uncanny Magazine #24)

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  145 ratings  ·  48 reviews
"And With the Lamps We Are Multitudes of Light" by Likhain

"The Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction Manifesto" by Elsa Sjunneson-Henry and Dominik Parisien

"The House on the Moon" by William Alexander
"Birthday Girl" by Rachel Swirsky
"An Open Letter to the Family" by Jennifer Brozek
"Heavy Lifting" by A. T. Greenblatt
"The Frequency of Compassion" by A.
Kindle Edition, 374 pages
Published September 4th 2018 by Uncanny Magazine
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Start your review of Uncanny Magazine Issue 24: Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction! Special Issue
Sep 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Listen by Karin Tidbeck
“Suddenly Mika understood everything, more than everything. Creation spread out in front of him like a map.”

This story started rough; it was difficult to establish character names to roles and motivations. But it became my favorite fast.

Two MCs use their differences, disabilities, at great personal cost to bring two species into harmony.

It is also one of those stories where you never really find out what happened but I'm ok with that here... Alien aliens.

The Frequen
Rachel (Kalanadi)
Sep 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: magazines
My two favorite stories from this issue are "The Stars Above" by Katharine Duckett and "By Degrees and Dilatory Time" by SL Huang (one of the reprints, and a reread for me - it still really holds up!). ...more
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've given this 10/10 on a total gut reaction. I struggled with a few of the stories, but as I've said many times before, my brain doesn't always manage short stories well and I'm totally going to take the blame for that, not lay it on the stories.

But the interviews, essays and personal stories were wonderful.

I'm in here. My son is in here. And there are people like us talking about themselves and how science fiction has been part of their lives and their disability. We're not often on the page
'Nathan Burgoine
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: anthologies
I'll be delving into the rest of the tales in this anthology during my Short Stories 366 project over the year, but suffice it to say I really enjoyed the collection as a whole (the fiction portion especially). Unlike Queers Destroy Science Fiction!: Lightspeed Magazine Special Issue; The Stories (which I also enjoyed), this anthology didn't strike me anywhere near as relentlessly dark, and in fact, I'd say the majority of the stories came down on the hopeful/optimistic side.

Story-by-story revi
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This collection made me want to read more short-form scifi because these stories were GREAT. They bring SO much creativity to visions of the future and meaningful representation of differently abled bodies, chronic illness, neurodiversity, etc. It includes fiction, personal essays, media critiques, and poetry. The main through line is that given the literally unlimited sandbox of SFF, it feels pretty fucking terrible to be a disabled reader and not see yourself imagined in these expansive future ...more
David H.
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a double-length special issue of Uncanny Magazine, as part of their "Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction" project: 13 short stories, 9 nonfiction essays, 9 poems, 2 interviews, & 30 personal essays. Typically with these magazines, fiction is the majority of the issue, but not this time! Also in a change from normal for me, the nonfiction & personal essays really added a lot to this issue.

My favorite short stories were Swirsky's "Birthday Girl," West's "Abigail Dreams of Weather," Wi
Barry Raifsnider
I absolutely loved this collection! All of the nonfic is really fantastic and I really liked most of the fiction pieces too. My favorite stories were The House on the Moon by William Alexander, Birthday Girl by Rachel Swirsky, An Open Letter to the Family by Jennifer Brozek, Heavy Lifting by A.T. Greenblatt, and The Frequency of Compassion by A. Merc Rustad, I would highly recommend reading at least those, though the whole issue is definitely worth reading.
Liz Henry
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great collection, a great read! I especially loved P.H. Lee's A House By the Sea, The Things I Miss the Most by Nisi Shawl, and By Degrees and Dilatory Time by S.L. Huang. ...more
Feb 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
I only listened to The House on the Moon through the podcast LeVar Burton Reads. In this futuristic short story set on the moon, a disabled middle school student on a field trip visits a castle that had been shipped up from Earth. The rich owner had been an eccentric man who had been part of the Eugenics War but had been pardoned by the government and allowed to move to the moon. Some disquieting truths are brought up, and we realize the boy almost lost his life because of his disability. The en ...more
Jun 20, 2021 marked it as comics-and-magazines

You Wanted Me to Fly (Julia Watts Belser)
Heavy Lifting (A. T. Greenblatt)
By Degrees and Dilatory Time (SL Huang)
Birthday Girl (Rachel Swirsky)
A House by the Sea (P. H. Lee)
And the Dragon Was in the Skin (A. J. Hackwith)
The Stories We Find Ourselves In (A. T. Greenblatt)
We Are Not Daredevil. Except When We Are Daredevil (Michael Merriam
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this issue! So comforting to read other disabled people talking about the ableism in a lot of science fiction in the nonfiction and then reading fiction stories smashing those stereotypes to pieces. I'll definitely be giving the Disabled People Destroy Fantasy issue a go when I'm in the mood for it! ...more
The collection of short stories and essays (I skipped the poems since I never reap any value from them) showed a variety of perspectives from people that experience different kind of disabilities and their take on old and new science fiction literature and cinema. It was quite opening and made me think about the sides of the story that I never before considered.

The quality of short stories was rather uneven, but on the other hand I found all of the non-fiction very interesting to read, even the
Suzanne Conboy-Hill
Sep 14, 2019 rated it liked it
I have the physical paperback which, for some reason, isn't listed, and so any locations are given as page numbers.

First, in case you're puzzling over the title, this is one of a series which began with Women Destroy Science Fiction - a response to a rather unjustified claim that only men could write in this genre. I'm not sure though, how far this book lays that myth to rest. The content is variable and much of it laboured, with disability and treatments and medications almost shoehorned into e
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
More Hugo Reading This was interesting and made me think and this is why I'm adding it here. 
ETA: This is a bit long.
It brought up some of the anxiety I have annually when work wants me to sign the Disability Survey, the question they ask is if you have a physical or mental condition that impacts your ability to enjoy life (paraphrased but essentially the gist of it).  And every year I have to admit that yes, I have things wrong with me that get in the way sometimes.
I'm probably Coeliac (and
Chrysten Lofton
Oct 12, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5⭐ "I’d rather hear music through air I can breathe.”


If you’re following my reviews, thanks for rolling with me ♡

It’s the fifth season of Stitcher’s LeVar Burton Reads, and we’re gifted with “The House on the Moon” by William Alexander.

This author is so in tune with the genre, it’s intimidating to me as a writer. Just like, mad scribe envy. I love the idea of writing science fiction, but it has a language in my opinion. I feel fluent enough in that language to recognize it, b
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
A special issue of Uncanny Magazine, supported through crowdfunding, which contains stories and essays by disabled creators and featuring disabled characters, both largely unrepresented (or at least, invisibly represented) in science fiction.

It's largely a good collection. In terms of stories, I generally have the same types of complaints I do in any collection... some stories didn't work for me, or seemed like the start of something interesting but just ended before it got there. A few where th
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: anthology, sci-fi
The House on the Moon by William Alexander: 2.75/5
Birthday Girl by Rachel Swirsky: 3/5
An Open Letter to the Family by Jennifer Brozek: 1.5/5
Heavy Lifting by A. T. Greenblatt: 2.75/5
The Frequency of Compassion by A. Merc Rustad: 5/5
The Stars Above by Katharine Duckett: 3/5
The Things I Miss the Most by Nisi Shawl: 2.75/5
Abigail Dreams of Weather by Stu West: 3.5/5
A House by the Sea by P. H. Lee: 4.75/5
Disconnect by Fran Wilde: 3/5
This Will Not Happen to You by Marissa Lingen: 3.5/5
By De
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely, incredibly thankful I supported this book on Kickstarter.

This is technically 4 stars for my rating, but I'm upping it to 5 due to it coming into my life at the perfect timing for two personal reasons:

The first thing is that there a very high plausibility that I am autistic. I've been on and off considering getting diagnosed. Seeing all the autistic voices (and there were many!) in this book made me *cry*, and I've decided I want to go through with getting diagnosed.

I also carry the
Kristine Lenda
Nov 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Personal preference: I am going to pass on rating personal essays. I do not feel comfortable judging other people's life experiences, that is just not my place.

That being said, the rest of the work was excellent and touched on aspects of ableism that I barely notice myself as a disabled, chronically ill person (whether that's due to internal ableism or just a lack of thought is another question, frankly I am not opening that can of worms in 2020).

A quote that really had me weeping, however, was
Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Uncanny is a very well-known science fiction and fantasy magazine. Even in science fiction, supposedly the genre of limitless possibility, where everyone is invited to the adventure, minorities are often underrepresented. Four year ago Lightspeed magazine started the "destroy science fiction" series, a yearly program focusing on underrepresented minorities to give them a voice, and to see what they have to offer and to contribute to the genre. In 2014 they focused on women. In 2015 on queer auth ...more
Dec 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I took my time digesting this one, but there's a lot of really lovely work in here. When I bought it, I only had short stories in mind, and I wasn't sure if I'd like the balance of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction/essays. I ended up rotating between sections, reading a piece or two from each, so it felt like different parts of the issue were talking to each other. Now that I've gotten to the end, I think that blend of approaches was perfect, like when you mix two flavors together and find a whole ...more
Shannon (That's So Poe)
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-books
This is a fantastic collection of short stories and essays that provide so much insight into the experience of a variety of disabled authors. The first half of the issue is devoted to science fiction short stories, and included a number of favorites, such as Heavy Lifting by A.T. Greenblatt, A House by the Sea by P. H. Lee, and Disconnect by Fran Wilde. The essays in the second half were particularly strong, providing a lot of insight into why disability representation in science fiction is so i ...more
Melinda Mitchell
Dec 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It takes me a long time to read anthologies (I often have to put the book down after reading a single story or essay to think about it, just like I would with a whole novel) so I started this over a year ago.

This is an excellent collection of short stories, essays, poetry, and interviews, featuring a variety of people with disabilities and their experiences. This is a must read for able-bodied folks. I'm married to someone on the autism spectrum and have a nonverbal autistic son, and this collec
This was an excellent anthology highlighting the diverse stories and experiences of disabled writers in the SFF community. It's a good mix of fiction, non-fiction, personal essays and poetry, and everyone who's a fan or writer of SFF should read this. As an abled person and a writer, it gave me a new perspective on a historically marginalized community, and what disability narratives can look like. There are a lot of great voices at work within this community: voices that we risk missing out on ...more
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It is always good to read stories by/about/for those who are marginalised and this anthology is no exception.

There are stories, poems and essays about being and becoming disabled, about representation and a lack of it, about coping and not, about hope and despair. Ultimately it's an uplifting and enlightening experience read and I'm glad I took the time to finish it.

As somebody in permanent chronic pain I can certainly empathise with several of the authors and protagonists and as a carer for two
Michael Whiteman
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
The House On The Moon - William Alexander ***

Birthday Girl - Rachel Swirsky ***

An Open Letter To The Family - Jennifer Brozek **

Heavy Lifting - AT Greenblatt ***

The Frequency Of Compassion - Merc Fenn Wolfmoor ***

The Stars Above - Katharine Duckett ***

The Things I Miss The Most - Nisi Shawl ***

Abigail Dreams Of Weather - Stu West ***

A House By The Sea - PH Lee ***

Disconnect - Fran Wilde ****

This Will Not Happen To You - Marissa Lingen ***

By Degrees And Dilatory Time - SL Huang ***

Listen - Karin
“The Things I Miss the Most” by Nisi Shawl in which the unnamed first person singular narrator has a procedure to control her epilepsy and it creates an invisible girlfriend for her. I enjoyed the essays in “The Expendable Disable Heroes of Marvel’s Infinity War” by John Wiswell and “Miles Vorkosigan and ‘Excellent Life Choices’: (Neuro) Divergence and Decision- Making in Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga” by Ira Gladkova. But no coda or response essay on his clone/ brother Mark and his myriad challenges ...more
Ira Nayman
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The fiction was excellent, but what really got me were the essays and personal testimonies, which showed the breadth of disabilities and the experiences of people with disabilities. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
Krista McCracken
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So much love for this special issue of Uncanny Magazine.
You can go here to watch my video review: ...more
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In my day job, I am the Head of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library and Juanita J. and Robert E. Simpson Rare Book and Manuscript Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, one of the largest public university rare book collections in the country. I used to manage pop culture special collections that include the papers of over 70 SF/F authors at Northern Illinois University. I als ...more

Other books in the series

Uncanny Magazine (1 - 10 of 41 books)
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  • Uncanny Magazine Issue 2: January/February 2015
  • Uncanny Magazine Issue 3: March/April 2015
  • Uncanny Magazine Issue 4: May/June 2015
  • Uncanny Magazine Issue 5: July/August 2015
  • Uncanny Magazine Issue 6: September/October 2015
  • Uncanny Magazine Issue 7: November/December 2015
  • Uncanny Magazine Issue 8: January/February 2016
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