Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Leave Luck to Heaven, Call for Submissions, Silly Video

FirstLeave Luck to Heaven has arrived. Preorders have been shipped to preorderers, so now every order is an equally exciting normal, standard order. Check out our newly redesigned press page to buy your copy via paypal. It's just $12 with free shipping. Also, look out: an ebook is coming soon. If you'd like to review the book, or interview our handsome author Brian Oliu, drop us a line. Here, in case you forgot how lovely it is, is our cover, drawn by Mr. David Wells:


Secondly, we are now officially open to submissions for both our next full-length book and additional weirdo web content. What are we looking for? We like to keep that somewhat vague; we want to be surprised. That being said, it should be a beautiful experience for readers first and foremost. We love formal invention, pretty prose, and blended genres (in every sense), but we love structure and narrative even more. When it comes to the weirdo web stuff, we are interested in a very broad variety of experiences, so long as they are interesting and enjoyable online. Anyway, please do submit.

Lastly, we made an excellent video to celebrate the arrival and shipment of Leave Luck to Heaven to our readers. Be careful, watching it will make you want the book even more, and also, you might fall in love.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Leave Luck to Heaven, by Brian Oliu

Tracy and I have been reading pieces of Brian Oliu's Leave Luck to Heaven, a heart-wrenching collection of Nintendo-themed lyric essays, for something like five years now. If you're the kind of person who knows about Uncanny Valley, there's a solid chance that you have too. These things have been published pretty much everywhere, and, in our experience, just about everybody loves them immediately -- not only people who grew up glued to an NES, but anyone who appreciates a haunted, beautifully written personal reflection.

When we decided to focus on publishing books, Brian was the first person we wrote. We were amazed the book was still available. And we were glad that we would be the ones to bring it to you. Here is its cover:


We're thrilled to announce that Leave Luck to Heaven is now available for preorder. (You may have to refresh this page to see the Paypal button; I'm not sure why.) The book will cost you $12 with free shipping. It will arrive by early summer of this year. And it will be beautiful. Its gorgeous pixel-packed cover was drawn by our friend David Wells, whom you may remember as the artist who drew our first magazine's cover.

You can read a little more about it here. You can watch a video that Brian made for his Maniac Mansion piece on Vimeo here.

But the key thing to take away from this post is that Leave Luck to Heaven is coming and you're going to want to order it as soon as you can.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Goodbye magazine, hello press

So we owe you an update.

When we started Uncanny Valley, we were two grad students with time to juggle the demands of building, managing, and promoting a blog, magazine, and press. We worried at the time that we were spreading
ourselves too thin and that we needed to narrow our scope, but it was very appealing to imagine ourselves as a vast publishing empire.

As my work has become more demanding and Mike's writing career has taken off in different directions, finding and curating a magazine's worth of material has become too much for us to manage. We still want to publish and promote the best, most fun, most consuming, most ambitious writing out there, but to do so, we need to narrow our scope.

It is with regret, but anticipation, that we announce Uncanny Valley Magazine will no longer be published. Uncanny Valley Press will continue to operate as a publisher of book-length manuscripts, with the first book coming out this year. We have always loved long-form work, and we welcome the opportunity to focus our efforts on one project and to be great editors, designers, and promoters for it.

Submissions will be closed to new material as we prepare the book for publication, but you can follow our Twitter feed (@uncannyvalleymg) to find out when we are looking for new material. And stay tuned for the announcement of our first full-length title later this week.

We want to thank everyone for all the enthusiasm and support we've received for the magazine. We've met many amazing authors, and we hope you'll continue to support them, as well as other outlets for new, weird, fun, imaginative writing.

Thank you again, and stay tuned.

Tracy + Mike

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Uncanny Valley 0002 is here.


Hey guys, Uncanny Valley 0002 is here! (So is Molly, our cat.) We'll be shipping out the preorders tomorrow. But also, because we love you, and because the magazine shipped a lot faster than we were told it would, we're going to extend the preorder deal for one more week: buy the issue before next Friday, and you get our first issue free as well. Of course, if you don't want the first issue (because you already own one, for instance) that's fine. But you could always give it to a friend.

Anyway, check it out! Buy the issue! It's really good!

Also, while we're here: there are two more episodes of the podcast. One is about First Knight, and the other is about Battleship. The Battleship episode is one we're especially proud of. You should check it out! And subscribe to the feed. And tell your friends. And buy the issue?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Pimp My Fic Episodes 7, 8, and 9


We've been hesitant to post something that would push our last post down the page (yes, you can and should still pre-order issue 0002 of the magazine and get a copy of Uncanny Valley 0001 for free) but we have indeed been podcasting regularly over the last several weeks. Our most recent episode, and I think the best of the three, is about the 2004 Reese Witherspoon version of Vanity Fair. We also talk a little about the weird and in many ways upsetting impact of Netflix on how we watch and talk about film and television.

The previous episode was about Treasure Planet, Disney's x-treme makeover of Treasure Island, and the one before that was about The Adventures of Tintin and imperialism. Of course, if you're keeping up at the podcast's page, or subscribed to its RSS or iTunes feeds, you already know all of this.

I keep myself intentionally ignorant about the podcast's listenership right now, because I suspect it's quite small. You can help us grow the podcast by listening, by telling your friends, by sharing it on Twitter and Facebook, and by reviewing us on iTunes. At this point I feel pretty good about the show -- I think it's both funny and a good way to exercise your writerly muscles in narrative, structure, drama, and characterization. It's definitely got a few dedicated fans, now, but it could use more. Maybe you should be one of them.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Uncanny Valley 0002 is (almost) here



Uncanny Valley issue 0002 is now available for preorder. If you order it now ($14 with free shipping), we will mail it to you as soon as the issues arrive late this month or early next. Last year we wrote you sticker-notes and defaced your copies; we're trying to think of something fun for you this year. In fact, here's something I forgot: Preorder now and we'll throw in a copy of Issue 0001.

Here's the awesome stuff you'll find inside:

John Colburn : The Story of the Second Husband, The Two Witches
Rachel B. Glaser : The Moody Pencil
Tyler Gobble : Three Poems
J. A. Tyler : My Brother Came
Shome Dasgupta : MudGone Went the Rabbit
Rachel Yoder : Partial History of a Parallel World
Kathleen Rooney & Elisa Gabbert: Three Jokes
A. D. Jameson : The Woords
René Georg Vasicek: The Improbability of Being Here Now
Michele Harris : Two Poems
Justin Anderson : Box Trap
Lindsay Hunter : The child the mom the dad the girl

The work in Issue 0002 is as ambitious as Issue 0001, but with, I think, a wider range of surreal worlds to explore. It's also an issue that covers a lot of emotional ground. We're confident you'll find something that stirs you.

Check out the preorder page now, and spread the word. We'll be bringing you more news and more ways to check out the magazine soon.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Pimp My Fic 6: Prometheus


So I was all ready to tell you that this might just be the episode of Pimp My Fic where Tracy and I got the formula, found our chemistry as podcasterinos, learned to edit a smooth transition, and finally made the sort of product that you would completely want to tell your friends about. In other words I was going to tell you, "We're pros now, guys. We got this. Please spread the word and help us get Internet famous." 

Then I listened to the final podcast file to make sure all was well and discovered a six-second gap in the audio at the 2:36 mark. 

I'm pretty sure I know how this happened, which means that I can probably avoid it next time, but there's no fixing it now. If you're curious what happened in those six seconds, I believe that was the portion where I explained that this episode's subject (Prometheus) is, in some ways, better than most movies that came out in 2012, the year of its release. We then proceeded to elaborate on that though! You'll hear those elaborations. And then jokes about this ridiculous cinematic search for God, and how it could have easily been better.

So maybe this isn't the episode where you should direct new listeners first, but we do hope you'll listen to the new episode and subscribe to the iTunes feed.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Pimp My Fic 5: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987-1996)


So this week Tracy and I decided to mix it up a little and 1) upload the podcast on Monday, because no one is on the Internet on the weekend apparently, and 2) talk about something good (the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon) and what makes it good, instead of talking about something that sucks. We were honestly pretty surprised by how good the show is! My brothers and I watched it obsessively when we were kids -- the ones we had on VHS, anyway -- but I was pretty sure it would suck now that I'm an adult. It doesn't! It's pretty fun!

You can stream the podcast here, but as always we recommend subscribing to the iTunes feed here.

Here's the song we start with; the song in the middle and the song at the end are Special Surprises! (One of the surprises is German, and the other is orchestral.)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Pimp My Fic 4: Finding Forrester


This week on the podcast we fixed Finding Forrester. I'm busy this week (and every week, forever) making cool stuff for you and your pals, so I'll keep this short: listen to this episode to learn about our agreement with Hollywood that Literally Everyone can get laid, among other important ideas. Here's the iTunes feed.  Tell your friends. Give us love. Etc.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Pimp My Fic 3: Star Trek: Nemesis


This afternoon I'm going to finally design Uncanny Valley 2's interior (or at least a lot of it; the rest I'll do tomorrow). Then we'll have announcements! For now, sate your thirst for Mike + Tracy content with the third episode of Pimp My Fic, our podcast wherein we fix movies and other stuff so they don't suck so bad. This time, we're fixing Star Trek: Nemesis, the Trek movie so bad it guaranteed we'd never see the Next Generation cast in another film ever again. Our cat Molly makes a rather heated appearance, and, for true fans, we've included a coda with additional Star Trek facts!

Have a listen, subscribe on iTunes, and let us know if you're enjoying (or hating) the show.

This episode features Marina and the Diamonds' "I Am Not a Robot," which, sadly, I could only find embeddable in this form:

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Pimp My Fic 2: Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within

So, we picked kind of a weird time to launch a podcast, which led to our immediately taking a week off, but the second episode is done and posted and ready. It features an awkward beginning and an awkward end! Also, it features discussion of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, a well-meaning movie that nonetheless kind of sucked tremendously. We did our best to fix it, while conceding that its lady 'stache technology was truly years ahead of its time.

Anyway, go check it out. We have an iTunes feed set up now, too, so you can subscribe to it there if you like.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Pimp My Fic 1: Shakespeare in Love

There are big things coming down the pike, including (just ferinstance) our next issue. And then even bigger things! But for now, the beginning of a weekly feature: Pimp My Fic, a podcast made by Tracy and also by me. In what seasoned industry professionals are already referring to as "PMF," we discuss potential fixes for failed or flawed movies, books, video games, and other. (But, honestly, mostly movies, because they're manageable and because a much larger number of you are likely to have seen what we're talking about in any given week.) You can download it here, stream it on this rather unpretty page, and the RSS feed is here.

Why are we doing a podcast? For the same reasons we do everything, more or less: we like a lot of podcasts that other people do, and it seemed fun. For a while we were tossing around ideas for shows, but nothing felt right until we were (unrelatedly) having a conversation about how to fix Fight Club, which might be the subject of a future episode. (The short version? Put some actual fight club in it, fergawdsake.) Tracy and I do this a lot -- using a combination of our shmancy education and practical experience as storytellers, we riff on how stories we almost loved could have been better. We realized, as we were having the conversation, that it might be a fun show! Then we made a couple practice episodes before settling in to do this one.

Let us know what you think! The podcast will be available via iTunes as soon as iTunes gets its act together. (In the mean time, you can subscribe by using the "Advanced" menu in iTunes, choosing subscribe to podcast, and pasting in the URL of the feed.) We'll take requests and suggestions for future episodes, but the next one is probably going to be about a movie that rhymes with Phwilight.