Lynne M. Thomas

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Lynne M. Thomas
OccupationLibrarian, editor, archivist
Notable worksChicks Dig Time Lords
Notable awardsHugo Award
SpouseMichael Damian Thomas
ChildrenCaitlin Thomas

Lynne M. Thomas is an American librarian, podcaster and award-winning editor. She has won eight Hugo Awards for editing and podcasting in the science fiction genre.[1] She is perhaps best known as the co-publisher and co-editor-in-chief of the Hugo Award-winning Uncanny Magazine with her husband, Michael Damian Thomas.[2]


Thomas lives in Illinois with her husband, Michael Damian Thomas; they are both Doctor Who fans.[1] Thomas has degrees in French and comparative literature from Smith College, a master's in library science from the University of Illinois[3], and a master's in English and American literature from Northern Illinois University.[4] She and her husband have one daughter, Caitlin, who has Aicardi syndrome.[5] Michael is a full-time caregiver to Caitin.[5]


Library work[edit]

Thomas was the head of rare books and special collections at Northern Illinois University (NIU) from 2004 until 2017.[6] In her position as an archivist, she was in charge of the personal papers of over 75 science fiction authors such as Lois McMaster Bujold, Jack McDevitt, Fred Saberhagen, Eric Flint, Cherie Priest, Catherynne M. Valente, Patricia Wrede, Sharon Shinn, Ann Leckie, Elizabeth Bear, Tamora Pierce, Terri Windling, and Kage Baker, and the organizational archives of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.[6][7][8] In addition to curating literary papers, Thomas is also interested in archiving digital ephemera.[9][10] She also highlighted the special collections at NIU by creating displays based on a theme, such as gender and identity.[11]

In 2017, Thomas was named the Juanita J. and Robert E. Simpson Rare Book & Manuscript Professor of The Rare Book & Manuscript Library (University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign).[12]

Editing and fandom[edit]

Beginning in 2011, Thomas was the Editor-in-Chief[13] of the Hugo Award-nominated[14]Apex Magazine, a monthly science fiction, fantasy, and horror magazine, taking over as editor with issue 30 and concluding her term with issue 55 in 2013. It was during her time at Apex that Thomas edited Rachel Swirsky's award-winning story "If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love."[15]

Thomas is very involved in Doctor Who fandom, though she remembers a time when the television show wasn't something most Americans knew about.[16] She was a co-editor on Chicks Dig Time Lords, a Doctor Who anthology. The anthology has its roots among Thomas's friends who were visiting together in Chicago and who owned a publishing house, Mad Norwegian Press.[17] It was Thomas's first anthology and was well received for "treating women's experiences with fandom seriously."[17] Chicks Dig Time Lords won a Hugo Award, marking the first time in Hugo history that a nonfiction book about fictional media has won in any category.[17] In January 2013, she became part of Verity!, an all-female hosted Doctor Who podcast.[18]

Another book that was nominated for the Hugo Awards was Chicks Dig Comics (with Sigrid Ellis).[19] Chicks Dig Comics is a feminist take on the world of fandom surrounding comic books.[20] She won a second and third Hugo Award for her participation in the SF Squeecast podcast with Elizabeth Bear, Paul Cornell, Seanan McGuire, Catherynne M. Valente and David McHone-Chase,[14] and was nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Fancast for a third and fourth times with Verity!.[21]

In 2014, Lynne and Michael Thomas decided to go back to magazine editing.[22] Thomas is currently the co-publisher and co-editor-in-chief of Uncanny Magazine with her husband.[23] Uncanny Magazine won the 2016 Hugo Award for Best Semiprozine, and its issue 2 story "Folding Beijing" by Hao Jingfang (translated by Ken Liu) was a 2016 winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novelette, and finalist for the Locus Award for Best Novelette and the Theodore Sturgeon Award. Uncanny Magazine won the 2017 Hugo Award for Best Semiprozine, and its story "You'll Surely Drown Here If You Stay" by Alyssa Wong was the winner of the 2017 Locus Award for Best Novelette and a finalist for the 2017 Hugo Award for Best Novelette and 2016 Nebula Award for Best Novelette. Other Uncanny Magazine Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and World Fantasy Award finalist stories include stories by Brooke Bolander, Sam J. Miller, Amal El-Mohtar, Fran Wilde, Sarah Pinsker, Vina Jie-Min Prasad, K.M. Szpara, Ursula Vernon, and Aliette de Bodard.

In total, Thomas has been a finalist for Hugo Awards fourteen times, with 7 wins, a finalist for the World Fantasy Award three times, and a finalist for the Locus Award twice.[24]


  • with Beth Whittaker, Special Collections 2.0: New Technologies for Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Archival Collections (Libraries Unlimited, 2009). ISBN 978-1591587200
  • with Tara O'Shea (editors), Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It (Mad Norwegian Press, 2010). ISBN 978-1935234043
  • with Deborah Stanish (editors), Whedonistas: A Celebration of the Worlds of Joss Whedon by the Women Who Love Them (Mad Norwegian Press, 2011). ISBN 978-1935234104
  • with Sigrid Ellis (editors), Chicks Dig Comics: A Celebration of Comic Books by the Women Who Love Them (Mad Norwegian Press, 2012). ISBN 978-1935234050
  • with John Klima and Michael Damian Thomas (editors), Glitter & Mayhem (Apex Publications, 2013). ISBN 978-1937009199
  • Editor, The Book of Apex: Volume 4 (Apex Publications, 2013). ISBN 978-1937009205
  • with Beth Whittaker (editors), New Directions for Special Collections: An Anthology of Practice (ABC-CLIO, 2016) ISBN 978-1440842900



  1. ^ a b Borrelli, Christopher (27 April 2015). "Modern Nerd Decor Takes on a Tasteful, Adult Look". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on 28 April 2015. Retrieved 28 April 2015 – via Salina Journal.
  2. ^ "Sci-fi-focused Uncanny Magazine takes up residence in Urbana". The News-Gazette. 2017-11-08. Retrieved 2018-06-14.
  3. ^ "Hugo Winner – Northern Now". Northern Now. 2013-03-08. Retrieved 2017-01-05.
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b Thomas, Lynne M. "About Lynne". Confessions of a Curator, Editor, Writer, Geek: The Official Website of Lynne M. Thomas. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Spotlight on Lynne M. Thomas, Archivist". Locus Online. Locus Publications. 13 November 2010. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  7. ^ "Lynne Thomas (Principal Investigator)". IMLS About Us. Northern Illinois University. 2012. Archived from the original on 2013-01-06. Retrieved 2012-12-06.
  8. ^ Thomas, Lynne (2008). "How Steven H Silver Helped Save the Archives of at Least 15 Authors for Posterity" (PDF). Argentus. Deerfield, IL: Argentus, Inc. pp. 22–23. Retrieved 2012-12-06.
  9. ^ Farley, Kate (15 November 2009). "Special Collections 2.0: New Technologies for Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Archival Collections". Library Journal. 134 (19): 72. ISSN 0363-0277. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  10. ^ Quinn, Mary Ellen (October 2009). "Something Special". American Libraries. 40 (10). Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  11. ^ Ocasio, Ryan (26 August 2014). "Exhibition Examines Gender, Identity Notions". Norther Star. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  12. ^ Jodi Heckel, "University of Illinois alumna to head Rare Book and Manuscript Library" Illinois News Bureau (July 25, 2017).
  13. ^ "Thomas to Edit Apex Magazine". Locus Online. 16 August 2011. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
  14. ^ a b "2012 Hugo Awards". The Hugo Awards. 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-04-09. Retrieved 2012-12-06.
  15. ^ "Masthead". Apex. Apex Publications. Archived from the original on 2014-07-27. Retrieved 2012-12-06.
  16. ^ Arminio, Aubry D. (4 December 2012). "Doctor Who Wins TV Guide Magazine's Fan Favorites Cover Contest". TV Guide. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  17. ^ a b c Roberts, Tansy Rayner (11 April 2012). "Chicks Dig Being Interviewed: Lynne M Thomas and Deborah Stanish". Doctor Her. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  18. ^ Roberts, Tansy Rayner (3 January 2013). "Verity!". Doctor Her. Archived from the original on 18 April 2015. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  19. ^ "2011 Hugo Awards". The Hugo Awards. 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-04-09. Retrieved 2012-12-06.
  20. ^ Scalzi, John (11 April 2012). "The Big Idea: Lynne M. Thomas". Whatever. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  21. ^ "2014 Hugo Awards". The Hugo Awards. 17 August 2014. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  22. ^ Thomas, Lynne M.; Thomas, Michael Damian (27 August 2014). "Why We're Creating Uncanny, a Real Magazine with a Fake History (and a Space Unicorn)". Macmillan. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  23. ^ "About – Uncanny Magazine". Uncanny Magazine. Retrieved 2017-01-05.
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Preservation Publication Award". Society of American Archivists. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  26. ^ a b "2016 Parsec Awards Winners". Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  27. ^ "2017 Hugo Awards" presented in Helsinki, Finland, August 11, 2017.

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