Lightspeed: Edited by John Joseph Adams

Latest Science Fiction Story

Learning Letters

Enid sat on the front porch of Haven’s clinic with a half a dozen books, some paper, and a small chalkboard. Three days a week, when she was in town, she taught reading to Haven’s children who wanted to learn. The last two weeks, Rose was the only kid who came to the lessons. Her household’s daughter, Rose, eight years old, stared at her while wearing a resentful frown that begged to be allowed to do anything else at all in the whole world but this.

Latest Fantasy Story

The House of Linear Change

In this house, it is very easy to change. Yesterday, the cat was a cat, but today it is a dark shadow under the kitchen sink. Yesterday, my father was alive, but today he’s on the floor, eyes open but unseeing, laying in a small pool of his own blood. In my hand, there is a bloodstained knife. Yesterday, it was a wand. Today, it has forgotten the name of all spells, except one. Kill. It is very easy for a thing to change. I know this because I am a thing, too.

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Latest Nonfiction

Editorial: February 2023

Be sure to check out the editorial for a run-down of this month’s content.

More Science Fiction Stories

In(con)solation

You died with cataracts in your eyes. Too much time above the surface. Too much radiation. They were an inevitable consequence. They were a price that you were only too willing to pay. So many of our desires come back to sight, to the ability to see clearly. Cataracts are a physical manifestation. Objects viewed through that cloudy, compromised lens are soft about the edges, discoloured. With cataracts, it is harder to look at the light. With cataracts it is harder to see in the darkness.

(available on 2/9)  |  Buy Ebook To Read it Now

The Day the Earthman Didn’t Show

He was supposed to show up. He did not show up. He was long foretold in prophecy. The prophecy turned out to be bullshit. This was impossible. The people of this world known as Elarimuth had a gift for prophecy unparalleled in all the known universe. They were tied into the chronoflow and as a result experienced both their many eons of past history and the general outline of the future from the very moment of their births. They were, as a minor consequence, born educated, a grand convenience that prevented school funding issues.

(available on 2/16)  |  Buy Ebook To Read it Now

Subject: More Monsters Will Not Make Us Safer

Dear Senator: I am writing with concern about the recent legislative decision (SB-AR-15) to place monsters outside our schools. As a lifelong resident of Arkansas and these United States, I certainly understand the need to protect our children from active shooters, firenadoes, and reverse lightning storms. And I will be the first to admit that the saw-spined basilisk could send such fear into the heart of an approaching shooter he might turn to stone, that frost giants could easily put a stop to the near-daily threat of firenadoes.

(available on 2/23)  |  Buy Ebook To Read it Now

More Fantasy Stories

Real Magic

For the past three years, Aria’s parents had struggled to find her a suitable husband. There was no defect in Aria herself: she was an intelligent girl with a cheerful disposition and strong arms that would do well in any household. She was considered pretty; indeed, her long hair the color of buttered sunshine was the envy of many a girl in town. Nor was her family poor. Aria’s father did quite well as the town’s only blacksmith. In fact, Aria attracted quite a bevy of respectable suitors.

(available on 2/9)  |  Buy Ebook To Read it Now

Guidelines for Using the Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library

1. Unlike when visiting Fairyland, you need not worry about the perils of eating or drinking while inside the library. This is because food and drink are strictly prohibited within the stacks. The peril that results from violating this prohibition will be of a mundane sort, most likely the loss of your access privileges. 2. Navigating Widener Library is notoriously difficult. Just remember: to reach the east stacks, go beyond the sun. To reach the west stacks, go beyond the moon.

(available on 2/16)  |  Buy Ebook To Read it Now

His Guns Could Not Protect Him

I punched my brother because he was an idiot, because he couldn’t see what I saw, how hard mom held onto the dish rag when she came out onto the deck to tell us dad had been in an accident, which is why the first thing out of his idiot mouth was “So can we go to Pizza Hut for dinner instead?” And her face had already been enough to tell me dad was in real danger, but the fact that she didn’t scold me for punching Rem made my skin prickle up like when a snowball hits the back of your head.

(available on 2/23)  |  Buy Ebook To Read it Now