Science Fiction & Fantasy

Latest Science Fiction Story

Wake-Rider

This is a story from the time before she was famous. In the early days, she was known as Leli, or Lelia, a tease-name that had stuck. On her first mission for the revolution, she sat cramped, fists clenched with tension, waiting in the tiny scabship Tinka, out of sight in a radar deadzone. The salvage ship Gathering Moss, which she was stalking, lay like a giant, rusting silver slug in the docking bay.

Latest Fantasy Story

Soul Case

Moments after the sun’s bottom lip cleared the horizon, the brigade charged down the hill. Kima stood with the rest of the Garfun, ready to give back blow for blow. The pistoleers descended towards the waiting village compong. Their silence unnerved. Only the paddy thump of the camels’ wide feet made any sound.

GENOME by Sergei Lukyanenko

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Nonfiction

Feature Interview: Kim Harrison

Kim Harrison is the New York Times bestselling author of the Hollows series, about a young witch from Cincinnati who battles demons and vampires. She also writes the bestselling Madison Avery series for young adults. This interview first appeared on Wired.com’s The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast.

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Pay Phobetor

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Valedictorian

There are three things Zinhle decides, when she is old enough to understand. The first is that she will never, ever, give less than her best to anything she tries to do. The second is that she will not live in fear. The third, which is perhaps meaningless given the first two and yet comes to define her existence most powerfully, is this: She will be herself. No matter what.

The Lost Sepulcher of Huáscar Capac

When I was six my eyes started to fail, for reasons no one could understand. Now, tonight, in this dark hole, now that I’m a man, I can appreciate how hard this was for everyone. I can appreciate my father’s sadness, how it ate at him and wasted him and finally killed him. Doctors and neighbors also found themselves affected: I was the only child of a dead mother, and my father was already old. At a certain moment in their lives, men and women find a skill for recognizing stories; when I was six, I was too young.

(available on 12/23) Buy Issue

They Tell Me There Will Be No Pain

Colonel Rathbone attends my final debriefing. I’m wearing a paper hospital gown that doesn’t cover my ass; I’ve got a breeze where no breeze has any right to be, from the back of my neck right down where the good Lord split me. But despite that I’m sweating, the backs of my thighs sticking to the paper covering the hospital table

(available on 12/30) Buy Issue

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The Faerie Cony-Catcher

In London town, in the reign of good Queen Bess that was called Gloriana, there lived a young man named Nicholas Cantier. Now it came to pass that this Nick Cantier served out his term as apprentice jeweler and goldsmith under one Master Spilman, jeweler by appointment to the Queen’s Grace herself, and was made journeyman of his guild. For that Nick was a clever young man, his master would have been glad for him to continue on where he was…

The Drawstring Detective

The Drawstring Detective is heavier than he appears. When Char picks him up off the shelf, she almost drops him. He is a foot tall and made entirely of tin. He is dressed in charcoal-colored slacks, a white shirt and black tie, a black greatcoat, loafers, and a bowler hat, all of which are also made of tin. White gloves hold a folded umbrella. A small, tightly curled mustache stands in place of a mouth.

A Lie You Give, and Thus I Take

Don’t be fooled by the breadcrumbs in the forest. This is not a fairy tale. The first lie is pretty and spirals from your mouth like candyfloss; sweet, so sweet, and I’m melting under your tongue. Baby, baby, baby, you say, and I gobble it up, unaware that every word you say comes with a candy thermometer and you’ve made me your latest caramel bonbon.

(available on 12/23) Buy Issue

More Nonfiction

In Memoriam: Karen Jones, Lightspeed Art Director

The Lightspeed family is sad to report that our art director, Karen Jones, died suddenly in early November of natural causes. In tribute to her, we offer these words of loving memory from two of her best friends in the field, Jennifer Heddle and John Picacio.

Editorial, December 2014

Read the Editorial for all the latest news, updates, and to learn about all this month’s great features.

Artist Showcase: Odera Igbokwe

Odera Igbokwe (“OH-de-rah ee-BOH-kway”) was born in 1990 in a cocoon of fire and stardust and raised in Maplewood, New Jersey. Odera received a BFA in Illustration from Rhode Island School of Design and studied movement-theater and West African dance at Brown University. Odera’s illustration work is in the collections of Beyoncé Knowles, Solange Knowles, […]

Feature Interview: Steven Gould

Steven Gould’s first novel, Jumper, was adapted into a big-budget movie starring Samuel L. Jackson and Hayden Christensen that bears almost no resemblance to the book. Steve is now working with James Cameron on the upcoming Avatar sequels, and is also the current President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. The fourth […]

(available on 12/23) Buy Issue