Science Fiction & Fantasy

PERSONA by Genevieve Valentine


In This Issue: Apr. 2011 (Issue 11)


Editorial, April 2011

Welcome to issue eleven of Lightspeed! On tap this month… Fiction: “All That Touches the Air” by An Owomoyela, “Maneki Neko” by Bruce Sterling,”Mama, We are Zhenya, Your Son” by Tom Crosshill, “Velvet Fields” by Anne McCaffrey. Nonfiction: “Parasitic Puppetmasters” by Wendy Wagner, “TANSTAAFL: There Ain’t No Such Thing as a Free Lunch” by Jeff Lester, “The Many Worlds Interpretation Theory: Having Your Cake and Eating it Two, and Three, and Four…” by Brad Deutsch, “Feature Interview: Elizabeth Bear” by Erin Stocks.

Artist Showcase

Artist Spotlight: Chris Moore

The thing that appeals to me about SF is that to a large extent it allows you to be self-indulgent, and to give expression to your fantasies, which is very rewarding.

Science Fiction

All That Touches the Air

The fog crawled out of the water and over his body, colonizing his pores, permeating bone and tissue, bleeding off his ability to yell or fight back. He was on his side in a convulsion before the Vosth parasites took his motor functions and stood his body up.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: An Omomoyela

The more information comes to light about how the Vosth behave and why, the less it makes sense, and the more questions there are demanding to be answered. And it’s hard to resist the call of an unanswered question.


Parasitic Puppet-Masters

Parasites are masters of chemical warfare. To bypass their hosts’ many defense mechanisms, they have developed an amazing array of chemicals that can change and influence all kinds of body parts: Even brains.

Science Fiction

Maneki Neko

“It’s only a career,” said Tsuyoshi, sitting up on his futon and adjusting his pajamas. “You worry too much.”

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Bruce Sterling

The story is unique because it asks a question like “What would an Internet gift economy look like if it had some strongly Japanese cultural characteristics?” That’s how a story like “Maneki Neko” emerges.


TANSTAAFL! (There Ain’t No Such Thing as a Free Lunch)

Although gift economies have existed in various non-Western cultures for many years, academic scrutiny of the process began comparatively recently, when Marcel Mauss published “Essai sur le don” in 1924.

Science Fiction

Mama, We are Zhenya, Your Son

I fell asleep in Dr. Olga’s big room, in the red university building by the Botanical Garden. I had a helmet on my head stuffed with wires. There were lots of lights and noises.

Mama, We are Zhenya, Your Son by Tom Crosshill

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Tom Crosshill

Some years ago Roger Penrose proposed the idea that the human brain relies on quantum properties for computation, using this to explain away self-awareness and intelligence (he was not the first or only person to express similar ideas, but he’s the best known).


The Many Worlds Interpretation Theory: Having Your Cake and Eating it Two, and Three, and Four…

Maybe your parents told you to never talk politics or religion in polite company. It’s good advice in scientific circles, too, but with one addition: Never bring up interpretations of quantum mechanics.

Science Fiction

Velvet Fields

Of course we moved into the cities of the planet we now know we must call Zobranoirundisi when Worlds Federated finally permitted a colony there.

Velvet Fields by Anne McCaffrey


Interview: Elizabeth Bear

Elizabeth Bear should be a familiar name for anyone who even dabbles in science fiction and fantasy. Not only did she catapult into the scene by winning the Campbell Award for Best New Author in 2005, she never lost momentum.