Science Fiction & Fantasy

PERSONA by Genevieve Valentine


In This Issue: Aug. 2011 (Issue 15)


Editorial, August 2011

Welcome to issue fifteen of Lightspeed! Here’s what we’ve got on tap this month … Fiction: “Defenders” by Will McIntosh, “Just Another Perfect Day” by John Varley, “The Nearest Thing” by Genevieve Valentine, “Non-Stop to Portales” by Connie Willis. Nonfiction: “Five Ways to End an Alien Invasion” by Jeremiah Tolbert, “Forget Everything You Already Know About Amnesia” by The Evil Monkey, “Four Milestones in the Evolution of Artificial Intelligence” by Graeme McMillan, “Feature Interview: Simon Pegg” by John Joseph Adams & David Barr Kirtley.

Artist Showcase

Artist Spotlight: Tim Warnock

The vehicles in particular were just an exercise in form and surface exploration. Much of the buildings were sourced from photography I had taken that day. The people were a mix of painting and photography.

Science Fiction


The silence was shocking, the sense of isolation unnerving, partly because she knew it meant the jet had penetrated the Defenders’ cloak and entered Australian airspace.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Will McIntosh

I envisioned this newly formed species standing around, not knowing what to value, how to go about creating their own culture and norms after their mission was complete.


Five Ways to End an Alien Invasion

After all, they come to us. We barely have the means to leave low-Earth orbit, but these would-be conquerors have traveled light years with the express purpose of pressing us into human-flavored cider.

Science Fiction

Just Another Perfect Day

I know how you’re feeling. You wake up alone in a strange room, you get up, you look around, you soon discover that both doors are locked from the outside. It’s enough to unsettle anybody.

Just Another Perfect Day by John Varley

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: John Varley

I didn’t want to do any medical research, either, in case my idea of losing all your memories when you went to sleep turned out not to be possible. Turns out it is possible, which is a relief.


Forget Everything You’ve Ever Known About Amnesia

When we think of “amnesia,” we think of the classic soap opera example. A character endures some sort of emotionally traumatizing situation or blow to the head.

Science Fiction

The Nearest Thing

We know you love your family. We know you worry about leaving them behind. And we know you’ve asked for more information about us, which means you’re thinking about giving your family the greatest gift of all: You.

The Nearest Thing by Genevieve Valentine

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Genevieve Valentine

My guess is that most people who have held down a day job in a corporate atmosphere will recognize something of Mori with very little trouble.


Four Milestones In the Evolution of Artificial Intelligence

A.I. has been a very real thing in the world for more than a century. A.I.s have made for skilled chess players, therapists, and the most curiously compelling week of Jeopardy! ever broadcast.

Science Fiction

Nonstop to Portales

Every town’s got a claim to fame. No town is too little and dried out to have some kind of tourist attraction. Except, apparently, Portales, New Mexico.


Interview: Simon Pegg

I really like the idea of writing myself as this incredibly self-involved bombastic superhero with a robot butler in the most florid prose possible because it’s just enormous fun to be bad on purpose.