Science Fiction & Fantasy

The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination

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In This Issue: Dec. 2010 (Issue 7)

Editorial

Editorial, December 2010

Welcome to issue seven of Lightspeed! On tap this month… Fiction: “In-fall,” by Ted Kosmatka, “The Observer,” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, “Jenny’s Sick” by David Tallerman, “The Silence of the Asonu” by Ursula K. Le Guin. Nonfiction: “Black Holes: Starving and Misunderstood,” by Dr. Pamela Gay, “Feature Interview: Greg Bear” by John Joseph Adams and David Barr Kirtley, “Five Upcoming Plagues (We’re Doomed),” by Genevieve Valentine, “Linguistic Expectations,” by Lawrence M. Schoen.

Artist Spotlight

Artist Spotlight: John Picacio

I’ve always favored art that was evocative rather than literal. I think my art is a balance between the two, and that balance shifts depending on the nature of the assignment.

Science Fiction

In-fall

The stars seemed to flow around an enormous, circular gap in the star field. It had many different names, this region of space. The astronomers who discovered it centuries earlier had called it Bhat 16. Later physicists would call it “the sink.”

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Ted Kosmatka

Where is the sacrifice in a martyr who believes he’ll live eternally in paradise? I was trying to think about the idea of true martyrdom—the sacrifice of not just your life, but of the hope for an afterlife.

Nonfiction

Black Holes: Starving and Misunderstood

The Earth’s pull—even a pea-sized Earth’s pull—on the moon only depends on mass. In making the Earth into a black hole, all we changed was the radius. The Moon never has, and never will, care about the Earth’s size.

Science Fiction

The Observer

I kept ripping and gouging and pulling and yanking until my fingertips were bone. By then, I hit the circuits inside the door and fried myself. And woke up here, strapped down against a cold metal bed with no bedclothes.

The Observer by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Kristine Kathryn Rusch

I became a history major just after Vietnam to understand why humans went to war in the first place. I never really did figure that out, but it led to a lifelong obsession.

Nonfiction

Interview: Greg Bear

Hugo and Nebula Award winning author, Greg Bear, has authored over forty books, including Quantico, Darwin’s Children, and The Forge of God. His latest novel is Hull Zero Three, and Halo: Cryptum is due out in January.

Science Fiction

Jenny’s Sick

She’s sitting bolt upright, propped by pillows, and there’s so much sweat everywhere that it’s like condensation in a steam room. I’ve seen her look bad before but never quite this bad.

Jenny's Sick by David Tallerman

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: David Tallerman

This society has eradicated illness, and most people, of course, see that as a good thing. But the more you fix things, the more you have to watch to make sure they don’t start falling apart again.

Nonfiction

Five Upcoming Plagues (We’re Doomed)

Of course, now we’re living in an era of face transplants, flu vaccines, and bionic lungs, and can develop a cure for bird flu practically in real time; so…we’re in the clear, right?

Science Fiction

The Silence of the Asonu

The silence of the Asonu is proverbial. We know now that the Asonu are not dumb, but that once past early childhood they speak only very rarely, to anyone, under any circumstances.

The Silence of the Asonu by Ursula K. Le Guin

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Ursula K. Le Guin

Some of the more intelligent speculations about their silence are in the story, shortly before the Sayings of the Elder: that they don’t speak because they are listening; because they are hiding something.

Nonfiction

Linguistic Expectations

Languages simply differ from one another, in ways both great and small. If you’re a linguist, it’s part of what attracts you to the field. And if you’re not…it can be confusing.

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