Science Fiction & Fantasy

Clarion Writers Workshop


In This Issue: Dec. 2011 (Issue 19)


Editorial, December 2011

Welcome to issue nineteen of Lightspeed! Here’s what we’ve got on tap this month … Fiction: “The Sighted Watchmaker” by Vylar Kaftan, “After the Days of Dead-eye ‘Dee” by Pat Cadigan, “The Parting Glass” by Andrew Penn Romine,”The Hammer of God” by Arthur C. Clarke. Nonfiction: “Feature Interview: Richard Dawkins,” “Science (and Swindlers) Can Read Your Mind” by Jeff Lester, “Cyborg vs. Cyborg” by Nigel Wilson, “Armageddon Rock” by Alan Smale.

Science Fiction

The Sighted Watchmaker

The Makers had been dead for billions of years, yet Umos discovered one caught in the starship’s net. A young one, naked, with still-fused dorsal fins.

The Sighted Watchmaker by Vylar Kaftan

Artist Showcase

Artist Spotlight: Angel Alonso

Light, shadows, and atmosphere are all part of my essential work. I don’t like all the cold and artificial images that some artists are creating with the computer.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Vylar Kaftan

I think writers should write what they know—but if they don’t know it, they need to learn it. And that includes all the sciences.


Interview: Richard Dawkins

It’s almost as though the American electorate is splitting into two species, with the civilized, educated ones on one hand and the total ignorant know-nothings on the other.

Science Fiction

After the Days of Dead-Eye ‘Dee

Maybe it was actually holed up in the old well. If it were, she couldn’t imagine how it was getting out. She shifted position on the chair and carefully set the shotgun on the table.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Pat Cadigan

There are very few stories about older people in our field, or any other, for that matter. Most of the time, older people show up as disapproving parents or other authority figures.


Science (and Swindlers) Can Read Your Mind

Up until very recently, if you wanted to have your mind read, you had to visit a psychic or a mentalist who would, for a small fee, pretend to do so.

Science Fiction

The Parting Glass

I gulp the whiskey and it burns my plastic throat, sets my nutrient sac on fire. I’ve got filters, but they haven’t been changed in six months. Too expensive.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Andrew Penn Romine

As for the grittiness of the setting, all you have to do is look to our own world to see the growing gap between the rich and poor.


Cyborg vs. Cyborg by Nigel Watson

When biology and technology is mixed and matched, you get a big bad mean biomechanical fighting machine. Well, that’s what happens to cyborgs in the cinema and on our TV screens.

Science Fiction

The Hammer of God

Suddenly, he was back in this cabin aboard the orbital tug Goliath, commanding the 100-person team of Operation ATLAS, the most critical mission in the history of space exploration.


Armageddon Rock

The Doomsday Asteroid is coming. An immense boulder with our name on it is cruising through the Solar System, and we all know what will happen when it arrives.