Science Fiction & Fantasy

Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017

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Feb. 2016 (Issue 69)

We have original science fiction by Rachael K. Jones (“Charlotte Incorporated”) and Sarah Pinsker (“Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea”), along with SF reprints by Samuel Peralta (“Hereafter”) and Paul McAuley (“Transitional Forms”). Plus, we have original fantasy by Jeremiah Tolbert (“Not by Wardrobe, Tornado, or Looking Glass”) and Karin Tidbeck (“Starfish”), and fantasy reprints by Rachel Swirsky (“Monstrous Embrace”) and Christopher Barzak (“Map of Seventeen”). All that, and of course we also have our usual assortment of author spotlights, along with our book reviews and our new media review column. For our ebook readers, we also have an ebook-exclusive reprint of the novella “May Be Some Time,” by Brenda W. Clough. We also have an excerpt from the novel A GATHERING OF SHADOWS by V.E. Schwab.

In This Issue: Feb. 2016 (Issue 69)

Editorial

Editorial, February 2016

Be sure to check out the Editorial for all our news, updates, and a run-down of this month’s content.

Science Fiction

Charlotte Incorporated

At night she pores over the corpus catalogues online: Incorporated Incorporated, Modern Anatomy, and Shoulders, Knees, & Toes. She weighs the merits of femur length and belly fat, redundant kidneys, attached earlobes, and pronated feet. Most people buy pre-configured corpi with symmetrical faces and standard organ kits, but she wants a custom build. Something completely unique.

Fantasy

Monstrous Embrace

I am ugliness in body and bone, breath and heartbeat. I am muddy rocks and jagged scars snaking across salt-sown fields. I am insect larvae wriggling inside the great dead beasts into which they were born. Too, I am the hanks of dead flesh rotting. I am the ungrateful child’s sneer, the plague sore bursting, the swing of shadow beneath the gallows rope. Ugliness is my hands, my feet, my fingernails. Ugliness is my gaze, boring into you like a worm into rotting fruit.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight

Science Fiction

Hereafter

September 15, 2006 : That autumn she’s back in Toronto, staying at her mom’s place, before deployment. At Queen’s Quay Terminal, her two girlfriends go inside to grab a coffee, to stave off the late afternoon chill. She stays outside to check in, but the phone at her mom’s rings four, five, six times, and she flips her phone closed before it goes to voice mail. There’s a soft crush of wind, and she hugs herself in her jacket. Time for that coffee.

Fantasy

Not by Wardrobe, Tornado, or Looking Glass

The scent of fresh lilacs and the boom of a cannon shot muffled by distance prefaced the arrival of the rabbit hole. Louisa jerked upright in her seat, and her book fell from her lap to slap against the cold pavement of the station floor. Dropping a book would normally cause her to cringe, but instead she allowed herself a spark of excitement as a metal maintenance door creaked open on rusty hinges. Golden light spilled out onto dazed commuters. Was this it? Was this finally it?

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Television Review: The Expanse

The Syfy channel debuted their new show, THE EXPANSE, at the end of November. The show is based on the space opera series by James S.A. Corey. Here a panel of geeks—Andrew Liptak (who contributes to Lightspeed’s book review column), Justin Landon of Tor.com, and Liz Shannon Miller of Indiewire—share their thoughts on THE EXPANSE.

Science Fiction

Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea

The rock star washed ashore at high tide. Earlier in the day, Bay had seen something bobbing far out in the water. Remnant of a rowboat, perhaps, or something better. She waited until the tide ebbed, checked her traps and tidal pools among the rocks before walking toward the inlet where debris usually beached. All kinds of things washed up if Bay waited long enough.

Author Spotlight

Fantasy

Map of Seventeen

Everyone has secrets. Even me. We carry them with us like contraband, always swaddled in some sort of camouflage we’ve concocted to hide the parts of ourselves the rest of the world is better off not knowing. I’d write what I’m thinking in a diary if I could believe others would stay out of those pages, but in a house like this there’s no such thing as privacy. If you’re going to keep secrets, you have to learn to write them down inside your own heart.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Book Reviews: February 2016

For this month’s review column, we’ll be looking at All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders, Steal the Sky by Megan E. O’Keefe, The Wildings by Nilanjana Roy, and The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig.

Science Fiction

Transitional Forms

At night, the hot zone was patched with drifts of soft pastel light. Violets and indigos; dark reds, translucent greens. Jellyfish genes for luminescence had been used as markers for tweaks in the first genetically modified organisms, and that tradition had been adopted by alife hackers. The colours were tags, territorial claims that pulsed and twinkled like spring blossom in an alien and verdant land.

Author Spotlight

Fantasy

Starfish

On the third day of the sightseeing trip, among walrus-laden icebergs, they run into slurry. At the fore, Skipper sticks a boat hook into the water. “There are plenty of critters here,” he says. “It’s like playing grab bag. You’ll always catch something on the hook.” He thrusts the boat hook up and down a couple of times, stirs it in the slush, and pulls it out again. A transparent little rag is impaled on the tip.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Interview: N.K. Jemisin

N. K. Jemisin is the author of the Inheritance trilogy and the Dreamblood series. Her latest novel, The Fifth Season, is set in a world constantly wracked by natural disasters where sorcerers who can control earthquakes and volcanoes are both feared and valued.