Science Fiction & Fantasy

FEAR CITY by F. Paul Wilson

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In This Issue: Mar. 2011 (Issue 10)

Editorial

Editorial, March 2011

Welcome to issue ten of Lightspeed! On tap this month… Fiction: “Saying the Names” by Maggie Clark, “Gossamer” by Stephen Baxter, “Spider the Artist” by Nnedi Okorafor, and “Woman Leaves Room” by Robert Reed. Nonfiction: “You Never Get a Seventh Chance to Make a First Impression: An Awkward History of Our Space Transmissions” by Genevieve Valentine, “Feature Interview: Walter Jon Williams” by Chris Moriarty, “Retro Robots on the Battlefield” by Daniel H. Wilson, and “Immortal Jellyfish and Transhuman You” by Ekaterina Sedia.

Science Fiction

Saying the Names

Just the thought of my journey’s purpose already has me pining for home: of all the ways I’ve imagined meeting my father, as defense council in his murder trial does not rank high on the list.

Saying the names by Maggie Clark

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Maggie Clark

I envisioned a species that had no evolutionary imperative towards competitive behaviors, and as such thrived on constant, snail’s-pace communication routines that similarly kept all members of any given community bonded at all times.

Nonfiction

You Never Get a Seventh Chance to Make a First Impression: An Awkward History of Our Space Transmissions

Ever since humanity has been able to launch projectiles into space, a major priority has been to communicate with any alien life forms that might come across this space detritus and wonder who shot a space probe right into their upper atmosphere.

Artist Showcase

Artist Spotlight: Donato Giancola

“Highrises” was created as an illustration to accompany a Ray Bradbury article regarding the future of Space Exploration and appeared in a seemingly uncanny place for science fiction in 2000, Playboy Magazine.

Science Fiction

Gossamer

Lvov looked up from her data desk, startled. Beyond the flitter’s translucent hull, the wormhole was flooded with sheets of blue-white light which raced towards and past the flitter, giving Lvov the impression of huge, uncontrolled speed.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Stephen Baxter

Exploring our cosmic context is a major purpose of SF, I’d say. But in fiction you do need to find an intimate human story to tell!

Nonfiction

Interview: Walter Jon Williams

Science fiction certainly encourages the asking of the big questions: Who are we, what makes us human, what is our purpose, what is our destiny.

Science Fiction

Spider the Artist

There was a stream where I had been fetching water. A flow station was built nearby and now the stream was rank and filthy, with an oily film that reflected rainbows. Cassava and yam farms yielded less and less each year. The air left your skin dirty and smelled like something preparing to die.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Nnedi Okorafor

The current situation in Nigeria is highly volatile. There are militants in the delta region who are kidnapping and sometimes killing oil workers, they are blowing up pipelines and assassinating officials. This kind of situation cannot last long. Change is inevitable.

Nonfiction

Retro Robots on the Battlefield

Battlefield robots are armed, intelligent, and poised to change the face of modern warfare. At least, that’s what the pundits have been repeating for the last decade.

Science Fiction

Woman Leaves Room

She wears a smile. I like her smile, nervous and maybe a little scared, sweet and somewhat lonely. She wears jeans and a sheer green blouse and comfortable sandals and rings on two fingers and a glass patch across one eye.

Woman Leaves Room by Robert REed

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Robert Reed

Memory is suspect, but I did suffer the image of a woman leaving a room and then not returning for a great long while. I think I was watching TV. Maybe something on the screen triggered the image.

Nonfiction

Immortal Jellyfish and Transhuman You

Ah, immortality: the ever-elusive dream of both utopians and transhumanists. To us, death is a necessary evil, but to many organisms, plants and fungi that form clonal colonies, it’s but a technicality.