Science Fiction & Fantasy

THE ROBOTS OF GOTHAM

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Mar. 2018 (Issue 94)

Our cover art this month comes from Reiko Murakami, illustrating an original science fiction short by Bryan Camp (“The Independence Patch”). We also have fresh new work from Ken Liu (“Cosmic Spring”), along with SF reprints by A. Merc Rustad (“Brightened Star, Ascending Dawn”) and N.K. Jemisin (“The Effluent Engine”). Plus, we have original fantasy by Beesan Odeh (“Al-Kahf”) and Cassandra Khaw and A. Maus (“You Do Nothing But Freefall”), and fantasy reprints by Jeremiah Tolbert (“The Dreamers of Alamoi”) and Xia Jia (“Night Journey of the Dragon-Horse”). All that, and of course we also have our usual assortment of author spotlights, along with our book and media review columns. We’ll also be interviewing Na’amen Golbert Tilahun. For our ebook readers, we also have our usual ebook-exclusive novella reprint (“The Proving Ground,” by Alec Nevala-Lee) and an excerpt from Tessa Gratton’s debut fantasy novel, The Queens of Innis Lear.

In This Issue: Mar. 2018 (Issue 94)

Editorial

Editorial: March 2018

Be sure to check out the Editorial for a rundown of this month’s content and to catch all our latest news and updates.

Science Fiction

The Independence Patch

It is exam week, and Donny is 14 years 10 months 15 days 10 hours 16 minutes old. He is bored and hungry and his scalp itches and he hates school more than he’s ever hated anything before in his life. He hates exams in particular, and he hates his math exam most of all. 54 minutes and 20 seconds are left before he can leave, before he can take the damned dunce cap off and be himself again.

Fantasy

The Dreamers of Alamoi

The madman whistled an unfamiliar tune as he walked past the tangle-choked fields along a road in little better shape; before the plague, it had been surfaced with polished brick. Bricks that the dreamers hadn’t pried up or been chewed into gravel by the weeds and weather. The guide followed close behind, scheming again. The madman paused to light his pipe and take a preposterously deep drag from the tight-packed bowl.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Launching Our Patreon and Drip, or How to Become a Dragonrider or Space Wizard

If you enjoy Lightspeed and Nightmare and my anthologies, our new Patreon and Drip pages will be a way for you to help support those endeavors by chipping in a buck or more on a recurring basis. Your support will help us bring bigger and better (and more) projects into the world. Read this to learn more.

Science Fiction

Brightened Star, Ascending Dawn

She sees the universe unfold: color light cold music voice heat passion infinity. It uncurls in waves and song fractals that make up the subatomic fabric of space-time. Melodies of energy sweep her up and spin her into a thousand voices. Colors not yet named and not yet seen paint her mind with joy. The entire universe wraps around her, welcomes her, calls her home.

Fantasy

Al-Kahf (الكهف)

There once lived a man who was stolen from the sea. Rare and magnificent, he lived in his cave, rising to the surface every so often to pluck the strings of his violin for the birds before retreating into the water to play for his kin. They spent their days enthralled by the doleful songs of the man who lived in the littoral cave. But there came a day when the songs ceased and the people stopped going and the man was nowhere to be seen.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Media Review: March 2018

Our ace team of reviewers share their thoughts on the newest installation of the Marvel Universe: Black Panther.

Science Fiction

Cosmic Spring

Qubits resolve and superimpose; information entangles and de-couples; consciousness re-emerges. I don’t know for how long I’ve been asleep. There’s so little energy left in the island-ship’s reservoir that I’ve been conserving as much as possible. A faint glow in the abyss, perhaps several thousand kelvins. It’s why I’ve been awakened. I change course and head straight for perhaps the last star in the universe.

Fantasy

And Men Will Mine the Mountain for Our Souls

Always had the sages known that they would come. The first princess, in her bed of jewels and smelted gold, had dreamt of them; dreamt their terrible faces, their terrible claws, their endless hunger that is greater than the mountain and deeper than the deepest-diving seam. She had wept in the night, to have such dreams, and some say that her death—as the deaths of all princesses since her—came hard and early, because she could not know the peace of slumber.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Book Reviews: March 2018

This month, Arley Sorg reviews Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach, by Kelly Robson, and Ambiguity Machines and Other Stories, by Vandana Singh.

Science Fiction

The Effluent Engine

New Orleans stank to the heavens. This was either the water, which did not have the decency to confine itself to the river but instead puddled along every street; or the streets themselves, which seemed to have been cobbled with bricks of fired excrement. Or it may have come from the people who jostled and trotted along the narrow avenues, working and lounging and cursing and shouting and sweating, emitting a massed reek of unwashed resentment and perhaps a bit of hangover.

Fantasy

You Do Nothing But Freefall

Once upon a time, a fox came across a cat in the forest. Or something very similar to a cat, at least. The thing was neither flesh nor fur, but pale enamel, the tip of its nose and the insides of its ears daubed with blood. It sat on its polished haunches atop a mossy log beside a babbling brook, paw metronoming in salute. “Hello,” said the fox to the cat, drawn to its gleam and its amiable expression, its bobbing foreleg, but mostly by the golden coin at its throat.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Interview: Na’amen Gobert Tilahun

Na’amen Gobert Tilahun is a bookseller and freelance writer who split his early years between Los Angeles and San Francisco. His fiction, poetry, and critical writing are published across the web, and his is the co-creator and cohost of the geek podcast The Adventures of Yellow Peril & Magical Negro. The Tree is the second book in his Wrath & Anthenaeum trilogy.