Science Fiction & Fantasy

Clarion Writers Workshop


In This Issue: Nov. 2011 (Issue 18)


Editorial, November 2011

Welcome to issue eighteen of Lightspeed! Here’s what we’ve got on tap this month … Fiction: “How Maartje and Uppinder Terraformed Mars (Marsmen Trad.)” by Lisa Nohealani Morton, “The Kingdom of the Blind” by Maureen McHugh, “Houses” by Mark Pantoja, “Snow,” by John Crowley. Nonfiction: “Planetary Alchemy” by Alan Smale, “Feature Interview: China Miéville” by John Joseph Adams & David Barr Kirtley, “Back to the Future” by Carol Ann Moletti, “Keeping the Dead Among the Living” by Graeme McMillan.


Editorial, Mid-November 2011

We’d like to ask our readers to participate in our reader survey, in order to get a better idea of who you all are, what you enjoy most about our content, and how you tend to access it, along with general demographic information. It should take about 5-10 minutes to complete. You can access the survey here. To thank our readers for taking the time to fill out our survey, one respondent (chosen at random) will win a free one-year subscription to Lightspeed or Fantasy from Weightless Books. The survey ends December 15, 2011. We look forward to hearing from you!

Science Fiction

How Maartje and Uppinder Terraformed Mars (Marsmen Trad.)

As her breath hissed out it thickened and spread and wrapped around the planet. Before long it was pushing everything down; my mother’s breath became the atmosphere of Mars.

How Maartje and Uppinder Terraformed Mars (Marsmen Trad.) by Lisa Nohealani Morton

Artist Showcase

Artist Spotlight: Elena Bespalova

My art is influenced by Japanese animation to some degree. I still like anime a lot and I watch it when I have free time. I think that anime have a great graphic style and often as not their plots have unusual twists.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Lisa Nohealani Morton

As far as the “creation myth” side of the story goes, it basically hit me as a concept without a story attached—just the idea that someone ought to write a creation myth about Martian terraforming.


Planetary Alchemy

Some time in the future we might decide we need that dusty red real estate. And if we’re going to live there permanently we might want to make some changes so we can travel around safely.

Science Fiction

The Kingdom of the Blind

The system had been screwy for months. Sydney thought someone had probably been messing with it, introducing bugs or maybe even writing some sort of virus. BHP DMS was an elaborate system.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Maureen F. McHugh

I suspect that after this Sydney decides that she’s an iconoclast and busily works to make herself into that. I do not think this has positive ramifications for her social life.


Interview: China Miéville

For me the book is not so much about actually existing linguistics necessarily so much as it is to do with a certain kind of more abstract kind of philosophy of language of symbols, and of semiotics, and indeed some of this crosses over into theological debates.

Science Fiction


“I was on Stand-By Mode,” I said, speaking through my house android, a gray unisex full-maintenance model. I tossed up an image of the bear on the wallscreen: A hulking shadow in the predawn dark. “I didn’t know what it was.”

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Mark Pantoja

The one thing we as humans consistently show is that we’re survivors. We have yet to wipe ourselves off this planet once and for all, and I don’t think that’s an accident.


Back to the Future: Smart Houses, Robots, and Artificial Intelligence

Striking a balance between retaining the human elements of what makes a house a home, and the false convenience of machine-run everything may decide the physical fate of the human race.

Science Fiction


Georgie got rid of most of what she’d inherited from him, liquidated it. It was cash that she had liked best about that marriage anyway; but the Wasp couldn’t really be got rid of. Georgie ignored it.

Snow by John Crowley

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: John Crowley

Charlie is in effect visiting the underworld, and trying to rescue Georgie. At bottom this is an Orpheus/Eurydice story of someone (a poet!) going under the earth to bring back a dead love, and failing.


Keeping the Dead Among the Living

If there really is, as the saying goes, more than one way to skin a cat, then it only stands to reason that there’d be more than one way to preserve its remains.