Science Fiction & Fantasy

PERSONA by Genevieve Valentine


In This Issue: Sept. 2011 (Issue 16)


Editorial, September 2011

Welcome to issue sixteen of Lightspeed! Here’s what we’ve got on tap this month … Fiction: “Join” by Liz Coleman, “Bubbles” by David Brin, “Thief of Futures” by D. Thomas Minton, “The Island of the Immortals” by Ursula K. Le Guin. Nonfiction: “Vulcanize, Wookify, and Alienate Yourself” by Esther Inglis-Arkell, “The Lonely Universe” by Dr. Pamela Gay, “Feature Interview: Lois McMaster Bujold” by Jeff Lester, “Immortals That Show Us That Death Is The Best Option” by Shaenon Garrity.

Artist Showcase

Artist Spotlight: Grzegorz Rutkowski

Grzegorz Rutkowski is a Polish artist specializing in concept art. He brings his own flair for the dark and fantastic to his work, and in the following artist spotlight, explains a little about his personal taste. What do you enjoy the most about concept art? What does it achieve, where other kinds of art cannot […]

Science Fiction


Ngoraich hadn’t slept that whole month we were in transit. She was a pupating larva, soft and pearly. The spacers didn’t know how to put her into stasis, and even if they could, she wouldn’t notice the difference.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Liz Coleman

I’m fascinated by unorthodox sexuality and the changes we put ourselves through for our loved ones. So I wanted to write about a guy dating aliens, which leads to the question, “Why would aliens want to date a human?”


Vulcanize, Wookify, and Alienate Yourself

If aliens were to step off the screen and into the real world, they’d see nothing more than crude imitations: papier-mâché and facial putty. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Science Fiction


Serena still felt the heat of her passage through Kaluza space. That in­candescent journey via the bowels of a singu­larity had raised her temperature dangerously near the fatal point.

Bubbles by David Brin

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: David Brin

The long debate over the long-range fate of the universe is still unsettled. For a while the notion of a Cyclical Cosmos reigned … that eventually the Big Bang’s expansion would peter out and gravity would pull everything back into a Big Crunch.


The Lonely Universe

In school we learn the Sun is eight light minutes away or about 150,000,000 kilometers distant. These are just large numbers, though, and we don’t really have a sense of them.

Science Fiction

Thief of Futures

“For a man who has stolen so many futures, you seem to have no future yourself.” He lets this painfully accurate assessment seize hold; then he says matter-of-factly, “Is this what you want for your daughter?”

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: D. Thomas Minton

One of the primary influences for this story was a recent trip to Indonesia. While I experienced nothing like Trenchtown in my travels, the smells, sounds and sights of Indonesia permeate “Thief of Futures.”


Interview: Lois McMaster Bujold

Lois McMaster Bujold is running out of things to win. She’s won the Hugo Award for best novel many times over. She’s won the Nebula Award twice, the Mythopoeic Award for adult novel, and three Locus Awards.

Science Fiction

The Island of the Immortals

Somebody asked me if I’d heard that there were immortal people on the Yendian Plane, and somebody else told me that there were, so when I got there, I asked about them.

The Island of the Immortals by Ursula K. Le Guin


Immortals That Show Us That Death Is The Best Option

Before you sign up for immortality, be forewarned: It isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Even in the comparatively sweet world of fiction there are plenty of souls embittered by immortality.