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Author Spotlight: RoboNinja

Why did you tell your own story in the third person? And also, why didn’t you use any dialogue tags or quotation marks? (Honestly, it kind of makes it hard to tell who is or even when someone is speaking.)

Explaining it to a human intellect would prove difficult.

Your vocabulary is . . . well, “high-falutin’” comes to mind as a way to describe it. Where’d you learn to talk so fancy? In ninja school?

Only small minds limit themselves to the basest vocabulary. The grunting and squealing of meat-speech can only be improved, either by elaboration or by the silence of death.

The dojo was also in possession of a fine thesaurus.

Where’d you get that sweet-ass railgun? I mean, where can a person who is not an awesome robot get a thing like that?

Lose everything. Then, and only then, can enlightenment and railguns be obtained.

How was that Waffle House?

I can no longer ingest human sustenance. The taste of nori on my tongue is a decaying memory, like the faded stripes on the antiquated pelt of some long-extinct jungle cat.

Oh, right. Sorry about that. Do you miss food? Or if not, which of your limbs or viscera do you miss most?

My shadow gland.

Speaking of food, Spark—the kitten that lives inside your chest cavity—still needs to eat, and I see here that Lightspeed, gives you a single sardine each time someone buys a copy of the magazine, as payment for your services as marketing shill. Does Spark have any favorite brand, or any preferences when it comes to his feeding?

Dusty cans in hidden bunkers, the very bones of those that placed them there worn down to an alkaline sand. If those are not available, Crown Prince will also do.

If you had one piece of advice for someone aspiring to be an awesome robot ninja, what would it be?

Your dreams are the lunatic weeping of some caged madman in a sideshow where the audience is as bestial as the attractions they gawp at. What emptiness brought you to this?

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The Editors

Lightspeed Magazine is edited and published by John Joseph Adams, with Wendy N. Wagner, Rich Horton, and a team of dedicated staff. See our Staff page for more information.

Translator Brooke Bolander

Brooke Bolander is a chaos-sowing trickster girl of indeterminate employment, half-tornado, half-writer. Originally from the deepest, darkest regions of the southern US, she attended the University of Leicester from 2004 to 2007 studying History and Archaeology and is a graduate of the 2011 Clarion Writers’ Workshop at UCSD. She enjoys loud music, peaty scotch, drawings that move, and anything pumpkin-flavored you might happen to have on hand. Her short fiction has previously appeared in magazines such as Strange Horizons, Uncanny, Nightmare, and Lightspeed, and in anthologies such as New Voices in Fantasy, Aliens: Recent Encounters, HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY and Other Improbable Crowdfunding Projects, Nebula Awards Showcase 2018, The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror, and The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy. Her short fiction has been nominated for two Hugo Awards, two Nebula Awards, the World Fantasy Award, and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. Her latest work is a novella from Tor.com, The Only Harmless Great Thing.