Lightspeed: Edited by John Joseph Adams




Editorial, December 2011

Lightspeed, December 2011Welcome to issue nineteen of Lightspeed!

Some big news this month: Lightspeed (and our sister magazine, Fantasy) has a new publisher—and it’s me, your humble editor, John Joseph Adams. Our founding publisher, Sean Wallace, decided that he needed to devote more time to his book publishing company, Prime Books, and since I already edit both magazines, I was the natural choice to be his successor. I’m excited to pick up where Sean left off, and I look forward to helming the magazines far into the future.

I officially begin my tenure as publisher with the January 2012 issue, so this is our last issue under the Prime Books banner. But rest assured: Under the new regime, we’ll still be bringing you the same quality science fiction that you’ve come to expect from Lightspeed.


We do, however, have some fairly major changes in store:

First, we’ll be merging our sister magazine, Fantasy, into Lightspeed. But never fear: We won’t be doing away with any of Lightspeed’s fiction; each issue of the combined magazine will contain Lightspeed’s four science fiction stories and four fantasy stories from Fantasy. We won’t be reducing the number of stories, or replacing any Lightspeed content with Fantasy content; this will be a true merger.

Second, in order to focus more on the fiction side of the magazine, we’re going to cut down on our nonfiction. Going forward, we will cease publication of the related nonfiction articles accompanying each story and instead publish only two feature interviews per issue. We will, however, still have our usual assortment of author spotlights.

Third, since we’re doubling the amount of fiction in each issue, we’re going to raise the price of our ebooks—but not by double: We’ll be raising the price to just $3.99. So you’ll be getting twice as much fiction, for just a dollar more per issue.


And lastly, because we’re in this time of transition, I thought now would be a good time to do a reader survey, to let us 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. If you’d like to participate—and enter for a chance to win a free subscription to Lightspeed from Weightless Books—go to and fill it out. It should only take about five to ten minutes of your time. The survey ends December 15, 2011, so don’t delay—and thanks in advance!

So! Exciting times here at Lightspeed. Now that we’ve got all that out of the way, here’s what we’ve got on tap this month:

December 6

Vylar Kaftan returns to Lightspeed with “The Sighted Watchmaker,” a story about a being coming face-to-face with her race’s long-dead creator, and the choice it must make as it guides its own creation to sentience.

In our feature interview this month, Richard Dawkins, author of The Selfish Gene and The God Delusion, joins us to discuss working with Dave McKean, being friends with Douglas Adams, and whether or not a human can mate with a chimp.

December 13

In “After the Days of Dead-eye ‘Dee,” author Pat Cadigan introduces us to a tough old woman who has been pushed aside one time too many, and the alien who dares to approach her.

Jeff Lester explores the science of telepathy in his article “Science (and Swindlers) Can Read Your Mind.”

December 20

Andrew Penn Romine makes his professional debut with “The Parting Glass,” in which an aging Augment gets the chance of a lifetime–but the price might be more than advertised when he considers the source.

Nigel Wilson sets up a tournament for the ages, which pits famous cyborgs against each other, in “Cyborg vs. Cyborg.”

December 27

Arthur C. Clarke gives us the story of Captain Robert Singh, tasked with averting world-wide disaster from an asteroid strike in “The Hammer of God.”

And finally, in “Armageddon Rock,” writer/astrophysicist Alan Smale explains what the odds are that the Earth will be destroyed by a giant rock from space.


So that’s our issue this month. Thanks for reading!

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John Joseph Adams


John Joseph Adams is the series editor of Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy and is the bestselling editor of more than thirty anthologies, including Wastelands and The Living Dead. Recent books include A People’s Future of the United States, Wastelands: The New Apocalypse, and the three volumes of The Dystopia Triptych. Called “the reigning king of the anthology world” by Barnes & Noble, John is a two-time winner of the Hugo Award (for which he has been a finalist twelve times) and an eight-time World Fantasy Award finalist. John is also the editor and publisher of Lightspeed and is the publisher of its sister-magazines, Fantasy and Nightmare. For five years, he ran the John Joseph Adams Books novel imprint for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Find him online at and @johnjosephadams.