Science Fiction & Fantasy




Editorial, March 2011

Welcome to issue ten of Lightspeed!

The big news here at Lightspeed HQ is that two of our stories—“I’m Alive, I Love You, I’ll See You in Reno” by Vylar Kaftan and “Arvies” by Adam-Troy Castro—have been named finalists for the Nebula Award! We are hugely honored that these two stories have been selected as finalists for one of our field’s most prestigious awards, so we would like to extend our most heartfelt congratulations to Vylar and Adam-Troy. (For the full list of nominees, visit

The other big news is that this month marks the beginning of my tenure as editor of Lightspeed’s sister-publication, Fantasy Magazine ( So if you enjoy fantasy as well, please pop over and check it out on March 7th. (And tell your friends!)

With that out of the way, here’s what we’ve got on tap this month:

March 1

In “Saying the Names,” debut author Maggie Clark gives us the story of a woman hired to navigate the sticky legal system of a complicated alien race, and her own equally sticky relationship with the defendant.

And to accompany Ms. Clark’s story, we have, from Genevieve Valentine, an overview of our attempts to communicate with other species, in “You Never Get a Seventh Chance to Make a First Impression: An Awkward History of Our Space Transmissions.”

March 8

“Gossamer” by Stephen Baxter takes us to Pluto and Charon, tidally-locked in their mutual orbit. A team briefly stranded there discovers that timing is everything, and that the relationship between the two worlds is more complicated than anyone had guessed. (Reprint)

Author and reviewer Chris Moriarty presents our feature interview with Nebula Award-winning, bestselling author Walter Jon Williams, in which they discuss big ideas, “sub-genre busting,” and Walter’s latest book, Deep State.

March 15

In “Spider the Artist,” Nnedi Okorafor takes us to Nigeria of the future, where Big Oil protects the pipelines with spider-like AIs known as zombies, and tells the tale of a woman who faces down one of the murderous machines armed only with a guitar. (Reprint)

Roboticist/author Daniel H. Wilson examines the history of robotics and warfare in “Retro Robots on the Battlefield,” and reveals that these autonomous machines may have been around longer than you would have thought.

March 22

“Woman Leaves Room” by Robert Reed gives us a view of immortality, forgotten files, and perhaps a reminder to be awake for the parts of life that matter.

In the related nonfiction, celebrated novelist Ekaterina Sedia puts on her scientist hat and tells us about Turritopsis nutricula, a kind of jellyfish that seems to live forever, and speculates on what that means for humans, in “Immortal Jellyfish and Transhuman You.”


That about does it for our fiction and nonfiction selections for March, but be sure to also look for our author and artist spotlights, and keep an ear out for our podcasts of “Saying the Names” by Maggie Clark and “Woman Leaves Room” by Robert Reed.

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.