Science Fiction & Fantasy

Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017

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Editorial

Editorial: November 2017

Welcome to issue ninety of Lightspeed!

For science fiction, we’ve got original shorts by Ashok K. Banker (“A Vortal in Midtown”) and Charlie Jane Anders (“Cake Baby”), along with SF reprints by Leslie What (“The Mutable Borders of Love”) and Philip Raines and Harvey Welles (“Alice and Bob”).

We’ve also got original fantasy by Kathleen Kayembe (“The Faerie Tree”) and Max Wynne (“A Wound Like an Unplowed Field”), and fantasy reprints by Rachel Swirsky (“The Day the Wizards Came”) and Jonathan L. Howard (“The Commission of The Philosophical Alembic”).

All that fiction, and of course we also have our usual assortment of author spotlights, along with our book and media review columns.

Our interview this month is with novelist Molly Tanzer—plus, if you’re an ebook reader, you can check out an excerpt of her new novel, Creatures of Will and Temper. Also for our ebook readers, we have our ebook-exclusive reprint of Gene Wolfe’s novella “Tracking Song.”

John Joseph Adams Books News for November 2017

This month, we’re publishing Molly Tanzer’s Creatures of Will and Temper—a Victorian-era urban fantasy inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray, in which an épée-fencing enthusiast and her younger sister are drawn into a secret and dangerous London underworld of pleasure-seeking demons and bloodthirsty diabolists, with only her skill with a blade standing between them and certain death. You can read an excerpt of the book in this very issue! But first, here are some lovely things people have said about the book:

  • “Tanzer mixes Oscar Wilde’s The Portrait of Dorian Gray with queer romance and demonology in this subtle, beautiful Victorian-era fantasy novel. […] The perfectly depicted relationship between the sister [protagonists] takes center stage in a complex (though never overplayed) web of art, swordplay, romance, and, much to the sisters’ surprise, actual demons. Gorgeously portrayed three-dimensional characters and sensual prose propel this smoothly entertaining story to an emotionally affecting end.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • “An artful, witty, Oscar Wilde pastiche with the heart of a paranormal thriller.” —Diana Gabaldon, bestselling author of Outlander
  • “A delightful, dark, and entertaining romp with serious intent behind it. The writing is so smart and sharp—Molly Tanzer is at the top of her form in this beautifully constructed novel. Sure to be a favorite of readers and critics alike.” —Jeff VanderMeer, bestselling author of the Southern Reach trilogy
  • “There has never been a better time for a spirited, feminist reinvention of The Picture of Dorian Gray. Molly Tanzer has taken a wickedly sensuous classic and transformed it into a lively supernatural tale featuring lovestruck teenagers, diabolical botanicals, mysterious paintings, and—oh, yes—demons. Creatures of Will and Temper is a wild ride from start to finish, beautifully and boldly written, and a most worthy successor to Oscar Wilde’s scandalous novel.” —Amy Stewart, author of Girl Waits With Gun
  • “Decadent Victorians clash with dueling demon-hunters in this page-turning reinvention of Oscar Wilde’s classic tale. I loved it!” —Charles Stross, award-winning author of The Delirium Brief

ICYMI, last month, we published Machine Learning: New and Collected Stories by Hugh Howey, a short story collection including three stories set in the world of Hugh’s mega-hit Wool and two never-before-published tales, plus fifteen additional stories collected together for the first time. Here’s some praise for that one:

  • “I devoured this book! The wildly imaginative tales in Machine Learning tackle everything from AI and aliens to video games and VR, and Howey infuses each one of them with the perfect mix of brains, bravado, and heart. Reading the stories in this collection is like discovering an entire lost season of The Twilight Zone in which every episode was written by either Rod Serling or Richard Matheson. They’re that good.” —Ernest Cline, bestselling author of Ready Player One
  • “Like a knapsack of compact grenades, exploding insight, unexpected innovations, and sci-fi heat. Each one the core of something larger.” —Kevin Kelly, founding executive editor of Wired
  • “Hugh’s stories keep me turning pages not just to find out what happens, but because of the deep common threads of humanity within. I don’t just want to know the ending, I care about every moment.” —Annie Bellet, USA Today bestselling author of The Twenty-Sided Sorceress series

That’s all the JJA Books news for now. More soon!

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Well, that’s all there is to report this month. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy the issue!

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John Joseph Adams

John Joseph Adams (Photo courtesy of University of Central Florida/Jeffrey San Juan)

John Joseph Adams, in addition to serving as publisher and editor-in-chief of Lightspeed, is the editor of John Joseph Adams Books, the SF/Fantasy imprint from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. He is also the series editor of Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy, as well as the USA Today bestselling editor of many other anthologies, including The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination, Robot Uprisings, Dead Man’s Hand, Armored, Brave New Worlds, Wastelands, and The Living Dead. Recent projects include: Cosmic Powers, What the #@&% Is That?, Operation Arcana, Loosed Upon the World, Wastelands 2, Press Start to Play, and The Apocalypse Triptych: The End is Nigh, The End is Now, and The End Has Come. 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 eleven times) and is a seven-time World Fantasy Award finalist. John is also the editor and publisher of Nightmare Magazine and is a producer for Wired.com’s The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. Find him on Twitter @johnjosephadams.