Lightspeed: Edited by John Joseph Adams




Editorial, September 2011

Welcome to issue sixteen of Lightspeed!

Lightspeed, September 2011The big news at Lightspeed HQ this month is that two of our stories—”The Taste of Starlight” by John R. Fultz and “Saying the Names” by Maggie Clark—have been named finalists for the Parsec Awards, for excellence in podcasting. Congratulations to Maggie and John, and to our audio editor Stefan Rudnicki, and the entire audio team at Skyboat Road Company, Inc.

In other news, your humble editor has been nominated for two World Fantasy Awards! My anthology The Way of the Wizard is a finalist for best anthology, and I personally am nominated in the “special award (professional)” category. So, congratulations, to … well, me, I guess! And of course to all of the contributors to The Way of the Wizard, and everyone who I’ve worked with over the past year that made both nominations possible.

And don’t forget: The Lightspeed: Year One anthology, collecting all of the fiction we published in our first year (from June 2010-May 2011), will be published by Prime Books in November (pre-order now!). But never fear—all of our content will still be available on; this will just be yet another way for readers to find and discover Lightspeed.

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

September 6

In our first story this month, Liz Coleman’s “Join,” a man who has always felt alienated returns home to visit his family on Earth, and brings with him part of his new family—a newborn, parasitic alien.

Then, in the related article, our nonfiction editor Esther Inglis-Arkell explains how to “Vulcanize, Wookify, and Alienate Yourself” so you can better fit in when we welcome our alien overlords.

September 13

Most of the universe is the regions between galaxies, yet no stories are ever set in that vast emptiness. In “Bubbles” by David Brin, we get to know Serena, a lonely entity traveling the space between galaxies.

The cosmos is a vast, and largely empty, place. Astronomer Dr. Pamela Gay reveals its scope in “The Lonely Universe.”

September 20

D. Thomas Minton’s “Thief of Futures” follows Eshram Kingston through a future Kuala Lumpur, where he is hired for the dirty business of stealing the future of a child.

In our feature interview this month, Jeff Lester talks to Lois McMaster Bujold about Miles Vorkosigan, demanding readers, anime, webcomics, and more.

September 27

In Ursula K. Le Guin’s story, “The Island of the Immortals,” a traveler takes a vacation to an island where immortality might have been achieved. And it is—but at what price?

Living forever may not be all it’s cracked up to be. Sure, there’s everlasting life, but, just like anything else, there are going to be complications as well. Shaenon Garrity explores the downside of immortality in “Immortals That Show Us That Death Is The Best Option.”


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.