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Editorial

Editorial, June 2010

Why a new science fiction magazine, and why now?

Short fiction has always been the heart of the science fiction field, where new writers are discovered and established pros can take risks and experiment with fiction that takes them outside their comfort zone. And while there is a lot of short genre fiction being published online, the number of fantasy and horror stories far surpass the number of science fiction stories.

We’ve set out to rectify that.

And so what is Lightspeed? Lightspeed is a new online magazine that will focus exclusively on science fiction. Here you can expect to see all types of science fiction, from near-future, sociological soft sf, to far-future, star-spanning hard sf, and anything and everything in between. No subject will be considered off-limits, and we encourage our writers to take chances with their fiction and push the envelope. We will bring you a mix of originals and reprints, and will be featuring a variety of authors—from the bestsellers and award-winners you already know to the best new voices you haven’t heard of yet. So when you read Lightspeed, my hope is that you’ll see where science fiction comes from, where it is now, and where it’s going.

But Lightspeed is also a nonfiction magazine. The fiction and nonfiction departments of Lightspeed will have a kind of symbiotic relationship. For example, this month we have a story about relativistic travel, so we asked sf author and expert astronomer Mike Brotherton to tell us about the science behind that familiar sf trope. We will also feature brief author spotlights in which the authors talk a bit about the stories behind their stories. For instance, in this issue we will have a spotlight on author Carrie Vaughn, in which she tells us a bit about building sustainable futures and population control.

There’s more to Lightspeed than that, too. Lightspeed is also a podcast, which will feature one or two free stories each month in audio format, produced by Grammy and Audie Award-winning narrator and producer Stefan Rudnicki. And Lightspeed is an annual anthology series; every year, we will gather up all of the fiction published in the magazine and publish it in a trade book edition you’ll be able to find in your favorite bookstore.

And it’s also a monthly ebook magazine, so if you’d rather read it every month on your Kindle or Nook or Sony Reader, that option is available, or if you’d rather just download it onto your iPhone or iPad, well, there’s an app for that. The best part about the ebook option is that even if you buy it at the beginning of the month, when there’s only one story posted on the website, the ebook version will have the full month’s worth of content.

Our debut issue features four all-new, never-before-published stories: from newcomer Vylar Kaftan, we have an interstellar love story dealing with the perils of communication and time-dilation; from veteran, award-winning author Jack McDevitt, we have a tale about Earth’s moon and the mysteries it might still possess; from David Barr Kirtley, an adventure of a young catman who must face the last of the dogmen and something else entirely unexpected; and from bestselling author Carrie Vaughn, a cautionary tale of the near future that shows some of the extremes we might be pushed to if we don’t start implementing now the seeds for a sustainable future. In future issues, we’ll be bringing you stories from the likes of Carol Emshwiller, Adam-Troy Castro, Alice Sola Kim, Genevieve Valentine, and many more.

Our regular publication schedule each month will include two pieces of original fiction and two fiction reprints, along with four nonfiction articles. Fiction (and podcasts, when applicable) will post on Tuesdays, nonfiction on Thursdays.

Thanks so much for taking the time to visit Lightspeed. I hope you’ll keep coming back to see what else we have in store in the future. If you want to make sure you don’t miss anything, be sure to subscribe to our RSS feed or follow us on Twitter.

Enjoyed this article? Get the rest of this issue in convenient ebook format!

John Joseph Adams

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief

John Joseph AdamsJohn Joseph Adams, in addition to serving as publisher and editor-in-chief of Lightspeed, is the series editor of Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. He is also the bestselling editor of many other anthologies, such as The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination, Armored, Brave New Worlds, Wastelands, and The Living Dead. New projects coming out in 2014 and 2015 include include: Help Fund My Robot Army!!! & Other Improbable Crowdfunding Projects, Robot Uprisings, Dead Man’s Hand, Operation Arcana, Wastelands 2, and The Apocalypse Triptych: The End is Nigh, The End is Now, and The End Has Come. He has been nominated for eight Hugo Awards and five World Fantasy Awards, and he has been called “the reigning king of the anthology world” by Barnes & Noble. John is also the editor and publisher of Nightmare Magazine, and is a producer for Wired’s The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. Find him on Twitter @johnjosephadams.

 

10 Responses »

  1. Came here via io9 – Can’t wait to see more!

  2. Loved “The Living Dead” and can’t wait to see what you do with Lightspeed. If the first story is any indication, it will be fantastic

  3. Congratulations on your first issue. I know what a major effort this is. Best for the future.
    Gerry M. Allen
    Managing Editor, Strange Horizons

  4. Congratulations, the magazine looks great.

  5. Seems a promising start for a promising magazine from a promising anthologist; perfect! Hopefully, a teenager’s work is accepted come July; but it shall be great to see how this project evolves.

  6. Loved the free story! Will subscribe when enough pennies accumulate in my account!

  7. So is there no full table of contents online until after it all comes out?

  8. Happy to see Sci-Fi champions like you! Can’t wait to see next issue! Keep those podcasts coming y Buena Suerte!

  9. I also came to find you via io9. Thank you for being an advocate for SF. It seems the major publishing houses have decided that something else is hot and that there isn’t an audience for traditional SF. I think there is. With all the great stuff published in the last few years from Ken MacLeod to Alistair Reynolds why would SF be dead?

    Go Lightspeed!

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