http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/itunes-rss/ Lightspeed Magazine » Lightspeed Magazine - Science Fiction & Fantasy http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com Science Fiction & Fantasy Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:44:21 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Science Fiction & Fantasy Lightspeed Magazine no Science Fiction & Fantasy Lightspeed Magazine » Lightspeed Magazine - Science Fiction & Fantasy http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com Interview: James S.A. Corey http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-james-s-corey/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-james-s-corey/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:05:02 +0000 The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13200 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-james-s-corey/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Ysabeau S. Wilce http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-ysabeau-s-wilce/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-ysabeau-s-wilce/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:04:24 +0000 Robyn Lupo http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13231 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-ysabeau-s-wilce/feed/ 0 The Biography of a Bouncing Boy Terror! http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/biography-bouncing-boy-terror/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/biography-bouncing-boy-terror/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:03:16 +0000 Ysabeau S. Wilce http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13259 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/biography-bouncing-boy-terror/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Marie Vibbert http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-marie-vibbert/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-marie-vibbert/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:02:32 +0000 Sandra Odell http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13222 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-marie-vibbert/feed/ 0 Jupiter Wrestlerama http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/jupiter-wrestlerama/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/jupiter-wrestlerama/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:01:21 +0000 Marie Vibbert http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13245 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/jupiter-wrestlerama/feed/ 2 Two-Ton Tony had a hard body, and though Karen knew the facts of life cold and backward by the time she got her chance to push him against a wall, she’d never had anything so sweet. Biceps like boulders, arms to swing on and hips to ride: a body like a... Two-Ton Tony had a hard body, and though Karen knew the facts of life cold and backward by the time she got her chance to push him against a wall, she’d never had anything so sweet. Biceps like boulders, arms to swing on and hips to ride: a body like a playground. She’d held on to him and never quite believed her luck that he let her. Artificial gravity made most station folk skinny, flabby, or flabby and skinny, but Tony had worked on his body all his life, stealing and cheating extra rations wherever he could, lifting whatever heavy objects ended up near him, doing push-ups with conveyor gears on his back. His body was his big accomplishment in life, his ticket out. Now Karen stood at the entry to C-stairwell, on her way to work, and saw that body still and crooked at the base of the stairs. “Oh god, Kay!” One of her neighbors stepped in front of her, blocking the view, and tried to push her back from the crowd. She shook the hands off. Another pair landed in their place. Living on a space station meant always having someone in touching distance. The cops arrived and pushed back the people in the stairwell, which pushed Karen back further. She collapsed against the bulkhead that led into her and Tony’s room. All she’d wanted was to straighten his neck. It wasn’t right, Tony’s neck being bent like that, backward over the bottom step, like he was giving up. And then she was numb. The cops took the body away. They asked her questions. When had she seen him last? Had he been in any fights, had any enemies? Bret Richards, across the hall, said, “How about the Bombay Bomber? Or Mr. Black?” Bret Richards had no more sense than a crocheted spacesuit. Karen told them that no one didn’t like Tony. She didn’t tell them that the homemade knife sticking out of his chest belonged to Joey Vaughn. They’d figure that out for themselves. The fabric wrapped around the handle came from his mother’s drapes, and there weren’t many people on the station who even had drapes, much less purple ones with silver moons. When the cops finally left, Karen wanted nothing more than to take a nap. Wasn’t that funny? But she couldn’t. She picked up her purse, still packed with all the things she’d need for the workday, and headed up the D-stairwell to the Strip to tell her boss at The Blue Cricket that she was going to take the day off. She had to stop on the landing, under the cheerful red and yellow signs that said “Upspin stair” and “Downspin stair” with arrows, reminding passers that the switchback stairs were designed by an idiot comfortably at home on Earth and they should turn slowly to avoid vertigo. “Don’t Fall!” both signs said, with a cartoon leaning back and waving his arms. She spent a long time looking down at the base of the D-stairwell thinking of the C-stairwell. People paused as they passed, a stream of touches and soothing tones. Karen’s boss had already heard, and told her to take the week off before she could even open her mouth. It was a numb day, an unreal day. When she woke up, she rolled over, reaching for him and touching the cold sheet. Two days later she read the police report. She’d been checking every day for news. The bastards didn’t have the decency to come to her. Accidental death, they said. Apparently Tony had fallen on that knife in his chest before falling down the stairs. It was the fall that killed him, so maybe “accident” made sense and tied it up all neatly, but Karen knew the station cops. She couldn’t believe they’d do that to Tony. Karen went to see Joey Vaughn’s mom. The Amazing Magdalena, real name Judy, was an old friend of Karen’s mom, from way back in the day when her dad had been around and they’d lived in better quarters farther from the Strip. Joey’s dad had been station personnel, too, but his parents split and Judy took over from the old Amazing Magdalena to make ends meet. There was a camaraderie among former personnel, Lightspeed Magazine no Artist Showcase: Rovina Cai http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/artist-showcase-rovina-cai/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/artist-showcase-rovina-cai/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 10:05:08 +0000 Henry Lien http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13202 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/artist-showcase-rovina-cai/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Steve Hockensmith http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-steve-hockensmith/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-steve-hockensmith/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 10:04:20 +0000 Jude Griffin http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13230 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-steve-hockensmith/feed/ 0 The Herd http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/herd/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/herd/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 10:03:08 +0000 Steve Hockensmith http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13258 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/herd/feed/ 0 As long as we’re waiting, why don’t I tell you a little story? You look like the kind of man who could profit by it. Don’t take offense, now. I meant that as a compliment. You remind me of me, that’s all. I’m a cowhand myself. Or was, anyway. As long as we’re waiting, why don’t I tell you a little story? You look like the kind of man who could profit by it. Don’t take offense, now. I meant that as a compliment. You remind me of me, that’s all. I’m a cowhand myself. Or was, anyway. I’ve been up and down the Chisholm Trail so many times I could walk it blindfolded from Brownsville to Abilene. That’s where my story starts: on the trail. Some time back, you see, me and a dozen other punchers were bringing two thousand head north for the Lone Star Land and Cattle Company. It was going about as smooth as a big drive can — by which I mean no one had died yet — but as we got near the Washita River a squall blew in the likes of which you never saw. The sky didn’t just turn black. It seemed to wink out all at once, like the sun was but a candle and God — or the Devil — had up and snuffed it. Just as quick, the wind went from dead still to near-twister, and the rains that came didn’t fall in drops but bucketloads by the billions. Thank god for the lightning, for though it spooked the beeves, without it we’d have had nothing at all to see by, and said beeves would’ve been wearing us as slippers within seconds. Well, you know how it goes. The cattle bolted, and off we went with them, riding hell for leather hither and yon. When the storm finally ended and the sun decided to grace us with its presence again, I was relieved to see we still had one nice big herd as opposed to a hundred little ones scattered across all the West. We hadn’t lost a single hand, either, which I counted as a miracle on par with the loaves and fishes. Of course, there were some strays to round up, and as we set about it, I noticed something peculiar about the terrain thereabouts. Something wrong. The bluffs were higher, the brush sparser and scrubbier and the earth rockier and more yellowed than as should have been. It was like we’d chased those cows all the way to New Mexico over the course of a couple hours. I might have thought I was getting my dreaming done without benefit of sleep, I was so tired after all we’d been through. But when our cookie called us in at twilight, I discovered I wasn’t the only fellow feeling buffaloed. “Anyone know where the hell we are?” one of the boys asked as he settled himself by the fire with his plate of frijoles and sinkers. There was a lot of head shaking and shrugging and comments of the “Damned if I know” variety, and every man there turned to look at Riggs, the trail boss. “I don’t know either,” he said. “But north is still north. We’ll head that way in the morning, and sooner or later we’ll hit the Washita. It won’t be hard to find the trail from there.” It couldn’t have been easy — a trail boss admitting he was lost. Riggs just about pulled it off, though. He was a stern, taciturn man with a quiet strength we all respected. But there was a wee problem with what he’d said, and the fellows got to whispering about it as soon as Riggs was out of earshot. Even from the highest hills, none of us had seen sign of any river. What we did see come morning light, much to our surprise, was a town. It looked to be about three miles away, in a punchbowl valley with rocky, sloping sides. It wasn’t much more than one long main street lined with low, boxy buildings — a speck of civilization that would make your Peabody or your Lincolnville look like London or Paris — yet no one could figure how we’d missed it the day before. “I should’ve caught the smell of women, at the very least,” my pal Jawbone said. “Why, I’m surprised it didn’t keep me up all night.” For Jawbone to go a week without female companionship was like you or me going a month without breathing. And he wasn’t the only one who was girl crazy — or crazy for whiskey, beer, and cards. Which is why Riggs announced that he was headed into town alone. Cut us young bucks loose to pursue our vices, and we wouldn’t be back on the trail till Christmas. As it was, Lightspeed Magazine no Author Spotlight: Rebecca Ore http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-rebecca-ore/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-rebecca-ore/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 10:02:24 +0000 Jude Griffin http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13221 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-rebecca-ore/feed/ 0 Scarey Rose in Deep History http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/scarey-rose-deep-history/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/scarey-rose-deep-history/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 10:01:15 +0000 Rebecca Ore http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13244 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/scarey-rose-deep-history/feed/ 0 Editorial, October 2014 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-october-2014/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-october-2014/#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 10:05:58 +0000 John Joseph Adams http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13199 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-october-2014/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Kelly Link http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-kelly-link-2/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-kelly-link-2/#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 10:04:14 +0000 Lee Hallison http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13229 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-kelly-link-2/feed/ 0 Water Off a Black Dog’s Back http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/water-black-dogs-back/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/water-black-dogs-back/#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 10:03:57 +0000 Kelly Link http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13257 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/water-black-dogs-back/feed/ 1 Author Spotlight: Daniel José Older http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-daniel-jose-older/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-daniel-jose-older/#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 10:02:15 +0000 Patrick J Stephens http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13220 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-daniel-jose-older/feed/ 0 Dust http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/dust/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/dust/#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 10:01:14 +0000 Daniel José Older http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13238 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/dust/feed/ 1 Illustrated by Reiko Murikami Very late at night, when the buzz of drill dozers has died out, I can hear her breathing. I know that sounds crazy. I don’t care. Tonight, I have to concentrate extra hard because there’s a man lying beside me; he’s snoring with the contented abandon o... (http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Dust_575x442.jpg) Very late at night, when the buzz of drill dozers has died out, I can hear her breathing. I know that sounds crazy. I don’t care. Tonight, I have to concentrate extra... Lightspeed Magazine no Interview: Diana Gabaldon http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-diana-gabaldon/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-diana-gabaldon/#comments Tue, 23 Sep 2014 10:05:46 +0000 The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12991 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-diana-gabaldon/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Rhys Hughes http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-rhys-hughes/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-rhys-hughes/#comments Tue, 23 Sep 2014 10:04:47 +0000 Patrick J Stephens http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12985 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-rhys-hughes/feed/ 0 Eternal Horizon http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/eternal-horizon-2/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/eternal-horizon-2/#comments Tue, 23 Sep 2014 10:03:03 +0000 Rhys Hughes http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13022 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/eternal-horizon-2/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Sam J. Miller http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-sam-j-miller/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-sam-j-miller/#comments Tue, 23 Sep 2014 10:02:26 +0000 Lee Hallison http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12966 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-sam-j-miller/feed/ 0 We Are the Cloud http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/cloud/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/cloud/#comments Tue, 23 Sep 2014 10:01:19 +0000 Sam J. Miller http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12999 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/cloud/feed/ 2 Me and Case met when someone slammed his head against my door, so hard I heard it with my earphones in and my Game Boy cranked up loud. Sad music from Mega Man 2 filled my head and then there was this thud like the world stopped spinning for a second. Me and Case met when someone slammed his head against my door, so hard I heard it with my earphones in and my Game Boy cranked up loud. Sad music from Mega Man 2 filled my head and then there was this thud like the world stopped spinning for a second. ... Lightspeed Magazine no 54:28 Interview: Mary Robinette Kowal http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-mary-robinette-kowal/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-mary-robinette-kowal/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 10:05:41 +0000 The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12990 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-mary-robinette-kowal/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Matthew Hughes http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-matthew-hughes-7/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-matthew-hughes-7/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 10:04:39 +0000 Sandra Odell http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12984 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-matthew-hughes-7/feed/ 0 Under the Scab http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/scab/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/scab/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 10:03:31 +0000 Matthew Hughes http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13012 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/scab/feed/ 0 It was too late in the day to start back to Indoberia. Kaslo tried to find ways to busy himself about the castle, but his thoughts would not leave him alone. Finally, he went up to the flat roof of one of the larger towers and leaned against the parape... Previously on The Kaslo Chronicles: As a new age of magic dawns amid the ruins of the former technological civilization on Novo Bantry, wizard’s henchman Erm Kaslo is on the trail of the horde of multi-legged creatures that carried off the survivors who had taken shelter at the castle of his employer, the wizard Diomedo Obron. The tracks lead to an interplanar portal into the Seventh Plane. Kaslo has no idea what awaits him there, but knows that he must go through.To read the other stories in the series, visit lightspeedmagazine.com/kaslo (http://lightspeedmagazine.com/kasl). "Under the Scab" It was too late in the day to start back to Indoberia. Kaslo tried to find ways to busy himself about the castle, but his thoughts would not leave him alone. Finally, he went up to the flat roof of one of the larger towers and leaned against the parapet as the planet’s sun sank below a horizon no longer broken by the Commune’s skyline. In the opposite direction, the stars were coming out, but Kaslo saw only a handful of the glittering orbitals that used to stretch in a sparkling, glinting arc across the night sky. Some had been thrown off into space, some had come down in searing fireballs, some had just gone dark and died. He thought about the millions of people who had lived up there, thought about how they had died and about how a few desperate survivors might be gasping for their last breaths of dwindling air even now. Nothing could be done for them, just as nothing could be done for the people snatched from the village where he had promised them safety. When he’d made the promise, he’d thought it genuine. A sturdy palisade, a rotation of sentries, a tocsin to sound a warning: all just matters of common sense. But he saw now that he had been playing by the rules of another game—a game whose pieces had all been brutally swept from the table, to be replaced by a new and sinister collection of elements. And the rules, he thought. I not only don’t know them; I may never know how to play. • • • • Kaslo and Bodwon did not go straight to the whimsy. Instead, they went to the southern edge of the city, to where the spaceport still stood. The op was surprised to find the place virtually intact. The only major destruction he saw was where a liner must have been just about to touch down at the moment of change. When its in-atmosphere drive failed, the huge vessel had crashed onto the pad, bursting apart like a great ceramic ball. Broken fittings, broken crockery, broken bodies, were scattered in a circular field of destruction all around the ruptured hulk. They made their way past the edge of the debris. Their destination was the main terminal, where the supplies were kept. Then Kaslo spotted a familiar shape sticking out of the liner’s remains. “Wait,” he said. He picked his way through the mess and came to the still recognizable remains of a second-class bunk. The compartment built into the headboard was closed, and of course it no longer knew how to open itself at Kaslo’s command. But he wedged the end of his knife into a crack and heard a click. The cubby sprang open. The op reached inside and found what he’d been looking for: several ampoules of the medications taken to reduce mental stress and the possibility of permanent derangement among passengers who went through the irreality of a whimsy. The find meant they wouldn’t have to search the spaceport’s supply center, which he expected would have been heavily looted. Kaslo called up his mental map of Indoberia as it had been, and worked out the shortest route to the Commune’s connaissarium. It would mean crossing the ornamental canal, but he was hopeful that at least one of the simple footbridges would still be standing. If not, they’d make some kind of raft. As it turned out, they arrived dry-footed at the square where the connaissarium had stood, though they were tired from scaling and descending more piles of shattered crystal and masonry. Lightspeed Magazine no 50:26 Author Spotlight: Holly Black http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-holly-black-3/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-holly-black-3/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 10:02:18 +0000 Robyn Lupo http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12965 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-holly-black-3/feed/ 0 Ten Rules for Being an Intergalactic Smuggler (the Successful Kind) http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/ten-rules-intergalactic-smuggler-successful-kind/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/ten-rules-intergalactic-smuggler-successful-kind/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 10:01:17 +0000 Holly Black http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12998 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/ten-rules-intergalactic-smuggler-successful-kind/feed/ 4 Artist Showcase: Steve Tung http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/artist-showcase-steve-tung/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/artist-showcase-steve-tung/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 10:05:34 +0000 Henry Lien http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12960 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/artist-showcase-steve-tung/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Aliette de Bodard http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-aliette-de-bodard-3/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-aliette-de-bodard-3/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 10:04:49 +0000 Jude Griffin http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12983 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-aliette-de-bodard-3/feed/ 0 Prayers of Forges and Furnaces http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/prayers-forges-furnaces/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/prayers-forges-furnaces/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 10:03:27 +0000 Aliette de Bodard http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13011 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/prayers-forges-furnaces/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Saundra Mitchell http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-saundra-mitchell/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-saundra-mitchell/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 10:02:12 +0000 Laurel Amberdine http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12964 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-saundra-mitchell/feed/ 0 Starfall http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/starfall/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/starfall/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 10:01:12 +0000 Saundra Mitchell http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12997 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/starfall/feed/ 1 Illustrated by Reiko Murikami KV-62 went supernova today. Well, according to the news, it went supernova on March 14, 1592, but we’re just now finding out about it. Other things that happened on this day in history: Eli Whitney got a patent for the cotton gin, (http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Starfall_575x442.jpg) KV-62 went supernova today. Well, according to the news, it went supernova on March 14, 1592, but we’re just now finding out about it. Other things that happened on this day in history: Eli Whitney got a patent for the cotton gin, Charles I granted a royal charter to the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and I was fished out of a trash can in the Union Square subway station. That’s not in order, not chronologically, or in order of importance. They’re just facts, presented for your amusement and edification. Like my arrival into this world, KV-62’s demise is a surprise. It wasn’t on the Wikipedia list of stars about to shit themselves. It was, until this morning anyway, a lonely little nobody star, sort of in the middle of nowhere. Now it’s in the middle of nothing; actually, it has been for four hundred twenty-two years. This fact, I’m thinking, is going to be repeated frequently as the day goes on. Speed of light, light years away, Star Wars jokes, when you wish upon a . . . oops, never mind. Hair wrapped, lunch packed, I step into the morning. I look at the sky, but it’s a waste of motion. The only stars in the city are the ones sitting in puffy coats, cordoned off from the masses, backing up traffic in every direction while they shoot the five thousandth episode of Law and Order: Epic Crimes Division. So for me, the supernova isn’t real yet, even though it’s ubiquitous. It’s the top story on my news feed, the TV, the radio. Print papers are pissed as hell, I bet, but who reads print papers anymore, anyway? There’s already a Google doodle for it. Hazy pictures crowd my Twitter timeline, shots of the sky with a bright point fixed in the middle. The story’s big enough, or weird enough, or something enough, that strangers on the bus look up when I get on. A general buzz of conversation fades, and a black man with an iPad leans toward me, interested. “Did you hear about the star?” he asks. This feels like a movie. A stage play. The opening act of a web series or something. Looping my messenger bag over my neck, I slide into the space beside him. “Yeah, weird, huh?” A little blonde I’ve seen a million times and never spoken to cranes into the aisle. “If you get out of the city, you can see it. Like, in the daytime, even.” “That’s what I heard,” another woman says. She balances a basket of oranges and mandarins on her knees. The fruit’s ripe, nipping scent perfumes the air. It’s a nice switch up from the usual BO, motor oil, and general-city-life smell. “They didn’t even see it coming!” The man with the iPad turns the screen to her. “Just like that meteor in Russia. Came out of nowhere, and bam!” “Makes you wonder what else they don’t know,” Fruit Basket says. Suspiciously, like there might be a conspiracy theory. Astronomy versus the world. Rogue planets lying in wait. Celestial ambushes. “What’s that URL?” the blonde asks. Cell phone whipped out, she watches iPad expectantly. “Because I can tell right now, my daughter’s going to end up doing fifty million supernova projects at school. I may as well start collecting citations.” The passengers buzz around me, and I fade into my own quiet. Listening, but not listening, I press the tip of one index finger to the other. A tingle runs between them, like the skin fell asleep. But just there, just on the tip of one finger. I can’t tell if this supernova thing is really important or if it’s just a slow news day. So I fixate on my finger, numb but not numb. It’s real and it’s mine, and basically, that’s how people are, right? If it’s about you, it’s the center of the universe, no matter what. • • • • This is my job: I check out a sequentially numbered binder from the archive. I carry it to my desk; I open it. Then I log onto my computer, and search the server until I find the database that matches the binder. Open. Start on page one. Type. See, Lightspeed Magazine no 42:02 Editorial, September 2014 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-september-2014/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-september-2014/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 10:05:46 +0000 John Joseph Adams http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12956 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-september-2014/feed/ 2 Author Spotlight: Sarah Pinsker http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-sarah-pinsker/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-sarah-pinsker/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 10:04:32 +0000 Sandra Odell http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12978 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-sarah-pinsker/feed/ 0 No Lonely Seafarer http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/lonely-seafarer/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/lonely-seafarer/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 10:03:07 +0000 Sarah Pinsker http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13010 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/lonely-seafarer/feed/ 3 On the nights Mrs. Wainwright let me work in the barn instead of the tavern, I used to sing to the horses. They would greet me with their own murmurs, and swivel their ears to follow my voice as I readied their suppers. On the nights Mrs. Wainwright let me work in the barn instead of the tavern, I used to sing to the horses. They would greet me with their own murmurs, and swivel their ears to follow my voice as I readied their suppers. That was where Captain Smythe found me: in the barn, singing a song of my own making. I shut up as soon as I heard the door squeal on its hinges. “You’re Freddy Turlington’s boy, aren’t you?” His voice was rummy but not drunk. There were men around I felt the need to hide from, but he didn’t seem like one of them. “Turlington was my father.” I watched him from one of the stalls. He sat down heavily on a bale of bedding straw, grunting as if the effort pressed all the air from his lungs. He wore a well-fitted blue coat and his boots still shone with care, which set him apart from most of our patrons these days. “You must be, what, ten now?” I didn’t answer, but resumed my feeding rounds. Thirteen. Close enough. The horses rumbled their “pleases” and “thank yous.” “What’s your name, child?” “Alex,” I answered. “Alex, do you know who I am?” “Captain Smythe. My father sailed with you.” “Freddy was a good sailor and a good cook. I was sorry he got himself killed.” That one didn’t really have an answer, so I left it. I climbed up into the loft, dangling my legs over. He looked up at me. His face was red, but less from drink than from exposure, as far as I could tell from the uniformity of the color. His skin had the look of leather left out in the sun. “Can you sail, child?” “Yes, sir.” I wished he would get to his point, whatever it was, but he was in no hurry. He closed his eyes. I thought for a moment he had fallen asleep, but then he addressed me again. “I’d like you to sail out with me next week.” I assessed him again. I hadn’t thought him drunk, but he had to know we couldn’t sail anywhere. I chose to take the practical tack first. “I can’t. My father bonded me to Mrs. Wainwright when he left me here.” “I spoke with Mrs. Wainwright about buying your bond. Or leasing it, I should say. I’ll only have need of you for a short trip. I need somebody your age on board. Do you know why?” I considered for a moment. “You think I can get you past the sirens?” He smiled. “Well done. Yes. We must get past the sirens, and beeswax doesn’t bloody well do it, contrary to anything Homer said. Bright child.” It didn’t take intelligence. There wasn’t a person in Dog’s Bay who hadn’t heard about the sirens now nesting on the headland, singing at anyone who tried to pass, keeping ships from getting in or out. The streets and the taverns and the boardinghouses were all clogged with sailors, who were in turn clogged with their desire to be back on the sea. It was part of why I felt so much safer in the barn. The Salt Dog tavern became rowdier with each passing night. Fights and fires would come next, according to Mrs. Wainwright. She said she was old enough to have seen it all before. “What about sirens?” I had asked her. She shook her head. “Not personally, but search the sea long enough and you’ll see most stories have some truth to them.” Everyone in port had an opinion on how to get past the sirens. In recent evenings past, clearing tables, I had heard debate after debate on the matter. Lucius Nickleby had been the first to try to leave. He and his men had stuffed their ears with beeswax, the way the Greeks had done. John Harrow watched through his spyglass on shore as they threw themselves from the deck. Ahmed Fairouz, with his fluyt Mahalia, had attempted to outrun the bewitching songs. The Mahalia was dashed to splinters on the rocks below the promontory. A month later, pieces were still washing to shore with each tide. “You understand what I’m proposing, boy?” Smythe asked. “You’re hoping that their voices don’t work on a child.” “I’m betting my life on it.” I dropped down from the loft and walked over to where he was sitting. Lightspeed Magazine no 42:35 Author Spotlight: Tananarive Due http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-tananarive-due-3/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-tananarive-due-3/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 10:02:08 +0000 Jude Griffin http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12963 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-tananarive-due-3/feed/ 0 Herd Immunity http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/herd-immunity/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/herd-immunity/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 10:01:08 +0000 Tananarive Due http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12996 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/herd-immunity/feed/ 6 Interview: Elizabeth Bear http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-elizabeth-bear/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-elizabeth-bear/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 10:05:35 +0000 The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12885 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-elizabeth-bear/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Kat Howard http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-kat-howard-4/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-kat-howard-4/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 10:04:57 +0000 Lee Hallison http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12829 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-kat-howard-4/feed/ 0 A Meaningful Exchange http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/meaningful-exchange/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/meaningful-exchange/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 10:03:19 +0000 Kat Howard http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12860 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/meaningful-exchange/feed/ 2 Quentin told lies to people for money. Or drugs. Or kittens. Or anything, really. The particular currency didn’t matter, so long as what was being offered had value to the person who needed the lie. Quentin told lies to people for money. Or drugs. Or kittens. Or anything, really. The particular currency didn’t matter, so long as what was being offered had value to the person who needed the lie. Lying was Quentin’s one great talent. He enjoye... Lightspeed Magazine no Author Spotlight: David I. Masson http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-david-masson/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-david-masson/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 10:02:52 +0000 Rich Horton http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12821 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-david-masson/feed/ 0 Traveller’s Rest http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/travellers-rest/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/travellers-rest/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 10:01:44 +0000 David I. Masson http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12836 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/travellers-rest/feed/ 1 Interview: Christopher Moore http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-christopher-moore/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-christopher-moore/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 10:05:38 +0000 The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12881 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-christopher-moore/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Gwyneth Jones http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-gwyneth-jones/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-gwyneth-jones/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 10:04:54 +0000 Laurel Amberdine http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12828 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-gwyneth-jones/feed/ 0 The Grass Princess http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/grass-princess/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/grass-princess/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 10:03:35 +0000 Gwyneth Jones http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12852 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/grass-princess/feed/ 2 Author Spotlight: E. Catherine Tobler http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-e-catherine-tobler/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-e-catherine-tobler/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 10:02:48 +0000 Jude Griffin http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12820 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-e-catherine-tobler/feed/ 0 A Box, a Pocket, a Spaceman http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/box-pocket-spaceman/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/box-pocket-spaceman/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 10:01:29 +0000 E. Catherine Tobler http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12835 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/box-pocket-spaceman/feed/ 0 The spaceman shows up on a hot summer afternoon, not in the dead of night when you’re crouched in the garden peering through a telescope that shows you the endless glories and wonders of the night sky. There’s no spaceship making a bright arc against a... The spaceman shows up on a hot summer afternoon, not in the dead of night when you’re crouched in the garden peering through a telescope that shows you the endless glories and wonders of the night sky. There’s no spaceship making a bright arc against a star-spangled sky. Just a man in a spacesuit, standing at the edge of your hammock. His presence reminds you school is over and relatives will be coming soon and you don’t want to see them. They will ask you who can’t see beyond the edge of your hammock about grades and ambitions and Plans For the Future. Aunt Fran is dead and there’s just no fixing it, but funerals help us move on, Mom says so, and Mom Knows Best. You don’t want to go, because going means it happened and going means something is over. You ask the spaceman where his blue box is and he stares at you like you’ve lost your entire mind, because boxes, he tells you in absolute certainty, are no good for space flight. Boxes are not geometrically synergistic, he tells you, whether cardboard or wood or blue. He doesn’t have any kind of an accent, no bow tie, no box, and he’s lost. He tells you he’s lost. This is just Earth, you tell him, and he says he knows that, how stupid do you think he is, he’s been here before, so many times before he knows Rubik’s Cubes and arcades and the way ugly yellow dish gloves will stick to your fingers and turn inside out if they’re too hot when you take them off. He remembers when an icy Big Gulp in a sweating plastic cup was the best part of summer—that’s why he’s here now, summer, and why it’s afternoon, and why— He looks over his shoulder and you, who had been plucking brows into perfect and silently sarcastic arcs in a handheld mirror while the hammock made its creak-creak-creak sound against the tree trunks, follow his gaze, because you expect robots or aliens or something to have followed him. Through a portal, from the oozing innards of a crashed spaceship, Beyond the Abyss of Time. You expect something hulking and green, or slimy and black. But there’s only the quiet fence-trimmed lane that runs alongside the bayou, bushes bending in a breeze. In the tall pecan tree, the swing moves of its own accord. This is Louisiana, you tell him, and smack the mosquito that alights on your leg. You brush away the bloody, black smear of the bug, then tuck your mirror and tweezers into the hammock pillows. And he knows it’s Louisiana, too, so you throw up your hands and tell him he’s not lost in the least bit, then, and to have a very good day indeed, don’t let the gate hit him on the way out. You don’t even think he’s a spaceman anymore, but then he’s closer than he was a blink ago. So close you can see the space dust on the shoulders of his strange suit. Space dust? Listen to me very carefully, he tells you—and this is rather something a spaceman should say, you’ve imagined it a hundred times, right before one arrives to carry you away (away, away, away, this is all you want). Listen to me very carefully, he says to you, because they will be here soon, and time is of the essence, you understand time, and of course you understand time. You roll your eyes and there’s something of a smile on his face, the same way there was when you asked where his box was. They will be here soon, you echo, and wriggle your fingers at him. Menacing. Can’t you do better than that, you ask. Is it hundred-foot tall robots? Is it slime-dripping, four hundred meter-tall monsters from an oceanic pit? Technically, he says, a crevasse—you can see the bayou, can you not, this is where the world is broken—and while they’ve been here all along, they’ve never come out, not until now, because of him. Right, you say, because of you. The Chosen One. Rather not, he says, and rolls his eyes just the way you did—is he learning things from you already? He’s not chosen, he tells you—no one is ever actually chosen, are they, he says, because that means someone else wanted them, and no, Lightspeed Magazine no Artist Showcase: Vitaly Timkin http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/artist-showcase-vitaly-timkin/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/artist-showcase-vitaly-timkin/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 10:05:10 +0000 Henry Lien http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12889 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/artist-showcase-vitaly-timkin/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Tahmeed Shafiq http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-tahmeed-shafiq/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-tahmeed-shafiq/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 10:04:51 +0000 Liz Argall http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12827 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-tahmeed-shafiq/feed/ 0 The Djinn Who Sought To Kill The Sun http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/djinn-sought-kill-sun/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/djinn-sought-kill-sun/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 10:03:47 +0000 Tahmeed Shafiq http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12851 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/djinn-sought-kill-sun/feed/ 1 They travelled all day, and at night came to rest by one of the large rocks that jut from the desert. The last caveat to voyagers before the plains of windswept sand. Here is what the boy heard: “Long ago, almost fifty years by official counting, They travelled all day, and at night came to rest by one of the large rocks that jut from the desert. The last caveat to voyagers before the plains of windswept sand. Here is what the boy heard: “Long ago, almost fifty years by official counting, there was a boy named Alladin living in the alleyways of the city, a scavenger, thief, and trickster. “When he had seen seventeen summers pass, he thought it high time he sought out his fortune. So, with all the arrogance and strength of youth at his side, he set out for the mountain caves where the sorcerers were said to live. “When he asked to join them he was turned away. He was too young, too inexperienced. Full of anger he left, swearing revenge.” The rest was . . . vague. The djinn seemed to have slipped into another language, one the boy didn’t know. The little he was able to make out made little sense. He caught the words “punishment” and “fools” and “beloved,” but aside from that . . . Eventually the djinn’s tirade subsided and he continued: “The guardians told him what the place was, who I was, but that only seemed to encourage him. He killed them, and entered the chamber. He freed me from my shackles . . . and bound me again. In a lamp. Cheap copper bought from a trader. To contain me. “For the next forty-eight years he kept me a slave. Had me kill the magicians and build him his kingdom and win your mother’s heart. Forced to do his bidding, for . . . forty-eight years . . .” Two hundred years in chains, overall. The djinn looked up at the night sky to clear his eyes from the smoke. Two tears slipped down his chin to lie in the sand. My love, he thought sadly. He glanced at the boy, asleep curled up like a cat. “Sleep well,” he said. “Tomorrow we go to kill the sun.” • • • • The desert stretched out before them. Waves of sand rolled across the vista under a blue, empty sky, boiling in the heat of the sun. Every breath the djinn took felt like fire in his lungs. He shifted in his saddle and glanced at the boy. He was slumped over the back of his camel as the beast plodded its way along. His lips were cracked and bleeding. If they didn’t find water quickly . . . He looked to the horizon, ignoring the shimmering mirages, and his heart lightened as he saw a dark blot perhaps two miles away. As they got closer it became clearer: a cluster of reddish rocks shaped like a pyramid, twice his height, one side open to reveal darkness and the sound of cool, flowing water. The boy wasn’t asleep, but he had been struck hard by the heat. The djinn made him lie down in the shade of the structure and ventured inside. It had been made by human hands a long time ago, for weathered steps cut into the rock descended into darkness. But those would have to wait. The dripping sound he had heard came from a tiny well set into the floor. A crudely excavated hollow flung the echoes of the flowing stream upwards, one of the many that crisscrossed the desert just like the caravans. There was no bucket, so the djinn called forth the water with magic, using only the barest amount of energy required. He would need it all later. He filled both waterskins and took them to the boy. The lad was so tired he couldn’t even sit up, so the djinn forced water in between his lips and washed his dusty face. Somewhat rejuvenated, the boy sat up and drank by himself. “Slowly now, not too much all at once.” He took the chance to water both himself and the camels and to chew a strip of dried meat, tough as leather between his jaws. The boy ate what little he could and promptly fell asleep with his head on his chest. Let him sleep. I’ll be long enough. He took off his cloak, covered the boy with it, and disappeared into the cave. The steps were steep and there was no light to see by, which didn’t really bother him. He’d spent half a century languishing in a prison far darker than this. He couldn’t tell how far down they went, or how long he descended, Lightspeed Magazine no Author Spotlight: Gardner Dozois http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-gardner-dozois/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-gardner-dozois/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 10:02:44 +0000 Jude Griffin http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12819 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-gardner-dozois/feed/ 0 Morning Child http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/morning-child/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/morning-child/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 10:01:40 +0000 Gardner Dozois http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12834 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/morning-child/feed/ 1