http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/itunes-rss/ Lightspeed Magazine » Lightspeed Magazine - Science Fiction & Fantasy http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com Science Fiction & Fantasy Sun, 23 Nov 2014 00:54:15 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 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: Nick Harkaway http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-nick-harkaway/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-nick-harkaway/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 11:05:23 +0000 The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13365 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-nick-harkaway/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Matthew Hughes http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-matthew-hughes-8/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-matthew-hughes-8/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 11:04:49 +0000 Jude Griffin http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13356 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-matthew-hughes-8/feed/ 0 Enter Saunterance http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/enter-saunterance/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/enter-saunterance/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 11:03:04 +0000 Matthew Hughes http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13389 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/enter-saunterance/feed/ 0 2014 Original Fiction Back in Obron’s workroom, Kaslo told the wizard his theory that the reason their enemy had sent a fire elemental against them was because he wanted the fiery spirit to seize the noubles the op had originally acquired from the murderous thaumaturge, Previously on The Kaslo Chronicles: Magic has replaced rationalism on the grand old world of Novo Bantry, causing civilization to collapse. Returned from the horrors he encountered in the Seventh Plane, wizard’s henchman (and former hardboiled confidential operative) Erm Kaslo strives to discover who sent the multi-legged creatures that carried off the survivors who had taken shelter at Obron’s castle. But his employer has a surprise for him. To read the other stories in the series, visit lightspeedmagazine.com/kaslo (http://lightspeedmagazine.com/kaslo). Back in Obron’s workroom, Kaslo told the wizard his theory that the reason their enemy had sent a fire elemental against them was because he wanted the fiery spirit to seize the noubles the op had originally acquired from the murderous thaumaturge, Asrat Gozon. “Fire cannot harm them,” he finished. “It could be,” Obron said, sifting through the multicolored orbs on his workbench. He picked up one, held it close to one eye, squinting. “Then we’d have to pose the question: ‘Why the noubles?’” “Magic,” said Kaslo, sitting atop a stool, his hands cradling a steaming mug of restorative punge. He and Bodwon had arrived back at the castle just as dawn was lighting the far horizon. The other man had gone straight to bed but Kaslo had come to his employer’s work room, where he’d found the wizard asleep at his bench, one cheek lying on another of his collection of ancient tomes. Obron put down the nouble. “But why send an elemental to recover three noubles when the sender is in the seventh plane, where noubles are as plentiful as pebbles are here?” Kaslo didn’t know. Neither did the wizard. But now Obron brightened and said, “But I have found out something about the other sending.” “The clickers?” Kaslo said. “They’re called preyns,” Obron said. He consulted a piece of paper on which he’d made notes. “They originated on an obscure world far up The Spray, and were bred up from some kind of shelled aquatic creature by a thaumaturge of considerable talent, a number of aeons ago.” “What was his name?” “I don’t know and I don’t intend to find out,” the wizard said. “It’s probably not wise to allow such a name to enter one’s mind.” “Even after the passage of aeons?” Kaslo said. “Under the regime of sympathetic association,” Obron said, “time is not the barrier it used to be.” He consulted the paper again. “Their creator used them to overawe and terrify the inhabitants of the territory where he and his confederates ruled.” Kaslo repressed a shudder and disguised the action sipping from the mug of punge. “I could see that working,” he said. “Here’s the interesting part,” Obron went on. “The thaumaturge was one of a group of like-minded practitioners who held sway in the region. They had come to the place because it contained a spot where the third and seventh planes were adjacent and the veil between them more easily pierced. “Their plan was to build a device that would tap into the seventh plane and draw a certain kind of energy out of it. Their invention would also store the energy, so that they could draw upon it as they saw fit. They intended to perform some remarkable feats.” “Would the words ‘overweening pride’ and ‘unchecked ambition’ fit these ‘practitioners’?” Kaslo asked. “It would,” Obron said. “And theirs was the hubrists’ usual reward. The device malfunctioned. The resulting discharge turned a city and its surrounds into a desert and destroyed the world’s moon, which unfortunately was well inhabited.” “But the preyns survived,” Kaslo said. “They spent most of their time underground, in deep burrows. They were also used to fetch and carry between the planes, and some of them were in the seventh realm when the disaster occurred.” Kaslo finished the punge. He needed sleep, though the drink had sharpened his wits. “So,” he said, “the preyns connect us to this wizard who must not be named, Lightspeed Magazine no 35:44 Author Spotlight: Roz Kaveney http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-roz-kaveney/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-roz-kaveney/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 11:02:46 +0000 Lee Hallison http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13344 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-roz-kaveney/feed/ 0 Instructions http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/instructions/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/instructions/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 11:01:57 +0000 Roz Kaveney http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13374 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/instructions/feed/ 0 Artist Showcase: Jeremy Wilson http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/artist-showcase-jeremy-wilson/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/artist-showcase-jeremy-wilson/#comments Tue, 11 Nov 2014 11:05:27 +0000 Henry Lien http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13361 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/artist-showcase-jeremy-wilson/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Kat Howard http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-kat-howard-5/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-kat-howard-5/#comments Tue, 11 Nov 2014 11:04:38 +0000 Liz Argall http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13355 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-kat-howard-5/feed/ 0 A Flock of Grief http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/flock-grief/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/flock-grief/#comments Tue, 11 Nov 2014 11:03:58 +0000 Kat Howard http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13388 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/flock-grief/feed/ 0 2014 Original Fiction The woman’s dress was perfectly correct. Indeed, it, and she, would have been utterly unremarkable, were it not for the bird perched upon her shoulder, black-feathered, eyes with the seasick luminosity of moonstones. “Vulgar, The woman’s dress was perfectly correct. Indeed, it, and she, would have been utterly unremarkable, were it not for the bird perched upon her shoulder, black-feathered, eyes with the seasick luminosity of moonstones. “Vulgar,” Sofie said to me under her breath. “Why go out in society at all, if you are going to appear like that? No one wishes to have a party disturbed by such reminders of grief and mortality. It’s an insult to the hostess.” “Indeed,” I said, and thought of the bird I had caged before coming out to do the expected thing, and dance at a party. While I would rather dance than not, the expectation weighed. “At least they are seeing her out,” Sofie said, and tipped her head in the direction of the mourning woman, who was being gently directed towards the door. “I really don’t know why she came at all.” One sees them, every so often, those who have chosen to grieve in a manner they call natural, who do not take advantage of the alternatives. Pale-faced, shadow-eyed, the bird of grief perched upon their shoulder. As if carrying such a thing around, where everyone else can see, and is forced to interact with its presence, is in any way natural or respectful. “Have you retained your Mourner yet?” Sofie asked, and tucked her hand in my elbow to lead me across the floor. “I can give you the name of the girl I used when dear Papa died.” “That would be most kind,” I said. We both stepped around the feathers that had fallen to the floor. • • • • The birds gather wherever there has been a death. Black birds, with eyes of pale, moonstone white. They are there for the soul of the person who has died, and they are there to embody the grief of those who are required to mourn. It was an appalling thing, to be chosen as a mourner, to feel the tiny claws of the bird’s talons clutch at your skin. Mourning meant isolation from society, the need to drape oneself in heavy, black clothing. Neither to dance, nor even to listen to music, nor to eat foods of particular richness or flavor. To become like unto one of the dead oneself. Horrible. And there is no choice, not once the birds are there. One cannot mourn, unless there is a bird, and once the bird has chosen a mourner, one has no alternative but to either accept the burden, or to hire a Mourner to do so instead. Personal feelings play no role. Such a thing would be flashy, inappropriate. Vulgar. • • • • The bird of my grief was born from the death of my husband. It had not been a wanted marriage, nor had it been a happy one, but what was done was done, and when he died, it was necessary that the proper forms were followed. I was the relict, the widow, and therefore, I must be in mourning. I must be, though any mourning I had done had been for myself, and on the day of our wedding. Thankfully, his death had not only freed me from his tyranny, it had also rendered unto me a great deal of material wealth. Using some of that wealth to hire a Mourner was a pleasure. I handed the caged bird to the girl. “Do whatever it is that is required, and then send the bill to my residence.” “That’s not quite how the ritual works, Mrs.—” “Do not speak his name. I am not that, and will never be again. You may address me as Sibila.” “Sibila,” she said, and opened the cage door. The bird emerged to perch on her finger, its death-pale eyes fixed on me. “I will bear your grief. But you must be the one to speak its name and place it in me.” I sighed, feeling the heavy woolen layers of black I wore, black I could not cast off until this nonsense was completed, compress my chest as I did. “Very well. By all means, let us do the thing properly.” “Follow me, please, Mrs.—Sibila.” The girl held aside a curtain of thick, black velvet. I followed her through the doorway and down a corridor, in far less good repair than the front of her shop had been. The wooden floor was stained and warped, the paper on the walls dingy and peeling at the edges. Lightspeed Magazine no 26:40 Author Spotlight: Susan C. Petrey http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-susan-c-petrey/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-susan-c-petrey/#comments Tue, 11 Nov 2014 11:02:24 +0000 Debbie Cross & Paul M. Wrigley http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13343 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-susan-c-petrey/feed/ 0 Spidersong http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/spidersong/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/spidersong/#comments Tue, 11 Nov 2014 11:01:54 +0000 Susan Petrey http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13373 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/spidersong/feed/ 0 Editorial, November 2014 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-november-2014/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-november-2014/#comments Tue, 04 Nov 2014 11:05:18 +0000 John Joseph Adams http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13364 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-november-2014/feed/ 0 Sah-Harah http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/sah-harah/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/sah-harah/#comments Tue, 04 Nov 2014 11:03:53 +0000 Gheorghe Săsărman. Translated by Ursula K. Le Guin. http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13387 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/sah-harah/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Sunny Moraine http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-sunny-moraine-2/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-sunny-moraine-2/#comments Tue, 04 Nov 2014 11:02:39 +0000 Jude Griffin http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13342 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-sunny-moraine-2/feed/ 0 What Glistens Back http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/glistens-back/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/glistens-back/#comments Tue, 04 Nov 2014 11:01:51 +0000 Sunny Moraine http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13372 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/glistens-back/feed/ 0 2014 Original Fiction,Illustrated by Elizabeth Leggett Come back. You hear the call as the lander breaks up around you. You’re aware of the entirely arbitrary concepts of up and down before you realize what’s happening, and then they’re a lot less arbitrary. Down is not so much a direction as a function of... (http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/GLISTENS-575X442.jpg) Come back. You hear the call as the lander breaks up around you. You’re aware of the entirely arbitrary concepts of up and down before you realize what’s happening, and then they’re a lot less arbitrary. Down is not so much a direction as a function of possibility, of what might happen to you, of what is happening now. You finally get down as an idea. Come back. Look up and there it is, floating over you in stable low orbit with its backdrop of stars, long and sleek and lovely, all its modules and portholes out of which you spent so much time looking, and that voice clutches at you like it could hold onto you, and you almost start to fucking cry, and you’re panicking and taking huge gasping breaths and clawing at nothing, and you’re falling. And you can’t come back. So the universe goes away for a while, and when you blink again, that brownish pitted curve beneath you is just a little bit bigger. “Sean, come back. Do you read? Come back?” Hit the comm button on your suit. Take a breath. You have enough air for whatever you need now. Take a breath and let it out and talk. “Yeah.” “Oh, Jesus. Oh, Jesus Christ, we thought—You broke up, what happened?” Close your eyes. It hurts to do so, your eyes feel too big for their sockets. Big and shiny and glassy like marbles. “I don’t know. You have any idea on your end?” Silence. Then, “None of what we’ve got makes sense. We triple-checked everything, it shouldn’t have—” More silence. “Did your suit suffer any damage? Sean, are you okay?” Look down again. It’s a very boring planet, is the thing, at least on the surface, though you weren’t going down there for the surface anyway so much as you were what’s under it. But right now—and for the foreseeable future—the surface is all you’re concerned with. It’s very brown and very flat, except for the craters, and it’s very boring and ugly, and you’re going to fucking die on it. So just let that sit for a moment. Not too long. “No. I’m not.” Silence. Look up. The ship that held you, cradled you, getting further away—you never thought of it in those blatantly familial terms and you would have thought it was intensely silly to do so, overly romantic, but that was before. Now you realize that it was everything safe and wonderful. It was home, so far from home. You’re leaving it and plunging toward an end, like a life in fast-forward. It birthed you. You want to go back. Everyone does, you think as you fall. No one ever really wants that first horrible exit. “Oh, God. Okay.” A pause. “Sean, we’re working the problem. Just hang tight.” Laugh. That’s a very funny turn of phrase. Laughing will probably worry him. He already sounds like he’s about five seconds from losing it. He was always so nervous about everything, and you suspect very strongly that he didn’t even want to be here, except it was you, so of course he couldn’t really be anywhere else. Which makes this your fault. Naturally. • • • • There are things in your life that, in moments of clarity, you’d do absolutely anything to be able to go back and change. You would have majored in physics instead of engineering, because though they weren’t even all that different in a lot of ways, there was a romance about physics that always appealed to you so much more. You wouldn’t have spent so much goddamn time in high school worrying about boys. About what boys thought about, cared about, wanted. About what they thought of you. About what was involved in being a boy, what you should be doing in order to really be a proper one. You would have said fuck it to everyone’s expectations and you would have taken some Women’s Studies courses in college, because it’s silly but you think that might honestly have made a difference to the overall bleakness of your outlook on the world and your place in it. You wish you had seen more stars. Lightspeed Magazine no 28:09 Interview: Lawrence Krauss http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-lawrence-krauss/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-lawrence-krauss/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 10:05:04 +0000 The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13201 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-lawrence-krauss/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Megan Kurashige http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-megan-kurashige/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-megan-kurashige/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 10:04:28 +0000 Liz Argall http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13232 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-megan-kurashige/feed/ 0 The Quality of Descent http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/quality-descent/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/quality-descent/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 10:03:23 +0000 Megan Kurashige http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13260 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/quality-descent/feed/ 1 2014 Original Fiction The trick begins like this: The magician throws an egg up into the air, where it flies — small and white and full of import — up and up, high into the black reaches of the proscenium. We await the descent, holding our breaths, The trick begins like this: The magician throws an egg up into the air, where it flies — small and white and full of import — up and up, high into the black reaches of the proscenium. We await the descent, holding our breaths, expecting at any moment the crash of slapstick hilarity, exploding like a bomb. But the egg simply vanishes. • • • • Ava arrived with the night. I had abandoned the air-conditioned silence of my office for a street that was just going dark when Ava, about to change my life, erupted around the corner on a bicycle that clattered. She wore rubber slippers of fluorescent orange. Her legs flailed and the pedals spun around and around. Her clothes streamed through the air like a crowd of flags, and I might never have noticed the strange thing about her, on account of how funny she looked, if she hadn’t stopped in front of me and spoke. “Hey!” She threw her bicycle to the ground. She had on too many clothes, layers piled on layers as if she didn’t have anywhere else to keep them. “Are you still working?” “No,” I said. I wondered if she were homeless. “But I’ve got a proposition for you,” Ava said. “Seriously. Let me show you.” Propositions mean doing something awkward for the benefit of someone else, and I would have said so, except that there was this pretty stranger standing in front of me, unbuttoning her coat. She might have been crazy, but my eyes would not peel themselves away. Ava took off a coat, a sweater, a long robe with a cord sash. She was skinny underneath all that, and her t-shirt had two holes sliced through the back to make way for the things that stuck out from the white fabric, which were a pair of wings. A pair of wings that protruded from her shoulder blades and hung in smooth, brown-specked dignity to her knees. For a moment, I forgot to breathe. “Unusual,” she said. “Unexpected. Not the kind of thing you want to see at the end of the day. Sorry about that.” I didn’t know what to say. The wings shifted when she talked, rising and settling with the brittle plush of a canary. They were never quite still, and when she shrugged, the edge of one brushed the side of my arm and drew back, apologetically, of its own accord. “I understand if you have nothing to say,” she said. “You haven’t prepared a speech for this situation because you never expected to come across a woman with a pair of wings. It’s not like it’s part of the ordinary repertoire. You want to know: Is this a trick? Are they real? is probably the first question that comes to mind, but you might try something else because that would be kind of rude.” I waited for the moment to stretch too far, to burst. Someone would jump out with a camera. She would apologize for the joke. But that didn’t happen, and I couldn’t ask the question that mattered because Ava had already mentioned it. She said it might be rude. “What is it that you do?” I asked. “Birthday parties,” Ava said. “Theatrical productions. Magic shows. I like magic shows. Advertising banners. Washing windows, cleaning out gutters on very tall houses. I’m comfortable with heights.” I should have asked the question then. Did she use a ladder, or did she ascend by some other means? It pressed against my teeth and I was afraid it would fly out from between them to puncture the girl standing in front of me. I imagined her deflating, melting away, leaving me to walk home to eat a cold sandwich and fall asleep in the middle of a movie that I would be unable to remember. I held the question back and swallowed it instead. It hurt my throat. • • • • I arrange entertainments for people. If there is a camel in your opera, or if you need an elephant to appear at your party and impress your guests by dispensing rides, then I can get them both. I have several times delivered a box half as tall as me, but light enough to lift with one arm, and packed inside, between layers of chilled glassine, several hundred butterflies dreaming of escape. Lightspeed Magazine no Author Spotlight: Zoran Živković http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-zoran-zivkovic/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-zoran-zivkovic/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 10:02:39 +0000 Patrick J Stephens http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13223 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-zoran-zivkovic/feed/ 0 The Puzzle http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/puzzle/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/puzzle/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 10:01:17 +0000 Zoran Živković. Translated by Alice Copple-Tošić. http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13246 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/puzzle/feed/ 1 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/ 4 2014 Original Fiction 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 2014 Original Fiction 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 2014 Original Fiction,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 2014 Original Fiction 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 2014 Original Fiction 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 2014 Original Fiction,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