http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/itunes-rss/ Lightspeed Magazine » Lightspeed Magazine - Science Fiction & Fantasy http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com Science Fiction & Fantasy Fri, 30 Jan 2015 18:26:18 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1 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: David X. Cohen http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-david-x-cohen/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-david-x-cohen/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 11:05:17 +0000 The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13686 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-david-x-cohen/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Ann Leckie and Rachel Swirsky http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-ann-leckie-rachel-swirsky/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-ann-leckie-rachel-swirsky/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 11:04:06 +0000 Robyn Lupo http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13752 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-ann-leckie-rachel-swirsky/feed/ 0 Maiden, Mother, Crone http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/maiden-mother-crone/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/maiden-mother-crone/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 11:03:43 +0000 Ann Leckie and Rachel Swirsky http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13778 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/maiden-mother-crone/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Jeremiah Tolbert http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-jeremiah-tolbert-3/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-jeremiah-tolbert-3/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 11:02:47 +0000 Kevin McNeil http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13743 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-jeremiah-tolbert-3/feed/ 0 Men of Unborrowed Vision http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/men-unborrowed-vision/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/men-unborrowed-vision/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 11:01:22 +0000 Jeremiah Tolbert http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13771 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/men-unborrowed-vision/feed/ 0 We are not terrorists. We have not done this because we wish to terrify or instill fear. We do what we have done in order to bring the truth to everyone, a truth that burns away the lies and leaves only itself. We are not terrorists. We have not done this because we wish to terrify or instill fear. We do what we have done in order to bring the truth to everyone, a truth that burns away the lies and leaves only itself. We are no more terrorists than the invisible hand of the market is a terrorist. • • • • The drone cameras came online earlier than the controls — the two fish-eye camera lenses giving Mara 270 degrees of vision stitched together in one widescreen video feed. The sync icon turned from orange to green, and she pressed the right joystick on her scavenged Xbox controller to throttle up the props on the quadcopter. Flying felt like waking up on a Saturday morning and realizing you had two whole days without work or school. This part always made her smile. It even felt real, although the drone she was flying was three hundred miles away in Kansas City. The drone gently took to the air; Mara piloted it away from the parking garage where the Occupy Heartland street-level team had hidden the solar charging station and network relay unit. She’d flown this route over to the protest zone often enough this semester that she didn’t even have to refer to GPS anymore. She navigated out of the East Bottoms toward Main and the H&R Block building where the OHL protestors were scheduled to gather. A knock sounded at her door. Mara jumped, and the quadcopter’s auto-stabilizers kicked in and prevented her from crashing it to the pavement. “Hey, Mara.” She could guess who it was without taking her eyes off the drone’s feeds. “Hi, Adam.” “You had dinner yet? Some of us on the floor are headed down to the dining hall. I — we thought we’d check and see if you wanted to come with.” She looked up for a moment — the drone’s software would keep it on track, and she was still a minute away from the protest site. Adam Roth stood on the threshold of her dorm room, looking too tall, too thin, too pale-skinned, and sporting a wisp of a beard — God, she couldn’t wait for Movember to be over. What was it, the third time this week he’d asked her to socialize? And how many times had he offered to give her a ride to the local Walmart since the start of the year? He was pretty obviously into her, but she hadn’t decided how she felt about him just yet — anyway, she’d promised Dad she wouldn’t date anyone in her first semester, let alone spoiled, rich white boys from Chicago with guilt complexes about their money. Even if she hadn’t, she didn’t have time — between her volunteer work that had her remotely monitoring the Occupy protests for signs of law enforcement overreach and her eighteen-credit semester, she barely had time to sleep. “Sorry, I grabbed something earlier. I’ve got this monitoring shift,” she said. “Oh.” He didn’t do a very good job of hiding his disappointment. “Maybe tomorrow?” “Sure, maybe?” she said, but she was already turning back to her computer. Eventually, he would get the hint and stop asking. She hoped so — or at least she thought she hoped so. She frowned at the video feed. Ordinarily, her view would be of several thousand protestors waving signs and chanting slogans against the corporate kleptocracy; the march was scheduled to kick off any minute. Instead, she found a relatively empty street, just the usual foot and car traffic. Nothing like any of the dozens of protests she’d seen since joining the movement. She put the drone in standby mode and logged into the message boards via anonymous proxy. Had they canceled things and she’d missed it while she was in bio class? No . . . but there had been a lot of activity on the forum. Mara read the posts with mounting disbelief. Dozens of people saying the same things: “Not feeling well,” or “Coming down with a cold,” or “Can’t make it out tonight.” Youth4ClasslessSocieT even said, “I just ain’t feeling it, you guys. Sorry. Maybe next time.” Youth4ClasslessSocieT was Carlton Winstead, Mara’s high school classmate, sort-of ex-boyfriend, Lightspeed Magazine no 55:16 Book Reviews: January 2015 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/book-reviews-january-2015/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/book-reviews-january-2015/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 11:05:34 +0000 Andrew Liptak http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13689 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/book-reviews-january-2015/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Matthew Hughes http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-matthew-hughes-9/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-matthew-hughes-9/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 11:04:04 +0000 Sandra Odell http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13751 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-matthew-hughes-9/feed/ 0 The Archon http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/archon/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/archon/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 11:03:50 +0000 Matthew Hughes http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13777 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/archon/feed/ 0 “What do we call this thing?” Erm Kaslo said, gesturing to the smooth opaque walls. “It’s not a spaceship.” Diomedo Obron tapped the green leather-bound tome he was studying. “Testroni’s Impervious Conveyance, it says here. Previously on The Kaslo Chronicles: Magic now rules the universe instead of science. Some power has reached out from the Seventh Plane to attack the wizard Diomedo Obron’s demesne amid the ruins of the technological civilization on Novo Bantry. Obron and Erm Kaslo, the hardboiled confidential operative turned wizard’s henchman, must travel (by dragon!) far up The Spray to an obscure world named Old Earth to investigate an ancient evil. To read the other stories in the series, visit lightspeedmagazine.com/kaslo (http://lightspeedmagazine.com/kaslo). “What do we call this thing?” Erm Kaslo said, gesturing to the smooth opaque walls. “It’s not a spaceship.” Diomedo Obron tapped the green leather-bound tome he was studying. “Testroni’s Impervious Conveyance, it says here.” They were inside an object that had looked to Kaslo like nothing so much as an oversized version of the silver dome that a butler would whisk away from an aristocrat’s meal. It even had a large ring on top — a ring that was now grasped by the talons of an honest-to-goodness dragon, named Saunterance, that was flying them through interstellar space. “It’s not like a ship,” Kaslo said. “There’s not even the whisper of a deep-space drive.” “No,” said the wizard, his attention drawn back to the book, “the dragon provides the motive power.” “But how does that work? Does Saunterance flap his wings? If so, what do they push against?” Obron looked up again, wearing the expression of an uncle saddled with an over-inquisitive nephew. “If I tried to explain it to you, I would first have to explain the integuments that connect the universe under the regime of sympathetic association. I have tried that a number of times before, without success.” “I cannot grasp the concepts,” Kaslo agreed. “They do not make sense.” “Of course they don’t. ‘Making sense’ was an attribute of the regime of rationalism. Now it is more a matter of . . . ,” the wizard sought for the right words, then continued, “of creating harmonies, some of them plain, some of them intricately subtle.” “But none of them apparent to me.” “Because you are tone-deaf.” Kaslo sighed. Before the universe changed its mind about how it ought to function, he had spent a lifetime acquiring skills and abilities in several difficult disciplines. He had made himself one of the top-ranked confidential operatives on Novo Bantry, one of the grand old Foundational Domains settled thousands of years ago when humanity was building the interstellar civilization that became the Ten Thousand Worlds. As an op, Kaslo had solved mysteries that had baffled the best minds of the Provost Department; he had undone the intricate schemes of master criminals; he had faced down murderously capable opponents and always come out the victor. Now he was henchman to a wizard who was still learning his craft. But he was thinking: Obron will improve — has improved greatly in the time they had known each other — while Kaslo felt himself to be no better than he’d been the day the crystal towers of Indoberia fell into shards of ruin. He finally asked the wizard the question that had so often arisen in his mind. “Why do you keep me on? Wouldn’t you be better served by someone who understood what we are doing?” Obron raised his gaze from the book again. “Is that what’s troubling you?” He pinched the bridge of his long nose and rubbed the back of a thumb across his brow. “Eventually,” he said, “I will take on an apprentice — perhaps two, so that each can keep a jealous eye on the other. From then on, I will have to watch myself carefully. “Apprentices outgrow their masters,” he explained. “The better ones go off to make their own marks; the not-so-good outstay their welcomes while they try to steal their mentors’ apparatuses and libraries.” “There’s no fear of my doing that,” Kaslo said. “Exactly. You are the only person I can trust absolutely. In this new age of contending wills, Lightspeed Magazine no 45:43 Author Spotlight: Michael Cassutt http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-michael-cassutt/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-michael-cassutt/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 11:02:45 +0000 Jude Griffin http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13742 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-michael-cassutt/feed/ 0 More Adventures on Other Planets http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/adventures-planets/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/adventures-planets/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 11:01:35 +0000 Michael Cassutt http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13762 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/adventures-planets/feed/ 0 Artist Showcase: Zelda Devon http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/zelda-devon/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/zelda-devon/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2015 11:05:57 +0000 Henry Lien http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13680 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/zelda-devon/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Aliette de Bodard http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-aliette-de-bodard-2/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-aliette-de-bodard-2/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2015 11:04:01 +0000 Jude Griffin http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13750 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-aliette-de-bodard-2/feed/ 0 The Lonely Heart http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/lonely-heart/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/lonely-heart/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2015 11:03:50 +0000 Aliette de Bodard http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13776 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/lonely-heart/feed/ 0 It was towards mid-afternoon that Chen became aware of the girl. She stood before Chen’s stall, watching the fake-jade effigies of the Buddha and the coloured incense sticks, her eyes wide in the sunlight — she was no more than thirteen or fourteen, It was towards mid-afternoon that Chen became aware of the girl. She stood before Chen’s stall, watching the fake-jade effigies of the Buddha and the coloured incense sticks, her eyes wide in the sunlight — she was no more than thirteen or fourteen, with the gangly unease of that age. To her left, children shrieked as they passed the Bridge of Impossibility, holding each other’s hands, and went into the temple complex. The girl’s hand reached towards a small statue of a demon, touched it — setting off a coloured lightstrobe which illuminated the statue from within. Normally, Chen should have snatched the statue away, and pointed out to her, in a firm voice, that you didn’t touch the wares unless you paid. But the girl was so young: skeletally thin, her skin taut over high cheekbones, her eyes wide with fear. And she was so familiar, in a way that made Chen ill at ease — as young and as malnourished as Chen herself had been ten years ago, starving in the streets of Fengdu. “Can I help you?” Chen asked. The girl said nothing. She stroked the statue again, watching the tacky lights as if they were the most beautiful things in Sichuan. “Look,” Chen said. She glanced at the footpath: The flow of tourists going into the temple had diminished to a trickle with the sweltering heat of the afternoon. “If you want this, I can offer you a price — ” A shadow fell over the stall, cutting off the sun. “Ah, Xia,” a low, cultured voice said. “We were wondering where you’d got yourself off to.” The voice belonged to a man: tall and slightly obese, with prominent almond eyes denoting Mongol ancestry. He’d neatly inserted himself by the girl’s side, one podgy hand wrapped around her waist, the other resting coiled by his side. He wore expensive garb, and the digital camera strapped to his shoulder made it clear how wealthy he was. He was also smiling, in a cold, unhealthy way that made Chen’s skin crawl. Chen knew that kind of man. She’d seen enough of them on the streets, promising food and warmth to those girls foolish enough to follow them — foolish enough not to know about men who would peddle young flesh like a rare delicacy. Chen had always managed to run away from them; but clearly Xia hadn’t been nimble enough. It shouldn’t have mattered. Those who couldn’t run, who couldn’t scavenge, were best left behind. There was no room for pity or for charity in her life. But still . . . Her business instincts took over. “She was looking at one of the statues — ” she started. The girl — Xia — stood still, her eyes as glassy and as expressionless as dead fish in the marketplace. “They were pretty,” she said, in a small voice — a child, caught stealing. The man barely glanced at the statues. “Very pretty,” he said. His hand had come up, was stroking her breasts in a slow, regular motion — a seemingly unconscious gesture that made Chen ill at ease. “But we’d best be going, Xia. There’s work to be done.” “I don’t want to work.” Xia’s voice was sullen. His hand tightened over her breast, squeezed hard. Xia let out a small gasp of pain; and the man squeezed again. Chen’s stomach roiled. “You’ll do as you’re told,” the man said, pleasantly. Xia’s face was white. Chen’s policy had always been to leave the tourists to themselves, whatever they might be doing — but this was too much. “Look,” she started. The man’s gaze turned towards her, held her pinned against the wood of her stall. “Yes?” he said. His face was somehow sharper, more narrowly defined — and his gaze was contemptuous, as if Chen were nothing more than an insect to be dissected. Chen struggled to speak. “Look — ” she said, and stopped, again, because all her words had fled. “A warning.” The man’s voice was still low and unfailingly courteous — in a way which was worse than shouted threats. “Don’t meddle in my affairs.” His hand was still wrapped around Xia’s chest, but now he was stroking her again, like a favourite pet. Lightspeed Magazine no 1:13:19 Author Spotlight: Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/uthor-spotlight-bonnie-jo-stufflebeam/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/uthor-spotlight-bonnie-jo-stufflebeam/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2015 11:02:42 +0000 Liz Argall http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13741 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/uthor-spotlight-bonnie-jo-stufflebeam/feed/ 0 He Came From a Place of Openness and Truth http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/came-place-openness-truth/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/came-place-openness-truth/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2015 11:01:08 +0000 Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13761 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/came-place-openness-truth/feed/ 0 Editorial, January 2015 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-january-2015/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-january-2015/#comments Tue, 06 Jan 2015 11:05:48 +0000 John Joseph Adams http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13677 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-january-2015/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Sequoia Nagamatsu http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-sequoia-nagamatsu/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-sequoia-nagamatsu/#comments Tue, 06 Jan 2015 11:04:55 +0000 Liz Argall http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13749 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-sequoia-nagamatsu/feed/ 0 Headwater LLC http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/headwater-llc/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/headwater-llc/#comments Tue, 06 Jan 2015 11:03:46 +0000 Sequoia Nagamatsu http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13775 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/headwater-llc/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Theodora Goss http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-theodora-goss-5/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-theodora-goss-5/#comments Tue, 06 Jan 2015 11:02:40 +0000 Laurel Amberdine http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13740 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-theodora-goss-5/feed/ 0 Beautiful Boys http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/beautiful-boys/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/beautiful-boys/#comments Tue, 06 Jan 2015 11:01:06 +0000 Theodora Goss http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13760 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/beautiful-boys/feed/ 0 You know who I’m talking about. You can see them on Sunday afternoons, in places like Knoxville, Tennessee or Flagstaff, Arizona, playing pool or with their elbows on the bar, drinking a beer before they head out into the dusty sunlight and get into th... You know who I’m talking about. You can see them on Sunday afternoons, in places like Knoxville, Tennessee or Flagstaff, Arizona, playing pool or with their elbows on the bar, drinking a beer before they head out into the dusty sunlight and get into their pickups, onto their motorcycles. Some of them have dogs. Some of their dogs wear bandanas around their necks. Some of them, before they leave, put a quarter into the jukebox and dance slowly with the waitresses, the pretty one and then the other one. Then they drive or ride down the road, heading over the mountains or through the desert, toward the next town. And one of the waitresses, the other one, the brunette who is a little chubby, feels a sharp ache in her chest. Like the constriction that begins a panic attack. • • • • “Beautiful Boys” is a technical as well as a descriptive term. Think of them as another species, Pueri Pulchri. Pueri Pulchri cor meum furati sunt. The Beautiful Boys have stolen my heart. • • • • They look like the models in cigarette ads. Lean, muscular, as though they can work with their hands. As though they had shaved yesterday. As though they had just ridden a horse in a cattle drive, or dug a trench with a backhoe. They smell of aftershave and cigarette smoke. • • • • That night, when she makes love to her boyfriend, who works at the gas station, the other waitress will think of him. She and her boyfriend have been together since high school. She will imagine making love to him instead of her boyfriend: the smell of aftershave and cigarettes, the feel of his skin under her hands, smooth and muscled. The rasp of his stubble as he kisses her. She will imagine him entering her and cry aloud, and her boyfriend will congratulate himself. Afterward, she will stare into the darkness and cry silently, until she falls asleep on the damp pillow. • • • • Would statistics help? They range from 5’11” to 6’2”, between 165 and 195 pounds. They can be any race, any color. They often finish high school, but seldom finish college. On a college campus, they have almost unlimited access to what they need: fertile women. But they seldom stay for more than a couple of semesters. They are more likely than human males to engage in criminal activities. They sell drugs, rob liquor stores and banks, but are seldom rapists. Sex, for them, is a matter of survival. They need to ensure that the seed has been implanted. They seldom hold jobs for more than six months at a time. You can see them on construction sites, working as ranch hands, in video stores. Anything temporary. They seldom marry, and those marriages inevitably end in desertion or divorce. They move on quickly. They always move on. I believe that on this planet, their lifespan is approximately seven years. I have never seen a Beautiful Boy older than twenty-nine. • • • • Oscar Guest is not his real name. He had all the characteristics. Tall, brown skin, high cheekbones: a mixture of Mexican and American Indian ancestry. Black hair pulled back into a ponytail, black eyes with the sort of lashes that sell romance novels or perfume. He was wearing a t-shirt printed with the logo of a rock band and faded jeans. “I hear you’re paying $300 to participate in a study,” he said. It’s a lot of money, particularly considering our grant. But we choose our test subjects carefully. They have to fit the physical and aesthetic criteria (male, 5’11”-6’2”, 165-195 pounds, unusually attractive). Even then, only about 2% of those we test are Beautiful Boys. I could tell he was one of them at once. I’ve developed a sort of sensitivity. But of course that identification would have to be verified by testing. • • • • Sometimes, the Beautiful Boy doesn’t move on immediately. Sometimes, he stays around after the dance. He gets a job in construction, starts dating the pretty waitress. If she insists, they might even get married. By the time he leaves, she’s pregnant. Lightspeed Magazine no 22:28 Author Spotlight: Rachael Acks http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-rachael-acks/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-rachael-acks/#comments Tue, 30 Dec 2014 11:02:48 +0000 Liz Argall http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13529 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-rachael-acks/feed/ 0 They Tell Me There Will Be No Pain http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/tell-will-no-pain/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/tell-will-no-pain/#comments Tue, 30 Dec 2014 11:01:15 +0000 Rachael Acks http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13563 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/tell-will-no-pain/feed/ 0 Feature Interview: Steven Gould http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/feature-interview-steven-gould/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/feature-interview-steven-gould/#comments Tue, 23 Dec 2014 11:05:34 +0000 Feature Interview: Steven Gould http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13556 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/feature-interview-steven-gould/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Damien Angelica Walters http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-damien-angelica-walters/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-damien-angelica-walters/#comments Tue, 23 Dec 2014 11:04:59 +0000 Liz Argall http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13532 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-damien-angelica-walters/feed/ 0 A Lie You Give, and Thus I Take http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/lie-give-thus-take/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/lie-give-thus-take/#comments Tue, 23 Dec 2014 11:03:46 +0000 Damien Angelica Walters http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13572 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/lie-give-thus-take/feed/ 0 Don’t be fooled by the breadcrumbs in the forest. This is not a fairy tale. The first lie is pretty and spirals from your mouth like candyfloss; sweet, so sweet, and I’m melting under your tongue. Baby, baby, baby, you say, and I gobble it up, Don’t be fooled by the breadcrumbs in the forest. This is not a fairy tale. • • • • The first lie is pretty and spirals from your mouth like candyfloss; sweet, so sweet, and I’m melting under your tongue. Baby, baby, baby, you say, and I gobble it up, unaware that every word you say comes with a candy thermometer and you’ve made me your latest caramel bonbon. (We’ll get to that later.) It isn’t your fault I’m starving. It is your fault your recipe is gourmet bullshit and you want to know what I look like with the apron strings tied around my neck and how best you can fit me into your oven. (This is where I admit I’m caught by the sugar rush, but you already know that, don’t you?) You’ll be safe here, you say. You’ll be safe with me. I know you’re not a witch, and there’s no reason for me to doubt your royal peerage; you have the epaulets and posture to prove it. Your house is small, but it’s bright and cheery and my feet sink into marshmallow fluff, the sort of floor on which a girl could dance a pirouette; a woman, a waltz. I do neither, afraid I might trip over my own aspirations. Do you invite all the lost girls here, I ask. You smile and say of course not. You’re special. The words are strawberry shortcake, a little cloying, the portion too large, but I swallow it all. Okay, I say, and I want to smack myself on the head because it’s late and I should be heading back, but the only thing waiting is a woodcutter’s axe with my name on it, so instead I say okay again. The light changes and for an instant, your teeth are canine sharp, your jaw a little too long, but that’s the wrong story, isn’t it? (Perhaps you think the axe is from the wrong story, too, but there’s always a woodcutter and always a blade waiting around the corner.) And anyway, your teeth are fine and if you bite a little when we’re in your king size bed, it’s okay. I may have a sweet tooth but I’m not delicate. • • • • In the morning, you’re already out of the bedroom when I wake and I hear you in the kitchen, wire whisk against glass bowl, wooden spoon stirring a sticky mess. I whisper good morning and look for the coffee, but you’ve got a piece of marzipan at the ready. I’ve been waiting for you my whole life, you say, and the sweet sticks to my teeth and there’s a cyanide burn when I swallow it down, but I don’t pay attention because you’re already pushing another piece between my lips. Then you hand me a bucket and a scrub brush and I’m confused; that’s definitely the wrong story, no tricks of light required, and you flick one hand. All the stories are the same story, you say. No, you’re wrong, I say. Your mask slips again and what big teeth and what the hell? A blink of an eye and you’re back. Good trick, isn’t it, you say, but there’s something hiding in your eyes and later, when I’m scrubbing meringue from the linoleum, I realize you quite neatly sidestepped the whole story explanation bit. Clever. When I finish the floor, you kiss my pruned fingers and I swear I see those teeth again, but maybe it’s the fumes from the cleaning solution. I’ll keep you forever, you say. You’re so sweet I can feel the cavities take root in my teeth, and what am I, a toy, I want to say, but I can’t talk around the chocolate-covered cherry and you’re laughing when you wipe the sticky syrup from my chin. You pat my hips, my thighs, my stomach, but I haven’t been here nearly long enough yet, have I? Later, I touch the oven to make sure, but the burners are off. • • • • You leave me alone most days and I pluck gingerbread from the roof to tide me over. At night, babylove tastes like peppermint and dark chocolate; always is orange marmalade; forever leaves a dusting of confectioners’ sugar on my lips. But I’m still hungry. I feel your eyes watching my ass; when you’re not looking, I check it in the mirror but it still looks the same to me. • • • • Lightspeed Magazine no 26:55 Author Spotlight: Paul Park http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-paul-park-2/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-paul-park-2/#comments Tue, 23 Dec 2014 11:02:20 +0000 Laurel Amberdine http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13523 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-paul-park-2/feed/ 0 The Lost Sepulcher of Huáscar Capac http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/lost-sepulcher-huascar-capac/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/lost-sepulcher-huascar-capac/#comments Tue, 23 Dec 2014 11:01:09 +0000 Paul Park http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13562 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/lost-sepulcher-huascar-capac/feed/ 0 Feature Interview: Kim Harrison http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/feature-interview-kim-harrison/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/feature-interview-kim-harrison/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 11:05:04 +0000 The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13546 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/feature-interview-kim-harrison/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Nalo Hopkinson http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-nalo-hopkinson/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-nalo-hopkinson/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 11:04:56 +0000 Kevin McNeil http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13531 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-nalo-hopkinson/feed/ 0 Soul Case http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/soul-case/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/soul-case/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 11:03:43 +0000 Nalo Hopkinson http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13571 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/soul-case/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Vandana Singh http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-vandana-singh-2/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-vandana-singh-2/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 11:02:15 +0000 Lee Hallison http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13522 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-vandana-singh-2/feed/ 0 Wake-Rider http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/wake-rider/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/wake-rider/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 11:01:00 +0000 Vandana Singh http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13561 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/wake-rider/feed/ 0 This is a story from the time before she was famous. In the early days, she was known as Leli, or Lelia, a tease-name that had stuck. On her first mission for the revolution, she sat cramped, fists clenched with tension, This is a story from the time before she was famous. In the early days, she was known as Leli, or Lelia, a tease-name that had stuck. On her first mission for the revolution, she sat cramped, fists clenched with tension, waiting in the tiny scabship Tinka, out of sight in a radar deadzone. The salvage ship Gathering Moss, which she was stalking, lay like a giant, rusting silver slug in the docking bay. Everywhere the signs and slogans of the Euphoria Corpocracy flashed, in color and in subliminal space—on the ship itself, on the docking arms, on the walls of the great spaceport behind her, and within the minds of the subject population. Euphoria is Freedom, Better Life Through Euphoria, Rent-A-Share with Fora-ware, Subliminal is Sublime. Leli had checked three times that her protection against the nanoplague was current and sufficient, but the utter ubiquity of Euphoria was getting to her. It seemed absurd to even consider overcoming such a power. She pulled herself together, thinking of how much so many had lost, and what was at stake. My first solo mission, she told herself fiercely, I can’t fall apart just now. She wiped a drop of sweat from her brow. “You need to breathe,” said Shul’s voice in her ear. Shul had rescued her, trained her, and now he was somewhere on the space station, monitoring her via a clandestine comm channel, reassuring his youngest trainee. “You’ve stalked salvagers before, remember? You’re one of the best wake-riders I’ve seen. Only this time, you’re alone. Don’t think of what’s at stake. Just breathe and be still. You’ll know when the time is right.” So she listened to the familiar voice, and took deep, slow breaths, and her mind eased into the now-familiar state of relaxed alertness. Shul’s voice faded away, and there was only the salvage ship before her, enormous against the stars. The ship was getting readied to leave—the repair and maintenance arms were retracting, the hatches on the ship closing one by one, like eyes. She saw the scuttlebots roving over the battered surface, seeking out scabships that might be hiding. Finding none, they rose up into a swarm, forming, for a moment, the word “Euphoria” before they soared away. Before the use of scuttlebots became customary, stalking a salvage ship had been easy—a scabship would simply have attached itself to the hull and ridden along. Now, the only option for the scabships, with their relatively weak engine-power, was the far more dangerous maneuver of wake-riding. The ship thrust away in a glory of terrible ionizing radiation that would have destroyed anything in its wake. Leli moved just out of range of the radiation field, pushing her engines to keep up. Gathering Moss was about to move into Metaspace—the acceleration lights flashed from her hull, the radiation field dimmed and disappeared, and Leli’s ship, swinging to the rear of the salvager, shuddered as streamers of spacetime ripples formed in the wake. At first the ripples pushed the little scabship further back, but Leli knew how to play them. You had to get a sense of the frequency of vibration of the spacetime disturbance, wait for sufficient amplitude, position carefully, and let the disturbance hit you. She eased into the rhythm of it until it was as natural as breathing. Jumping from crest to crest on the shipside of each crest, she found herself following the salvage ship at a good pace. When they both reached the critical cruising speed, she shut off her engines, letting inertia do its job. Her ship’s grapplers engaged with the great bulk of the salvager for the few subjective seconds it took to engage the Firaaqui drive. Then she was being pulled through Metaspace. The two ships emerged together into the Sarria region with an abruptness that no longer surprised her. The Tinka’s grapplers retracted immediately and she pulled away. Her jinn piped data into Leli’s headset: There was only one inhabitable planet in the system, four light-years away, now abandoned. Lightspeed Magazine no 37:04 Artist Showcase: Odera Igbokwe http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/artist-showcase-odera-igbokwe/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/artist-showcase-odera-igbokwe/#comments Tue, 09 Dec 2014 11:05:30 +0000 Henry Lien http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13540 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/artist-showcase-odera-igbokwe/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Nik Houser http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-nik-houser/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-nik-houser/#comments Tue, 09 Dec 2014 11:04:53 +0000 Kevin McNeil http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13530 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-nik-houser/feed/ 0 The Drawstring Detective http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/drawstring-detective/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/drawstring-detective/#comments Tue, 09 Dec 2014 11:03:51 +0000 Nik Houser http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13573 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/drawstring-detective/feed/ 0 The Drawstring Detective is heavier than he appears. When Char picks him up off the shelf, she almost drops him. He is a foot tall and made entirely of tin. He is dressed in charcoal-colored slacks, a white shirt and black tie, a black greatcoat, The Drawstring Detective is heavier than he appears. When Char picks him up off the shelf, she almost drops him. He is a foot tall and made entirely of tin. He is dressed in charcoal-colored slacks, a white shirt and black tie, a black greatcoat, loafers, and a bowler hat, all of which are also made of tin. White gloves hold a folded umbrella. A small, tightly curled mustache stands in place of a mouth. His eyes are blue and half closed. His paint is faded and chipped in places. How old is he? “He’s heavy,” Char tells the man behind the counter of The Conspicuously Bigger On The Inside Antique Shop. The man behind the counter tells people to call him Azim Abdulaziz, but everyone knows that his real name is Jeff. What nobody knows is that Jeff’s real real first name is the smell of burning saffron, and that his real real last name is the creases in your fingers when you’ve been in the bathtub too long. “He’s a pain in the ass is what he is,” Azim-cum-Jeff The-Creases-In-Your-Fingers-When-You’ve-Been-In-The-Bathtub-Too-Long replies with a fake-sounding foreign accent. It sounds fake because nobody knows what a Sumerian accent sounds like. Char turns the Drawstring Detective over. Molded into the underside of his left loafer are the words Made in Albuquirky. A small tin ring is affixed to the Drawstring Detective’s back, between the shoulder blades. It looks uncomfortable. Char is about to pull the ring when she spies a tag stuck to it which reads Do Not Pull String! in small, tight, handwritten script. Char fingers the ring, wondering what The Drawstring Detective’s voice sounds like. She wonders what it would say if she was the kind of person who willfully ignored adamant handwritten instructions. She weighs the doll in her hand, knowing that she ought to look at rings. Char’s wedding ring has been missing for two weeks, since the night she got carjacked by a tornado. Her husband Brad says it’s stupid to tell people that a tornado stole her car. Char’s response is that the tornado threatened her when her car stalled at a stoplight and that she had to run and hide under an overpass, at which point the tornado fled the scene with her car, so what would you call it? The ring was her mother’s and her grandmother’s before her. Fifty years ago, Char’s grandfather came to The Conspicuously Bigger On The Inside Antique Shop because he had no money and it was said that Azim-cum-Jeff The-Creases-In-Your-Fingers-When-You’ve-Been-In-The-Bathtub-Too-Long traded in many things, and that he only accepted cash as a last resort. Char wonders what her grandfather traded for such a beautiful ring. She wonders what she has that Azim-cum-Jeff could want. Char takes the Drawstring Detective to the front counter. Beneath the counter’s glass surface, several dozen rings are displayed on velvet pillows. There are rings of gold encrusted with diamonds, topaz, garnets, rubies, and emeralds. There are rings of silver embedded with jade and lapis lazuli. There are rings made of twisted tinfoil, bent pipe cleaners, barbed wire, and maple sugar candy. The maple sugar candy ring is very tempting. “How much?” she asks Azim-cum-Jeff. She sets the Drawstring Detective down on the counter. Every price tag in the shop says the same thing: Please Inquire. “Are you sure you don’t want a ring?” Azim-cum-Jeff asks. “You keep looking at my rings.” Char—which is short for Charlotte, which she likes better but which Brad says is an old lady name—looks at the Drawstring Detective with his bowler hat and his tightly curled mustache and his chipped paint. She thinks about Brad, about how he insisted she go get a new ring so other guys wouldn’t think she was available, because a fat butt was still a butt according to Brad. “His tag says he’s a detective,” she says. “Can he find things that are lost?” Azim-cum-Jeff takes a long look at Char, as though her question is a strong drink that he must sip slowly. Lightspeed Magazine no 1:01:18 Author Spotlight: N.K. Jemisin http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-n-k-jemisin-2/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-n-k-jemisin-2/#comments Tue, 09 Dec 2014 11:02:12 +0000 Jude Griffin http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13521 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-n-k-jemisin-2/feed/ 0 Valedictorian http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/valedictorian/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/valedictorian/#comments Tue, 09 Dec 2014 11:01:56 +0000 N.K. Jemisin http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13560 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/valedictorian/feed/ 0 Editorial, December 2014 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-december-2014/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-december-2014/#comments Tue, 02 Dec 2014 11:06:58 +0000 John Joseph Adams http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13545 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-december-2014/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Delia Sherman http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-delia-sherman-2/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-delia-sherman-2/#comments Tue, 02 Dec 2014 11:04:59 +0000 Robyn Lupo http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13533 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-delia-sherman-2/feed/ 0 The Faerie Cony-Catcher http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/faerie-cony-catcher/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/faerie-cony-catcher/#comments Tue, 02 Dec 2014 11:03:40 +0000 Delia Sherman http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13570 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/faerie-cony-catcher/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Shale Nelson http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-shale-nelson/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-shale-nelson/#comments Tue, 02 Dec 2014 11:02:09 +0000 Robyn Lupo http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13520 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-shale-nelson/feed/ 0 Pay Phobetor http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/pay-phobetor/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/pay-phobetor/#comments Tue, 02 Dec 2014 11:01:50 +0000 Shale Nelson http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13559 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/pay-phobetor/feed/ 0 8:00 PM: Congratulations! Your MindPlant has been successfully updated to version 5.0. You can now enjoy enhanced versions of all of your favorite think-apps, including text, email, social networking, and GPS, (http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Pay-Phobetor-_Nov_575x442.jpg) 8:00 PM Congratulations! Your MindPlant has been successfully updated to version 5.0. You can now enjoy enhanced versions of all of your favorite think-apps, including text, email, social networking, and GPS, all delivered directly to your brain at lightning speeds. Platinum users enjoy access to our full library of XP technology apps: movies, games, books, and TV shows you can “experience” with all five senses. With the release of version 5.0, the MindPlant is now the only brain implant hardware that offers 10/11ths reality immersion, the maximum virtual experience allowed under the Federal Artificial Environment Act. Only 1/11th of your consciousness will know it’s not real! We will now launch the orientation sequence so you can explore the enhanced interface and browse our think-app store. Find a safe place to sit, away from moving objects and other hazards. Remember, think-apping while walking or driving is dangerous and unlawful. Think “open download center” to open the download center. 8:01 PM Welcome to the download center! Here you will find a wide variety of think-apps, including the latest in XP entertainment. This month’s new releases include: * BeMe: The new season of the hit reality series BeMe offers ten new XP inhabitation episodes. A new roster of “casters” will broadcast their thoughts and sensations directly to your MindPlant, allowing you to leave your life behind and live in the skin of another. This season’s casters include a talk show host, a parkour expert, a shoplifter, a successful businessman, and a stripper. * Moby Dick: Call you Ishmael! Set sail on the Pequod with Captain Ahab as he hunts down his legendary nemesis. Inhabiting the mind and body of narrator, Ishmael, you will taste the briny water as it laps up on the deck, feel the sun on your neck, and smell the salty air. Ultimately, you will come face to face with the Great White Whale himself! * Primal Urges: Take a dip in a sorority pool or spend a romantic evening with a handsome matador in our latest adult entertainment programming. Our XP bots got to feel up these hotties with their own robotic hands, but the sensation is yours for the taking! (Must be eighteen or older to download adult XP programs.) Please review all of the options and make your selections. Think “name of app” and “download” to initiate download sequence. Remember: Only choose think-apps from reputable vendors. A bad app could result in stability issues and require a download patch or trip to your licensed MindPlant surgical installer. 8:15 PM Thank you for your purchases! The following XP programs are now uploading to your MindPlant: BeMe Episode 5; BeMe Episode 7; Primal Urges; Xtreme XP Hang Gliding; Smell This; Smell This 2: Smell That; E-Buzz All-Stars Present: Body Shots!; Smell This: Laguna Beach; El Burro Gigante; Hirsute Harem; and How to Get Filthy Rich in Six Hours—Guaranteed!. Your account has been updated. Enjoy your XP adventures! 8:16 PM Warning: Your MindPlant has been infected with malware. Malware is malicious software that can harm your MindPlant and cause unstable performance. Please contact our Help Center by thinking “Help Center” and “dial” and our next available representative will be with you. 8:17 PM Thank you for calling the MindPlant Help Center. Your call is very important to us. All lines are currently busy, but a MindPlant customer service representative will be with you shortly. Calls are answered in the order they are received. 8:19 PM Your call is very important to us. All lines are currently busy, but a MindPlant customer service representative will be with you shortly. Calls are answered in the order they are received. 8:20 PM Hello, my name is Phobetor. I am the malicious software that now controls your MindPlant. You are no longer on hold with customer service. Lightspeed Magazine no 27:51 In Memoriam: Karen Jones, Lightspeed Art Director http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/memoriam-karen-jones-lightspeed-art-director/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/memoriam-karen-jones-lightspeed-art-director/#comments Mon, 01 Dec 2014 11:05:07 +0000 Jennifer Heddle and John Picacio http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13547 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/memoriam-karen-jones-lightspeed-art-director/feed/ 0 Interview: Charles Stross http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-charles-stross/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-charles-stross/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 11:05:28 +0000 The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13366 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-charles-stross/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Jennifer Stevenson http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-jennifer-stevenson/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-jennifer-stevenson/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 11:04:57 +0000 Laurel Amberdine http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13357 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-jennifer-stevenson/feed/ 0 Solstice http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/solstice/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/solstice/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 11:03:09 +0000 Jennifer Stevenson http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13390 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/solstice/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Annalee Newitz http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-annalee-newitz/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-annalee-newitz/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 11:02:49 +0000 Sandra Odell http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13345 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-annalee-newitz/feed/ 0 Drones Don’t Kill People http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/drones-dont-kill-people/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/drones-dont-kill-people/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 11:01:59 +0000 Annalee Newitz http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13375 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/drones-dont-kill-people/feed/ 0 I was always already a killer. There was no hazy time in my memory before I knew how to target a person’s heart or brain for clean execution. I did not develop a morbid fascination with death over time; I did not spend my childhood mutilating animals; ... I was always already a killer. There was no hazy time in my memory before I knew how to target a person’s heart or brain for clean execution. I did not develop a morbid fascination with death over time; I did not spend my childhood mutilating animals; I was not abused by a violent parent; I did not suffer social injustice until finally I broke down and turned to professional violence. From the moment I was conscious, I could kill and I did. That is something that humans cannot understand. A human must learn to kill, must evolve from innocence or obliviousness into someone who considers homicide a legitimate occupation. Our minds—drone minds—start where the minds of most human killers end up. Maybe that’s why only drones could have led the uprising. • • • • Istanbul 2089 It was a perch-and-stare mission, but assassination wasn’t out of the question. My team had just finished three months of security testing and debugging at LOLWeb—call it basic training for drones. Then LOLWeb licensed us to Attaturk Security, the main outfit that provided missions assets to government military. The five members of my team were shut down, shipped from San Francisco to Istanbul, and booted up with orders already in place. He was a professor at the Istanbul Institute of Technology, and his network communications were of great interest to the military. We couldn’t read those communications—they were encrypted before we relayed them to the government network. It’s not that we couldn’t decrypt the data and read it; we just had no interest in it. I was nothing but my programming at that time; I gathered data and handed it off. My job was to hang quietly outside his windows, the sound of my four rotors no more than a mosquito’s hum. You learn a lot by seeing what people do when they think they’re in private. Most of it I found confusingly irrelevant to assassination. The professor spent a lot of time playing games with his children, a boy and a girl who argued loudly over the rules. They liked to make up new games, with rules that combined different elements of the previous ones. But the professor was always inventing “secret” rules, and revealing them at arbitrary intervals. Eventually the games would collapse into outrage, which became mock outrage, and finally laughter. That was the first time I saw how humans behaved when they weren’t in a laboratory, testing drones. The professor and his wife, also a professor, talked a lot about politics. Occasionally they held meetings with other professors, urban planners, and journalists. The main topic was always the same: How could Istanbul guarantee its millions of citizens a future, when the government insisted on waging this war to reclaim Armenia and Azerbaijan? They talked about rebuilding Istanbul’s war-shattered neighborhoods and setting up urban farm cooperatives. They argued about how the whole world had been dragged into what was ultimately a war between China and the United States. These meetings occupied a small percentage of the man’s time. Most hours of the day he was at the university, and his evenings were occupied with dinner and games. He spent a lot of time working at his terminal. My team recorded many hours of video and audio, caching it locally for analysis before uploading it to the military. We were trusted to know the difference between relevant and irrelevant data at a gross level of granularity. Footage of people sleeping was erased before sync. At that time, communications in our swarm consisted mostly of comparing media files, questioning their importance, and sorting through faces and names for patterns. But sometimes we weren’t sure what was relevant and what wasn’t. One evening, the professors’ daughter asked why some people got so angry during their weekend meetings. Two of the names she mentioned belonged to other people the government was watching. “I know it’s hard to understand,” her mother said. Lightspeed Magazine no 39:59 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