http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/itunes-rss/ Lightspeed MagazineLightspeed Magazine » Science Fiction & Fantasy http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com Science Fiction & Fantasy Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:05:41 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Science Fiction & Fantasy Lightspeed Magazine no Science Fiction & Fantasy Lightspeed MagazineLightspeed Magazine » Science Fiction & Fantasy http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com Interview: Richard Garriott http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-richard-garriott/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-richard-garriott/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:05:41 +0000 The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12652 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-richard-garriott/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Emma Bull http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-emma-bull/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-emma-bull/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:04:34 +0000 Jude Griffin http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12638 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-emma-bull/feed/ 0 De La Tierra http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/de-la-tierra/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/de-la-tierra/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:03:11 +0000 Emma Bull http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12717 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/de-la-tierra/feed/ 0 The piano player drums away with her left hand, dropping all five fingers onto the keys as if they weigh too much to hold up. The rhythms bounce off the rhythms of what her right hand does, what she sings. It’s like there’s three different people in th... The piano player drums away with her left hand, dropping all five fingers onto the keys as if they weigh too much to hold up. The rhythms bounce off the rhythms of what her right hand does, what she sings. It’s like there’s three different people in that little skinny body, one running each hand, the third one singing. But they all know what they’re doing. He sucks a narrow stream of Patrón over his tongue and lets it heat up his mouth before he swallows. He wishes he knew how to play an instrument. He wouldn’t mind going up at the break, asking if he could sit in, holding up a saxophone case, maybe, or a clarinet. He’d still be here at 3 a.m., jamming, while the waiters mopped the floors. That would be a good place to be at 3 a.m. Much better than rolling up the rug, burning the gloves, dropping the knife over the bridge rail. Figuratively speaking. They aren’t that unalike, she and he. He has a few people in his body, too, and they also know what they’re doing. The difference is, his have names. “¿Algo más?” The wide-faced waitress sounds Salvadoran. She looks too young to be let into a bar, let alone make half a bill a night in tips. She probably sends it all home to mami. The idea annoys him. Being annoyed annoys him, too. No skin off his nose if she’s not blowing it at the mall. He actually is too young to legally swallow this liquor in a public place, but of course he’s never carded. A month and a half and he’ll be twenty-one. Somebody ought to throw a party. “Nada. Grácias.” She smiles at him. “Where you from? Chihuahua?” “Burbank.” Why does she care where he’s from? He shouldn’t have answered in Spanish. “No, your people—where they from? My best friend’s from Chihuahua. You look kinda like her brother.” “Then he looks like an American.” She actually seems hurt. “But everybody’s from someplace.” Does she mean “everybody,” or “everybody who’s brown like us?” “Yep. Welcome to Los Angeles.” He and the tequila bid each other goodbye, like a hug with a friend at the airport. Then he pushes the glass at the waitress. She smacks it down on her tray and heads for the bar. There, even the luggage disappears from sight. He rubs the bridge of his nose. Positive contact, Chisme answers from above his right ear. Chisme is female and throaty, for him, anyway. All numbers optimal to high optimal. Operation initialized. He lays a ten on the table and pins the corner down with the candle jar. He wishes it were a twenty, for the sake of the Salvadoran economy. But big tippers are memorable. He stands up and heads for the door. Behind him he hears the piano player sweep the keys, low to high, and it hits his nerves like a scream. He almost turns— Adrenal limiter enabled. Suppression under external control. Just like everything else about him. All’s right with the world. He breathes deep and steps out into the streetlights and the smell of burnt oil. The bar’s in Koreatown. The target is in downtown L.A. proper, in the jewelry district. Always start at least five miles from the target, in case someone remembers the unmemorable. Show respect for the locals, even if they’re not likely to believe you exist. He steps into the shadow that separates two neon window signs and slips between, fastlanes. He’s down at Hill and Broadway in five minutes. He rubs the bridge of his nose again. Three percent discharge, says Chisme. After three years he can tell by the way it feels, but it’s reflex to check. The downtown air is oven-hot, dry and still, even at this hour, and the storm drains smell. They’ll keep that up until the rains come and wash them clean months from now. He turns the corner and stops before the building he wants. There’s a jewelry store on the first floor. Security grills lattice the windows, and the light shines down on satin-upholstered stands with nothing on them. Painted on the inside of the glass is, “Gold Mart/Best prices on/Gold/Platinum/Chains & Rings. Lightspeed Magazine no 43:59 Author Spotlight: Carrie Vaughn http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-carrie-vaughn-7/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-carrie-vaughn-7/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:02:49 +0000 Andrew Liptak http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12626 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-carrie-vaughn-7/feed/ 0 Harry and Marlowe Versus the Haunted Locomotive of the Rockies http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/harry-marlowe-versus-haunted-locomotive-rockies/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/harry-marlowe-versus-haunted-locomotive-rockies/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:01:14 +0000 Carrie Vaughn http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12704 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/harry-marlowe-versus-haunted-locomotive-rockies/feed/ 0 Interview: Karl Schroeder http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-karl-schroeder/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-karl-schroeder/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 10:05:37 +0000 The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12651 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-karl-schroeder/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Matthew Hughes http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-matthew-hughes-6/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-matthew-hughes-6/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 10:04:28 +0000 Patrick J Stephens http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12637 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-matthew-hughes-6/feed/ 0 A Hole in the World http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/hole-world/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/hole-world/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 10:03:54 +0000 Matthew Hughes http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12716 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/hole-world/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Howard Waldrop http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-howard-waldrop/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-howard-waldrop/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 10:02:44 +0000 Kevin McNeil http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12625 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-howard-waldrop/feed/ 0 All About Strange Monsters of the Recent Past http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/strange-monsters-recent-past/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/strange-monsters-recent-past/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 10:01:35 +0000 Howard Waldrop http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12706 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/strange-monsters-recent-past/feed/ 2 It’s all over for humanity, and I’m heading east. On the seat beside me are an M1 carbine and a Thompson submachine gun. There’s a special reason for the Thompson. I traded an M16 and 200 rounds of ammo for it to a guy in Barstow. It’s all over for humanity, and I’m heading east. On the seat beside me are an M1 carbine and a Thompson submachine gun. There’s a special reason for the Thompson. I traded an M16 and 200 rounds of ammo for it to a guy in Barstow. He got the worst of the deal. When things get rough, carbine and .45 ammo are easier to find than the 5.56mm rounds the M16 uses. I’ve got more ammo for the carbine than I need, though I’ve had plenty of chances to use it. There are fifty gallons of gasoline in the car, in cans. I have food for six days (I don’t know if that many are left.) When things really fell apart, I deserted. Like anyone else with sense. When there were more of them than we could stop. I don’t know what they’ll do when they run out of people. Start killing each other, maybe. Meanwhile, I’m driving 160 km/h on Route 66. I have an appointment in the desert of New Mexico. God. Japan must have gone first. They deluged the world with them; now, it’s Japan’s turn. You sow what you reap. We were all a little in love with death and the atom bomb back in the 1950s. It won’t do us much good now. The road is flat ahead. I’ve promised myself I’ll see Meteor Crater before I die. So many of them opened at Meteor Crater, largest of the astroblemes. How fitting I should go there now. In the backseat with the ammo is a twenty-kilo bag of sugar. • • • • It started just like the movies did. Small strangenesses in small towns, disappearances in the backwoods and lonely places, tremors in the Arctic, stirrings in the jungles. We never thought when we saw them as kids what they would someday mean. The movies. The ones with the giant lizards, grasshoppers, molluscs. We yelled when the monsters started to get theirs. We cheered when the Army arrived to fight them. We yelled for all those movies. Now they’ve come to eat us up. And nobody’s cheered the Army since 1965. In 1978, the Army couldn’t stop the monsters. I was in that Army. I still am, if one’s left. I was one of the last draftees, with the last bunch inducted. At the Entrance Station, I copped and took three years for a guaranteed job. I would be getting out in three months if it weren’t for this. I left my uniform under a bush as soon as I decided to get away. I’d worn it for two and a half years. Most of the Army got torn away in the first days of the fight with the monsters. I decided to go. So I went. East. • • • • I saw one of the giant Gila monsters this morning. There had been a car ahead of me, keeping about three kilometers between us, not letting me catch up. Maybe a family, figuring I was going to rob them or rape the women. Maybe not. It was the first car I’d seen in eighteen hours of dodging along the back roads. The car went around a turn. It looked like it slowed. I eased down, too, thinking maybe it wasn’t a family but a bunch of dudes finally deciding to ambush me. Good thing I slowed. I came around the turn and all I could see was the side of an orange and black mountain. I slammed on the brakes and skidded sideways. The Gila monster had knocked the other car off the road and was coming for me. I was shaken, but I hadn’t come this far to be eaten by a lizard. Oh no. I threw the snout of the M1 carbine out the window and blasted away at the thing’s eyes. Scales flew like rain. It twitched away then started back for me. I shot it in the tongue. It went into convulsions and crawled over a small sandhill, hissing and honking like a freight train. It would come back later to eat whatever was in the other car. I trundled back on the road and drove past the wreck. Nothing moved. A pool of oil was forming on the concrete. I drove down the road with the smell of cordite in my nose and the wind whipping past. There was Gila monster blood on the hood of the car. • • • • I had been a clerk in an airborne unit deployed to get the giant locusts eating up the Midwest. It is the strangest time in the history of the United States. Lightspeed Magazine no 22:14 Artist Showcase: Udara Chinthaka http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/artist-showcase-udara-chinthaka/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/artist-showcase-udara-chinthaka/#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 10:05:43 +0000 Henry Lien http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12647 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/artist-showcase-udara-chinthaka/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Theodora Goss http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-theodora-goss-4/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-theodora-goss-4/#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 10:04:52 +0000 Lee Hallison http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12640 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-theodora-goss-4/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Jo Walton http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-jo-walton-2/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-jo-walton-2/#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 10:02:39 +0000 Patrick J Stephens http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12624 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-jo-walton-2/feed/ 0 Cimmeria: From the Journal of Imaginary Anthropology http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/cimmeria-journal-imaginary-anthropology/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/cimmeria-journal-imaginary-anthropology/#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 10:01:17 +0000 Theodora Goss http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12705 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/cimmeria-journal-imaginary-anthropology/feed/ 2 Remembering Cimmeria: I walk through the bazaar, between the stalls of the spice sellers, smelling turmeric and cloves, hearing the clash of bronze from the sellers of cooking pots, the bleat of goats from the butcher’s alley. Remembering Cimmeria: I walk through the bazaar, between the stalls of the spice sellers, smelling turmeric and cloves, hearing the clash of bronze from the sellers of cooking pots, the bleat of goats from the butcher’s alley. Rugs hang from wooden rac... Lightspeed Magazine no 47:01 The Panda Coin http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/panda-coin/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/panda-coin/#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 10:01:11 +0000 Jo Walton http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12703 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/panda-coin/feed/ 0 Editorial, July 2014 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-july-2014/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-july-2014/#comments Tue, 01 Jul 2014 10:05:29 +0000 John Joseph Adams http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12650 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-july-2014/feed/ 1 Author Spotlight: Carmen Maria Machado http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-carmen-maria-machado-2/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-carmen-maria-machado-2/#comments Tue, 01 Jul 2014 10:04:46 +0000 John Joseph Adams http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12639 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-carmen-maria-machado-2/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Adam-Troy Castro http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-adam-troy-castro-6/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-adam-troy-castro-6/#comments Tue, 01 Jul 2014 10:02:33 +0000 Jude Griffin http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12623 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-adam-troy-castro-6/feed/ 0 Help Me Follow My Sister into the Land of the Dead http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/help-follow-sister-land-dead/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/help-follow-sister-land-dead/#comments Tue, 01 Jul 2014 10:01:29 +0000 Carmen Maria Machado http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12562 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/help-follow-sister-land-dead/feed/ 2 The New Provisions http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/new-provisions/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/new-provisions/#comments Tue, 01 Jul 2014 10:01:10 +0000 Adam-Troy Castro http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12693 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/new-provisions/feed/ 4 Illustrated by Elizabeth Leggett Phil called the toll-free number he’d been given, and after the usual twenty-minute hold time, reached a human being who explained that the tow truck driver really did have the right to haul away his car. It didn’t matter that the car had been parked i... (http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/PROVISIONS-575x442.jpg) The First New Provision Phil called the toll-free number he’d been given, and after the usual twenty-minute hold time, reached a human being who explained that the tow truck driver really did have the right to haul away his car. It didn’t matter that the car had been parked in his driveway or that it had been completely paid for, and it certainly didn’t matter that it was the only form of transportation he and his wife had for getting back and forth from work. What mattered is that a new provision had been added to the wording of the contract Phil had signed for a home improvement loan seven years earlier. Phil had found the company a nightmare to deal with, and on paying off the last installment more than five years ago, had gone on the website and made his displeasure known. Phil no longer had an active contract with that company and had not thought of them since severing ties, but the company had gone back over its list of old customers and retroactively inserted a clause allowing them to seize the assets of any customer who publicly defamed their services in any manner. Phil was allowed to appeal, but only with the company’s in-house arbitrator, and it would likely be a waste of time, as the case was so open and shut. Outraged, Phil demanded to speak with somebody higher up. The representative assured him that this was his option but added that Phil would need to provide a credit card to qualify for this premium service at the rate of $3.75 per minute, thirty minutes minimum. • • • • The Second New Provision Phil’s friend the lawyer, who seemed to be packing up his office, advised him that there were no grounds for a suit. The nation’s corporations had spent hundreds of billions of dollars over the last ten years, fighting all the way to the Supreme Court for the right to alter contracts in any way that benefited them and had, in the end, gotten all the concessions they wanted. The chief limitation of this new power was of course that it could only be exercised against individual consumers of below a particular income, as the alternative would be an out-of-control orgy of giant corporations re-writing past agreements with other giant corporations in asset seizures, and that would lead to anarchy. Nobody would ever be able to get any business done. But Phil and his wife fell below the cut-off point and were therefore vulnerable to any punitive fee considered appropriate by anybody they’d ever done any business with, at any point in their lives. “I wouldn’t take this any further than you already have,” the lawyer said, re-checking his airline tickets for the third time in the course of the conversation. “You’ve already violated the new clause requiring you to use the company’s in-house arbitrator.” But my car, Phil said. How am I going to get to work without my car? “I sympathize,” the lawyer said. “But in the eyes of the law you really should have thought of this before. Now, please leave before I get penalized for talking to you.” • • • • The Third New Provision Phil’s new commute to work involved two buses and a seven-block walk. He missed a vital transfer and as a result walked in forty minutes late, his coat dripping from the torrential downpour that had decided to add to his troubles just before he reached the overhang of the firm’s front entrance. When he reached his desk, there was a yellow sticky note on his monitor advising him of a meeting in the Human Resources department. He trudged down the hall in a fog of increasing dread and found the HR director and his immediate supervisor waiting for him, with the news that the company had just added a new clause to his employment contract. His salary was being cut by one third, retroactive to his first day at work thirteen years ago, which meant that he would be responsible for paying back every additional cent he had earned in the interim. Lightspeed Magazine no 16:02 Illusion, Expectation, and World Domination through Bake Sales http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/illusion-expectation-and-world-domination-through-bake-sales/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/illusion-expectation-and-world-domination-through-bake-sales/#comments Sun, 29 Jun 2014 10:05:56 +0000 Pat Murphy http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12315 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/illusion-expectation-and-world-domination-through-bake-sales/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Tananarive Due http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-tananarive-due-2/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-tananarive-due-2/#comments Tue, 24 Jun 2014 10:04:57 +0000 Jude Griffin http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12230 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-tananarive-due-2/feed/ 0 Like Daughter http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/like-daughter/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/like-daughter/#comments Tue, 24 Jun 2014 10:03:00 +0000 Tananarive Due http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12269 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/like-daughter/feed/ 9 Illustrated by Elizabeth Leggett I got the call in the middle of the week, when I came wheezing home from my uphill late-afternoon run. I didn’t recognize the voice on my computer’s answer-phone at first, although I thought it sounded like my best friend, Denise. (http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/LIKE-DAUGHTER-2.jpg) I got the call in the middle of the week, when I came wheezing home from my uphill late-afternoon run. I didn’t recognize the voice on my computer’s answer-phone at first, although I thought it sounded like my best friend, Denise. There was no video feed, only the recording, and the words were so improbable they only confused me more: “Sean’s gone. Come up here and get Neecy. Take her. I can’t stand to look at her.” Her words rolled like scattered marbles in my head. I had just talked to Denise a week before, when she called from Chicago to tell me her family might be coming to San Francisco to visit me that winter, when Neecy was out of school for Christmas vacation. We giggled on the phone as if we were planning a sleepover, the way we used to when we were kids. Denise’s daughter, Neecy, is my godchild. I hadn’t seen her since she was two, which was a raging shame and hard for me to believe when I counted back the years in my mind, but it was true. I’d always made excuses, saying I had too much traveling and too many demands as a documentary film producer, where life is always projected two and three years into the future, leaving little space for here and now. But that wasn’t the reason I hadn’t seen my godchild in four years. We both knew why. I played the message again, listening for cadences and tones that would remind me of Denise, and it was like standing on the curb watching someone I knew get hit by a car. Something had stripped Denise’s voice bare. So that meant her husband, Sean, must really be gone, I realized. And Denise wanted to send her daughter away. “I can’t stand to look at her,” the voice on the message was saying again. I went to my kitchen sink, in the direct path of the biting breeze from my half-open window, and I was shaking. My mind had frozen shut, sealing my thoughts out of reach. I turned on the faucet and listened to the water pummel my aluminum basin, then I captured some of the lukewarm stream in my palms to splash my face. As the water dripped from my chin, I cupped my hands again and drank, and I could taste the traces of salty perspiration I’d rubbed from my skin, tasting myself. My anger and sadness were tugging on my stomach. I stood at that window and cursed as if what I was feeling had a shape and was standing in the room with me. I think I’d started to believe I might have been wrong about the whole thing. That was another reason I’d kept some distance from Denise; I hadn’t wanted to be there to poke holes in what she was trying to do, to cast doubts with the slightest glance. That’s something only a mother or a lifelong friend can do, and I might as well have been both to Denise despite our identical ages. I’d thought maybe if I only left her alone, she could build everything she wanted inside that Victorian brownstone in Lincoln Park. The husband, the child, all of it. Her life could trot on happily ever after, just the way she’d planned. But that’s a lie, too. I’d always known I was right. I had been dreading that call all along, since the beginning. And once it finally came, I wondered what the hell had taken so long. You know how Denise’s voice really sounded on my answering machine that day? As if she’d wrapped herself up in that recorder and died. “Paige, promise me you’ll look out for Neecy, hear?” Mama used to tell me. I couldn’t have known then what a burden that would be, having to watch over someone. But I took my role seriously. Mama said Neecy needed me, so I was going to be her guardian. Just a tiny little bit, I couldn’t completely be a kid after that. Mama never said exactly why my new best friend at Mae Jemison Elementary School needed guarding, but she didn’t have to. I had my own eyes. Even when Neecy didn’t say anything, I noticed the bruises on her forearms and calves, and even on Neecy’s mother’s neck once, which was the real shocker. Lightspeed Magazine no 40:30 Author Spotlight: Heather Clitheroe http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-heather-clitheroe/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-heather-clitheroe/#comments Tue, 24 Jun 2014 10:02:52 +0000 Lee Hallison http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12229 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-heather-clitheroe/feed/ 0 Cuts Both Ways http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/cuts-both-ways/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/cuts-both-ways/#comments Tue, 24 Jun 2014 10:01:53 +0000 Heather Clitheroe http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12268 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/cuts-both-ways/feed/ 1 Illustrated by Elizabeth Leggett The kids know he’s coming to visit. They’ve been texting him to tell him about the snow and how cold it is, and they helpfully send links to their Amazon wish lists with pages of moon-eyed dolls and odd sets of dueling robots and creatures sold accordi... (http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/LEGGETT_Cuts-Both-Ways_Clitheroe-575x442.jpg) The kids know he’s coming to visit. They’ve been texting him to tell him about the snow and how cold it is, and they helpfully send links to their Amazon wish lists with pages of moon-eyed dolls and odd sets of dueling robots and creatures sold according to series. The things they like are incomprehensible to him, but they know he’s good for it. Uncle Spencer always comes through. His sister emails to promise that it’ll be a quiet Christmas. Just family, Erin says. He can come home and relax, and she’ll take care of everything. She tells him she can’t wait to see him. It’s been too long. He stands in line at the airport, waiting to approach the security gates. The Distributed Arbitrage paperwork is in his hand. As soon as he hits the checkpoint, the alarms goes off. He holds the papers out as three security agents converge on him. “I’m a forecaster with DA?” he says. He doesn’t mean for it to sound like a question, but their mood is patently apparent to him. Heightened concern and a trickle of alarm. He follows them to the room with the metal door and submits to the search. “Take off your sunglasses, sir.” And he does, wincing at the bright lights. He lifts his shirt when they tell him to, and one of the agents raises his eyebrows at the tracework of scars across his torso. They run a metal detector wand up and down, it predictably emits a piercing tone from his belt to his head. The papers should be enough, but there’s always curiosity to satisfy; everybody wants to see it, to look at his scars and the ports that have to be flushed every three weeks with heparin and the smooth panels where cables can be connected. What they want to see most of all is the soft green glow from the strips of monitor LEDs along his ribs just under the skin that tell him, at a glance, that his system is functioning properly. Everybody wants a look. It’s so mysterious; it’s so enthralling. In this small, enclosed space, their interest is lurid. From the waist up, he’s not entirely human. DA calls it augmentation. Cyborg sounds too kitschy. They all want to see it. They always think it’s the equipment that makes him special. What they don’t understand—what they will never understand—is how it feels. No self. No other. Points of light brighter than a thousand suns, shining in the howling dark of the storm. The thrill of riding it sings through every nerve in his body. They are too normal, too human. They can’t feel it the way he does. They open his suitcase. An agent mutters about the syringes and meds he’s carrying. Spencer gives them copies of the prescriptions. Distributed Arbitrage keeps its own medical staff, and they provide documentation for travelling casters. That should be enough, too, but the agent lifts the vials and pill bottles to the light and Spencer has to explain. This one for inflammation. This one for blood pressure. That’s an anti-rejection. Those for pain. Yes, I have prescriptions for all of them. The man pulls it all out of his suitcase, lining everything up on a stainless steel table. Another agent stands just to one side, watching. The third, a woman, leafs through the paperwork, her eyes narrowed as she reads. It’s all in order. Satisfied—and a touch disappointed—the men saunter out. The woman watches him repack his bag. He scoops the medication together, the little glass vials clinking. “Forecaster, huh? Seems like a lot of trouble for a job,” the agent observes, and she writes something on his boarding pass and hands it back to him. “Maybe.” Spencer puts his sunglasses and baseball cap back on. His hands shake. “Can you really see the future?” “It doesn’t work that way,” Spencer says. “But you can tell what people are thinking?” “Not quite. More like what they’re feeling.” He zips up the suitcase and heaves it off the table. “Am I done?” “Sure.” She smiles briefly at him. Lightspeed Magazine no 54:44 Women Remember: A Roundtable Interview http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/women-remember-a-roundtable-interview/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/women-remember-a-roundtable-interview/#comments Tue, 17 Jun 2014 10:07:14 +0000 Mary Robinette Kowal http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12314 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/women-remember-a-roundtable-interview/feed/ 4 The Case of the Passionless Bees http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/the-case-of-the-passionless-bees/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/the-case-of-the-passionless-bees/#comments Tue, 17 Jun 2014 10:06:53 +0000 Rhonda Eikamp http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12259 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/the-case-of-the-passionless-bees/feed/ 1 Illustrated by Christine Mitzuk Of all the strange sights I had been privy to during my acquaintanceship with that illustrious detective, none was as disturbing as seeing my old friend covered in bees. Naturally I was not concerned; his manaccanite skin was impervious to harm and I m... (http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/mitzuk_passionless-bees_575x442_signed.jpg) Of all the strange sights I had been privy to during my acquaintanceship with that illustrious detective, none was as disturbing as seeing my old friend covered in bees. Naturally I was not concerned; his manaccanite skin was impervious to harm and I myself was at a safe distance, ensconced behind the clerestory window at Shading Coil Cottage, having been let in by a timid local girl whom I supposed to be the replacement for Mrs. Hudson. Perhaps sensing my arrival, Holmes turned and waved from the yard. Moments later he had shaken off his beloved bees and joined me in the drawing room. “This business,” he began, as always to the point. “A murder in my own home is one thing, Watson, but that my own housekeeper should be accused of the beastly act—I will not stand for it!” He chose an octave below his usual reedy voice for this utterance, I noted, and the gravity of the situation was not lost on me. “Glad you could make it, by the way. I will need someone on the side of the amalgamated in this case.” During his time in London, Dr. Bell’s invention had made a name for himself solving cases the Yard had given up as hopeless, his inscrutable silver visage still well-known not only in Baker Street but beyond, and yet since his retirement I had seen little of him. There was much I cherished about Gearlock Holmes: that rigor that kept him like a bloodhound on the trail of criminals, the astonishing array of facts that had been programmed into him and which he himself broadened with unceasing study (employing the night hours while we the fleshly slept), the cooling tick-tick that arose from him when he overheated. Even his violin playing I had missed, passionless as it was, yet the sight of those articulated fingers moving with such precision through a pizzicato had never failed to awe me. Observing him now closely, in an attempt to emulate his own methods, I felt that Gearlock Holmes had lost some of his polish. Perhaps retirement did not suit him. Perhaps it was only the circumstances. He lost no time in filling me in, as he led me with a gentle but firm grip on my arm to the conservatory. “Miss Katharina Segalen and her brother-in-law Friedl Klapisch-Zuber, of Düsseldorf, Germany, had been my guests for three days prior to the murder. They are scientists with the German government in some capacity and had come uninvited to interview me, or spy me out if you will. On the continent the amalgamated are not so common as servants, I am given to understand, and there was some hint from the two that the German government views the technology as a potential source of soldiery, so I’m afraid I was rather uncooperative. Here—” Holmes threw open the door to the conservatory. Sunlight washed in through the windows and I heard the whine of his optical apertures adjusting. The plants were all neatly maintained, more for study than for decoration, I surmised, and so the debris in one corner was immediately noticeable. A clay pot of bridal-veil creeper had been overturned, wrenched from its jardinière by some struggle, or so it appeared, shattering into myriad pieces and spilling soil. I approached the spot. Tiny smears of blood dotted the bench and floor. In the soil—in fact all about the floor—lay dead bees. I counted thirty before I stopped. “Your televoice mentioned bees,” I began. “Miss Segalen was highly sensitive apparently. She’d said nothing about it, and her death would have been written off as a terrible and tragic accident if there had been only a single errant bee involved, rather than what one must assume was a basketful introduced into the room deliberately. And if the door had not been locked from the outside.” The servos of his mouth ground through their tracks, clenching his jaw. A sigh of steam escaped his neck-joint. “The stings on the corpse were too many for Dr. Culpepper to count. Lightspeed Magazine no 40:07 Women Destroy Flash Fiction! http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/women-destroy-flash-fiction/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/women-destroy-flash-fiction/#comments Tue, 17 Jun 2014 10:05:23 +0000 Robyn Lupo http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12307 Lightspeed to flash fiction for the first time. The flash fiction section was guest-edited by our long-time assistant editor, Robyn Lupo. Half of the flash selections are available online, while the other half are exclusive to the print/ebook edition. ]]> http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/women-destroy-flash-fiction/feed/ 0 The Hymn of Ordeal, No. 23 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/the-hymn-of-ordeal-no-23/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/the-hymn-of-ordeal-no-23/#comments Tue, 17 Jun 2014 10:04:33 +0000 Rhiannon Rasmussen http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12300 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/the-hymn-of-ordeal-no-23/feed/ 1 #TrainFightTuesday http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/trainfighttuesday/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/trainfighttuesday/#comments Tue, 17 Jun 2014 10:04:27 +0000 Vanessa Torline http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12299 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/trainfighttuesday/feed/ 0 The Sewell Home for the Temporally Displaced http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/the-sewell-home-for-the-temporally-displaced/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/the-sewell-home-for-the-temporally-displaced/#comments Tue, 17 Jun 2014 10:04:23 +0000 Sarah Pinsker http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12298 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/the-sewell-home-for-the-temporally-displaced/feed/ 0 A Debt Repaid http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/a-debt-repaid/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/a-debt-repaid/#comments Tue, 17 Jun 2014 10:04:17 +0000 Marina J. Lostetter http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12297 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/a-debt-repaid/feed/ 1 See DANGEROUS EARTH-POSSIBLES! http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/see-dangerous-earth-possibles/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/see-dangerous-earth-possibles/#comments Tue, 17 Jun 2014 10:04:12 +0000 Tina Connolly http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12296 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/see-dangerous-earth-possibles/feed/ 0 A Guide to Grief http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/a-guide-to-grief/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/a-guide-to-grief/#comments Tue, 17 Jun 2014 10:04:06 +0000 Emily Fox http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12295 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/a-guide-to-grief/feed/ 0 Salvage http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/salvage/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/salvage/#comments Tue, 17 Jun 2014 10:03:54 +0000 Carrie Vaughn http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12293 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/salvage/feed/ 0 Illustrated by Elizabeth Leggett “You two ready?” I ask. “Yes, ma’am,” Gert says with forced brightness, and Rally nods quickly, a shake of motion behind her helmet’s faceplate. She’s nervous, but she always seems to be a little nervous, so I’m not too worried. (http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/LEGGETT_Salvage-by-Vaughn-575x442.jpg) “You two ready?” I ask. “Yes, ma’am,” Gert says with forced brightness, and Rally nods quickly, a shake of motion behind her helmet’s faceplate. She’s nervous, but she always seems to be a little nervous, so I’m not too worried. We wait in Iris’s airlock for the air to hiss out around us. It’s a dangerous, thrilling sensation. I can almost feel air rushing over the fabric of my suit, hear a bit of wind through the helmet, until I can’t hear anything. Then comes the eerie moment when we open the door to the unknown. I know the captain isn’t supposed to take part in these operations. I’m supposed to stay on the bridge, safe and sound, and not expose myself to unnecessary risk. Stick around to take the blame if something goes horribly wrong. But if I think that much risk is involved in boarding the Radigund, I wouldn’t send any of my people aboard. We’d do an automated sensor sweep, mark the site for salvage and let someone with more personnel and big guns do the work. Radigund is dead in space. No life signs, no energy readings, nothing. We have no reason to believe anything is there. So we board, to better investigate and make a full report. Recover bodies, if any are there to recover. Radigund is—was—a small survey ship, like us, plying the edges of known spaceways, tracking routes and charting what we find. Trade Guild diverted our mission to look for her. It took us a month to find her, she’d drifted so far off course. Using the mechanical override, we force open Radigund’s hatch into the opposite airlock. I enter first, Gert and Rally follow, slipping soundlessly behind me. It’s dark. My lamp panning across the space before me disorients rather than illuminates. I have to piece together a flash of wall, the viewport on the opposite hatch, a warning label above a control panel. Gert closes the hatch behind us. Sealed in the other airlock now, we have to pull off an access panel and open the interior hatch manually. Radigund has no power. No air, either, which gives a clue as to what happened. The door grinds open, gears stiff. I can’t wait to get my hands on the log and the black box, to learn what happened. Assuming we can get enough power to the computer to download anything. No power also means no artificial gravity. We float through, pushing ourselves along the corridor walls. “God, I hate this,” Rally says, her voice thin over the comm. “I feel like something’s going to jump out at us.” Gert chuckles. “You’ve been watching too many films.” We continue on to the bridge. Nothing unusual so far, besides the lack of power. The lack of life. A second channel on my comm clicks on. It’s Matthews, from Iris’s bridge. “Captain, I’ve finished the second hull survey. Not so much as a pinhole.” Hull breach could have shut down the ship in a hurry. That had been my first thought. Matthews closes that possibility. “Thank you,” I say. Voices murmur in the background. The whole crew is on the Iris bridge, watching our progress on our suit cameras and monitors. Like it’s one of Rally’s films. “What was that!” Rally says suddenly, and we all swing around, bumping against the walls and each other. Her light shines on a blanket floating halfway through the hatchway leading to crew quarters. “You really are losing it,” Gert says, unkindly. “Focus, you two,” I say. I’m beginning to regret my decision to bring these two in particular. But Rally knows the computers; Gert knows the power system. And they mix like oil and water. They’re good people. Good crew. But sometimes, I’m tempted to lock them in a room together and watch the fireworks. Our progress is slow, slower than I like. Because of the shadows, I think. Rally’s monsters hiding in them. Venting, tubing, ladders, open hatches, all of them are shadows, foreshortened and flickering in our helmet lamps. We’re hesitating, Lightspeed Magazine no 20:32 Author Spotlight: Rhonda Eikamp http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-rhonda-eikam/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-rhonda-eikam/#comments Tue, 17 Jun 2014 10:02:47 +0000 Sandra Odell http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12228 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-rhonda-eikam/feed/ 0 Artists Showcase http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/artists-showcase/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/artists-showcase/#comments Tue, 10 Jun 2014 10:05:49 +0000 Galen Dara http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12279 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/artists-showcase/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: N.K. Jemisin http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-n-k-jemisin/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-n-k-jemisin/#comments Tue, 10 Jun 2014 10:04:43 +0000 Laurel Amberdine http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12227 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-n-k-jemisin/feed/ 0 Walking Awake http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/walking-awake/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/walking-awake/#comments Tue, 10 Jun 2014 10:03:15 +0000 N.K. Jemisin http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12251 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/walking-awake/feed/ 3 Illustrated by Hillary Pearlman The Master who came for Enri was wearing a relatively young body. Sadie guessed it was maybe fifty years old. It was healthy and in good condition, still handsome. It could last twenty years more, easily. (http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Walking-Awake.jpg) The Master who came for Enri was wearing a relatively young body. Sadie guessed it was maybe fifty years old. It was healthy and in good condition, still handsome. It could last twenty years more, easily. Its owner noticed Sadie’s stare and chuckled. “I never let them get past fifty,” the Master said. “You’ll understand when you get there.” Sadie quickly lowered her gaze. “Of course, sir.” It turned the body’s eyes to examine Enri, who sat very still in his cell. Enri knew, Sadie could see at once. She had never told him—she never told any of the children, because she was their caregiver and there was nothing of care in the truth—but Enri had always been more intuitive than most. She cleared her throat. “Forgive me, sir, but it’s best if we return to the transfer center. He’ll have to be prepped—” “Ah, yes, of course,” the Master said. “Sorry, I just wanted to look him over before my claim was processed. You never know when they’re going to screw up the paperwork.” It smiled. Sadie nodded and stepped back, gesturing for the Master to precede her away from the cell. As they walked to the elevator they passed two of Sadie’s assistant caregivers, who were distributing the day’s feed to Fourteen Male. Sadie caught Caridad’s eye and signed for them to go and fetch Enri. No ceremony. A ceremony at this point would be cruel. Caridad noticed, twitched elaborately, got control of herself and nodded. Olivia, who was deaf, did not look up to catch Sadie’s signing, but Caridad brushed her arm and repeated it. Olivia’s face tightened in annoyance, but then smoothed into a compliant mask. Both women headed for cell 47. “The children here all seem nicely fit,” the Master commented as they stepped into the elevator. “I got my last body from Southern. Skinny as rails there.” “Exercise, sir. We provide a training regimen for those children who want it; most do. We also use a nutrient blend designed to encourage muscle growth.” “Ah, yes. Do you think that new one will get above two meters?” “He might, sir. I can check the breeder history—” “No, no, never mind. I like surprises.” It threw her a wink over one shoulder. When it faced forward again, Sadie found her eyes drawn to the crablike form half-buried at the nape of the body’s neck. Even as Sadie watched, one of its legs shifted just under the skin, loosening its grip on the tendons there. She averted her eyes. Caridad and Olivia came down shortly. Enri was between the two women, dressed in the ceremonial clothing: a plain low-necked shirt and pants, both dyed deep red. His eyes locked onto Sadie, despairing, betrayed, before he disappeared through the transfer room’s door. “Lovely eyes,” the Master remarked, handing her the completed claim forms. “Can’t wait to wear blue again.” Sadie led it into the transfer center. As they passed through the second gate, the airy echoes of the tower gave way to softer, closer acoustics. The center’s receiving room had jewel-toned walls, hardwood floors, and luxuriant furniture upholstered in rich, tasteful brocades. Soft strains of music played over the speakers; incense burned in a censer on the mantle. Many Masters liked to test their new senses after a transfer. This Master gave everything a perfunctory glance as it passed through. Off the receiving room was the transfer chamber itself: two long metal tables, a tile floor set with drains, elegant mirror-glass walls which were easy to wash and sterilize. Through the open doorway Sadie could see that Enri had already been strapped to the left table, facedown with arms outstretched. His head was buckled in place on the chinrest, but in the mirrored wall his eyes shifted to Sadie. There was nothing of anticipation in that gaze, as there should have been. He knew to be afraid. Sadie looked away and bowed at the door as the Master passed. Lightspeed Magazine no 49:34 Love Is the Plan the Plan Is Death http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/love-is-the-plan-the-plan-is-death/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/love-is-the-plan-the-plan-is-death/#comments Tue, 10 Jun 2014 10:01:07 +0000 James Tiptree, Jr. http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12250 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/love-is-the-plan-the-plan-is-death/feed/ 7 Illustrated by Li Grabenstetter —I am hugely black and hopeful, I bounce on six legs along the mountains in the new warm! . . . Sing the changer, Sing the stranger! Will the changes change forever? . . . All my hums have words now. Another change! (http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Love-is-the-Plan-the-Plan-is-Death.jpg) Remembering— Do you hear, my little red? Hold me softly. The cold grows. I remember: —I am hugely black and hopeful, I bounce on six legs along the mountains in the new warm! . . . Sing the changer, Sing the stranger! Will the changes change forever? . . . All my hums have words now. Another change! Eagerly I bound on sunward following the tiny thrill in the air. The forests have been shrinking again. Then I see. It is me! Me-Myself, MOGGADEET—I have grown bigger more in the winter cold! I astonish myself, Moggadeet-the-small! Excitement, enticement, shrilling from the sun-side of the world. I come! . . . The sun is changing again too. Sun is walking in the night! Sun is walking back to Summer in the warming of the light! . . . Warm is Me—Moggadeet Myself. Forget the bad-time winter. Memory quakes me. The Old One. I stop, pluck up a tree. So much I wanted to ask the Old One. No time. Cold. Tree goes end over end down-cliff, I watch the fatclimbers tumble out. Not hungry. The Old One warned me of the cold—I didn’t believe him. I move on, grieving. . . . Old One told you, The cold, the cold will hold you. Chill cold! Kill cold. In the cold I killed you. But it’s warm now, all different. I’m Moggadeet again. I bound over a hill and see my brother Frim. At first I don’t know him. A big black old one! I think. And in the warm, we can speak! I surge toward him bashing trees. The big black is crouched over a ravine, peering down. Black back has shiny ripples like—It IS Frim! Frim-I-hunted-for, Frim-run-away! But he’s so big now! Giant Frim! A stranger, a changer— “Frim!” He doesn’t hear me; all his eye-turrets are under the trees. His end is sticking up oddlike, all atremble. What’s he hunting? “Frim! It’s me, Moggadeet!” But he only quivers his legs; I see his spurs pushing out. What a fool, Frim! I remind myself how timid he is, I try to move gently. When I get closer I’m astonished again. I’m bigger than he is now! Changes! I can see right over his shoulder into the ravine. Hot yellow-green in there. A little glade all lit with sun. I bend my eyes to see what Frim is after, and all astonishments blow up the world. I see you. I saw you. I will always see you. Dancing in the green fire, my tiny red star! So bright! So small! So perfect! So fierce! I knew you—Oh, yes, I knew you in that first instant, my dawnberry, my scarlet minikin. Red! A tiny baby red one, smaller than my smallest eye. And so brave! The Old One said it. Red is the color of love. I see you swat at a hopper twice your size, my eyes bulge as you leap after it and go rolling, shrilling Lililee! Lilileee-ee! in baby wrath. Oh, my mighty hunter, you don’t know someone is looking right into your tender little love-fur! Oh, yes! Palest pink it is, just brushed with rose. My jaws spurt, the world flashes and reels. And then Frim, poor fool, feels me behind him and rears up. But what a Frim! His throat-sacs are ballooning purple-black, his plates are engorged like the Mother of the storm-clouds! Glittering, rattling his spurs! His tail booms! “It’s mine!” he bellows—I can hardly understand him. He jumps straight at me! “Stop, Frim, stop!” I cry, dodging away bewildered. It’s warm—how can Frim be wild, kill-wild? “Brother Frim!” I call gently, soothingly. But something is badly wrong! My voice is bellowing too! Yes, in the warm and I want only to calm him, I am full of love—but the kill-roar is rushing through me, I too am swelling, rattling, booming! Invincible! To crush—to rend— Oh, I am shamed. I came to myself in the wreckage of Frim, Frim-pieces everywhere, myself is sodden with Frim. But I did not eat him! I did not! Should I take joy in that? Did I defy the Plan? But my throat was closed. Not because it was Frim but because of darling you. You! Where are you? The glade is empty! Lightspeed Magazine no 1:00:42 Editorial, June 2014: Women Destroy Science Fiction! http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-by-women-destroy-science-fiction-editorial-team/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-by-women-destroy-science-fiction-editorial-team/#comments Tue, 03 Jun 2014 10:05:53 +0000 Women Destroy Science Fiction! Editors http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12287 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-by-women-destroy-science-fiction-editorial-team/feed/ 6 Women Destroy Science Fiction! — Staff http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/women-destroy-science-fiction-staff/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/women-destroy-science-fiction-staff/#comments Tue, 03 Jun 2014 10:04:48 +0000 Women Destroy Science Fiction! Editors http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12463 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/women-destroy-science-fiction-staff/feed/ 0 Women Destroy Science Fiction! — Kickstarter Backers http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/women-destroy-science-fiction-kickstarter-backers/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/women-destroy-science-fiction-kickstarter-backers/#comments Tue, 03 Jun 2014 10:04:42 +0000 Women Destroy Science Fiction! Editors http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12462 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/women-destroy-science-fiction-kickstarter-backers/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Seanan McGuire http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-seanan-mcguire-3/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-seanan-mcguire-3/#comments Tue, 03 Jun 2014 10:04:19 +0000 Sandra Odell http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12225 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-seanan-mcguire-3/feed/ 0 Each to Each http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/each-to-each/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/each-to-each/#comments Tue, 03 Jun 2014 10:03:31 +0000 Seanan McGuire http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12238 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/each-to-each/feed/ 4 Illustrated by Li Grabenstetter The smell of damp steel assaults my nose as I walk the hall, uncomfortable boots clumping heavily with every step I force myself to take. The space is tight, confined, unyielding; it is like living inside a coral reef, (http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Each-to-Each.jpg) Condensation covers the walls, dimpling into tiny individual drops that follow an almost fractal pattern, like someone has been writing out the secrets of the universe in the most transitory medium they can find. The smell of damp steel assaults my nose as I walk the hall, uncomfortable boots clumping heavily with every step I force myself to take. The space is tight, confined, unyielding; it is like living inside a coral reef, trapped by the limits of our own necessary shells. We are constantly envious of those who escape its limitations, and we fear for them at the same time, wishing them safe return to the reef, where they can be kept away from all the darkness and predations of the open sea. The heartbeat of the ship follows me through the iron halls, comprised of the engine’s whir, the soft, distant buzz of the electrical systems, the even more distant churn of the rudders, the hiss and sigh of the filters that keep the flooded chambers clean and oxygenated. Latest scuttlebutt from the harbor holds that a generation of wholly flooded ships is coming, ultra-light fish tanks with shells of air and metal surrounding the water-filled crew chambers, the waterproofed electrical systems. Those ships will be lighter than ours could ever dream of being, freed from the need for filters and desalination pumps by leaving themselves open to the sea. None of the rumors mention the crews. What will be done to them, what they’ll have to do in service to their country. We don’t need to talk about it. Everyone already knows. Things that are choices today won’t be choices tomorrow; that’s the way it’s always been, when you sign away your voice for a new means of dancing. The walkway vibrates under my feet, broadcasting the all hands signal through the ship. It will vibrate through the underwater spaces twice more, giving everyone the time they need. Maybe that will be an advantage of those flooded boats; no more transitions, no more hasty scrambles for breathing apparatus that fits a little less well after every tour, no more forcing of feet into boots that don’t really fit, but are standard issue (and standard issue is still God and King here, on a navy vessel, in the service of the United States government, even when the sailors do not, cannot, will never fit the standard mold). I walk a little faster, as fast as I can force myself to go in my standard issue boots, and there is only a thin shell between me and the sea. • • • We knew that women were better suited to be submariners by the beginning of the twenty-first century. Women dealt better with close quarters, tight spaces, and enforced contact with the same groups of people for long periods of time. We were more equipped to resolve our differences without resorting to violence—and there were differences. Women—even military women—had been socialized to fight with words and with social snubbing, and the early all-female submarines must have looked like a cross between a psychology textbook and the Hunger Games. The military figured it out. They hired the right sociologists, they taught their people the right way to deal with conflicts and handle stress, they found ways of picking out that early programming and replacing it with fierce loyalty to the Navy, to the program, to the crew. Maybe it was one of those men—and they were all men, I’ve seen the records; man after man, walking into our spaces, our submarines with their safe and narrow halls, and telling the women who had to live there to make themselves over into a new image, a better image, an image that wouldn’t fight, or gossip, or bully. An image that would do the Navy proud. Maybe it was one of those men who first started calling the all-female submarine crews the military’s “mermaids.” Maybe that was where they got the idea. Within fifty years of the launch of the female submariners, Lightspeed Magazine no 54:06 Author Spotlight: Kris Millering http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-kris-millering/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-kris-millering/#comments Tue, 03 Jun 2014 10:02:37 +0000 Lee Hallison http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12226 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-kris-millering/feed/ 0 A Word Shaped Like Bones http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/a-word-shaped-like-bones/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/a-word-shaped-like-bones/#comments Tue, 03 Jun 2014 10:01:16 +0000 Kris Millering http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12242 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/a-word-shaped-like-bones/feed/ 5 Illustrated by Li Grabenstetter The dead man sits in the corner of the chamber enclosed by spaceship on all sides. He takes up a lot of space. He has been there for three days. (http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/A-Word-Shaped-Like-Bones.jpg) The dead man sits in the corner of the chamber enclosed by spaceship on all sides. He takes up a lot of space. He has been there for three days. Maureen fears the dead man. Not because of anything he has done. Because he is there, and she cannot make him go, no matter how much she rubs her eyes. He is lumpy, the dead man. He puts off a faint odor of putrescence. His head lolls to the side and his eyes are open and his skin is a ghastly color now, mottled. He was a big man, before he was dead. Maureen cannot sleep for watching him. Maureen cannot make him go away. • • • Maureen works on her sculptures, trying to ignore the dead man. “I was supposed to be alone,” she says to the pliant material in her hands. It’s a model, only a model; it will be cast and perfected when she reaches the planet that humans call Hippocrene. She makes the model out of a lightweight foam clay; it stays flexible for only a few hours once extruded, so she must work quickly and work small. The foam clay is not her favorite medium, but she is in space. There must be no fumes, nothing that crumbles easily, nothing that must be fired or melted. It would not do to put anything poisonous in the air that she might breathe. She usually works in materials much less forgiving, lunar basalt and glass. A stunt, her critics said before she left. She holds her ears and buzzes her tongue against her teeth to block the voices out as she has been taught. It is not a stunt. It is a fellowship. Won, by the merit of her work. There are people who understand her work. The universe is not filled with critics! She thinks the dead man in the corner might be a critic. Maureen has done nothing interesting in the last few years other than win the fellowship that placed her on this small spaceship. Her sculptures sell, this is true; but selling is nothing, some of the greatest artists of the 23rd century have never sold anything. Commercialism is out of fashion. She longs for the 22nd century, when you couldn’t tell the difference between any of the genders without asking, people dressed like people, and you were only successful if you sold. She could have been something, in 2165. Instead she is hopelessly banal, striving for beauty in form. She sculpts the shapes she finds in her mind, all smooth curves and edges that catch at the fingertips, demanding attention. Her work does not feature a thousand flickering holograms each reciting a passage from On Hills of Steel; it does not assault anyone with the smells of the lunar landscape or the taste of needles. She regards the Synasthete movement as crass sensationalism. She never wanted to know what yellow sounds like. Yet she does, and it is something she cannot un-know. Oh sweet breath of the divine, there is a dead man in the corner and she cannot un-know that, either. She works. She continues to work. She is always working. The dead man decays at her in what she feels is a possibly reproachful fashion. • • • It would be better if she could come up with an origin for the dead man. Knowing where he came from, Maureen is certain, would point the way to a possible future in which she is not trapped on a tiny automated spaceship with a man. Who is dead. She thinks he is a man, anyway. He has—had?—a beard, which is generally a dead giveaway. Fashionable, right now, to give oneself away. In so many different ways. She wishes he were alive so he could tell her if he identifies as male, or cis-male, or female, or transformed, or which of the infinite varieties of gender he chooses to be. You only know when someone tells you. Sometimes it changes. It seems like it was so much easier in the old days, when you couldn’t tell and nobody cared. Her sculpture is misshapen and lumpy. It is beginning to look like the dead man. His coveralls are stained; the fabric is nanoweave. Cheap. Lightspeed Magazine no 39:29 Interview: Michio Kaku http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-michio-kaku/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-michio-kaku/#comments Tue, 27 May 2014 10:05:46 +0000 The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12035 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-michio-kaku/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Matthew Hughes http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-matthew-hughes-5/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-matthew-hughes-5/#comments Tue, 27 May 2014 10:04:04 +0000 Jude Griffin http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12018 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-matthew-hughes-5/feed/ 0 The Ba of Phalloon http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/the-ba-of-phalloon/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/the-ba-of-phalloon/#comments Tue, 27 May 2014 10:03:16 +0000 Matthew Hughes http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12094 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/the-ba-of-phalloon/feed/ 0