http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/itunes-rss/ Lightspeed Magazine » Lightspeed Magazine - Science Fiction & Fantasy http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com Science Fiction & Fantasy Fri, 27 Mar 2015 01:56:37 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 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 Artist Showcase: Wylie Beckert http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/artist-showcase-wylie-beckert/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/artist-showcase-wylie-beckert/#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 10:05:07 +0000 Henry Lien http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=14090 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/artist-showcase-wylie-beckert/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Vajra Chandrasekera http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-vajra-chandrasekera/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-vajra-chandrasekera/#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 10:04:47 +0000 Sandra Odell http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=14085 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-vajra-chandrasekera/feed/ 0 Documentary http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/documentary/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/documentary/#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 10:03:14 +0000 Vajra Chandrasekera http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=14128 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/documentary/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Ursula K. LeGuin http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-ursula-k-leguin-2/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-ursula-k-leguin-2/#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 10:02:05 +0000 Liz Argall http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=14062 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-ursula-k-leguin-2/feed/ 0 The New Atlantis http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/the-new-atlantis/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/the-new-atlantis/#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 10:01:16 +0000 Ursula K. Le Guin http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=14114 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/the-new-atlantis/feed/ 0 Coming back from my Wilderness Week, I sat by an odd sort of man in the bus. For a long time we didn’t talk; I was mending stockings and he was reading. Then the bus broke down a few miles outside Gresham. Boiler trouble, Coming back from my Wilderness Week, I sat by an odd sort of man in the bus. For a long time we didn’t talk; I was mending stockings and he was reading. Then the bus broke down a few miles outside Gresham. Boiler trouble, the way it generally is when the driver insists on trying to go over thirty. It was a Supersonic Superscenic Deluxe Longdistance coal-burner, with Home Comfort, that means a toilet, and the seats were pretty comfortable, at least those that hadn’t yet worked loose from their bolts, so everybody waited inside the bus; besides, it was raining. We began talking, the way people do when there’s a breakdown and a wait. He held up his pamphlet and tapped it — he was a dry-looking man with a schoolteacherish way of using his hands — and said, “This is interesting. I’ve been reading that a new continent is rising from the depths of the sea.” The blue stockings were hopeless. You have to have something besides holes to darn onto. “Which sea?” “They’re not sure yet. Most specialists think the Atlantic. But there’s evidence it may be happening in the Pacific, too.” “Won’t the oceans get a little crowded?” I said, not taking it seriously. I was a bit snappish, because of the breakdown and because those blue stockings had been good warm ones. He tapped the pamphlet again and shook his head, quite serious. “No,” he said. “The old continents are sinking, to make room for the new. You can see that that is happening.” You certainly can. Manhattan Island is now under eleven feet of water at low tide, and there are oyster beds in Ghirardelli Square. “I thought that was because the oceans are rising from polar melt.” He shook his head again. “That is a factor. Due to the greenhouse effect of pollution, indeed Antarctica may become inhabitable. But climatic factors will not explain the emergence of the new — or, possibly, very old — continents in the Atlantic and Pacific.” He went on explaining about continental drift, but I liked the idea of inhabiting Antarctica and daydreamed about it for a while. I thought of it as very empty, very quiet, all white and blue, with a faint golden glow northward from the unrising sun behind the long peak of Mount Erebus. There were a few people there; they were very quiet, too, and wore white tie and tails. Some of them carried oboes and violas. Southward the white land went up in a long silence toward the Pole. Just the opposite, in fact, of the Mount Hood Wilderness Area. It had been a tiresome vacation: The other women in the dormitory were all right, but it was macaroni for breakfast, and there were so many organized sports. I had looked forward to the hike up to the National Forest Preserve, the largest forest left in the United States, but the trees didn’t look at all the way they do in the postcards and brochures and Federal Beautification Bureau advertisements. They were spindly, and they all had little signs on saying which union they had been planted by. There were actually a lot more green picnic tables and cement Men’s and Women’s than there were trees. There was an electrified fence all around the forest to keep out unauthorized persons. The forest ranger talked about mountain jays, “bold little robbers,” he said, “who will come and snatch the sandwich from your very hand,” but I didn’t see any. Perhaps because that was the weekly Watch Those Surplus Calories! Day for all the women, and so we didn’t have any sandwiches. If I’d seen a mountain jay, I might have snatched the sandwich from his very hand, who knows. Anyhow, it was an exhausting week, and I wished I’d stayed home and practiced, even though I’d have lost a week’s pay because staying home and practicing the viola doesn’t count as planned implementation of recreational leisure as defined by the Federal Union of Unions. When I came back from my Antarctican expedition, the man was reading again, and I got a look at his pamphlet; and that was the odd part of it. Lightspeed Magazine no 1:22:02 Book Reviews: March 2015 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/book-reviews-march-2015/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/book-reviews-march-2015/#comments Tue, 17 Mar 2015 10:05:30 +0000 Amal El-Mohtar http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=14094 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/book-reviews-march-2015/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Naomi Kritzer http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-naomi-kritzer/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-naomi-kritzer/#comments Tue, 17 Mar 2015 10:04:46 +0000 Laurel Amberdine http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=14084 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-naomi-kritzer/feed/ 0 The Good Son http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/the-good-son/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/the-good-son/#comments Tue, 17 Mar 2015 10:03:13 +0000 Naomi Kritzer http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=14127 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/the-good-son/feed/ 0 Hot Rods http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/hot-rods/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/hot-rods/#comments Tue, 17 Mar 2015 10:01:13 +0000 Cat Sparks http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=14113 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/hot-rods/feed/ 0 The winds blow pretty regular across the dried-up lake. Traction's good — when luck's on your side you can reach three hundred KPH or faster. Harper watches the hot rods race on thick white salt so pure and bright the satellites use it for colour calib... The winds blow pretty regular across the dried-up lake. Traction's good — when luck's on your side you can reach three hundred KPH or faster. Harper watches the hot rods race on thick white salt so pure and bright the satellites use it for colour calibration. Harper doesn't care about souped-up hot rods. Throwdowns, throwbacks, who can go the longest, fastest, hardest. But there's not much else to do in Terina Flat. She used to want to be a journalist, back when such professions still existed. Back when the paper that employed you didn't own you. Back when paper still meant paper. Back before the world clocked up past three degrees and warming. Back when everybody clamoured for Aussie coal and wheat and sheep. The sheep all died when the topsoil blew away in a dust cloud stretching almost five hundred ks. Ships still come for the uranium. Other countries bring their own land with them. Embassies, fenced off and private, no one in or out without a pass. Cross the wire and they get to shoot you dead. Harper thinks about her boyfriend Lachie Groom as the racers pick up speed. The future plans they've made between them. How they're gonna get the hell out of Terina, score work permits for Sydney or Melbourne. They say white maids and pool boys are in high demand in the walled suburban enclaves. Only Lachie couldn't wait. Said they needed the money now, not later. The racers purpose-build their dry lake cars from whatever they can scavenge. Racers used to care about the look, these days it's all about the speed. There's nothing new, no paint to tart things up. No juice to run on except for home-strained bio-D. You need the real stuff for start up and shut down. The racers pool their meagre cash, score black market diesel from a guy who hauls it in by camel train. She can hear them coming before she sees them, kicking up thick clouds of salty dust. The pitch drops dramatically as they pass; she takes a good long look as the cars smudge the horizon. Hot rods, classics and jalopies, streamliners and old belly tankers, all the side windows and gaps taped firm against the salt. It gets into everything: your clothes, your hair, your skin. Nothing lives or grows upon it. No plants, no insects, not a single blade of grass. The short racecourse is five k long, the long one near to twelve. King of the short run is Cracker Jack, Lachie's cousin — plain Cracker to his mates. Obsessed with Dodges. Today's pride and joy is a 1968 Dodge Charger, automatic, gauges still intact. Purpose built for the super speedway, veteran of Daytona and Darlington. He loves those cars like nothing else alive. Spends everything he has on keeping them moving. Harper has come to envy the racing regulars: Bing Reh, Lucas Clayton, Scarlett Ottico. Others. There's enough on the salt flats to keep them focused. Enough to get them out of bed in the morning. Cracker nods at Harper; she throws him half a smile. Checks out his sweat-slicked, salt-encrusted arms. "I'll take you out there," he says, wiping his forehead. No need to specify where out there. She knows he's talking about the American Base — and Lachie. She doesn't say no but he gauges her expression. "After sundown. The others don't have to know." Unfortunately, in towns like Terina Flat, everyone knows everybody else's business. "Was a stupid plan," she tells him. "We never should have . . ." Cracker dusts salt flecks off his arms. "It was a fucken' awesome plan. 'Bout time we got a look behind that wire. Found out what all the bullshit is about." She shrugs. Her and Lachie's "plan" had sounded simple. Just two people trying to keep in touch. Inching around a Base commandment that seems much harsher than it ought to be. Cracker tried to talk Lachie out of taking the job at all. Too late. By then, Base medics had tested his blood, piss, and spit. He'd signed away his rights on the dotted line. Lachie's been gone almost a week — the full week if you're counting Sunday, Lightspeed Magazine no 1:00:42 Author Spotlight: Cat Sparks http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-cat-sparks/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-cat-sparks/#comments Tue, 17 Mar 2015 10:01:03 +0000 Lee Hallison http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=14061 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-cat-sparks/feed/ 0 Interview: Patrick Rothfuss http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-patrick-rothfuss/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-patrick-rothfuss/#comments Tue, 10 Mar 2015 10:05:25 +0000 The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=14095 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/interview-patrick-rothfuss/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Matthew Hughes http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-matthew-hughes-10/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-matthew-hughes-10/#comments Tue, 10 Mar 2015 10:04:45 +0000 Sandra Odell http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=14083 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-matthew-hughes-10/feed/ 0 A Face of Black Iron http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/a-face-of-black-iron/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/a-face-of-black-iron/#comments Tue, 10 Mar 2015 10:03:11 +0000 Matthew Hughes http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=14126 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/a-face-of-black-iron/feed/ 0 Diomedo Obron and the Archon Filidor passed the evening and much of the night in the latter’s study, discussing the next day’s journey into the wastes of Barran and the expected confrontation with whatever survivor of the Nineteenth Aeon wizards’ cabal... Previously on The Kaslo Chronicles: An ancient evil, lurking in another dimension through all the aeons since magic last ruled the universe, is striking out at Erm Kaslo, former hardboiled confidential operative (op) turned wizard’s henchman, and his employer, the proto-thaumaturge Diomedo Obron. Now the two, along with the mysterious Archon Filidor of Old Earth, must re-enter the Seventh Plane, discover what awaits them there, and try to destroy it before it destroys them. To read the other stories in the series, visit lightspeedmagazine.com/kaslo (http://lightspeedmagazine.com/kaslo). Diomedo Obron and the Archon Filidor passed the evening and much of the night in the latter’s study, discussing the next day’s journey into the wastes of Barran and the expected confrontation with whatever survivor of the Nineteenth Aeon wizards’ cabal still lurked in the Seventh Plane. Erm Kaslo struggled to try to understand the concepts the two thaumaturges threw onto the table — sometimes literally, as the Archon’s integrator, Old Confustible, rendered their ideas in diagrams, mathematical formulae, and even in three-dimensional models whose planes and curves mutated into shapes that caused the op’s brain to overheat. Eventually, he went back down the corridor to the landing outside the palace, where the dragon Saunterance — formerly Obron’s space yacht — squatted, wings folded, beside the shining dome of Testroni’s Impervious Conveyance that had brought them here from Novo Bantry. Kaslo had no experience of reading the body language of dragons, but he sensed that Saunterance was at ease with the circumstances in which it found itself — but peace of mind was so far from Kaslo’s grasp that he could not even see a path toward it. “What is it like for you?” he asked the dragon. “To be so changed?” The creature spoke as it would have when it was a ship’s integrator, so that its voice seemed to emanate from the air beside the man’s ear. “I am not so changed,” it said. “Before, I was a core connected to the systems of a spaceship. My function was to travel. Now I am a mind enclosed in a body that performs much the same function.” “Are you content?” The dragon’s features momentarily formed an almost human expression. “I suppose I am,” it said. “It is not a question I am disposed to ask myself.” “You are fortunate,” said Kaslo. “You retain your function as well as the ability to perform it. I, however . . .” He finished the thought in a sigh. “Obron values you,” Saunterance said. “You may have more worth than you allot yourself.” “I used to know my worth to an exact measure,” Kaslo said. “And it was considerable. Now — ” “Now you are in the business of rediscovering it, using a different set of calibrations,” said the dragon. “Why don’t you wait and see what turns up in you?” It wasn’t bad advice, Kaslo thought, especially from a dragon. He bid Saunterance a good night and found his bunk in the Conveyance. He expected to lie awake, but instead fell quickly into a dreamless sleep. He was awakened by the sounds of voices, footsteps, and the movement of bulky objects, and came out of his cabin into the vessel’s common area to find it being loaded with cabinets and chests by men and women in green and black livery. Filidor was supervising the business, with advice from Obron. Kaslo’s employer turned as the op entered. “I was telling the Archon,” he said, “about how your spring-gun shot a nouble into one of the preyns and destroyed it utterly.” “True,” said Kaslo. Filidor said, “How large a missile will it take?” When Kaslo made a circle with finger and thumb, the hole about the size of a child’s marble, the Archon said, “I was hoping for something larger.” He put two hands together, the space between them the dimension of a fist-sized ball. “No one ever had a need for a spring-gun of that caliber,” the op said. “Too bad,” said the Archon. “It might have been useful.” Lightspeed Magazine no 57:00 Author Spotlight: Michael Blumlein http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-michael-blumlein/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-michael-blumlein/#comments Tue, 10 Mar 2015 10:02:00 +0000 Patrick J Stephens http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=14060 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-michael-blumlein/feed/ 0 The Brains of Rats http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/the-brains-of-rats/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/the-brains-of-rats/#comments Tue, 10 Mar 2015 10:01:11 +0000 Michael Blumlein http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=14112 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/the-brains-of-rats/feed/ 0 Editorial, March 2015 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-march-2015/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-march-2015/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 11:05:21 +0000 John Joseph Adams http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=14093 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-march-2015/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Linda Nagata http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-linda-nagata-4/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-linda-nagata-4/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 11:04:43 +0000 Robyn Lupo http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=14082 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-linda-nagata-4/feed/ 0 The Way Home http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/the-way-home/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/the-way-home/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 11:03:08 +0000 Linda Nagata http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=14125 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/the-way-home/feed/ 0 The demon, like all the others before it, appeared first in the form of a horizontal plume of rust-red grit and vapor. Almost a kilometer away, it moved low to the ground, camouflaged by the waves of hot, shimmering air that rose from the desert hardpan. The demon, like all the others before it, appeared first in the form of a horizontal plume of rust-red grit and vapor. Almost a kilometer away, it moved low to the ground, camouflaged by the waves of hot, shimmering air that rose from the desert hardpa... Lightspeed Magazine no 43:36 Author Spotlight: Marissa Lingen http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-marissa-lingen-2/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-marissa-lingen-2/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 11:02:58 +0000 Lee Hallison http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=14059 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-marissa-lingen-2/feed/ 0 Surfacing http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/surfacing/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/surfacing/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 11:01:09 +0000 Marissa Lingen http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=14111 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/surfacing/feed/ 0 Interview: Ann Leckie http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/feature-interview-ann-leckie/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/feature-interview-ann-leckie/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 11:05:17 +0000 The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13881 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/feature-interview-ann-leckie/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Will Kaufman http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-will-kaufman/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-will-kaufman/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 11:04:56 +0000 Sandra Odell http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13872 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-will-kaufman/feed/ 0 Things You Can Buy for a Penny http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/things-can-buy-penny/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/things-can-buy-penny/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 11:03:26 +0000 Will Kaufman http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13907 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/things-can-buy-penny/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: David Barr Kirtley http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-david-barr-kirtley-5/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-david-barr-kirtley-5/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 11:02:08 +0000 Robyn Lupo http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13859 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-david-barr-kirtley-5/feed/ 0 Veil of Ignorance http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/veil-ignorance/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/veil-ignorance/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 11:01:05 +0000 David Barr Kirtley http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13897 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/veil-ignorance/feed/ 0 Something strange is happening to me. We’re at Conrad’s vacation house, a sprawling mansion that orbits the gas giant Hades-3. (His father owns both the house and the planet.) Conrad is in the living room watching sports. Something strange is happening to me. We’re at Conrad’s vacation house, a sprawling mansion that orbits the gas giant Hades-3. (His father owns both the house and the planet.) Conrad is in the living room watching sports. His girlfriend Alyssa is standing by the mirror in the bathroom, fixing her hair. Her friend Kat is sitting near the bay windows, watching the stars and the roiling vermeil clouds on the world below. Dillon is in the kitchen, mixing drinks. Brad is slouched on the sofa, watching everyone with a lazy smile. And I don’t know which of them I am. Perception shifts. A few moments of Alyssa, running my fingers through silky hair. A moment of Dillon, using my knife to slice limes for the drinks. A moment of Kat, feeling awe of those looming bands of color, of those constantly churning swirls that look so majestic, and make me feel so insignificant. Then Conrad — pride at my team’s success, at my father’s wealth. Then Brad. I feel quite smug. “It’s starting to work,” I tell them. “You can all feel it, can’t you?” Dillon comes in from the kitchen with the drinks. I hand one of them to Conrad, who thanks me, and one to Kat, who takes it silently. “Feel what?” I ask. Brad gestures to the smoldering bowl at the center of the coffee table, at the Callipsarian pipe, and whatever that shit was we’ve all been smoking. “Something very strange is happening to me,” Kat says. Brad ignores her. “You see, I had this idea. A few weeks ago, Dillon and I were talking politics, and he brings up this thing about Rawls.” Conrad sighs and orders the computer to take a break. I want to watch the end of the game, but this is starting to feel really weird. Alyssa comes out of the bathroom, looking gorgeous, as always. I sit down on the couch next to Conrad. “What’s going on, Brad?” I ask. “What was that stuff you gave us?” “Just sit and listen,” Brad says. “All will become clear.” Conrad turns to Dillon. “Who’s Rawls?” “John Rawls,” I explain, puzzled about where this is going. “Twentieth-century. He tried to revive the social contract theory, which states that the only fair laws are those that everyone can agree to.” “Whatever.” Alyssa tosses her hair. “Someone get me another drink.” Conrad holds up a hand to her. “Quiet,” I say. “I want to hear this.” Dillon shrugs and keeps going. “The problem with the social contract is that people don’t agree. Slave-owners think that slavery is fair, slaves don’t. So Rawls envisions a hypothetical situation in which the two of them don’t know who is who. Put behind this veil of ignorance, neither would support slavery, knowing that he himself might be the slave.” I start to see where this is going, and finish, “Once self-interest is cancelled out, it turns out that they agree on principle.” Kat interrupts. “Brad, will you cut the shit and tell us what’s going on?” I say. “Why can’t I tell who I am?” Then Dillon starts to answer my question, in that patronizing tone of his. “Don’t you see?” he says. “We’ve been put behind a veil of ignorance ourselves.” “Very good.” Brad nods at him. “A few weeks ago I was hanging out with this Callipsarian dealer on Far-Guardport — ” Alyssa frowns. “Which ones are they?” I ask softly. “Callipsarians?” “The purple ones,” Kat says. “From Auropelli. With the tentacles. Three yellow eyes.” “Oh yeah,” I say. Conrad elbows me. “Quiet.” “ — and we were totally trashed. Talking politics, philosophy, metaphysics, et cetera, et cetera, and I start telling it about this veil of ignorance idea, and it says it’s got some stuff that can do that. So it sells me — ” “Why?” Dillon asks. My word hangs there, alone in the silence for a few moments. “Well, look,” Brad says. “This group, this band of friends — if that’s what you want to call us — is broken. We all know it, but no one wants to say it. Well, I said it.” He levels his finger at Conrad. “Conrad treats his girlfriend like shit. Lightspeed Magazine no 30:30 Book Reviews: February 2015 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/book-reviews-february-2015/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/book-reviews-february-2015/#comments Tue, 17 Feb 2015 11:05:15 +0000 Sunil Patel http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13880 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/book-reviews-february-2015/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Adam-Troy Castro http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-adam-troy-castro-7/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-adam-troy-castro-7/#comments Tue, 17 Feb 2015 11:04:51 +0000 Laurel Amberdine http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13867 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-adam-troy-castro-7/feed/ 0 Cerile and the Journeyer http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/cerile-journeyer/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/cerile-journeyer/#comments Tue, 17 Feb 2015 11:03:24 +0000 Adam-Troy Castro http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13906 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/cerile-journeyer/feed/ 0 The journeyer was still a young man when he embarked on his search for the all-powerful witch Cerile. He was bent and gray-haired a lifetime later when he found a map to her home in the tomb of the forgotten kings. The journeyer was still a young man when he embarked on his search for the all-powerful witch Cerile. He was bent and gray-haired a lifetime later when he found a map to her home in the tomb of the forgotten kings. The map directed him halfway across the world, over the Souleater mountains, through the Curtains of Night, past the scars of the Eternal War, and across a great grassy plain, to the outskirts of Cerile’s Desert. The desert was an ocean of luminescent white sand, which even in the dead of night still radiated the killing heat it swallowed during the day. He knew at once that it could broil the blood in his veins before he traveled even half the distance to the horizon. It even warned him: “Turn back, journeyer. I am as sharp as broken glass, and as hot as open flame. I am filled with soft shifting places that can open up and swallow you without warning. I can drive you mad and leave you to wander in circles until your strength sinks into the earth. And when you die of thirst, as you surely shall if you attempt to pass, I can ride the winds to flay the skin from your burnt and blistered bones.” He proceeded across the dunes, stumbling as his feet sank ankle-deep into the sand, gasping as the furnace heat turned his breath to a dry rasp, but hesitating not at all, merely continuing his march toward the destiny that could mean either death or Cerile. When the desert saw it couldn’t stop him, the ground burst open in a million places, pierced by a great forest that, with the speed known only by miracles, shot up to scrape the sky. The trees were all hundreds of arm-lengths across, the spaces between them so narrow that even an uncommonly thin man would have had to hold his breath to pass. It was a maze that could exhaust him utterly before he traveled even halfway to the horizon. It even warned him: “Turn back, journeyer. I am as dark as the night itself, and as threatening as your worst dreams. I am rich with thorns sharp enough to rip the skin from your arms. And if you die lost and alone, as you surely shall if you attempt to pass, I can dig roots into your flesh and grow more trees on your bones.” He entered the woods anyway, crying out as thorns drew blood from his arms and legs, gasping as the trees drew close and threatened to imprison him, but hesitating not at all: merely continuing to march west, toward the destiny that could mean either death or Cerile. When the forest saw that it couldn’t stop him, then the trees all around him merely withered away, and the ground ahead of him rose up, like a thing on hinges, to form a right angle with the ground at his feet. The resulting wall stretched from one horizon to the other, rising straight up into the sky to disappear ominously in the clouds. He knew at once that he did not have the skill or the strength to climb even halfway to the unseen summit. It even warned him: “Turn back, journeyer. I am as smooth as glass and as treacherous as an enemy. I am poor with handholds and impossible to climb. And if you fall, as you surely will if you attempt to pass, then the ground where I stand will be the resting place of your shattered corpse.” He proceeded to climb anyway; moaning as his arms and legs turned to lead from exhaustion, gasping as the temperature around him turned chilly and then frigid, but hesitating not at all: merely continuing to climb upward, toward the destiny that could mean either death or Cerile. When the cliff saw that it couldn’t stop him, then warm winds came and gently lifted him into the sky, over the top of the wall, and down into a lush green valley on the other side, where a frail, white-haired old woman sat beside a still and mirrored pond. The winds deposited him on his feet on the opposite side of the pond, allowing him to see himself in the water: how he was bent, and stooped, and white-haired, and old, with skin the texture of leather, and eyes that had suffered too much for too long. Lightspeed Magazine no 17:05 Author Spotlight: Caroline Yoachim http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-caroline-yoachim/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-caroline-yoachim/#comments Tue, 17 Feb 2015 11:02:14 +0000 Lee Hallison http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13862 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-caroline-yoachim/feed/ 0 Red Planet http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/red-planet/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/red-planet/#comments Tue, 17 Feb 2015 11:01:01 +0000 Caroline M. Yoachim http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13896 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/red-planet/feed/ 0 Artist Showcase: Julie Dillon http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/artist-showcase-julie-dillon/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/artist-showcase-julie-dillon/#comments Tue, 10 Feb 2015 11:05:42 +0000 Henry Lien http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13876 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/artist-showcase-julie-dillon/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Maria Davana Headley http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-maria-davana-headley/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-maria-davana-headley/#comments Tue, 10 Feb 2015 11:04:47 +0000 Sandra Odell http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13866 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-maria-davana-headley/feed/ 0 And the Winners Will Be Swept Out to Sea http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/winners-will-swept-sea/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/winners-will-swept-sea/#comments Tue, 10 Feb 2015 11:03:23 +0000 Maria Dahvana Headley http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13905 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/winners-will-swept-sea/feed/ 0 I’m in your house, wearing one of your shirts. I’m sitting on your floor, with all the drawers of every desk and dresser open. I have them poured out and I’m looking at what you’ve kept. Your old laptops and love letters, I’m in your house, wearing one of your shirts. I’m sitting on your floor, with all the drawers of every desk and dresser open. I have them poured out and I’m looking at what you’ve kept. Your old laptops and love letters, your hard drives full of photos and emails, your string and wire tangled into little knots, hard and tiny, twisted so tightly that I can’t crush them more than they’ve already been crushed. I’ve let a fox move into your upstairs. She walked into your flat one day, and I waved her past. Now she has kits in the bedroom closet, nested with your sweaters. There are bats in the basement, but they’re from before you left. My heart is full of hammers. I don’t understand how you could’ve left me here, with your keys, and your bed, with your bookshelves. I have my own place too, but you left me in yours when you went. I have a little pile of metal animals. I have a bunch of things you gave me, things I hung around my neck. I have bracelets that hook to chains, and out in the back there’s a rock with a view of the water. Sometimes, when I sit out there, I see the monster under the surface, the tension scraping over its scales. It’s big. What I can see of it is only a spine, or a tail, sometimes, and then it’s gone. I sit on that rock, looking over the edge, and think about how I used to love swimming. When I was a girl, I could hold my breath for a month. I’d sit on the bottom of a river in the mud, or on the pebbles, and wait for the season to change. Once I tried to come up but the river had frozen, and I ended up swimming just under the surface for a while, waiting, waiting, until I found a fisherman by seeing his shadow. The fisherman had made a hole in the ice. He was crouched beside it, with a thermos and a fishing pole, and I rose up naked from beneath him. I took him in my arms, and he screamed with such terror that ice cracked elsewhere, a spiderweb of fractures, trees black and leaning, wolves howling, and his blood in my mouth. I was not sorry. There used to be laws about this, but there aren’t any longer. No one could bring me to court to tell me I can’t have you. No one could force me onto a stand and question me. I look down, off the cliff behind your house, and I see that dark shape waiting, but it never rises up. Your neighbor came over for tea and you fucked her once a long time ago, if I have any skill at reading these things. “Are you okay?” she asked me, and I said I was not. “You don’t imagine everything,” I said. “You think you might have imagined everything that could happen to love, but you can’t. There are more things that can happen than I thought,” I told her, and she nodded. We sat together at the table in your kitchen, next to the dishwasher, and it hummed and rattled. I looked at the teapot between us and thought about fucking her too, to see what it would be like, to see what you saw in her, but the tea was too strong, and she looked at me with too much kindness. “He’s not everything,” she said. “I should know.” I don’t think I’d ever weave with thread. I think I’d only weave with metal. I think I’m the kind of woman who makes chains, not cloth. I am no abandoned wife, and you are no husband lost at sea. You’re not at sea. The bottom of the sea is full of broken chains that used to hold anchors to ships and trenches where they tried to lay cable. The bottom of the sea is full of bones and garbage. A long time ago, I used to know an old man who’d built a boat. He’d made it out of plastic bottles, and he decided to sail around the world. He came from a family of circus performers, and all of them went with him. The whole family took to the sea, in their boats made of bottles. Out in the middle of the Atlantic, I saw one of his sons juggling fire, and a daughter, doing back flips from raft to raft, flying through the air like a fish. They’d lost their sense of direction and had no way home. All they had were sails made of shirts and skin, Lightspeed Magazine no 45:56 Author Spotlight: John Kessel http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-john-kessel/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-john-kessel/#comments Tue, 10 Feb 2015 11:02:05 +0000 Lee Hallison http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13858 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-john-kessel/feed/ 0 Buffalo http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/buffalo/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/buffalo/#comments Tue, 10 Feb 2015 11:01:30 +0000 John Kessel http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13895 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/buffalo/feed/ 0 Editorial, February 2015 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-february-2015/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-february-2015/#comments Tue, 03 Feb 2015 11:05:12 +0000 John Joseph Adams http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13879 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/editorial-february-2015/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Mary Rickert http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-mary-rickert/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-mary-rickert/#comments Tue, 03 Feb 2015 11:04:45 +0000 Lee Hallison http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13865 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-mary-rickert/feed/ 0 The Girl Who Ate Butterflies http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/girl-ate-butterflies/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/girl-ate-butterflies/#comments Tue, 03 Feb 2015 11:03:03 +0000 Mary Rickert http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13908 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/girl-ate-butterflies/feed/ 0 Author Spotlight: Brooke Bolander http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-brooke-bolander-3/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-brooke-bolander-3/#comments Tue, 03 Feb 2015 11:02:02 +0000 Robyn Lupo http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13857 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-brooke-bolander-3/feed/ 0 And You Shall Know Her By The Trail Of Dead http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/shall-know-trail-dead/ http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/shall-know-trail-dead/#comments Tue, 03 Feb 2015 11:01:57 +0000 Brooke Bolander http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=13894 http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/shall-know-trail-dead/feed/ 0 The mobster has a gun pressed to Rack’s forehead. The mobster has a god-shitting GUN pressed to her partner’s fucking forehead, and the only thing Rhye can do is watch and scream as the man smiles at her and pulls the trigger and blows Rack’s perfect b... (http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Brooke-Bolander_final-575x442.jpg) The mobster has a gun pressed to Rack’s forehead. The mobster has a god-shitting gun pressed to her partner’s fucking forehead, and the only thing Rhye can do is watch and scream as the man smiles at her and pulls the trigger and blows Rack’s perfect brains out from between his ears. Rhye has her guns drawn before the other Ganymede fuckers can twitch, but it’s way too late — the damage is done and smeared across the walls and floor and ceiling. Synthetic blood and bone look exactly the same as the real deal. She puts three shots into the flesh slab that did it (he’s dead he’s dead gods fuck it no nononono) and then the rest of his pals are on her like the three-times-fucked human jackals they are, pulling her down. The room stinks of blood and gunsmoke and fear-sweat. For the first time in her life, those smells make Rhye want to gag. Her ears are ringing — whether from the gunshots or god knows what else — and it feels like the floor is falling away beneath her motorcycle boots. She’s still struggling against their meaty fingers to reach Rack when the head goon breaks her nose with a squared-off fist the size of the moon he’s from. She barely feels the bone snap. He’s dead. He’s dead and the world is grayscale, all the color leaching from it to pool around her feet in a red puddle. “He was trying to crack it, you fucks. The fuck is wrong with you? He was coming out, he was going to try again, it was just a fucking hiccup! Jesus fuck, do you think you’re going to get your cunting kid back now?” Her throat hurts from screaming. Blood from her nose is backing up into her sinuses, half-choking her. She doesn’t care. “I’ll kill you, I’ll fucking kill all of you. You’re fucking dead, do you hear me? Let me go, let me fucking go — ” “We hired you and your partner to finish job. Nothing was ever said about quitting,” the man says. His voice is heavily accented, breath reeking of onions and vodka. “If pretty boy couldn’t bring what we need out, pretty boy is useless, like tits on bull or useless cyborg bitch. His consciousness can stay inside box and rot for all I care. But! — ” he pokes Rhye in the forehead with one of his blunt fingers — ”I think you care. I think you care very much, yes? Yesyes?” “I’m going to kill you, you fuck.” She says it slowly, pronouncing every word with deathly clarity. “I’m going to shove my gun up your ass and blow a hole so fucking wide a whale’s prick wouldn’t fill the gap.” “Not if you want partner back,” he says, throwing an uplink cable at her. “Plug in, get data out. Get pretty boy, too, if you like. Fail, and you die together. Is very simple.” And because she does care, cares too fucking much, cares, and the sight of Rack slumped over in the chair with a neat round hole scorched into his forehead is squeezing at the heart she’s always claimed not to have, Rhye spits blood and hate in their employer’s face and jams the jack into the port at the base of her skull. • • • • The first time she meets Rack, Rhye’s fresh out of the army and fresh back from one of the meat-grinders the humans pay her kind to fight in. The children of wires and circuits aren’t worth a tinker’s fuck compared to the children of real flesh and bone, so far as the world’s concerned. The recruitment agents pluck her off the streets when she’s twelve and send her to a training camp and she’s good with linguistics and better at killing, so they keep her hands busy until she’s twenty-five and then they spit her back out again like a mouthful of cum. She has gray curly hair cropped short and gray dead eyes and calluses on the inside of her palms worn hard and horny from years of holding pistol grips. She’s small and lean, which makes people underestimate her, but she’s cool enough and don’t-fuck-with-me enough that most know to jump the fuck out of the way when they see her coming. Lightspeed Magazine no 1:23:37 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