Science Fiction & Fantasy

Null States

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Illustrated by Galen Dara

Fantasy

Seven Salt Tears

When I was a child, my mother would tell me stories of the sea. When I couldn’t sleep, when I was restless, when I burned with some childhood fever, she would sit by my side, and conjure something wonderful and strange, something half-magic, from the ocean for me. “Mara,” she would say, smoothing the hair from my forehead as she tucked the covers around me, “did you know that to summon a selkie, you must shed seven tears into the ocean?”

Fantasy

Magnifica Angelica Superable

A woman from the street came in laughing from the cold. It was funny to see her with her black hair blowing all about her face. Her face was red. Red from the cold, red from the laughing, red from the rage that fueled that laughter. There are funnier things than a woman like that, but, well, she was the only one we got to look at that afternoon. Her name was some kind of long. It was Magnifica Angelica something at the end.

Fantasy

The Savannah Liars Tour

My essence, my soul, whatever you wanted to call it, burst into that place beyond places. After dozens of trips, the ecstasy of the reverse-explosion was as intense as the first time.

Science Fiction

Here is My Thinking on a Situation That Affects Us All

I am a spaceship. My insides are oozy, and my outsides are metal. If you were to cut me open with a laser-gun, then it would not precisely hurt, but it certainly wouldn’t be a nice thing to do.

Science Fiction

Time Bomb Time

-pop- The sharp scent of ozone — sudden like heartbreak, raw as a panic attack — filled Hannah’s dorm room, from the paper-swamped desk across her rumpled bed to the window overlooking the quad. The lights flickered. Her heart skipped a beat. “God damn it.” She prodded Nolon’s foot with the toe of her shoe. She wanted […]

Science Fiction

And You Shall Know Her By The Trail Of Dead

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.

Science Fiction

He Came From a Place of Openness and Truth

Mickey and I worked together at Hillman’s Horror House, and maybe the thrill of scaring people was what made me notice him. I’d never thought about another guy that way before, and so when I first got that electric jolt as his hand brushed mine in the changing room, I felt like I might puke. I went to the bathroom, where instead of throwing up I jacked off into the toilet.

Science Fiction

Undermarket Data

A drink arrived that Culin hadn’t ordered. No one sent drinks to the crowded annex where Culin sat, crammed in with seven other people, all with contagion bands on their sleeves and matching tattoos on their arms. Sending drinks was an affectation Culin didn’t see much in the Dead Engine at all.

Nonfiction

June 2014 (Issue 49)

It could be said that women invented science fiction; after all, Mary Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN is considered by many to be the first science fiction novel. Yet some readers seem to have this funny idea that women don’t—or can’t—write science fiction. Some have even gone so far as to accuse women of *destroying* science fiction with their girl cooties. So to help prove how silly that notion is, LIGHTSPEED’s June 2014 issue—our fourth anniversary issue—is a Women Destroy Science Fiction! special issue and has a guest editor at the helm. The issue features original fiction by Seanan McGuire, N.K. Jemisin, Carrie Vaughn, Tina Connolly, Heather Clitheroe, and many more. Plus, there is terrific nonfiction from Pat Murphy, Mary Kowal, and other talented women.

Science Fiction

Codename: Delphi

“Valdez, you need to slow down,” Karin Larsen warned, each syllable crisply pronounced into a mic. “Stay behind the seekers. If you overrun them, you’re going to walk into a booby trap.”