Lightspeed: Edited by John Joseph Adams





Six A.I. Types Who Annoy Us to Death

Sure, there are shining examples of A.I., but for every Lt. Commander Data or Number Six, there are a dozen mainframes just waiting to ruin your day.


Dissolving the Wall Between Art and Science

Science fiction fans have long known that art and science aren’t as deeply divided as they’re made out to be.


Dividing Space by Zero

Anything with an escape velocity greater than the speed of light is a black hole. That’s the black hole’s defining characteristic: Gravity so intense nothing can escape.


Whose Thoughts Are You Thinking?

Although it’s sensationalized, brainwashing has backing in fact. Over the years, plenty of techniques have been tried.


When the Brain Sees God on a Toaster Pastry

What actually happens when a person sees a deity in an inanimate object, specifically not associated with a concomitant religious experience?


The Icy Ecosystem of Europa

This icy world, at first glance, is just another moon. It is about 90% the size of our Earth’s moon and shines a nondescript grey white against the background stars.


The Many Worlds Interpretation Theory: Having Your Cake and Eating it Two, and Three, and Four…

Maybe your parents told you to never talk politics or religion in polite company. It’s good advice in scientific circles, too, but with one addition: Never bring up interpretations of quantum mechanics.


TANSTAAFL! (There Ain’t No Such Thing as a Free Lunch)

Although gift economies have existed in various non-Western cultures for many years, academic scrutiny of the process began comparatively recently, when Marcel Mauss published “Essai sur le don” in 1924.


Parasitic Puppet-Masters

Parasites are masters of chemical warfare. To bypass their hosts’ many defense mechanisms, they have developed an amazing array of chemicals that can change and influence all kinds of body parts: Even brains.


Immortal Jellyfish and Transhuman You

Ah, immortality: the ever-elusive dream of both utopians and transhumanists. To us, death is a necessary evil, but to many organisms, plants and fungi that form clonal colonies, it’s but a technicality.