Lightspeed: Edited by John Joseph Adams



Author Spotlights

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Tim Pratt

The tokens are just one of the million weird little details I don’t even try to explain—the story is full of “exposition around the edges,” little throwaway things that imply a vaster universe where the story takes place. In my mind the tokens are sort of like the coins that people used to put on the eyes of the dead to pay the ferryman to take you into the afterlife—some kind of magical token to aid your journey to the land of the dead, a last kindness that a colleague can bestow upon you.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Melanie Rawn

The difficulty was in trying to make the time and place more real—all this happened more than a thousand years ago, and in a part of the world that we don’t usually learn much about. Set a story in Ancient Rome or 12th Century England, and the reader will most likely have a mental file of background information; medieval Kiev is pretty much a mystery.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: David Langford

The notion of basilisk images was something I’d had in mind ever since reading Douglas Hofstadter’s Gödel, Escher, Bach. Hofstadter’s favourite analogy for the impact of Gödel’s Theorem on mathematics is a music recording that can’t be played because its resonances destroy the playing mechanism.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Kage Baker

I obediently spent my childhood writing little stories, until I reached that age when you dig in your heels and tell your parents you hate them and you’ll never, ever be what they want you to be. And I more or less ran away with the circus for the next twenty years.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: C.C. Finlay

A couple years ago when I was actively blogging, some editorial minion had complained about their slushpile being full of stories with titles that spoiled the ending mixed with time-travel stories about people trying to kill Hitler. I commented that maybe it wasn’t a good time to submit my story titled “The Cross-Time Accountants Fail to Kill Hitler Because Chuck Berry Does the Twist.”

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Catherynne M. Valente

Tristram is very much me as a child—she even lives in the part of the country where I grew up. Childhood was a sad and difficult place for me, one in which I was always trying to come up with explanations of the world without asking grown ups questions which might lead to me being rejected in some fashion. I was quite neurotic, really. All of that goes into Tristram.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Nicola Griffith

I really wanted to write about this world I’d discovered, its rich, slow secrecy—its winter melancholy that turned gradually, then all at once, into an astoundingly fecund summer. To do that, I needed a plausible way for Molly to stay behind, to live reasonably well in an otherwise-abandoned version of the place. I hit upon a creeping apocalypse.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Dale Bailey

If you’re looking at society at large, I think there would be a lot of civil unrest inspired by the destruction of our society’s existing certainties about the way the world works. I imagine millennial cults would develop and that traditional religious belief would see a sharp rise. Secular and scientific voices would likely be drowned out.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Linda Nagata

I knew I wanted to tackle a story that was hard SF, and set off Earth, so why not on one of Jupiter’s moons? I have a bad habit of starting story development with setting instead of plot, and that’s what happened here. So I just kept throwing ideas at the page until I had enough to create a story for my chosen setting.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Kim Stanley Robinson

The story derives from a single image, a kind of Pygmalion variant. My wife and I traveled in Asia on our way to Switzerland, in 1985, which was the first time I had ever been in the developing world. I wrote the first half of the story on a night train between Bangkok and Kohsamui, and the second half on a night train between Cairo and Luxor.