Science Fiction & Fantasy

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May 2018 (Issue 96)

This month’s cover art is by Galen Dara, illustrating the original fantasy short “Godmeat,” by Martin Cahill. We also have an original fantasy short story from Kodiak Julian (“Our Side of the Door”), and fantasy reprints by Xia Jia (“Night Journey of the Dragon-Horse”) and John Grant (“His Artist Wife”). Our science fiction originals include work by Carolyn Ives Gilman (“We Will Be All Right”) and Jane Lindskold (“A Green Moon Problem”), plus we have SF reprints by Tobias S. Buckell (“Sunset”) and David Brin (“The Crystal Spheres”). All that, and of course we also have our usual assortment of author spotlights, an interview with author (and repeat Lightspeed contributor!) Sam J. Miller, along with our book and media review columns. For our ebook readers, we also have an ebook-exclusive novella reprint (“Great Work of Time,” by John Crowley), an excerpt from Emily Devenport’s new novel Medusa Uploaded, and bonus excerpt from Now We Can See the Moon, by Berit Ellingsen.

In This Issue: May 2018 (Issue 96)

Editorial

Editorial: May 2018

Be sure to check out the Editorial for a rundown of this month’s content, plus all our news and updates.

Science Fiction

Sunset

The starship crash-landed somewhere in the dark and early hours of morning. The thunderclap sound of it striking the East Bay woke Tamuel up, heart racing and confused. He glanced out his window, but didn’t see anything. He stumbled out into the common room to see if he could see anything different from the balcony. “What was that?” One of his siblings also was apparently out and looking around for the cause of the sound. “There’s no storm.”

Fantasy

Godmeat

The godmeat stank of hibiscus and saltwater. Its noxious divinity threaded through the kitchen, the air itself feeling suddenly buoyant in its wake. If Hark closed his eyes, he could almost imagine himself on the beach where Spear had killed the Sea Mother; pale green water lapping at his feet, miles of white sand stretching into the distance, while pink blossoms bobbed in the surf. He could almost see Spear standing on top of the godthing, her weapon shimmering with the blue blood of the dying Beast.

Author Spotlight

Science Fiction

We Will Be All Right

Tomorrow is Easter, and I will have to welcome into my home the woman who is going to murder my son. I need to prepare side dishes in advance. Take a heaping bowl of injustice, mash it to a pulp, season with tears of rage, bake, and serve in a dish speckled with four-leaf clovers. The question is, should I put the rat poison in hers alone, or would it be better for all of us to go together?

Author Spotlight

Fantasy

Night Journey of the Dragon-Horse

The dragon-horse awakens in moonlight. Drops of cold dew drip onto his forehead, where they meander down the curve of his steel nose. Plink. He struggles to open his eyes, rusted eyelids grinding against eyelashes. A pair of silvery specks reflects from those giant, dark red pupils. At first, he thinks it’s the moon, but a careful examination reveals it to be a clump of white flowers blooming vibrantly in a crack in the cement, irrigated by the dew dripping from his nose.

Nonfiction

Book Reviews: May 2018

This month LaShawn M. Wanak reviews Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, Armistice by Lara Elena Donnelly, and I Met a Traveller in an Antique Land by Connie Willis.

Science Fiction

The Crystal Spheres

It was just a luckychance that I had been defrosted when I was—the very year that farprobe 992573-aa4 reported back that it had found a goodstar with a shattered crystalsphere. I was one of only twelve deepspacers alivewarm at the time, so naturally I got to take part in the adventure. At first I knew nothing about it. When the flivver came, I was climbing the flanks of the Sicilian plateau, in the great valley a recent ice age had made of the Mediterranean Sea I had once known.

Fantasy

Our Side of the Door

It isn’t until I realize I can’t find my son—really can’t find him—that I think of all the other things I can’t see in the starlit orchard. “Cruz!” I yell. “Buddy! You win!” There is no moon. The trees are thick with blossoms. I hear Cruz in the tall grasses, rustling, giggling. He is six years old. This wouldn’t bother my wife. Alyssa believes that Cruz should learn to use a knife, to light a match, to walk beside a river without stumbling and drowning.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Media Reviews: May 2018

Carrie Vaughn explores the nature of adapting a novel to the big screen when she reviews Annihilation and A Wrinkle in Time.

Science Fiction

A Green Moon Problem

No one had ever seen Tatter D’MaLeon’s face. Even those who thought she was just a legend agreed that she was always masked. That was about all anyone agreed upon. Although the female pronoun was usually applied to “her,” even Tatter’s sex was in doubt, as was her humanity, her age, and whether or not she existed. But believe or not, there was scarce a one who didn’t love the stories. Anthropologists had tried to pin down exactly when the first Tatter D’MaLeon stories had been told.

Fantasy

His Artist Wife

You’re far more likely to have heard of my artist wife Lucille Hrade than of me. Her paintings have a way of communicating directly to people. They’re realistic—you can see the subjects of her portraits breathe, feel the heat of her sun-baked landscapes—but at the same time, like Andrew Wyeth’s work, they have just enough of what I call the askew in them to make you think you’re daringly enjoying experimental art.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Interview: Sam J. Miller

Sam J. Miller is a writer and a community organizer. His debut novel, The Art of Starving (HarperTeen), was one of NPR’s Best Books of 2017, and will be followed by Blackfish City (Ecco) in April 2018. His stories have been nominated for the Nebula, World Fantasy, Andre Norton, and Theodore Sturgeon Awards, and have appeared in over a dozen “year’s best” anthologies. He’s a graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Workshop, and a winner of the Shirley Jackson Award. He lives in New York City, and is reachable at samjmiller.com.