Science Fiction & Fantasy

Valente_Comfort-Me-With-Apples_Lightspeed_10.12-v3

Advertisement

Nov. 2021 (Issue 138)

We have original science fiction by Elly Bangs (“Space Pirate Queen of the Ten Billion Utopias”) and Timi Odueso (“Cloudgazer”). We also have a flash piece (“Stowaways”) from Andrew Dana Hudson, along with an SF reprint by Charlie Jane Anders (“The Turnaround”). Plus, we have original fantasy by Stephen Graham Jones (“I Was a Teenage Space Jockey”) and Adam-Troy Castro (“Ten Scenes from a Typical Day in the Home of the Despot”). We also have a flash piece (“To Reach the Gate, She Must Leave Everything Behind”) from Izzy Wasserstein. Our fantasy reprint is by Lisa M. Bradley (“Men in Cars”). All that, and of course we also have our usual assortment of author spotlights, along with book reviews from our terrific review team. Our ebook readers will also enjoy a book excerpt from Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson’s latest collaboration, Dune: The Lady of Caladan.

Cover art by

In This Issue: Nov. 2021 (Issue 138)

Editorial

Editorial: November 2021

It’s a terrific month here at Lightspeed! Go deeper with what’s in this issue—check out the editorial.

Science Fiction

Stowaways

Have you ever had an imaginary friend? Would you like to? Stowaways is a groundbreaking work of memetic art that, when originally premiered, raised an ethical controversy about the consensuality of artistic experience. In the 2060s researchers developed information-dense images that could deliver code to the biocomputational apparatus of the human mind, raising memetics out of the low-brow world of social media to the plane of high culture.

Fantasy

I Was a Teenage Space Jockey

Two days after my brother turned seventeen, he was gone, just like he’d guaranteed my dad. No sad goodbyes, no notes, no taking a knee in the hall before dawn to give me any good advice for high school when I got there. My mom’s story when anybody asked was that he’d moved out, he was old enough, he needed room, it was completely natural. My dad, if asked, would just shrug, knock back the rest of his can of beer, and say he hoped Rance was in the military.

Author Spotlight

Science Fiction

Space Pirate Queen of the Ten Billion Utopias

Ursa Major got right the fuck out of our universe on the very afternoon she learned there were other options. It was the lucky break of her life that she just happened to be there, a short sprint from one of those points where the alien aethertrain briefly punched through into our world: a multidimensional mechanical worm intersecting our reality as a rush of vaguely boxcar-like shapes.

Fantasy

Men in Cars

“I’m so cold,” said the woman in white. I didn’t have anything to offer her. No cozy sweater, wool coat, or scarf. Looking at her, though, I wondered if she’d want anything of mine. She had her own sense of style. Her clothes, all white, made my greys look grubby and drab. “Aren’t you cold?” she said. I shrugged. “I’m used to it.” It was dusk. I’d been walking alongside the road out of town. The locals called it Bad Luck Bends.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Book Review: The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling

This month, visiting reviewer Wendy N. Wagner does the math on Caitlin Starling’s new novel The Death of Jane Lawrence. See why Wendy thinks this novel is an total plus.

Science Fiction

The Turnaround

Whit got lost in 1971 and couldn’t find her way back. She hit the fail-safe button but nothing happened, and meanwhile she kept getting thrown off by all the foreign landmarks, which turned the city into a maze. The Embarcadero Freeway, this wall of reinforced concrete, cut across the waterfront, with a view of the half-finished Transamerica Pyramid and the scorched ruins on Alcatraz. On Ocean Beach, scores of people squatted among cardboard

Fantasy

Ten Scenes from A Typical Day in the Life of the All-Powerful Despot

The villain won. It is that simple. By means fair or foul (but of course mostly foul), he has crushed the opposition, defeated all his enemies, and established absolute control over a domain that is, now and forever, entirely defined by his whims. Has he conquered the world? Perhaps his accomplishment is nothing that insignificant. Perhaps he has overcome a galactic empire.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Book Review: We, by Yevgeny Zamyatin (a new translation by Bela Shayevich)

Why should you check out this new translation of a 100-year-old Russian science fiction novel? Let Chris Kluwe tell you why!

Science Fiction

Cloudgazer

The nearest cloud cluster was sixty miles away, almost an hour’s journey if Bombay went at top speed. A fruit trader had seen it on her way to Sabon-Gari, floating lazily across the azure sky. “You don’t see that often,” the trader had said to the crowd, grappling her basket of mangoes. “A whole cluster, untethered, unbothered, what a sight! So you see why you have to buy my mangoes, they’ve been blessed by clouds!”

Author Spotlight

Fantasy

To Reach the Gate, She Must Leave Everything Behind

Death takes much and in return it offers Susan P—- only clarity. She finds herself in a great gray desert and knows her life has ended. Clad in a royal dress, she carries a bow and quiver, and a finely-carved ivory horn dangles from her throat. A tremor of fear shakes her. She’s not possessed such things in many years. Has she returned to His world? But Susan doesn’t recognize this bleak land, this starless black sky.

Nonfiction

Book Review: Unfettered Hexes: Queer Tales of Insatiable Darkness, edited by dave ring

Looking for something dark to read? Reviewer Arley Sorg recommends this new anthology from Neon Hemlock.