Lightspeed: Edited by John Joseph Adams




Editorial, April 2016

Welcome to issue seventy-one of Lightspeed!

This month, we have original science fiction by Carrie Vaughn (“Origin Story”) and Matthew Bailey (“The Birth Will Take Place on a Mutually Acceptable Research Vessel”), along with SF reprints by Patricia Strand (“Cause for a Haunting”) and Peter Watts (“Collateral”).

Plus, we have original fantasy by Nghi Vo (“Dragon Brides”) and Rudy Rucker (“The Knobby Giraffe”), and fantasy reprints by Theodora Goss (“Lily, With Clouds”) and Ken Scholes (“Of Metal Men and Scarlet Thread and Dancing with the Sunrise”).

All that, and of course we also have our usual assortment of author spotlights, along with our book and media review columns.

For our ebook readers, we also have an ebook-exclusive reprint of the novella “Incident on a Small Colony,” by Kristine Smith, and an excerpt from Thomas Olde Heuvelt’s new novel, HEX.

Nebula Award Nominations

ICYMI last month, awards season is officially upon us, and it looks like 2015 was a terrific year for our publications. The first of the major awards have announced their lists of finalists for last year’s work, and we’re pleased to announce that “Madeleine” by Amal El-Mohtar (Lightspeed, June 2015) and “And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead” by Brooke Bolander (Lightspeed, Feb. 2015) are finalists for the Nebula Award this year. Plus, from our sister-magazine, Nightmare, “Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers” by Alyssa Wong (Nightmare, Oct. 2015) is also a nominee! Congrats to Amal and Brooke and Alyssa and to all of the other Nebula nominees! That brings Lightspeed’s lifetime Nebula nomination total to fourteen since we launched in June 2010 (and Nightmare’s total to one!). We’ve currently lost twelve in a row, so here’s hoping Brooke or Amal breaks the streak! You can find the full slate of nominees at The Nebulas will be presented at the 2016 Nebula Awards Conference, held this year in Chicago, Illinois, May 12–15.

Stoker Award Nominations

In other awards news, Nightmare had two stories—the aforementioned “Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers” by Alyssa Wong and “Snow” by Dale Bailey—on the preliminary Stoker Awards ballot for best Short Fiction (plus Seanan McGuire’s story, “Resistance,” from my anthology The End Has Come, made it in the Long Fiction category), and we’re pleased to report that Alyssa Wong’s story made the final ballot! That marks Nightmare’s (and Alyssa’s) first Stoker Award nomination. So big congrats to Alyssa, and also to Dale and Seanan for nearly making it. You can find the full slate of what made the final ballot at The Stokers will be presented at StokerCon 2016, which is being held in Las Vegas, Nevada, May 12–15.

Locus Award Voting

And last but not least, the Locus Awards are still open for voting []. Several stories from Lightspeed, Nightmare, and my anthologies made the recommended reading list, though the Locus Award has a write-in ballot, so you can also disregard the recommendations and vote for whatever you like instead. Voting closes April 15, 2016.

Best-of-the-Year Selections

As previously noted, several stories from Lightspeed, Nightmare, the Destroy special issues, and my anthologies have also been selected for reprint in several best-of-the-year volumes. However, we initially somehow managed to leave a couple stories off our big list, so here is the list again, now with everything included:

  • “Time Bomb Time” by C.C. Finlay (Lightspeed | Horton)
  • “And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead” by Brooke Bolander (Lightspeed | Horton)
  • “Ghosts of Home” by Sam J. Miller (Lightspeed | Strahan)
  • “The Karen Joy Fowler Book Club” by Nike Sulway (Lightspeed | Horton, Strahan)
  • “The Smog Society” by Chen Qiufan, translated by Ken Liu and Carmen Yiling Yan (Lightspeed | Clarke)
  • “Violation of the TrueNet Security Act” by Taiyo Fujii, translated by Jim Hubbert (Lightspeed | Clarke)
  • “The Astrakhan, the Homberg, and the Red Red Coal” by Chaz Brenchley (Lightspeed | Dozois, Horton)
  • “Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World” by Caroline M. Yoachim (Lightspeed | Clarke)
  • “Snow” by Dale Bailey (Nightmare | Datlow, Guran)
  • “Descent” by Carmen Maria Machado (Nightmare | Datlow)
  • “Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers” by Alyssa Wong (Nightmare | Strahan)
  • “The Lily and the Horn” by Catherynne M. Valente (Fantasy | Guran, Strahan)
  • “Kaiju maximus®: ‘So Various, So Beautiful, So New’” by Kai Ashante Wilson (Fantasy | Guran, Strahan)
  • “Bannerless” by Carrie Vaughn (The End Has Come | Clarke, Dozois)
  • “The Gods Have Not Died in Vain” by Ken Liu (The End Has Come | Clarke)
  • “Blood, Ash, Braids” by Genevieve Valentine (Operation Arcana | Strahan)
  • “The Graphology of Hemmorhage” by Yoon Ha Lee (Operation Arcana | Horton)
  • “1Up” by Holly Black (Press Start to Play | Guran)

John Joseph Adams Books: New Releases + Acquisitions

And finally, one last bit of news: John Joseph Adams Books’ first three releases are now available in bookstores. Our first release, Beacon 23 by Hugh Howey, came out in February, and the final two titles of our “pre-launch” season come out in March: Hugh Howey’s Shift and Dust, were released on March 22. They’re volumes 2 and 3 of Hugh’s bestselling Silo series (which began with the blockbuster Wool). You can read an excerpt of Shift in our March issue.

In a related development, I also acquired my first original title for the line: Bannerless by Carrie Vaughn. It takes place in the same world as her Hugo-nominated story “Amaryllis,” which appeared in the very first issue of Lightspeed. Also more directly-related is her 2015 story “Bannerless” from my anthology The End Has Come (which you can also read online at In the official release, we described it as: “a novel in which an investigator must discover the truth behind a mysterious death in a world where small communities struggle to maintain a ravaged civilization decades after environmental and economic collapse.” It’s a two-book deal, with publication of the first slated for Spring 2017.

• • • •

Well, that’s all there is to report this month. Thanks for reading!

Enjoyed this article? Consider supporting us via one of the following methods:

John Joseph Adams


John Joseph Adams is the series editor of Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy and is the bestselling editor of more than thirty anthologies, including Wastelands and The Living Dead. Recent books include A People’s Future of the United States, Wastelands: The New Apocalypse, and the three volumes of The Dystopia Triptych. Called “the reigning king of the anthology world” by Barnes & Noble, John is a two-time winner of the Hugo Award (for which he has been a finalist twelve times) and an eight-time World Fantasy Award finalist. John is also the editor and publisher of Lightspeed and is the publisher of its sister-magazines, Fantasy and Nightmare. For five years, he ran the John Joseph Adams Books novel imprint for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Find him online at and @johnjosephadams.