Lightspeed: Edited by John Joseph Adams




Editorial: April 2018

Welcome to issue ninety-five of Lightspeed!

Our cover art this month is from Elizabeth Leggett, illustrating an original science fiction short by Will McIntosh (“What is Eve?”). We also have new work from Timothy Mudie (“The Elephants’ Crematorium”), along with SF reprints by Steven Barnes (“Mozart on the Kalahari”) and Mary Anne Mohanraj (“Webs”).

Plus, we have original fantasy by Adam-Troy Castro (“A Place Without Portals”) and Ruth Joffre (“Nitrate Nocturnes”), and fantasy reprints by Carmen Maria Machado (“The Old Women Who Were Skinned”) and Ken Liu (“The Snow Train”).

All that, and of course we have our usual assortment of author spotlights, along with our book and media review columns. We also have a feature interview with Angus McIntyre.

For our ebook readers, we also have our usual ebook-exclusive novella reprint (“Lazy Dog Out,” by Suzanne Palmer), and an excerpt from Bryan Camp’s debut novel, The City of Lost Fortunes.

Awards News

Finalists for this year’s Nebula Award have been announced. Alas, Lightspeed was shutout this year—for the first time since we started publishing, I think! But many fine stories and authors were nominated, of course, which you can read about at The awards will be presented in Pittsburgh, PA at the 2018 SFWA Nebula Conference on May 19, 2018.

Hugo finalists have also been announced. Yours truly is once again a finalist for Best Editor, Short Form, and we’re pleased to see frequent Lightspeed cover artist Galen Dara is a finalist for Best Professional Artist. Otherwise, like the Nebulas, no finalists in the actual fiction categories, but again, many fine folks nominated on what looks like a really strong ballot, which you can find at The awards will be presented in San Jose, CA at WorldCon 76 on August 19, 2018.

Congrats to all of the finalists!

John Joseph Adams Books News for April 2018

New recent acquisition to report:

  • Jack Skillingstead’s The Chaos Function, about a war reporter who is drawn into a mysterious world of shifting timelines, machines that control probability, apocalypses both nuclear and biological, and a secret society that has the power to shape history—and save the world. (Spring 2019)

News aside, here’s a quick rundown what to expect from John Joseph Adams Books in 2018:

On April 17, we’ll publish Bryan Camp’s The City of Lost Fortunes, about a magician with a talent for finding lost things who is forced into playing a high stakes game with the gods of New Orleans for the heart and soul of the city. Here’s some early buzz for the book:

  • “A deft and expansive fantasy imbued with real magic and wild plot turns.” —Kelly Link, author of Pulitzer Prize finalist Get in Trouble
  • “A phantasmagoric murder mystery that wails, chants, laments, and changes shape as audaciously as the mythical beings populating its narrative. […] The engaging style, facility with folklore, and, above all, impassioned love for the city its characters call home keeps you enraptured by the book’s most chilling and outrageous plot twists.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
  • “There isn’t a dull page as Jude determines who his real friends are. Anne Rice fans will enjoy this fresh view of supernatural life in New Orleans, while fans of Kim Harrison’s urban fantasy will have a new author to watch.” —Booklist (starred review)
  • “Camp’s fantasy reads like jazz, with multiple chaotic-seeming threads of deities, mortals, and destiny playing in harmony. This game of souls and fate is full of snarky dialogue, taut suspense, and characters whose glitter hides sharp fangs. […] Any reader who likes fantasy with a dash of the bizarre will enjoy this trip to the Crescent City.” —Publishers Weekly
  • “Take a walk down wild card shark streets into a world of gods, lost souls, murder, and deep, dark magic. You might not come back from The City of Lost Fortunes, but you’ll enjoy the trip.” —Richard Kadrey, bestselling author of the Sandman Slim series
  • “In The City of Lost Fortunes, Bryan Camp delivers a high-octane tale of myth and magic, serving up the best of Neil Gaiman and Richard Kadrey. Here is New Orleans in all its gritty, grudging glory, the haunt of sinners and saints, gods and mischief-makers. Once you pay a visit, you won’t want to leave!” —Helen Marshall, World Fantasy Award-winning author of Gifts for the One Who Comes After
  • “Bryan Camp’s debut novel The City of Lost Fortunes is like a blessed stay in a city both distinctly familiar and wonderfully strange, with an old friend who knows just the right spots to take you to–not too touristy, and imbued with the weight of history and myth, populated by local characters you’ll never forget. You’ll leave sated with the sights and sounds of a New Orleans that is not quite the real city, but breathes like the real thing, a beautiful mimicry in prose that becomes its own version of reality in a way only a good story—or magic—can. You won’t regret the visit.” —Indra Das, author of The Devourers

On June 19, we’ll publish Todd McAulty’s The Robots of Gotham, a debut novel about a future where the world is on the brink of total subjugation by machine intelligences when a man stumbles on a sinister conspiracy to exterminate humanity and a group of human and machine misfits who might just be able to prevent it. Here’s what some early readers are saying about this one:

  • The Robots of Gotham is a thrilling ride through a nuanced, post-singularity world populated by a frightening and fascinating array of smart machines. Read this and you’ll come to the same conclusion I did: The world belongs to robots, we’re just living in it.” —Daniel H. Wilson, bestselling author of Robopocalypse and The Clockwork Dynasty
  • “An epic novel of man vs. machine, full of action, political intrigue, and unexpected twists. Todd McAulty has given us a fresh, compelling take on life during a robot apocalypse.” —Jeff Abbott, New York Times bestselling author of Blame
  • “Todd McAulty has done the incredible. Delivered a rich and credible near-future world, where Thought Machines control, well, almost everything (and are themselves astonishingly diverse and cool), and used all this to create the most human SF story I’ve read in a very long time. I love everything about Robots of Gotham. I want more, McAulty. MORE!” —Julie E. Czerneda, author of The Clan Chronicles
  • “When the robot apocalypse comes, I hope it’s this much fun. Like The Martian and Ready Player One, Robots of Gotham is set in a high-tech near-future where something has gone terribly wrong, and it’s navigated by a hero who’s quirky, resourceful, and as likable as they come. Read it for the rock’em-sock’em-robot action—read it for the deft world-building with its detailed taxonomy of intelligent machines—read it for the sobering parallels to modern-day issues and threats. Or just read it because it’s a helluva good ride.” —Sharon Shinn, author of the Elemental Blessings series
  • “The Robots of Gotham is a crackling good adventure, stuffed with cool action sequences. It also features serious and intriguing speculation about the potential of Artificial Intelligence, for good and bad. And it’s an engaging read, with absorbing characters, and, of course, lots and lots of nifty robots.” —Rich Horton, editor of The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy
  • “If Johnny 5 had a baby with the Terminator, the result would be Robots of Gotham: a book that explores the consequences of world domination by our Robot Overlords. (And, lest we forget the badassiest of them, our Robot Overladies.) Drones, dinosaurs, and doggies—with a plague thrown in for good measure!—the barter is banter, and death is cheap. With man against machine, machine against machine, man against man, unlikely alliances must be forged across all species, rational or otherwise. For all its breakneck world-building, constant questing, and relentless wheeling and dealing, Robots of Gotham is deceptively deep-hearted: a novel about, of all things, friendship.” —C.S.E. Cooney, author of World Fantasy Award-winning Bone Swans: Stories

Further out in 2018, we’ll have The Wild Dead—Carrie Vaughn’s sequel to Bannerless—in July; Dale Bailey’s In the Night Wood in October; and then Molly Tanzer’s Creatures of Want and Ruin in November. We’ll provide more details about those as the publication dates draw nearer, but as always if you want more information about these or any other John Joseph Adams Books titles, just visit

That’s all the JJA Books news for now. More soon!

• • • •

Well, that’s all there is to report this month. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy the issue!

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.