Science Fiction & Fantasy




Editorial, December 2012

Welcome to issue thirty-one of Lightspeed!

As I write this editorial, I’m just back from the World Fantasy Convention, which was held in Toronto this year. As always, it was a wonderful time, catching up with old friends and colleagues and meeting new ones. We held some promotional events at the convention for Lightspeed and Nightmare, which were well attended, and we had three hundred copies of a Lightspeed/Nightmare sampler distributed amongst the membership, none of which seemed to end up on the “freebie/unwanted books” table afterward, which we took as a good sign. Alas, I did once again manage to not win the World Fantasy Award, but it really is truly an honor to be nominated.

Last month I told you about my new anthology, Epic: Legends of Fantasy. In case you missed that editorial, briefly: Epic is an anthology reprinting the best epic fantasy short fiction, featuring authors such as George R. R. Martin, Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss, Robin Hobb, and more. Learn more at

This month, I have another new book out, or rather a new edition of one of my already published books. Night Shade Books has just released a new revised and expanded edition of my dystopian fiction anthology Brave New Worlds. This new edition contains three stories not included in the first edition, including “The Perfect Match” by Ken Liu, which appears as an original in this month’s issue of Lightspeed. To learn more about Brave New Worlds, visit

And, finally—have you checked out our new sister-magazine Nightmare yet? If you enjoy horror and dark fantasy, we hope you’ll do so if you haven’t already. Our first issue featured four all-new stories by Laird Barron, Sarah Langan, Jonathan Maberry, and Genevieve Valentine; the November issue included original fiction by horror legend Ramsey Campbell and up-and-coming writer Desirina Boskovich, along with classic reprints by Joe Haldeman and Poppy Z. Brite. And the December issue has original fiction by bestselling author Daniel H. Wilson and new writer J.B. Park, along with reprints by Sarah Pinborough and Tananarive Due. Just visit, and either read it for free online, or buy one of our ebook editions—or subscribe!


Speaking of subscriptions . . . . You may have noticed that Lightspeed’s subscription price went up recently, from $1.99 an issue to $2.99 an issue (e.g., from $23.88 to $35.88 annually). We just wanted to briefly explain why.

As many of you know, Lightspeed has been available as a subscription via’s Periodicals program since late 2011. What you may not have known is that Amazon actually sets the price on those subscriptions. When Lightspeed first launched as an Amazon subscription, it was before the LightspeedFantasy merger, at which point the issues were about 30,000-35,000 words long. At that time, we sold individual issues for $2.99 and Amazon priced Lightspeed at $1.99 a month for subscribers.

Post-merger, we doubled our amount of fiction content by merging Fantasy Magazine into Lightspeed, and then also added in the novella reprints to each ebook issue as well, taking each ebook issue to around 80,000-85,000 words total. We raised our cover price to $3.99, but Amazon kept our subscription price at $1.99 per issue; Amazon reviews periodicals pricing on their own schedule—regardless of what the publisher may prefer—so it wasn’t until the past couple of weeks that they reviewed the pricing for Lightspeed. After their review, they adjusted the subscription price up to $2.99, due, we assume, to the fact that each issue of the magazine is now much longer. Our individual issue price remains at $3.99 an issue, so subscribers will still be saving a dollar an issue by subscribing (or about 25% off the cover price).

So, the price increase is not something that was under our control, but we feel like it is a fair price for the magazine, and we hope you’ll agree and continue to subscribe. Rest assured, we’re not going to take this newfound income and spend it frivolously; indeed, we plan to take it and invest it back into Lightspeed, to make it the best magazine it can be.


With all that out of the way, here’s what we’ve got on tap this month:

We have a pair of connected fantasy stories by husband-and-wife creative duo J.T. Petty and Sarah Langan (“Family Teeth, Part 5: American Jackal” and “Family Teeth, Part 6: St. Polycarp’s Home for Happy Wanderers”), along with fantasy reprints by Brian Evenson (“An Accounting”) and Kelly Link (“Catskin”).

Plus, we have original science fiction by D. Thomas Minton (“Dreams in Dust”) and Ken Liu (“The Perfect Match”), and SF reprints by Yoon Ha Lee (“Swanwatch”) and Marta Randall (“Lazaro y Antonio”).

For our ebook readers, our ebook-exclusive novella is “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang, and of course we have our usual assortment of author and artist spotlights, along with feature interviews with bestseller Tad Williams and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Diaz. Plus, we have an excerpt of the new Dresden Files novel, Cold Days, by Jim Butcher.

Our issue this month is again sponsored by our friends at Orbit Books. This month, look for the Culture Box Set, which celebrates the 25th anniversary of Iain M. Banks’s legendary Culture series and includes the first three novels in the series (Consider Phlebas, The Player of Games, and Use of Weapons). You can find more from Orbit—including digital short fiction and monthly ebook deals—at

It’s another great issue, so be sure to check it out. And remember, there are several ways you can sign up to be notified of new Lightspeed content:

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

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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.