Science Fiction & Fantasy




Editorial: December 2019

Welcome to Lightspeed’s 115th issue!

We have a new SF short from Matthew Baker: “A Bad Day in Utopia.” Like a lot of utopias in fiction, this one will leave you wondering just what makes for a perfect society—and who gets to decide what works and what doesn’t. Pat Murphy writes about a very awkward conversation in her SF short “Motherhood,” brought to you by recent US headlines. We also have SF reprints by T.L. Huchu (“Njuzu”) and Rick Wilber (“Today Is Today”).

KT Bryski gives us a forested fairy tale re-telling in her new fantasy short “The Path of Pins, the Path of Needles.” Our second original fantasy story, “The End of the Sleeping Girls” by Molly Gutman, also takes us into the woods … and out of them. We also have fantasy reprints by Daniel Abraham (“The Mocking Tower”) and Cat Rambo (“The Silent Familiar”).

All that, and of course we have our usual assortment of author spotlights, along with our book and media review columns. Our interview this month is with bestselling author Daniel José Older. For our ebook readers, we also have our usual book excerpt.

Exciting news from the World Fantasy Awards

We’re delighted to announce that three stories from our Lightspeed/Nightmare publishing family were nominated for the World Fantasy Award for Best Short Fiction: “The Ten Things She Said While Dying: An Annotation,” Adam-Troy Castro (Nightmare, December 2018—; “The Court Magician,” Sarah Pinsker (Lightspeed, January 2018—; and “Ten Deals with the Indigo Snake,” Mel Kassel (Lightspeed, October 2018— We’re even more delighted that Mel Kessel’s story won, sharing the award in a rare tie. We couldn’t be happier for Mel!


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.