Lightspeed: Edited by John Joseph Adams




Editorial, February 2012

Welcome to issue twenty-one of Lightspeed!

Before we get to our issue’s contents this month, a few Lightspeed announcements and reminders. First, I just wanted to remind you that in addition to our subscriptions offered via Weightless Books, you can now subscribe to Lightspeed via; subscribers will have every issue of Lightspeed delivered automatically to their Kindle library (whether it’s an actual Kindle or one of the Kindle apps).

Second, we are also now pleased to announce another subscription option . . . for those with deep pockets and a generous spirit: lifetime subscriptions! By purchasing a lifetime subscription to Lightspeed, you’ll get a subscription that never ends . . . or, rather, a subscription that will last at least as long as the subscriber—or Lightspeed—does! You’ll receive, via email, every issue of Lightspeed as soon as it’s available (which will often be several days ahead of regular subscribers), and you’ll get it in both epub and mobi format (so your subscription will be equally compatible with Kindle and iPad and Nook, and most other ereaders). Lifetime subscriptions are a great way to support the magazine, and ensure you never miss an issue. They cost $500, and you can purchase them directly from Lightspeed.

Visit to learn more about all of our subscription options.

And lastly, I wanted to point out that there are several ways you can sign up to be notified of new Lightspeed content:


In other news, award season is officially in full swing. Hugo and Nebula nominations are now both open.

Active and Associate members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America may submit nominations for the Nebula Awards; nominations close February 15. For more information, visit SFWA’s How to Vote page.

Anyone who has an attending or supporting membership of this year’s Worldcon (Chicon 7) as of January 31, and all members of last year’s Worldcon (Renovation), may nominate works for the Hugo Awards; nominations close March 31. If you didn’t attend or support Renovation, and you don’t plan to attend Chicon 7, you can still nominate by purchasing a supporting membership. For more information, visit Chicon 7’s nomination page.

As I mentioned, the Nebulas are for science fiction/fantasy professionals only; the Hugos, however, are open to any fan, and I would encourage any of you reading this to seriously consider voting and participating in the process. If you’re attending Worldcon (or attended last year’s), you have voting privileges—use them! Even if you haven’t read a hundred novels or surveyed the entire field of short fiction (and even if you want to nominate things other than Lightspeed!); if everyone nominates material they feel is worthy, then the best stuff will still rise to the top.

Also, ebook readers have even less of an excuse for not voting these days, thanks to the fabulous Hugo Voter Packet that’s distributed to members every year. All attending and supporting members of Worldcon now receive a packet containing most of the works nominated for the current year’s awards. Meaning, although you may have to pay $50 for a supporting membership, you’ll get far more than $50 worth of ebooks in exchange for that, plus you get the right to have some say in what wins the field’s most prestigious award. So, come on, gang—let’s get out there and vote!

If you’d like to vote for Lightspeed (and/or Fantasy) material from 2011, I’ve got a post on my personal blog with a list of eligible works, sorting them into their proper categories, and including a list of those eligible for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer:

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

We have original fantasy by new writer Brooke Bolander (“Her Words Like Hunting Vixens Spring”) and Fantasy-favorite Genevieve Valentine (“The Gravedigger of Konstan Spring”), and fantasy reprints by Chris Willrich (“The Mermaid and the Mortal Thing”) and the legendary Robert Silverberg (“Not Our Brother”). Plus, we have original science fiction by Keith Brooke (“War 3.01”) and bestselling author Carrie Vaughn (“Harry and Marlowe and the Talisman of the Cult of Egil”), plus SF reprints by award-winning authors Gregory Benford (“Dark Sanctuary”) and Kristine Kathryn Rusch (“Craters”). All that plus our artist showcase, our usual assortment of author spotlights, and feature interviews with bestselling authors Chuck Palahniuk and Daniel H. Wilson.

And, for our ebook readers, our ebook-exclusive novella this month is the dark, brutal tour de force “Hands Up! Who Wants to Die?” by Lucius Shepard.

This issue is sponsored by Orbit Books. This month, look for The Troupe, a tale of gothic intrigue set during the Vaudeville era by Robert Jackson Bennett, available in bookstores everywhere. 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 while you’re at it, tell a friend about Lightspeed. 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.