Lightspeed: Edited by John Joseph Adams




Editorial, February 2017

Welcome to issue eighty-one of Lightspeed!

We have original science fiction by Merc Fenn Wolfmoor (“Later, Let’s Tear Up the Inner Sanctum”) and Jack Skillingstead (“The Last Garden”), along with SF reprints by Ian R. MacLeod (“Starship Day”) and Seanan McGuire (“Lady Antheia’s Guide To Horticultural Warfare”).

Plus, we have original fantasy by Kelly Barnhill (“Probably Still the Chosen One”) and Ashok Banker (“Six-Gun Vixen and the Dead Coon Trashgang”), and fantasy reprints by K.J. Bishop (“The Memorial Page”) and Brian Stableford (“The Elixir of Youth”).

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 a reprint of the novella “Taklamakan,” by Bruce Sterling.

Awards News

In the first awards news of the year, my horror anthology co-edited with Douglas Cohen, What the #@&% is That?, had two stories—”Only Unclench Your Hand” by Isabel Yap and “The Bad Hour” by Christopher Golden—on the Preliminary Stoker Awards ballot for best Short Fiction. So big congrats to them for the honor. You can find the full slate of what made the preliminary ballot at The final ballot will be announced February 23, and the the Stoker Awards themselves will be presented at StokerCon 2017, which is being held in Long Beach, CA, April 27-30.

In other news, the nomination period for this year’s Hugo Awards is now open. Nominations close March 17. Anyone who is or was a voting member of the 2016, 2017, or 2018 Worldcons by January 31, 2017 is eligible to nominate. If you need some help remembering which stories from Lightspeed or Nightmare (or were otherwise edited by/associated with me) fit into which categories, I put together a list of all of the material I worked on that is eligible for this year’s award, which you can find at

Best-of-the-Year Reprints

Several stories from Lightspeed, Nightmare, and the Destroy special issues have also been selected for reprint in several best-of-the-year volumes. They’re listed below, with the original venue and then the best-of-the-year editor(s)’s name following in parenthesis:

  • Redking by Craig DeLancey (Lightspeed | Horton, Dozois)
  • I’ve Come to Marry the Princess by Helena Bell (Lightspeed | Horton)
  • A Good Home by Karin Lowachee (Lightspeed | Clarke)
  • Those Brighter Stars by Mercurio R. Rivera (Lightspeed | Dozois)
  • Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea by Sarah Pinsker (Lightspeed | Clarke)
  • The Jaws That Bite, The Claws That Catch by Seanan McGuire (Lightspeed | Guran)
  • Fifty Shades Of Grays by Steven Barnes (Lightspeed | Horton, Dozois)
  • Red Dirt Witch by N.K. Jemisin (Fantasy | Strahan, Guran)
  • Whose Drowned Face Sleeps by An Owomoyela & Rachael Swirsky (Nightmare | Guran)
  • Wish You Were Here by Nadia Bulkin (Nightmare | Guran)
  • The Finest, Fullest Flowering by Marc Laidlaw (Nightmare | Guran)

We’ll update this list if we uncover any additional such honors!

John Joseph Adams Books News

We pre-launched John Joseph Adams Books in early 2016 with the release of three previously indie-published novels by Hugh Howey: Shift, Dust, and Beacon 23. I’m pleased to announce we’re adding more Howey to our schedule, with the acquisition of Machine Learning: New and Collected Stories, a short story collection including three stories set in the world of Hugh’s mega-hit Wool and two never-before-published tales, plus fifteen additional stories collected together for the first time, for publication in October 2017. We also acquired print rights to another of Hugh’s indie-published novels, Sand, for publication in July 2017.

Looking ahead, also publishing in July is Carrie Vaughn’s novel, Bannerless—a post-apocalyptic mystery 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.

Then, in November, we’ll be publishing Molly Tanzer’s Creatures of Will and Temper—a Victorian-era urban fantasy inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray, in which an epee-fencing enthusiast and her younger sister are drawn into a secret and dangerous London underworld of pleasure-seeking demons and bloodthirsty diabolists, with only her skill with a blade standing between them and certain death.

A bit farther out, in Spring 2018, we’ll have City of Lost Fortunes by Bryan Camp, 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.

In addition to all that, there’s a couple of other titles I’ve acquired, but can’t talk about yet (including one that will also be added to the 2017 schedule); hopefully I can spill the beans about those soon. As I’m writing this, I’ve also got a couple of different prospects on my plate, so hopefully I’ll have even more news to report next month or sometime soon!

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That’s all we have to report this month. I hope you enjoy the issue, and 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.