Lightspeed: Edited by John Joseph Adams




Editorial: February 2022

Welcome to Lightspeed’s 141st issue!

Science fiction is one of the literature’s most fun sandboxes. It’s a place to write about new versions of the world, and new versions of our selves. In Isabel J. Kim’s new short story “Plausible Realities, Improbable Dreams,” you get both—in one multiverse-braided array of realities. There’s romance and physics and coffee, and if that doesn’t reel you in, well, you’re heartless. For those of you with hearts, our other original SF short is going to tug at yours. In “NeuNet,” Sharang Biswas gives us the story of what caring for our elders might look like in the future, and it’s just as hard as it is today. To lighten things up, we have a fun flash piece (“Bad Code”) from Stephen Graham Jones. Plus, we have an SF reprint by Karin Lowachee (“Lyceum”).

Speculative fiction of all forms allows us to interrogate human history and social constructs in new, and sometimes painful ways. In that spirit, we have a powerful original fantasy story by Isha Karki called “When We Were Gods.” You don’t have to spend much time in the ghetto gulleys to see our own world reflected back to us in ways both serious and magical.

On the lighter side, PH Lee’s Tales of the Great Sweet Sea returns with a new fable: “The Honest Fox, or, A Truth Shared is Not a Truth Lost.” We also have a pandemic-inspired flash piece (“How to Abandon Your Sourdough Starter”) from Theresa DeLucci. Our fantasy reprint is by Anjali Sachdeva (“Not Creator, Nor Destroyer”).

All that, and of course we also have our usual assortment of author spotlights, along with book reviews from our terrific review team. Our ebook readers will also enjoy an excerpt from Max Gladstone’s thrilling new novel, Last Exit.

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.