Lightspeed: Edited by John Joseph Adams




Editorial: February 2023

Welcome to Lightspeed’s 153rd issue! We’re delighted to offer an all-original issue this month, packed with speculative goodness.

Our first full-length short SF story this month comes from Carrie Vaughn: “Learning Letters.” It’s the story of our world in the near future, and two very different ways of shaping our lives in a time with limited technology. Adam-Troy Castro offers a humorous alien society with an unusual structure in his new tale, “The Day the Earthman Never Showed.” We also have two flash pieces: “In(con)solation” from Octavia Cade and “Guidelines for Using the Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library” by Marie Brennan.

Our original fantasy shorts include “Real Magic” by Sharang Biswas, a story of one small-town witch and her clientele, and “His Guns Could Not Protect Him” by Sam J. Miller—which features an unsettling reality filled with monsters. Monsters of a different variety make an appearance in a flash story (“Subject: More Monsters Will Not Make Us Safer”) by Paul Crenshaw. We also have a second flash piece: “The House of Linear Change” from Oluwatomiwa Ajeigbe.

All that, and of course we also have our usual assortment of author spotlights, along with book reviews from our terrific review team.

It’s another terrific month of content, coming at you at the speed of light.

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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.