Science Fiction & Fantasy




Editorial, January 2012

Welcome to issue twenty of Lightspeed!

As we mentioned in last month’s editorial, Lightspeed (and its sister magazine, Fantasy) has a new publisher—and it’s me, your humble editor, John Joseph Adams. I’m excited to pick up where Prime Books left off, and I look forward to helming the magazines far into the future.

So this is our first issue under the new regime . . . and it’s also the first issue featuring our new format, which combines Lightspeed and Fantasy into a single magazine. Which means, going forward, each issue of the combined magazine will contain four science fiction stories and four fantasy stories.

As our web readers will have noticed by now, we’ve revamped our website a bit to accommodate this change in our publishing model. Previously, we’d publish one new story every week on Tuesdays; from now on, we’ll publish one science fiction story and one fantasy story every Tuesday (or the first four Tuesdays of the month, anyway). For our nonfiction, in the first week of the month, you’ll have our editorial; in week two, you’ll get an interview with our cover artist in our Artist Showcase feature; and then in weeks three and four we’ll publish our two feature interviews. (And speaking of our Artist Showcases, whereas that feature was previously only available on our website, it will now also appear in our ebook editions.)

But there are still more changes afoot. In addition to the merging of Fantasy’s and Lightspeed’s fiction content into a single magazine, from here on out, each ebook edition of Lightspeed will feature exclusive content that you won’t find on our website—namely, in addition to the eight short stories you’ll also find on our website, each ebook issue will now feature a novella-length story.

And, finally, we also have a new subscription option for you. Until now, the only way you could subscribe to Lightspeed was via Weightless Books. Now you can  subscribe via and every issue of Lightspeed will be delivered automatically to your Kindle library (whether you use an actual Kindle or a Kindle app). Visit to learn more about all of our subscription options.

So! Exciting times here at Lightspeed. Now that we’ve got all that out of the way, here’s what we’ve got on tap this month:

We have original science fiction by Megan Arkenberg (“How Many Miles to Babylon?”) and Ken Liu (“The Five Elements of the Heart Mind”), plus SF reprints by Paul McAuley (“Gene Wars”) and Nancy Kress (“Always True to Thee, in My Fashion”). Plus, original fantasy stories by Marissa Lingen (“On the Acquisition of Phoenix Eggs (Variant)”) and Sarah Monette (“Blue Lace Agate”), and fantasy reprints by M. Rickert (“You Have Never Been Here”) and Aimee Bender (“A State of Variance”). All that plus feature interviews with bestselling author Neal Stephenson and award-winning author R. A. MacAvoy, and our usual assortment of author spotlights.

And, for our ebook readers, our ebook-exclusive novella this month is a tribute to a science fiction legend who recently passed away: We’ll be reprinting the Hugo Award-winning novella “Weyr Search” by Anne McCaffrey, the first in her iconic Dragonriders of Pern series, plus we’ll have a memorial by her son—and collaborator—Todd McCaffrey.

It’s another great issue—and the first under our new regime—so be sure to check it out. And while you’re at it, tell a friend about Lightspeed Magazine!

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.