Science Fiction & Fantasy




Editorial, January 2014

Welcome to issue forty-four of Lightspeed!

We hope everyone had a great holiday season this year, and best wishes for a great new year to come. We here at Lightspeed didn’t take much time off during the holidays, as we’ve been busy dreaming up a new special issue of the magazine for our upcoming fourth anniversary issue this June.

It could be said that women invented science fiction; after all, Mary Shelley wrote what is considered by many to be the first science fiction novel (Frankenstein). Yet some readers seem to have this funny idea that women don’t—or can’t—write science fiction. Some have even gone so far as to accuse women of destroying science fiction with their girl cooties. So to help prove how silly that notion is, Lightspeed’s June 2014 issue—our fourth anniversary issue—will be a Women Destroy Science Fiction! special issue. And we will also—for the first time in Lightspeed’s history—have a guest editor at the helm.

The original announcement of this special issue generated so much excitement that we wanted to find ways to include even more amazing science fiction by women, so we’re going to make it a double issue!

On January 15 we’ll be launching a Kickstarter campaign to help make the Women Destroy Science Fiction! issue the best it can be. Our primary goal will be to raise enough money in order to make the issue double the size of a regular issue, but if the campaign goes well we’ll also have some stretch goals as well. If you’d like to back the project, visit

For more details about the special issue, check out the message from the guest editor.

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Before we get to our stories, I just wanted to remind you about some of the great ebooks and ebook bundles we currently have available:

1. Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy ebooks: As you probably know, the majority of our interviews are provided by The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy, a podcast I co-produce for You’ve been able to read transcripts of most of the Geek’s Guide interviews here in Lightspeed for quite a while now, but now you can also read transcripts of the panel discussions. If you hop over to and click on Transcripts, you can see which episodes are available. We’ve got the episodes bundled in threes; so if you buy one of the ebooks (for just $2.99), you get three full episode transcripts, which all contain a variety of panel discussions on all things geeky. You’ll also find one of our panel transcripts as bonus content at the end of this month’s ebook edition.

2. Lightspeed ebook bundles: In the Lightspeed ebookstore, we have a number of ebook bundles available: Year One (issues 1-12), Year Two (issues 13-24), Year Three (issues 25-36), and the Supermassive Bundle (issues 1-36). Buying a bundle gets you a copy of every issue published during the named period. So if you need to catch up on Lightspeed, that’s a great way to do so.

3. Fantasy Magazine ebooks and bundles: You can now also buy ebook back issues—and ebook back issue bundles—of Lightspeed’s (now dormant) sister magazine, Fantasy. To check those out, just visit You can buy each Fantasy bundle for $24.99, or you can buy the complete run of Fantasy Magazine—all 57 issues—for just $114.99 (that’s $10 off buying all the bundles individually, and more than $55 off the cover price!).

4. Nightmare ebooks and bundles: Naturally, Lightspeed’s other sister-magazine, Nightmare (, also has ebooks and bundles available, too. For instance, you can get the complete first year (12 issues) of Nightmare for just $24.99; that’s savings of $11 off buying the issues individually.

5. Subscriptions: In addition to bundles and ebooks, you can also subscribe to Lightspeed (or Nightmare) directly from our ebookstore. All purchases from the Lightspeed (and Fantasy and Nightmare) store are provided in epub and mobi format, plus now they’re also all available in ebook-optimized PDF format as well.

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With all of our announcements out of the way, here’s what we’ve got on tap this month:

We have original science fiction by Jeremiah Tolbert (“In the Dying Light, We Saw a Shape”) and Anaea Lay (“Salamander Patterns”), along with SF reprints by Terry Bisson (“Bears Discover Fire”) and Zhao Haihong (“Exuviation”).

Plus, we have original fantasy by Matthew Hughes (“His Elbow Unkissed”—a Kaslo Chronicles tale) and Adam-Troy Castro (“The Thing About Shapes to Come”), and fantasy reprints by Rosamund Hodge (“Apotheosis”) and Ursula K. Le Guin (“Elementals”).

All that, and of course we also have our usual assortment of author and artist spotlights, along with feature interviews with Hyperbole and a Half’s Allie Brosh and bestselling epic fantasy author Scott Lynch.

For our ebook readers, we also have the novella reprint “The Chambered Fruit” by M. Rickert and novel excerpts from Chuck Wendig and James L. Cambias.

Our issue this month is sponsored by our friends at EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing. This month, look for Clockwork Heart by Dru Pagliassotti (of which you can also read an excerpt in our ebook edition this month). You can find more from EDGE at

It’s another great issue, so be sure to check it out. And remember, there are several ways you can sign up to be notified of new Lightspeed content:

Well, that’s all there is to report this month. 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.