Lightspeed: Edited by John Joseph Adams




Editorial: January 2021

Welcome to Lightspeed’s 128th issue!

We’re kicking off the year with an original short by Anjali Sachdeva (“The Incorruptible World”), which asks the big question: If you could design the world to your taste, what would you include, and what would you leave out? And more dangerously: What would you forget? Our other original SF short is an alien tale (“The Memory Plague”) from D. Thomas Minton that digs into the nature of identity and memory and the very worth of life. Our SF reprints are from An Owomoyela (“The Hard Spot in the Glacier”) and Greg van Eekhout (“On the Fringes of the Fractal”).

Our first fantasy original is from Adam-Troy Castro (“Answering the Questions You Might Have About the Kharbat”) that mixes vicious beasts with a little bit of physics’ observer effect.  We also have another original fairy tale from P H Lee, the chilly story of “Frost’s Boy”—it will leave you ready for a hot cup of cocoa. Our fantasy reprints are from Maria Dahvana Headley (“The Orange Tree”) and Liz Ziemska (“The Mushroom Queen”).

All that, and of course we also have our usual assortment of author spotlights, and our ebook readers will get to see a sneak peek of Greg Bear’s new novel, The Unfinished Land. Our nonfiction department is reorganizing a bit, but you we’ve got three fantastic book reviews for you to dig into. Hope you enjoy the issue, and see you next month!

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.