Science Fiction & Fantasy




Editorial: January 2022

Welcome to Lightspeed’s 140th issue!

We’re flying into the new year with a piece of fantasy fiction from Maria Dong called, appropriately enough, “In the Beginning of Me I Was a Bird.” It’s a fascinating meditation on self, personality, and our relationships with animals and each other. Vanessa Fogg brings us a beautiful tale of magic in her new short story “An Address to the Newest Disciples of the Lost Words,” and our flash story, “In the Cold, Dark Sea,” is a sea-flavored tale of vengeance from Jenny Rae Rappaport. We also have a reprint of “Give Me Cornbread or Give Me Death,” by the one and only N.K. Jemisin.

If you’re hungry for some science fiction, Aimee Ogden’s flash story “Dissent: A Five-Course Meal (With Suggested Pairings)” will certainly whet your appetite, and Jendayi Brooks-Flemister’s post-apocalyptic tale “Up Falling” will make for a filling second course. Lincoln Michel writes about the future of land-use in his story “Cale and Stardust Battle the Mud Gobblers of Hudson Valley.” We also have a reprint from Leah Cypess (“On the Ship”).

As usual, we have spotlight interviews with all our writers and three great book reviews. And for our ebook readers, we also have a book excerpt (Goliath by Tochi Onyebuchi). It’s another terrific month in speculative fiction, friends—we hope you enjoy it!

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.