Lightspeed: Edited by John Joseph Adams




Editorial: January 2023

It’s Lightspeed’s 152nd issue, and our first of the new year. Welcome to 2023, everyone!

Our SFnal offerings include two flash stories: “The Last Serving” by Lincoln Michel and “A Guide to Alien Terms Useful in the Human Diaspora” by Deborah L. Davitt. Our first full-length short story is “The Narrative Implications of Your Untimely Death” by Isabel Kim. If you ever wondered what would happen if the networks took the reality TV show Survivor to outer space—and gave the producers the power to bring their most popular stars back to life—then this story is for you. In the new short “From the Largest Crater,” Jendayi Brooks-Flemister returns us to the slow apocalypse we visited in last year’s “Up Falling.” While you don’t need to read both stories to understand them, the two form a poignant story of love and family.

Scott Edelman brings us the first of our fantasy shorts: “A Man Walks Into a Bar: In Which More Than Four Decades After My Father’s Reluctant Night of Darts on West 54th Street I Finally Understand What Needs to Be Done.” It’s the story of one brief interaction in New York City, and the magical consequences it could have on the entire world. Maria Dong brings us our second short story, a beautiful and harrowing tale of servitude, love, and longing called “Braid Me a Howling Tongue.”

The fantastical continues with a reprint of Seanan McGuire’s story “In the Deep Woods; The Light is Different There.” And our flash story this month is “Between the Stones and the Stars” (by A.L. Goldfuss).

Our book review team brings you our usual array of terrific recommendations, and of course we have author spotlight interviews with our authors.

It’s a packed issue, so thanks for checking it out!

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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.