Lightspeed: Edited by John Joseph Adams




Editorial, July 2017

Welcome to issue eighty-six of Lightspeed!

This month, our cover art is by Reiko Murakami, illustrating a new science fiction story by John Grant (“The Law of Conservation of Data”). We also have a new story from E. Catherine Tobler (“Mix Tapes from Dead Boys”), along with SF reprints by Chris Beckett (“Marcher”) and James Tiptree, Jr. (“The Last Flight of Doctor Ain”).

Plus, we have original fantasy by Alvaro Zinos-Amaro & Adam-Troy Castro (“A Touch of Heart”) and Debbie Urbanski (“How to Find a Portal”), and fantasy reprints by A.G. Howard (“Stitches”) and Will Ludwigsen (“Acres of Perhaps”).

Our nonfiction department is serving up our monthly book review column, as well as Carrie Vaughn’s assessment of the new Wonder Woman movie. Speaking of Carrie, we’re also giving our readers a chance to really get to know her, as she’s the subject of this month’s feature interview—and if you’re an ebook reader, you can get a little taste of her new novel, Bannerless, out this month from John Joseph Adams Books. Our ebook edition also has a reprint of the novella “From Whence You Came,” by Laura Anne Gilman. You’ll also get a bonus excerpt from An Oath of Dogs, by our own Wendy N. Wagner.

ICYMI: Cosmic Powers

My latest anthology, Cosmic Powers, is now available from Saga Press. It’s a collection of epic-scale science fiction, inspired by movies like Guardians of the Galaxy and Star Wars, featuring brand-new stories from Dan Abnett, Jack Campbell, Linda Nagata, Seanan McGuire, Alan Dean Foster, Charlie Jane Anders, Kameron Hurley, and many others.

Here’s what some reviewers have been saying about it:

  • “Astonishingly good […] Rich in great stories.” —Rocket Stack Rank
  • “This collection will prove to be great reading for fans of the space cowboy antics of Guardians of the Galaxy.” —RT Book Reviews
  • “Highly recommended for anyone looking for a variety of engaging sf experiences.” —Booklist
  • “One kickass good anthology […] Highly recommended.” —File 770
  • “The first great anthology of the year, jam-packed with smart, entertaining sci-fi adventure stories that bring a nicely modern sensibility to old ideas and tropes.” —SF Bluestocking

Visit to buy the book, read selected stories from the anthology, or just learn more.

John Joseph Adams Books News: 2017 Cover Reveal

No new deals to report for John Joseph Adams Books, but we did just do a cover reveal for all of our 2017 titles. If you’d like to check that out, visit

Otherwise, here’s a quick rundown what to expect from John Joseph Adams Books in the coming months:

On July 11, we’re publishing Carrie Vaughn’s novel, Bannerless—a post-apocalyptic mystery in which an investigator must discover the truth behind a mysterious death in a world where small communities struggle to maintain a ravaged civilization decades after environmental and economic collapse. Here’s what some of the early reviews have been saying about it:

  • “Skillfully portrays a vastly altered future America. [The] focus on sustainability and responsibility is unusual, thought-provoking, and very welcome.” —Publishers Weekly
  • “An intimate post-apocalyptic mystery […] well-crafted and heartfelt.” —Kirkus
  • “A compelling, deft post-apocalyptic tale.” ­—Library Journal
  • “Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower mixed with a modern procedural mystery […] Wonderfully intriguing.” —Thomas Wilkerson, BookPeople
  • “Totally fascinating as a thought experiment and compulsively readable.” —Jenny Craig, Seattle Public Library

Also in July, we’re publishing Sand by Hugh Howey, a reissue of his acclaimed indie-published novel:

  • “Magnificent […] After reading Wool, his other post-apocalyptic series, I didn’t think he could repeat the creation of a great world setting filled with characters you instantly care about. But he did.” —SFF World
  • “Sand immerses you in its grubby post-apocalyptic world. […] Howey conjures a credible, brutal future.” —Financial Times

In September, we’ll be publishing Retrograde by Peter Cawdron, a hard SF novel about an international colony of astronauts on Mars, who have been prepared for every eventuality of living on another planet except one: What happens when disaster strikes Earth?

In October, we’ll be publishing Machine Learning: New and Collected Stories by Hugh Howey, a short story collection including three stories set in the world of Hugh’s mega-hit Wool and two never-before-published tales, plus fifteen additional stories collected together for the first time.

In November, we’ll be publishing Molly Tanzer’s Creatures of Will and Temper—a Victorian-era urban fantasy inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray, in which an épée-fencing enthusiast and her younger sister are drawn into a secret and dangerous London underworld of pleasure-seeking demons and bloodthirsty diabolists, with only her skill with a blade standing between them and certain death.

A bit further out, in Spring 2018, we’ll have The City of Lost Fortunes by Bryan Camp, about a magician with a talent for finding lost things who is forced into playing a high-stakes game with the gods of New Orleans for the heart and soul of the city. And then in late 2018, we’ll have Upon a Burning Throne by Ashok K. Banker, an epic fantasy about a group of siblings battling for control of a vast empire while a powerful demonlord pits them against each other.

That’s all the JJA Books news to report for now. More soon!

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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.