Lightspeed: Edited by John Joseph Adams




Editorial: July 2021

Welcome to Lightspeed’s 134th issue!

We’re making a big change this month. Since our founding, we’ve brought you an even mix of original fiction and reprint fiction, but now we’re shaking things up and swapping out two of our reprint stories for two pieces of original flash fiction. That’s right! We have even more original fiction for you to enjoy, but some of it will be bite-sized.

Our first piece of flash is the graffiti-flavored fantasy piece “How to Become an Ancestor” by Nicole D. Sconiers. Our SF flash story is the very unsettling “No Lies Detected” by Russell Nichols.

Our full-length science fiction shorts include two short stories that feature recreation with an SFnal flavor. Everdeen Mason gives us the next mind-body health craze in her story “Miss the Zen but Miss You More.” We also have a story of time-traveling tourism called “A Smell of Jet Fuel” from repeat contributor Andrew Dana Hudson. Our SF reprint is from the multi-award-winning author Stephen Graham Jones (“To Jump Is to Fall”).

Our original fantasy shorts both feature wings—but have their own very interesting perspective on them. Rachel Swirsky returns to our pages with a feathered coming of age story (“Innocent Bird”). Lulu Kadhim turns to the world of insects in her story “Amber Dark and Sickly Sweet.” Our fantasy reprint is by Cadwell Turnbull (“Shock of Birth”).

In our nonfiction department, we’ve got some great mini-interviews with our authors, and of course our book reviewers have been reading their eyes out. Our ebook readers will get an excerpt from Shelley Parker-Chan’s new novel She Who Became the Sun.

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.