Lightspeed: Edited by John Joseph Adams




Editorial: July 2022

Welcome to Lightspeed’s 146th issue!

We often talk about technology and art as if they are polar opposites, but of course artists use technology, and art itself is both shaped and a shaper of technology. Our first original science fiction story this month—“Critical Mass,” by Peter Watts—is about the marriage of sculpture to technology, and it’s a fascinating meditation on the relationship between them.

Our other original SF (“Singing the Ancient Out of the Dark”) also tackles what might feel like a marriage of opposites: it’s about the role of historians in space exploration, written by duo R J Theodore and Maurice Broaddus. Rich Larson returns with “Ursus Frankensteinus,” a flash piece about polar bears, and our SF reprint is by Samuel Peralta (“Liberty: Seeking Support for a Writ of Habeas Corpus for a Non-Human Being”).

Lyndsie Manusos spins us a poignant story of love and loss in her magical tale “An Old Man Cometh and He Is Overgrown.” Micah Dean Hicks shines a different kind of light on fairies in his story “Hungry as the Mirror Bright.” Isabel Cañas offers a solemn piece of flash fiction, “The Rustle of Growing Things,” and we have a fantasy reprint by Catherynne M. Valente (“The Sun in Exile”).

In nonfiction, our author spotlight interviewer, Laurel Amberdine, has sat down with our writers to discuss their work, and of course we have book reviews from our wonderful review team. Our ebook readers will also enjoy an excerpt from Ruthanna Emrys’s new novel, A Half-Built Garden.

It’s another terrific issue, and we’re delighted to share it with you!

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.