Science Fiction & Fantasy




Editorial, June 2012

Welcome to issue twenty-five of Lightspeed—our second anniversary issue!

It’s hard to believe it’s been two whole years already, isn’t it? But it’s true: We launched Lightspeed in June 2010, so this issue marks the start of our third year of publication. We’ve had a great run so far, including a slew of best-of-the-year reprints and award nominations—including two Hugo Award nominations for Lightspeed itself. Thanks to all of our wonderful writers and our ever-vigilant and hardworking staff. And, of course, thanks too to all of you readers who have supported us since our inception; we’re glad to see you sticking with us, and to see your ranks growing by leaps and bounds.

Speaking of Lightspeed’s launch, we’re actually in the process now of launching a new magazine—Nightmare, which, as you can probably guess from the title, will be devoted to horror. The publishing model will be very familiar to those of you who regularly read Lightspeed: Nightmare will publish four stories a month, two originals and two reprints, along with assorted author spotlights and nonfiction. The first issue will contain all-new, original stories by Laird Barron, Sarah Langan, Jonathan Maberry, and Genevieve Valentine.

We’re currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to launch Nightmare. We’re attempting to raise $7500 to fund the first issue and cover other launching costs. Hopefully by the time you read this, we’ll have already met our goal. But if we haven’t—or even if we have!—I hope you’ll consider supporting the magazine. We’ve got it setup so that the donor rewards are akin to pre-ordering: For $3 you’ll get an ebook edition of issue #1; for $25 you’ll get a one-year ebook subscription, and so on. The Kickstarter ends on June 7, 2012, so if you want to participate, don’t delay! To learn more about Nightmare, or to donate, visit our Kickstarter page here:

So that’s all very exciting, isn’t it? But I know you’re ready to hear about this month’s issue, so without further adieu . . .

This month, we have original fantasy by debut writer Kelsey Ann Barrett (“My Teacher, My Enemy”) and award-winning author John Langan (“Renfrew’s Course”), with fantasy reprints by bestselling author Seanan McGuire (“Lost”) and Hugo-winner Tim Pratt (“Cup and Table”).

We also have original science fiction by Maggie Clark (“A Plague of Zhe”) and Simon McCaffery (“The Cristóbal Effect”), along with SF reprints by Eileen Gunn (“Contact”) and bestselling author George R. R. Martin (“The Way of Cross and Dragon”).

For our ebook readers: Our ebook-exclusive is again not a novella, but the second and final part of the two-part serial novel: The Cosmology of the Wider World, by Jeffrey Ford. We also have excerpts from two new novels: David Brin’s Existence and N. K. Jemisin’s The Killing Moon.

All that plus our usual assortment of author and artist spotlights, and feature interviews with bestselling author Anne Rice and documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock (director of Comic-Con, Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope).

Our issue this month is again sponsored by our friends at Orbit Books. This month, look for Blackout, the concluding volume of Mira Grant’s Hugo Award-nominated Newsflesh trilogy. You can find more from Orbit—including digital short fiction and monthly ebook deals—at

It’s another great issue, so be sure to check it out. And remember, there are several ways you can sign up to be notified of new Lightspeed content:

And one last bit of news . . . or, really, an apology: We messed up! The May ebook edition of Lightspeed, which contains Catherynne M. Valente’s story “A Hole to China,” was somehow finalized with a substantial amount of text missing from the end of Cat’s story’s second section (“The Ox of Sorrows”). We discovered the error and fixed the web edition before it was published, but our ebook editions had already been sent out into the world. We did fix the ebook edition and upload new versions to all of our vendors, but a number of readers certainly had already downloaded their ebooks, so those folks will have received the version that contained the Valente story with the missing text. You can, of course, read the entire story on our website right now, but since those of you who purchase our ebook editions pay for the convenience of having your stories in ebook format, we wanted to make the full version of Cat’s story available in ePub and Mobi format, so that you can enjoy it as Crom intended. If you’d like to grab the full version of Cat’s story, please go to and download your preferred ebook edition and enjoy. Again, we’re very sorry about the mixup, and we will endeavor to ensure this kind of thing doesn’t happen again!

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.