Lightspeed: Edited by John Joseph Adams




Editorial, June 2017

Welcome to issue eighty-five of Lightspeed!

We have original science fiction by Scott Dalrymple (“Marcel Proust, Incorporated”) and Matthew Kressel (“Love Engine Optimization”), along with SF reprints by Vandana Singh (“Yakshantariksh”) and Elizabeth Bear (“The Heart’s Filthy Lesson”).

Plus, we have original fantasy by Shweta Narayan (“World of the Three”) and Pat Murphy (“Crossing the Threshold”), and fantasy reprints by Carlos Hernandez (“The Magical Properties of Unicorn Ivory”) and Ben Hoffman (“Substitutes”).

All that, and we also have our usual assortment of author spotlights, along with our book and media review columns. Our cover art is by Randy Gallegos, illustrating Shweta Narayan’s “World of the Three.”

For our ebook readers, we also have an ebook-exclusive reprint of Yoon Ha Lee’s “Iseul’s Lexicon” and an excerpt from the latest novel by Seanan McGuire, Down Among the Sticks and Bones, as well as a bonus excerpt from Never Now Always by Desirina Boskovich.

New Release: Cosmic Powers

My new 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.

Awards News

The Nebula Awards were presented on May 20 at the 51st annual SFWA Nebula Conference, held this year in Pittsburgh, PA. Lightspeed stories “Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea” by Sarah Pinsker and “Welcome to the Medical Clinic at the Interplanetary Relay Station│Hours Since the Last Patient Death: 0” by Caroline M. Yoachim were finalists this year. Alas, neither Caroline nor Sarah won the coveted starstuff-filled block of Lucite. It seems that Lightspeed authors are pretty good at getting nominated for Nebulas, but currently have a record of 0-18 at winning Nebulas. But of course, as they say, it’s an honor just to be nominated—so another round of congrats to Sarah and Caroline for being named finalists, and congrats as well to all of the other nominees and winners for this year’s award! You can find the full slate of winners and finalists at

The Locus Award finalists have been announced, and we’re pleased to see that Lightspeed is a finalist in the Magazine category, and yours truly is a finalist in the Editor category. Alas, there was no love for Nightmare, and no stories from either magazine were named finalists, but we’re honored to receive the overall recognition, of course! The winners will be announced June 24, at the Locus Awards Weekend; a complete list of the finalists is available at

The Shirley Jackson Award finalists have been announced. Happily “Angel, Monster, Man” by Sam J. Miller, from our sister-magazine, Nightmare, is a finalist in the novelette category. Congrats to Sam, and to all of the other finalists. A complete list of the finalists is available at

The Stoker Awards were presented on April 29 at StokerCon 2017, held this year in Long Beach, CA, at the historic Queen Mary hotel. “The Bad Hour” by Christopher Golden, from my horror anthology co-edited with Douglas Cohen, What the #@&% is That?, made the final ballot, but, alas, it didn’t win (that honor went to Joyce Carol Oates). Congratulations, however, to Nightmare’s reprints editor, John Langan, who won the Stoker Award for best novel for his book The Fisherman! You can find a full list of the winners (and finalists) at

ICYMI, the Hugo Award finalists for 2017 have been announced. Alas, no stories from Lightspeed or Nightmare made the ballot this year, but your humble editor is once again honored to be a finalist for Best Editor, Short Form. There are a lot of great finalists this year—including, I’m pleased to see, seven different contributors to Cosmic Powers and many different authors who have appeared in (or are friends to) Lightspeed. Congrats to all of the finalists! To see the full list, visit Voting closes July 15.

Staff News

We’re sad to announce that our long-time Assistant Editor, Robyn Lupo, has stepped down. Editorial Assistant Laurel Amberdine was promoted to Assistant Editor to fill the void left by her departure. Thank you, Robyn, for your many years of service—we salute you! And welcome, Laurel, to the upper echelons of Lightspeed editorial—try not to go mad with power!

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:

In July, we’ll be 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’ll be 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!

• • • •

Well, that’s all there is to report this month. Thanks for reading!

Enjoyed this article? Consider supporting us via one of the following methods:

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.