Science Fiction & Fantasy

Seasonal Fears



Editorial: June 2020

Welcome to Lightspeed’s 121st issue!

We’re kicking off our tenth year with an original fantasy short from Julianna Baggott, “The Postictal State of Divine Love,” which blends myths of vampirism with the pain of living with someone with a chronic illness. The story is the inspiration for our cover art from Reiko Murakami.

Ben Peek brings us our second piece of original fantasy in “Refuge,” another deep dive into the way history disappears into myth—this time in an all-too-believable secondary world. We also have fantasy reprints by Megan Arkenberg (“Danaë”) and Ken Liu (“What I Assume You Shall Assume”).

Our science fiction originals begin with a cunning solution to a tricky problem: how to best age and market fine Scotch. Find out how in Marie Vibbert’s new “Single Malt Spacecraft.” In our other SF short, Em North has crafted a terrifying alien invasion in her story “Real Animals.” Our reprints this month come from Tochi Onyebuchi (“Still Life with Hammers, a Broom, and a Brick Stacker”) and Matthew Kressel (“The Marsh of Camarina”).

Our nonfiction team brings you our usual assortment of author spotlights, along with our book and media review columns. Our feature interview is with Jessica Cluess. Our e-book exclusive excerpt is from Alaya Dawn Johnson’s new novel Trouble the Saints.

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.