Lightspeed: Edited by John Joseph Adams




Editorial: June 2021

Welcome to Lightspeed’s 133rd issue, and welcome to our eleventh year of publishing great speculative fiction. We couldn’t do it without all of our fantastic readers—so thanks a ton!

We’re kicking off the month with an original short fantasy story by Adam-Troy Castro with “A Tableau of Things That Are.” It’s a commentary on love and marriage and the prison system (a topic he’s addressed before in his story for our sister publication, Nightmare Magazine). Adam R. Shannon (another Nightmare Magazine alum) brings us a story about heroism in firefighting in his deeply affecting “When You Die on the Radio.” We also have fantasy reprints from Sofia Samatar (“Wolf Tones”) and Theodora Goss (“How to Become a Witch-Queen”).

Our science fiction originals grapple with classic SFnal fare: alternate realities and aliens. Timothy Mudie brings us a love story complicated by reality hopping (“Different People”) and in “Do Nothing,” a story set on Alcatraz Island, Endria Isa Richardson weaves an extraterrestrial invasion with a criticism of the penal system (it’s a great match for Castro’s fantasy story). Our SF reprints are from Sam J. Miller (“The Nation of the Sick”) and Nalo Hopkinson (“Inselberg”).

All that, and of course we also have our usual assortment of author spotlights, along with book reviews from our terrific review team. Our ebook readers will also enjoy an excerpt from Katherine Addison’s new novel, The Witness for the Dead.

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.