Lightspeed: Edited by John Joseph Adams




Editorial, March 2014

Welcome to issue forty-six of Lightspeed!

As you know from our newsletter, editorials, and (incessant?) social media posting, we ran a very successful Kickstarter in January-February to fund the publication of our Women Destroy Science Fiction! special issue, which will be guest-edited by Lightspeed’s own Christie Yant. We asked for $5000, and we got $53,136 in return, which was 1062% of our funding goal. Wow! As a result of all that sweet success, we announced—and met—some rather excellent stretch goals: Once we surpassed $25K of funding, that unlocked a Women Destroy Horror! special issue of our sister-magazine, Nightmare (guest edited by Ellen Datlow!), and once we passed $35K, that unlocked a Women Destroy Fantasy! special issue of our other sister-mag, Fantasy (guest-edited by Cat Rambo!). Look for the Women Destroy Science Fiction! special issue this June, and then you can expect the Women Destroy Horror! and Women Destroy Fantasy! issues in October.

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Awards season is officially upon us, with the first of the major awards announcing their lists of finalists for last year’s work. Neither Lightspeed nor Nightmare got any love from the Bram Stoker Awards (alas), but we’re delighted to announce that the Nebula Awards, on the other hand, seem to be absolutely infatuated with us: Lightspeed has four Nebula finalists this year! (That brings Lightspeed’s lifetime Nebula nomination total to eleven since we launched in June 2010.) Our nominees for this year are: “Paranormal Romance” by Christopher Barzak, “The Litigation Master and the Monkey King” by Ken Liu, “The Sounds of Old Earth” by Matthew Kressel, and “Alive, Alive Oh” by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley. For a complete list of the finalists, visit

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In other news, my new anthology—The End is Nigh—is on sale now. It’s the first volume of what I’m calling The Apocalypse Triptych—a series of three anthologies looking at three different modes of apocalyptic fiction: before the apocalypse, during the apocalypse, and after the apocalypse. I’m editing—and publishing—all three volumes of the Triptych in collaboration with bestselling author Hugh Howey. All of the books will be available in both ebook and print formats, and The End is Nigh is available now. Visit or your favorite book retailer for more information. Meanwhile, you’ll find a sneak peek of The End is Nigh right here in this very issue: Charlie Jane Anders’s story “Break! Break! Break!” Enjoy!

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And in a case of maybe saving the best for last and/or burying the lede: I’m delighted to announce that I have agreed to serve as the series editor of Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy, a new entry in the prestigious Best American series® published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Our inaugural guest editor will be bestselling author and all-around swell guy Joe Hill. The first volume will be published in October 2015, collecting the best of 2014. To learn more about the series, including information about how you can recommend stories for consideration, visit

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With our announcements out of the way, here’s what we’ve got on tap this month:

We have original science fiction by Sofia Samatar (“How to Get Back to the Forest”) and Chen Qiufan (“The Mao Ghost,” translated by Ken Liu), along with an SF reprint by Jo Walton (“Turnover”) and the aforementioned story by Charlie Jane Anders (“Break! Break! Break!”).

Plus, we have original fantasy by Kat Howard (“A Different Fate”) and Matthew Hughes (“Phalloon the Illimitable”), and fantasy reprints by Robert Jackson Bennett (“A Drink for Teddy Ford”) and Eileen Gunn & Michael Swanwick (“The Armies of Elfland”).

All that, and of course we also have our usual assortment of author and artist spotlights, along with a pair of feature interviews.

For our ebook readers, we also have the novella reprint “The Lucky Strike” by Kim Stanley Robinson and novel excerpts from Sand by Hugh Howey and The Milkman by Michael J. Martineck.

Our issue this month is sponsored by our friends at EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing. This month, look for The Milkman by Michael J. Martineck (of which you can also read an excerpt in our ebook edition this month). You can find more from EDGE 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:

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.