Science Fiction & Fantasy




Editorial, March 2015

Welcome to issue fifty-eight of Lightspeed!

Our Queers Destroy Science Fiction! Kickstarter campaign has now concluded, and we’re happy to report that it was extremely successful; we asked for $5,000 and got $54,523 in return, which was 1090% of our funding goal. As a result of all that success, we unlocked several stretch goals, including additional special issues Queers Destroy Horror!, which will be published in October as a special issue of Nightmare, and Queers Destroy Fantasy!, which will publish in December as a special issue of Fantasy Magazine. Thanks again so much to everyone who supported the campaign, and thanks of course to our regular readers and subscribers! And, next year, we’re planning to ask People of Color to destroy science fiction, so stay tuned for that!

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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, and we’re pleased to announce that “We Are the Cloud” by Sam J. Miller (Lightspeed, September 2014) is a finalist for the Nebula Award for best novelette. Congrats to Sam and to all of the other Nebula nominees! That brings Lightspeed’s lifetime Nebula nomination total to twelve since we launched in June 2010. We’ve currently lost eleven in a row, so here’s hoping Sam breaks the streak! You can find the full slate of nominees at The Nebulas will be presented at the 50th annual Nebula Awards Weekend, held this year in Chicago, Illinois, June 4–7.

In other awards news, Nightmare had two stories — “A Dweller in Amenty” by Genevieve Valentine and “Sleep Paralysis” by Dale Bailey — on the preliminary Stoker Awards ballot (and your humble editor was represented in the anthology category as well, for The End is Nigh), but alas, none of them made the final ballot. Well, we can’t get nominated for everything, I suppose! Congrats anyway to Dale and Genevieve, and to all of the finalists. You can find the full slate of what did make the final ballot at The Stokers will be presented at the 25th annual World Horror Convention, held this year in Atlanta, Georgia, May 7–10.

In happier Nightmare news, Nightmare was announced as the winner of the This is Horror Award for Magazine of the Year. It’s quite an honor to be selected as Magazine of the Year, especially amongst such stiff competition! Thanks so much too to all of the writers and editors who work on Nightmare with me — without them, of course, it wouldn’t exist. You’ll find the rest of the winners and other finalists at

And last but not least: the Hugo Awards! Nominations for the Hugos close March 10, so if you’re planning to participate, you’ve only got a short time left to do so. Anyone who is or was a voting member of the 2014, 2015, or 2016 Worldcons by January 31, 2015 is eligible to nominate. If you need some help remembering which Lightspeed stories fit into which categories, I put together a list of all of the material I worked on that is eligible for this year’s award, which you can find at

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In other news, this month sees the publication of Operation Arcana, my new anthology of military fantasy, which will be published by Baen on March 3. Operation Arcana contains sixteen never-before-published tales (about 100,000 words of material), from Glen Cook, Myke Cole, Genevieve Valentine, Elizabeth Moon, Django Wexler, Weston Ochse, Yoon Ha Lee, Jonathan Maberry, Tobias S. Buckell & David Klecha, Ari Marmell, Tanya Huff, Carrie Vaughn, T.C. McCarthy, Simon R. Green, Seanan McGuire, and Linda Nagata. The stories run the gamut from military epic fantasy to military urban fantasy to military historical fantasy — and everything in between. You’ll find a reprint of Linda Nagata’s story, “The Way Home,” in this very issue. If you’d like to learn more about the book, read additional stories from the anthology for free online, or read interviews with the authors, visit my Operation Arcana website at

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In case you missed it last month, Wastelands 2 (the sequel to my bestselling — and first! — anthology, Wastelands) was published by Titan Books. It contains nearly 200,000 words of fiction, including stories by George R.R. Martin, Seanan McGuire, Hugh Howey, Nancy Kress, David Brin, Ann Aguirre, Paolo Bacigalupi, Lauren Beukes, and Junot Díaz, among others. Learn more about it at

Speaking of Wastelands, Titan also just recently released the original Wastelands in mass market paperback edition. So if you’ve been wanting to read it all these years and just couldn’t abide paying more than $7.99 for it, now’s your chance!

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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 Marissa Lingen (“Surfacing”) and Cat Sparks (“Hot Rods”), along with SF reprints by Michael Blumlein (“The Brains of Rats”) and Ursula K. LeGuin (“The New Atlantis”).

Plus, we have original fantasy by Matthew Hughes (“A Face of Black Iron”) and Vajra Chandrasekera (“Documentary”), and fantasy reprints by Linda Nagata (“The Way Home”) and Naomi Kritzer (“The Good Son”).

All that, and of course we also have our usual assortment of author and artist spotlights, along with our review column and a feature interview with Patrick Rothfuss.

For our ebook readers, we also have the novella “The Weight of the Sunrise,” by Vylar Kaftan and novel excerpts from Genevieve Valentine’s Persona and Daryl Gregory’s Harrison Squared.

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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.