Science Fiction & Fantasy




Editorial, March 2016

Welcome to issue seventy of Lightspeed!

Our People of Colo(u)r 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 $51,734 in return, which was 1034% of our funding goal. As a result of all that success, we unlocked several stretch goals, including additional special issues POC Destroy Horror!, which will be published in October as a special issue of Nightmare, and POC 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!

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Awards season is officially upon us, and it looks like 2015 was a terrific year for our publications. The first of the major awards have announced their lists of finalists for last year’s work, and we’re pleased to announce that “Madeleine” by Amal El-Mohtar (Lightspeed, June 2015) and “And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead” by Brooke Bolander (Lightspeed, Feb. 2015) are finalists for the Nebula Award this year. Plus, from our sister-magazine, Nightmare, “Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers” by Alyssa Wong (Nightmare, Oct. 2015) is also a nominee! Congrats to Amal and Brooke and Alyssa and to all of the other Nebula nominees! That brings Lightspeed’s lifetime Nebula nomination total to fourteen since we launched in June 2010 (and Nightmare’s total to one!). We’ve currently lost twelve in a row, so here’s hoping Brooke or Amal breaks the streak! You can find the full slate of nominees at The Nebulas will be presented at the 2016 Nebula Awards Conference, held this year in Chicago, Illinois, June 12–15.

In other awards news, Nightmare had two stories—the aforementioned “Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers” by Alyssa Wong and “Snow” by Dale Bailey—on the preliminary Stoker Awards ballot for best Short Fiction (plus Seanan McGuire’s story, “Resistance,” from my anthology The End Has Come, made it in the Long Fiction category), and we’re pleased to report that Alyssa Wong’s story made the final ballot! That marks Nightmare’s (and Alyssa’s) first Stoker Award nomination. So big congrats to Alyssa, and also to Dale and Seanan for nearly making it. You can find the full slate of what made the final ballot at The Stokers will be presented at StokerCon 2016, which is being held in Las Vegas, Nevada, May 12–15.

The Locus Awards are now open for voting []. Several stories from Lightspeed, Nightmare, and my anthologies made the recommended reading list, though the Locus Award has a write-in ballot, so you can also disregard the recommendations and vote for whatever you like instead. Voting closes April 15, 2016.

And last but not least: the Hugo Awards! Nominations for the Hugos close March 31, 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 2015, 2016, or 2017 Worldcons by January 31, 2016 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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Several stories from Lightspeed, Nightmare, the Destroy special issues, and my anthologies have also been selected for reprint in several best-of-the-year volumes. They’re listed below, with the original venue and then the best-of-the-year editor(s)’s name following in parenthesis:

  • “Time Bomb Time” by C.C. Finlay (Lightspeed | Horton)
  • “And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead” by Brooke Bolander (Lightspeed | Horton)
  • “Ghosts of Home” by Sam J. Miller (Lightspeed | Strahan)
  • “The Karen Joy Fowler Book Club” by Nike Sulway (Lightspeed | Horton, Strahan)
  • “The Smog Society” by Chen Qiufan, translated by Ken Liu and Carmen Yiling Yan (Lightspeed | Clarke)
  • “Violation of the TrueNet Security Act” by Taiyo Fujii, translated by Jim Hubbert (Lightspeed | Clarke)
  • “The Astrakhan, the Homberg, and the Red Red Coal” by Chaz Brenchley (Lightspeed | Dozois, Horton)
  • “Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World” by Caroline M. Yoachim (Lightspeed | Clarke)
  • “Snow” by Dale Bailey (Nightmare | Datlow, Guran)
  • “Descent” by Carmen Maria Machado (Nightmare | Datlow)
  • “Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers” by Alyssa Wong (Nightmare | Strahan)
  • “The Lily and the Horn” by Catherynne M. Valente (Fantasy | Guran, Strahan)
  • “Kaiju maximus®: ‘So Various, So Beautiful, So New’” by Kai Ashante Wilson (Fantasy | Guran, Strahan)
  • “Bannerless” by Carrie Vaughn (The End Has Come | Clarke, Dozois)
  • “The Gods Have Not Died in Vain” by Ken Liu (The End Has Come | Clarke)
  • “Blood, Ash, Braids” by Genevieve Valentine (Operation Arcana | Strahan)
  • “The Graphology of Hemmorhage” by Yoon Ha Lee (Operation Arcana | Horton)
  • “1Up” by Holly Black (Press Start to Play | Guran)

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And finally, one last thing before we get to this month’s stories: John Joseph Adams Books’ first three releases will all be out and available in bookstores by the end of the month. Our first release, Beacon 23 by Hugh Howey, came out in February, and the final two titles of our “pre-launch” season come out this month: Hugh Howey’s Shift and Dust, both out on March 22. They’re volumes 2 and 3 of Hugh’s bestselling Silo series (which began with the blockbuster Wool). If you’re one of our ebook readers, you can read an excerpt of Shift in this very issue.

In related news, I also acquired my first original title for the line: Bannerless by Carrie Vaughn. It takes place in the same world as her Hugo-nominated story “Amaryllis,” which appeared in the very first issue of Lightspeed. Also more directly-related is her 2015 story “Bannerless” from my anthology The End Has Come (which you can also read online at In the official release, we described it as: “a novel 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.” It’s a two-book deal, with publication of the first slated for Spring 2017.

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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 Caroline M. Yoachim (“Welcome to the Medical Clinic at the Interplanetary Relay Station”) and Craig DeLancey (“RedKing”), along with SF reprints by Timons Esaias (“The Mars Convention”) and Aliette de Bodard (“The Waiting Stars”).

Plus, we have original fantasy by Rich Larson (“Sparks Fly”) and Marie Vibbert (“Michael Doesn’t Hate His Mother”), and fantasy reprints by Andy Duncan (“The Premature Burials”) and Seanan McGuire (“Rat-Catcher”).

All that, and of course we also have our usual assortment of author spotlights, along with our book and media review columns and a roundtable interview on the Star Wars canon.

For our ebook readers, we also have an ebook-exclusive reprint Mark W. Tiedemann’s novella, “Miller’s Wife.” And for our novel excerpt this month, we’re proud to present a snippet of Hugh Howey’s novel, Shift, out now from my new book line for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, John Joseph Adams Books.

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.