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Editorial

Editorial: March 2018

Welcome to issue ninety-four of Lightspeed!

Our cover art this month comes from Reiko Murakami, illustrating an original science fiction short by Bryan Camp (“The Independence Patch”). We also have fresh new work from Ken Liu (“Cosmic Spring”), along with SF reprints by A. Merc Rustad (“Brightened Star, Ascending Dawn”) and N.K. Jemisin (“The Effluent Engine”).

Plus, we have original fantasy by Beesan Odeh (“Al-Kahf”) and Cassandra Khaw and A. Maus (“You Do Nothing But Freefall”), and fantasy reprints by Jeremiah Tolbert (“The Dreamers of Alamoi”) and Seanan McGuire (“And Men Will Mine the Mountain for Our Souls”).

All that, and of course we also have our usual assortment of author spotlights, along with our book and media review columns. We’ll also be interviewing Na’amen Golbert Tilahun.

For our ebook readers, we also have our usual ebook-exclusive novella reprint (“The Proving Ground,” by Alec Nevala-Lee) and an excerpt from Tessa Gratton’s debut fantasy novel, The Queens of Innis Lear.

John Joseph Adams Books News for March 2018

ICYMI last month, I have one recent acquisition to report:

  • New York Times bestseller and multiple Hugo and Nebula Award-winner Greg Bear’s The Unfinished Land, about a time of great peril—the sailing of the Spanish Armada—when a young man is transported in a wrecked fishing boat to a lost island at the top of the world, to be caught up in a war that pits gods against monsters and humans against the slavery of history. (2019)

And in other exciting news: Carrie Vaughn’s Bannerless was named a finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award! The winner and any special citations will be announced on Friday, March 30, 2018 at Norwescon 41 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Seattle Airport, SeaTac WA. To learn more about the award, and see the full list of this year’s finalists, visit philipkdickaward.org.

News aside, here’s a quick rundown what to expect from John Joseph Adams Books in 2018:

In April, we have Bryan Camp’s The City of Lost Fortunes, about a magician with a talent for finding lost things who is forced into playing a high stakes game with the gods of New Orleans for the heart and soul of the city. Here’s some early buzz for the book:

  • “Camp’s fantasy reads like jazz, with multiple chaotic-seeming threads of deities, mortals, and destiny playing in harmony. This game of souls and fate is full of snarky dialogue, taut suspense, and characters whose glitter hides sharp fangs. […] Any reader who likes fantasy with a dash of the bizarre will enjoy this trip to the Crescent City.” —Publishers Weekly
  • “Take a walk down wild card shark streets into a world of gods, lost souls, murder, and deep, dark magic. You might not come back from The City of Lost Fortunes, but you’ll enjoy the trip.” —Richard Kadrey, bestselling author of the Sandman Slim series
  • “In The City of Lost Fortunes, Bryan Camp delivers a high-octane tale of myth and magic, serving up the best of Neil Gaiman and Richard Kadrey. Here is New Orleans in all its gritty, grudging glory, the haunt of sinners and saints, gods and mischief-makers. Once you pay a visit, you won’t want to leave!” —Helen Marshall, World Fantasy Award-winning author of Gifts for the One Who Comes After
  • “Bryan Camp’s debut novel The City of Lost Fortunes is like a blessed stay in a city both distinctly familiar and wonderfully strange, with an old friend who knows just the right spots to take you to–not too touristy, and imbued with the weight of history and myth, populated by local characters you’ll never forget. You’ll leave sated with the sights and sounds of a New Orleans that is not quite the real city, but breathes like the real thing, a beautiful mimicry in prose that becomes its own version of reality in a way only a good story—or magic—can. You won’t regret the visit.” —Indra Das, author of The Devourers
  • “With sharp prose and serious literary chops, Bryan Camp delivers a masterful work of contemporary fantasy in The City of Lost Fortunes. It reads like the New Orleans-born love child of Raymond Chandler and Neil Gaiman, featuring a roguish hero you can’t help but root for. It’s funny, harrowing, thrilling—the pages keep turning. The City of Lost Fortunes establishes Bryan Camp as the best and brightest new voice on fantasy literature’s top shelf.” —Nicholas Mainieri, author of The Infinite
  • “Anyone who loves New Orleans will love this mystical adventure where gods, magicians, vampires, zombies, angels, and ghouls clash in the only city where a story like this is actually possible. The City of Fortunes expertly blends the real and the surreal, capturing the essence of New Orleans in such a unique way. In this city, just as in this story, the line between fact and fiction blurs, and your imagination is set free.” —Candice Huber, Tubby and Coo’s Bookstore (New Orleans, LA)
  • “Myth and archetype combine with the gritty realism of modern post-Katrina New Orleans in this fast-paced novel. Throughout the twists and turns of a clever, compelling plot, the soul of the city and strength of its survivors shine through. As a southern Louisiana resident, Bryan Camp saw firsthand the devastation and impact on people’s lives caused by Katrina, and the emotion of that experience fuels the power of the story and its unique, well-crafted characters. If you like the work of Neil Gaiman and Roger Zelazny, you’ll enjoy this book. A fun, engaging read. Highly recommended.” —Les Howle, director of the Clarion West Writers Workshop

In June, we have Todd McAulty’s The Robots of Gotham, a debut novel about a future where the world is on the brink of total subjugation by machine intelligences when a man stumbles on a sinister conspiracy to exterminate humanity and a group of human and machine misfits who might just be able to prevent it. Here’s what some early readers are saying about this one:

  • “When the robot apocalypse comes, I hope it’s this much fun. Like The Martian and Ready Player One, Robots of Gotham is set in a high-tech near-future where something has gone terribly wrong, and it’s navigated by a hero who’s quirky, resourceful, and as likable as they come. Read it for the rock’em-sock’em-robot action—read it for the deft world-building with its detailed taxonomy of intelligent machines—read it for the sobering parallels to modern-day issues and threats. Or just read it because it’s a helluva good ride.” —Sharon Shinn, author of the Elemental Blessings series
  • “The Robots of Gotham is a crackling good adventure, stuffed with cool action sequences. It also features serious and intriguing speculation about the potential of Artificial Intelligence, for good and bad. And it’s an engaging read, with absorbing characters, and, of course, lots and lots of nifty robots.” —Rich Horton, editor of The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy
  • “Todd McAulty has imagined a fascinating geopolitical future, filled it with some very cool technology, and thrown in healthy helpings of intrigue and action. The result is a page-turner that kept me riveted from the opening lines to the final chapter. Highly recommended!” —David B. Coe, author of The Case Files of Justis Fearsson
  • “If Johnny 5 had a baby with the Terminator, the result would be Robots of Gotham: a book that explores the consequences of world domination by our Robot Overlords. (And, lest we forget the badassiest of them, our Robot Overladies.) Drones, dinosaurs, and doggies—with a plague thrown in for good measure!—the barter is banter, and death is cheap. With man against machine, machine against machine, man against man, unlikely alliances must be forged across all species, rational or otherwise. For all its breakneck world-building, constant questing, and relentless wheeling and dealing, Robots of Gotham is deceptively deep-hearted: a novel about, of all things, friendship.” —C.S.E. Cooney, author of World Fantasy Award-winning Bone Swans: Stories
  • “Soldiers, spies, diplomats—and that’s just the machines. Wait until you meet the wise-cracking hero and his dog. Wildly inventive, outrageous fun.” —Kay Kenyon, author of At the Table of Wolves and Serpent in the Heather
  • “Adventure, mystery, action, sinister intrigue, clever heroics, and robots—what more do you need? I couldn’t put it down.” —Howard Andrew Jones, author of The Desert of Souls

Further out in 2018, we’ll have The Wild Dead—Carrie Vaughn’s sequel to Bannerless—in July; Dale Bailey’s In the Night Wood in October; and then Molly Tanzer’s Creatures of Want and Ruin in November. We’ll provide more details about those as the publication dates draw nearer, but as always if you want more information about these or any other John Joseph Adams Books titles, just visit johnjosephadamsbooks.com.

That’s all the JJA Books news for now. More soon!

• • • •

Well, that’s all there is to report this month. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy the issue!

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John Joseph Adams

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John Joseph Adams, in addition to serving as publisher and editor-in-chief of Lightspeed, is the editor of John Joseph Adams Books, the SF/Fantasy imprint from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. He is also the series editor of Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy, as well as the USA Today bestselling editor of many other anthologies, including The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination, Robot Uprisings, Dead Man’s Hand, Armored, Brave New Worlds, Wastelands, and The Living Dead. Recent projects include: Cosmic Powers, What the #@&% Is That?, Operation Arcana, Loosed Upon the World, Wastelands 2, Press Start to Play, and The Apocalypse Triptych: The End is Nigh, The End is Now, and The End Has Come. 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 is a eight-time World Fantasy Award finalist. John is also the editor and publisher of Nightmare Magazine and is a producer for Wired.com’s The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. Find him on Twitter @johnjosephadams.