Science Fiction & Fantasy




Editorial, May 2011

Lightspeed, May 2011Welcome to issue twelve of Lightspeed!

To quote the esteemed Professor Farnsworth: Good news, everyone! This year’s Hugo Award finalists have been named, and we’re immensely proud to announce that Lightspeed has three nominations!

(1) Best Short Story: Amaryllis by Carrie Vaughn

(2) Best Semiprozine: Lightspeed Magazine

(3) Best Editor, Short Form: John Joseph Adams

I’d like to extend a huge thanks to all our readers and fans who have made this possible, and I hope everyone reading this will join us in congratulating Carrie for her achievement—it’s her first major SF award nomination! Thanks as well to all of Lightspeed’s staff, who don’t get named on the ballot but are as every bit as essential as I am—GO TEAM LIGHTSPEED!

It’s a tremendous honor to receive these award nominations, and frankly it’s kind of hard to believe. But we’ll be at Worldcon on the off chance that this is real and not some crazy dream, on hand to accept should we actually win this most coveted of science fiction’s prizes.

And speaking of winning, the results of our first annual reader’s poll are in! And here are the top three finishers:

1st: Amaryllis by Carrie Vaughn

2nd: How to Become a Mars Overlord by Catherynne M. Valente

3rd (tie): In-Fall by Ted Kosmatka

3rd (tie): Standard Loneliness Package by Charles Yu

It looks like our readers agree with the Hugo voters, eh? So, another hearty congratulations to Carrie Vaughn. As the winner of the reader’s poll, Carrie will receive a box of Sjaak’s Organic Chocolate Truffle Assortment, courtesy of Cosmo’s Vegan Shoppe. Perhaps not as prestigious as a Hugo or Nebula Award, but much more tasty I’m sure!

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

May 3

In “The Harrowers,” author Eric Gregory gives us the story of Ez, who believes far more in bullets than blessings in fighting the dead, but who agrees to take a preacher’s kid outside the safety of the cities anyway—for a price.

Our feature interview this month is brought to us by Genevieve Valentine, who talks with SETI director Jill Tarter about the search for extraterrestrial life and being the inspiration for Jodi Foster’s character in Contact.

May 10

Having an exotic, desirable roommate can make any college freshman miserable, but when your roommate is from another planet it makes things even more complicated. Tessa Mellas tells us all about it in “Bibi From Jupiter.”

Dr. Pamela Gay returns to Lightspeed to tell us about Bibi’s homeworld in “The Icy Ecosystem of Europa.”

May 17

Nancy Kress brings us a near-future story, “Eliot Wrote.” Eliot’s genius father sees a vision of ineffable truth in a toaster pastry, and refuses to have the memory erased, despite the damage it’s done to them both.

In the related nonfiction, Neurotopia’s Evil Monkey explains the science behind what actually happens when a person sees a deity in an inanimate object.

May 24

“Scales” by Alastair Reynolds, master of space opera, takes his first foray into military SF…with stunning results.

Various military forces and governments (both real and fictional) throughout the years have been known to engage in the practice of brainwashing. Laura Waterstripe explores the science of this technique and provides some famous examples.


So that’s our issue 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.