Lightspeed: Edited by John Joseph Adams




Editorial, May 2017

Welcome to issue eighty-four of Lightspeed!

We have original science fiction by Bruce McAllister (“This Is for You”) and Susan Jane Bigelow (“The Heart’s Cartography”), along with SF reprints by Tobias S. Buckell (“Ratcatcher”) and Seanan McGuire (“Dragonflies”).

Plus, we have original fantasy by Adam-Troy Castro (“James, in the Golden Sunlight of the Hereafter”) and Kendra Fortmeyer (“Octopus vs. Bear”), plus fantasy reprints by Greg Hrbek (“Paternity”) and Amal El-Mohtar (“Weialalalea”).

All that, and of course we also have our usual assortment of author spotlights, along with our book and media review columns. We also have an interview with Steven Barnes. Our cover art is by Sam Schechter, and illustrates Adam-Troy Castro’s “James, in the Golden Sunlight of the Hereafter.”

For our ebook readers, we also have a reprint of Rebecca Ore’s novella “Hypocaust & Bathysphere” and a book excerpt.

New Release: Cosmic Powers

My new anthology, Cosmic Powers, is now available from Saga Press. It’s a collection of epic-scale science fiction, inspired by movies like Guardians of the Galaxy and Star Wars, featuring brand-new stories from Dan Abnett, Jack Campbell, Linda Nagata, Seanan McGuire, Alan Dean Foster, Charlie Jane Anders, Kameron Hurley, and many others.

Here’s what some reviewers have been saying about it:

  • “Astonishingly good […] Rich in great stories.” —Rocket Stack Rank
  • “This collection will prove to be great reading for fans of the space cowboy antics of Guardians of the Galaxy.” —RT Book Reviews
  • “Highly recommended for anyone looking for a variety of engaging sf experiences.” —Booklist

Visit to buy the book, read selected stories from the anthology, or just learn more.

Awards News

The Hugo Award finalists for 2017 have been announced. Alas, no stories from Lightspeed or Nightmare made the ballot this year, but your humble editor is once again honored to be a finalist for Best Editor, Short Form. There are a lot of great finalists this year—including, I’m pleased to see, seven different contributors to Cosmic Powers and many different authors who have appeared in (or are friends to) Lightspeed. Congrats to all of the finalists! To see the full list, visit

ICYMI, in other awards news, the Nebula Award finalists for this year have also been announced, and Lightspeed stories “Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea” by Sarah Pinsker and “Welcome to the Medical Clinic at the Interplanetary Relay Station│Hours Since the Last Patient Death: 0” by Caroline M. Yoachim are finalists this year. Congrats to Sarah and Caroline and to everyone else on the Nebula ballot! That brings Lightspeed’s lifetime Nebula nomination total to eighteen since we launched in June 2010. We’ve currently lost sixteen in a row, so here’s hoping Sarah and/or Caroline breaks the streak! You can find the full slate of nominees at The Nebulas will be presented at the 2017 Nebula Awards Conference, held this year in Pittsburgh, PA, May 18-21.

While the Hugos and Nebulas have only announced their finalists, the Aurealis Award—Australia’s premier speculative fiction awards—has already announced its winners, and we’re pleased to announce that “Salto Mortal” by Nick T. Chan, from our People of Colo(u)r Destroy Science Fiction! special issue, won in the Best Novella category. (It’s technically a novelette, but who’s counting?) Huge congrats to Nick and to special issue guest editors Nalo Hopkinson and Kristine Ong Muslim for selecting the story. You can find the full list of winners at

“The Bad Hour” by Christopher Golden, from my horror anthology co-edited with Douglas Cohen, What the #@&% is That?, made the final ballot of the Bram Stoker Awards. The awards are being presented right at the end of the month, so we won’t have that information for you in this month’s editorial, but of course tune in next month or visit for details. The Stoker Awards will be presented on April 29 at StokerCon 2017, in Long Beach, CA.

And finally, some art awards news! We’re pleased to report that Galen Dara won the Spectrum 24 Silver Award for her cover illustration for Lightspeed’s January 2017 issue (illustrating Kat Howard’s story “Seven Salt Tears“). Huge congrats to Galen! In other art award news: Elizabeth Leggett is a finalist for the Chesley Award, for her Lightspeed, February 2016 cover (illustrating Rachael K. Jones’s story “Charlotte Incorporated“; congrats to her as well! For a full list of the Chesley finalists (which also includes Galen!), visit

John Joseph Adams Books News

ICYMI last month, my latest novel acquisition for John Joseph Adams Books is Upon a Burning Throne and The Blind King’s Wrath, the first two books in a new epic fantasy series by Ashok K. Banker, about a group of siblings battling for control of a vast empire while a powerful demonlord pits them against each other. Regular Lightspeed and Nightmare readers might recognize Ashok’s name from the stories of his we’ve published recently—and you’ll see his name several more times in the near future, as we have several works of his in inventory—but though Ashok is new to our pages, he’s a bestselling author in India, and, indeed, pioneered the entire fantasy genre in Indian publishing. So I’m super excited to be helping to introduce his work to a new audience.

Otherwise, here’s a quick rundown what to expect from John Joseph Adams Books in the coming months:

In July, we’ll be publishing two books: (1) Carrie Vaughn’s novel, Bannerless—a post-apocalyptic mystery 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; and (2) Sand by Hugh Howey, a reissue of his acclaimed indie-published novel.

In September, we’ll be publishing Retrograde by Peter Cawdron, a hard SF novel about an international colony of astronauts on Mars, who have been prepared for every eventuality of living on another planet except one: What happens when disaster strikes Earth?

In October, we’ll be publishing Machine Learning: New and Collected Stories by Hugh Howey, a short story collection including three stories set in the world of Hugh’s mega-hit Wool and two never-before-published tales, plus fifteen additional stories collected together for the first time.

In November, we’ll be publishing Molly Tanzer’s Creatures of Will and Temper—a Victorian-era urban fantasy inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray, in which an épée-fencing enthusiast and her younger sister are drawn into a secret and dangerous London underworld of pleasure-seeking demons and bloodthirsty diabolists, with only her skill with a blade standing between them and certain death.

A bit further out, in Spring 2018, we’ll have The City of Lost Fortunes by Bryan Camp, 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.

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

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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.