Science Fiction & Fantasy




Editorial: May 2019

Welcome to Lightspeed’s 108th issue.

Usually, artwork is commissioned to illustrate a story, but we’re turning things on their heads! Our cover this month is from the multi-award-winning artist Julie Dillon, and it served as the inspiration for Kathleen Kayembe’s science fantasy novelette “The Ocean That Fades Into Sky.” It’s a tale that asks “What happens to the gods of a planet when human beings arrive to terraform it?”

If you’re a fan of superhero stories, you’ll enjoy the new fantasy short from Adam-Troy Castro called “The Minor Superhero at Home, After His Series Ends.” We also have fantasy reprints by Debbie Urbanski (“The Portal”) and Kurt Fawver (“The Convexity of Our Youth”).

Our first original SF short is set in a war-torn futuristic India. It’s called “This Way to Paradise,” by Rati Mehrotra. Our other piece of original science fiction—Matthew Kressel’s “Truth Is Like the Sun”—looks at the effects of the first pop music concert broadcast from space. We’re also reprinting science fiction by Max Gladstone (“The Iron Man”) and Nancy Kress (“Cocoons”).

Of course in the nonfiction department, we have our usual assortment of author spotlights. Our feature interview is with frequent Lightspeed contributor Ashok K. Banker. We also have the latest installments in our book and media review columns.

If you’re an ebook reader, you’ll get to enjoy an ebook-exclusive reprint of “Fallow” by Sofia Samatar, and an excerpt from An Illusion of Thieves by Cate Glass.

Awards News

As you may recall, back in March, we told you about how two of our authors, José Pablo Iriarte and Sarah Pinsker, were named 2018 Nebula finalists. Both José’s novelette, “The Substance of My Lives, the Accidents of Our Births” ( and Sarah’s short story, “The Court Magician” ( were published in Lightspeed’s January 2018 issue.

Now we’re pleased to also announce that Sarah Pinsker’s story is also a finalist for the Hugo Award, as is frequent Lightspeed cover artist Galen Dara. Congrats to them both!

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.