Science Fiction & Fantasy




Editorial: May 2021

Welcome to Lightspeed’s 132nd issue!

This month we kick off the SF shorts with an alien visitor who’s not like the other ETs. In fact, Gene Doucette’s new story “Hypnopompic Circumstance” will have you rethinking the stories you’ve heard about UFOs, alien abduction—and maybe your life. In our other original SF short, “There Are No Hot Topics on Whukai,” Andrea Kriz brings us a story about pop culture, social media, and the pain of colonialism in the far future. We also have some great reprints from Rich Larson (“Carnivores”) and Nelson Rolon (“Saudade”).

Our original fantasy includes the story of Chicago’s most dangerous day spa—“Bones in It,” by Kristina Ten—and a tale of sand and magic in Howard Andrew Jones’ “The Palace in the Moonlight.” Our fantasy reprints are by Kat Howard (“An Invitation to a Burning”) and Carrie Vaughn (“Dead Men in Central City”).

All that, and of course we also have our usual assortment of author spotlights, along with book reviews from our terrific review team. Our ebook readers will also enjoy an excerpt from The Blacktongue Thief, by Christopher Buehlman.

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.