Lightspeed: Edited by John Joseph Adams




Editorial: May 2022

Welcome to Lightspeed’s 144th issue!

This month we kick off our SF shorts with a story (“Nobody Ever Goes Home to Zhenzhu”) by Grace Chan that proves that family is important—but crew more so. Tobias S. Buckell will make you do a better job sorting your recyclables and composting in his new short, “The Plastic People.” It’s a grim warning about our future that will tweak your darkest funny bone. We also have a flash piece (“It Came Gently”) from Aigner Loren Wilson, along with an SF reprint by Peter Watts (“Test 4 Echo”).

What if fairies were real and worried about both climate change and how to pay the rent? Andi C. Buchanan’s new fantasy story “If We Do Not Fly at Sunset” sprinkles magic on the mundane, with poignant results. Lina Rather blends cottagecore with epic fantasy in her dark story “The Cheesemaker and the Undying King,” which will have you rethinking everything you thought you knew about medieval-inspired fantasy. We also have a flash piece (“Magical Girl Burnout Bingo”) from Lauren Ring. Our fantasy reprint is by Jonathan Maberry (“The Hammer of God”).

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 T. Kingfisher’s new novel Nettle and Bone.

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.