Science Fiction & Fantasy




Editorial, October 2013

Welcome to issue forty-one of Lightspeed!

In this issue, you’ll find a story written in the form of a fictional Kickstarter pitch by Keffy R.M. Kehrli called “HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY!!!” My first thought when I read the story was: This story is really funny. My second thought was: I should build an anthology around it. My third thought was: Obviously the anthology should be launched via Kickstarter.

So that’s what I’m doing. I’m running Keffy’s story here in Lightspeed as an original, and simultaneously launching a Kickstarter for HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY!!! & Other Improbable Kickstarters, an anthology of futuristic, magical, alternate-world, and entirely fictional crowdfunding projects. To learn more about the project, please visit

In addition to the anthology itself, there are lots of great prizes available, like subscriptions to Lightspeed and Nightmare, and signed copies of my anthologies. So, if you enjoy Keffy’s story and would like to read more stories like it, please do check out the Kickstarter and consider backing it. In addition to Keffy’s story (which will be the lone reprint in the anthology), the book will include works by folks such as Seanan McGuire, Daniel H. Wilson, Tim Pratt, Tobias S. Buckell, and Mary Robinette Kowal—along with works by Kickstarter phenoms such as Monte Cook (Numenera), David Malki (Machine of Death: The Game of Creative Assassination), Michael J. Sullivan (Hollow World), and Matt Forbeck (12 for ’12)—and more! The Kickstarter ends October 31, so don’t delay!



As I write this, I’m just back from Worldcon and the Hugo Awards, where I lost not one but two Hugos (and for the third year in a row!). But what they say is true: It truly is an honor to be nominated. Congratulations to all of the winners and other nominees. Though I did lose both Hugos, the extended results revealed that, during the nomination period, I actually received the most nominations (35 more than the next highest finalist) for Best Editor (Short Form), so it was very gratifying to see that so many voters thought I was among the best editors of our field. Also, in the semiprozine category, Lightspeed placed second in the final voting, which is also nice to see.

We mentioned this in our editorial last month, but it bears repeating: Kat Howard’s story, “Breaking the Frame” (Lightspeed, August 2012), is a finalist for the World Fantasy Award. Your humble editor is also again a finalist (now for the fifth time), this time in the Best Anthology category, for Epic: Legends of Fantasy. So congratulations to Kat, and thanks to all of the judges and voters who made these nominations possible.



On the subject of things that bear repeating: Just a reminder that over in the Lightspeed ebookstore, we now have a number of ebook bundles available:

Buying a Bundle gets you a copy of every issue published during the named period. So if you need to catch up on Lightspeed, that’s a great way to do so.

Of course, if you don’t want to buy a bundle, you can also just purchase an individual ebook issue, or if you’d like to subscribe to Lightspeed directly from us, you can do that, too. All purchases from the Lightspeed store are provided in both epub and mobi formats.



And our last bit of news this month before we get to our stories: We’ve again got a special bonus for you this month: In addition to all of the usual Lightspeed goodness, at the end of this issue, we’re presenting a bonus story from the pages of our sister-magazine, Nightmare. So once you’re done reading the issue proper, please also check out the bonus story—and if you enjoy it, please consider subscribing to Nightmare!



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

We have original science fiction by the aforementioned Keffy R.M. Kehrli (“HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY!!!”) and Ken Liu (“Ghost Days”), along with SF reprints by Constance Cooper (“Trouble Leaves a Scent Trail”) and Kameron Hurley (“Enyo-Enyo”).

Plus, we have original fantasy by Dylan Otto Krider (“The Five Deaths of Marvin Dimitri”) and Charlie Jane Anders (“Small Dead Creatures”), and fantasy reprints by Karin Tidbeck (“Augusta Prima”) and Neil Gaiman (“An Invocation of Incuriosity”).

All that, and, of course, we also have our usual assortment of author and artist spotlights, along with feature interviews with Melissa Marr and über-geek Felicia Day.

For our ebook readers, we also have the novella “Human Readable” by Cory Doctorow and novel excerpts of Parasite by Mira Grant and Copperhead by Tina Connolly.

Our issue this month is sponsored by our friends at 47North. This month, look for Poe by J. Lincoln Fenn (of which you can also read an excerpt in our ebook edition this month). You can find more from 47North at

It’s another great issue, so be sure to check it out. And remember, there are several ways you can sign-up to be notified of new Lightspeed content:

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.