Science Fiction & Fantasy




Editorial, October 2014

Welcome to issue fifty-three of Lightspeed!

In case you missed the news last month: Lightspeed won a Hugo! You can check out the September editorial for details about that. But the short version is: We’ve been nominated four years in a row for Best Semiprozine, and this year we won! Huzzah! It’s all very exciting and we’re super proud to be part of the glorious history of the Hugos. And it just seems really appropriate for a magazine called Lightspeed to win a rocket-shaped award, doesn’t it?

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In other happy news, our sister magazine Nightmare is now available as a subscription via! The Kindle Periodicals division has been closed to new magazines for quite a while now (and has been since before Nightmare launched), but by employing some witchcraft we were able to get the doors unlocked just long enough for us to slip into the castle. Amazon subscriptions are billed monthly, at $1.99 per issue, and are available now. To learn more, please visit

Speaking of subscriptions, we’ve also made a change to the way our ebookstore subscriptions work. We’re discontinuing the bill-you-every-month subscription option in favor of a more traditional type of magazine subscription; now when you subscribe, you’ll sign up for a six- ($17.94), twelve- ($35.88), or twenty-four- ($71.76) month subscription and then will only be billed once per subscription term. This change is going to make it a lot easier for us to process subscriptions and should help improve our cash flow, which of course we’ll use to make Lightspeed even more awesome. If you’re a current subscriber, you don’t need to do anything; when your current subscription runs out, we’ll just send you an email to remind you to renew and then you’ll be presented with the new subscription options at that time.

To learn more about these and our other subscription options, please visit

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In anthology news, just a reminder that the latest installment of The Apocalypse Triptych — the apocalyptic anthology series I’m co-editing with Hugh Howey — is now available. The new volume, The End is Now, focuses on life during the apocalypse. The first volume, The End is Nigh (about life before the apocalypse) is also available. If you’d like a preview of the new anthology, you’re in luck: You can read Tananarive Due’s The End is Now story in Lightspeed’s September issue. Pop over to for more information about the book and/or to read more free samples from the anthology.

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This month also marks the publication of our other two special issues.

Over at Nightmare, we’re presenting Women Destroy Horror!, our special double-issue celebration of women writing and editing horror. Guest editor Ellen Datlow has selected original fiction from Gemma Files (“This Is Not for You”), Livia Llewellyn (“It Feels Better Biting Down”), Pat Cadigan (“Unfair Exchange”), Katherine Crighton (“The Inside and the Outside”), and Catherine MacLeod (“Sideshow”). We’re also sharing reprints by Joyce Carol Oates (“Martyrdom”), Tanith Lee (“Black and White Sky”), and A.R. Morlan (“. . . Warmer”).

Our WDH nonfiction editor, Lisa Morton, has a line-up of terrific pieces — a feature interview with American Horror Story’s producer Jessica Sharzer; a roundtable interview with acclaimed writers Linda Addison, Kate Jonez, Helen Marshall, and Rena Mason; a feature interview with award-winning author Joyce Carol Oates; and insightful essays from Maria Alexander, Lucy A. Snyder, and Chesya Burke.

Over at Fantasy Magazine, we’re presenting Women Destroy Fantasy!, our special double-issue celebration of women writing and editing fantasy. The guest editor for this volume is long-time Fantasy editor Cat Rambo, and she’s selected original fiction from Julia August (“Drowning in the Sky”), H.E. Roulo (“Making the Cut”), Kate Hall (“The Scrimshaw and the Scream”), and T. Kingfisher (“The Dryad’s Shoe”). Plus we’ll have reprints (selected by none other than Terri Windling!) from Delia Sherman (“Miss Carstairs and the Merman”), Carol Emshwiller (“The Abominable Child’s Tale”), Emma Bull (“Silver or Gold”), and Nalo Hopkinson (“The Glass Bottle Trick”).

Likewise, our WDF nonfiction editor — our amazing Managing Editor, Wendy N. Wagner — has lined up some great work for us, including Kameron Hurley’s critical examination of epic fantasy; a roundtable interview with Carrie Vaughn and Kelley Armstrong in a frank discussion of women writing urban fantasy; a roundtable panel of RPG tie-in writers Margaret Weis, Marsheila Rockwell, Elaine Cunningham, and Erin M. Evans; and a massive discussion of women in fantasy illustration, featuring Julie Dillon, Galen Dara, Elizabeth Leggett, Julie Bell, Irene Gallo, Rebecca Guay, Lauren Panepinto, and Zoë Robinson. We’ve also got thought-provoking essays from Sofia Samatar and Kat Howard, and a reading guide from the contributors and friends of WDF.

Both issues turned out really great, and we can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks about them. They’re available now in both ebook ($2.99) and trade paperback ($12.99). For more information about the issues, including where you can find them, visit our new Destroy-related website at

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

We have original science fiction by Daniel José Older (“Dust”) and Marie Vibbert (“Jupiter Wrestlerama”), along with SF reprints by Zoran Živković (“The Puzzle”) and Rebecca Ore (“Scarey Rose in Deep History”).

Plus, we have original fantasy by Steve Hockensmith (“The Herd”) and Megan Kurashige (“The Quality of Descent”), and fantasy reprints by Kelly Link (“Water Off a Black Dog’s Back”) and Ysabeau S. Wilce (“The Biography of a Bouncing Boy Terror!”).

All that, and of course we also have our usual assortment of author and artist spotlights, along with feature interviews with bestselling author James S. A. Corey and physicist Lawrence Krauss.

For our ebook readers, our ebook-exclusive novella reprint is “Jesus and the Eightfold Path” by Lavie Tidhar. For novel excerpts this month, we’ve got a sneak peek at Paolo Bacigalupi’s new novel, The Doubt Factory, along with an excerpt from Ancillary Sword — Ann Leckie’s sequel to her Nebula, Clarke, and Hugo award-winning debut novel Ancillary Justice. Plus, we have an excerpt from the new Wild Cards mosaic novel, Wild Cards: Lowball, from contributor Carrie Vaughn.

Our issue this month is sponsored by our friends at Tor Books. This month, make sure to look for the aforementioned new Wild Cards book, Wild Cards: Lowball, edited by George R.R. Martin and Melinda Snodgrass. Learn more at

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.