Science Fiction & Fantasy




Editorial: October 2019

Welcome to Lightspeed’s 113th issue!

This month’s first original short story comes from E. Lily Yu—and it’s a classic tale of a naïve prince, a scheming queen, and a good-hearted cook. So where do the deer come in? You’ll have to read “The Valley of Wounded Deer” to find out. Our other original fantasy short (“Windrose in Scarlet”) is by Isabel Yap, who plaits two well-known fairy tales into a brand-new story. We also have fantasy reprints by Kai Ashante Wilson (“«Légendaire.»”) and Ken Liu (“The Hidden Girl”).

Our science fiction shorts include an original story by Eli Brown, “Nesting Habits of Enceladan Jade Beetles,” which takes us on a scientific expedition to icy Enceladus. Once you defrost from that chilly read, warm up with Ray Nayler’s new short, “The Death of Fire Station 10,” a thoughtful muse on intelligence in all its forms. We also have SF reprints by Sam J. Miller (“The Beasts We Want to Be”) and WC Dunlap (“Revival”).

Of course we also have our usual assortment of author spotlights, book and media review columns, and a feature interview with Valerie Valdes. Our ebook readers will also enjoy an excerpt from Cixin Liu’s new novel, Supernova Era.

The last line of “Sacrid’s Pod” by Adam-Troy Castro was accidentally cut from the story when it was originally published last month. We’ve now updated our website and ebook editions to reflect the correction. To avoid spoilers, we’re not going to print the last line here, in case you haven’t read the story yet, but if you download a new ebook from where you purchased it or visit our website (, you can see the the change. Note: If you subscribe via Kindle Periodicals, we have no way of updating that edition of the magazine, unfortunately.

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.