Lightspeed: Edited by John Joseph Adams




Editorial, September 2016

Welcome to issue seventy-six of Lightspeed!

We have original science fiction by Sean Williams (“The Lives of Riley”) and An Owomoyela (“Unauthorized Access”), along with SF reprints by Charlie Jane Anders (“Power Couple (Or ‘Love Never Sleeps’)”) and Alec Nevala-Lee (“Ernesto”).

Plus, we have original fantasy by Maria Dahvana Headley (“See the Unseeable, Know the Unknowable”) and Jaymee Goh (“Crocodile Tears”), and fantasy reprints by Tim Pratt (“The Wilderness Within”) and Christopher Barzak (“What We Know About the Lost Families of —— House”).

All that, and of course we also have our usual assortment of author spotlights, along with our book and media review columns.

For our ebook readers, we also have a reprint of the novella “Horn,” by Peter M. Ball and an excerpt from Nisi Shawl’s new novel, Everfair.

Hugo Award Results

As I write this, I’m just back from MidAmeriCon II, the 74th annual World Science Fiction Convention (a/k/a, Worldcon). The Hugos were presented on Saturday, August 20, and, alas, Lightspeed’s two contenders—me, in Best Editor (Short Form), and Brooke Bolander, in novelette (for “And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead”)—both lost, albeit to very deserving winners, and, in Brooke’s case, by only an incredibly small margin. The Best Novelette Hugo went to “Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfang (from Uncanny Magazine), and Best Editor (Short Form) went to Ellen Datlow. Uncanny also won Best Semiprozine, which Lightspeed won the last two years; we are no longer eligible in that category, but the voting results show that a good number of people still tried to nominate us anyway.

Nightmare’s Alyssa Wong very narrowly lost the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer to The Martian author Andy Weir, and the extended nominations tally revealed that her Nebula Award-winning story “Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers” came extremely close to being nominated for the Hugo as well (in Best Short Story). Because of this near-miss, Alyssa did receive an Alfie Award from George R.R. Martin, at his second annual Alfie Awards, which were presented at his “Loser’s Party” at the majestic Midland Theater, a few blocks away from the convention center. (If you’re not sure what the Alfie Awards are, or why GRRM started handing them out, check out this io9 post if you want to learn what prompted it:

In any case, as they say, it’s always an honor to be nominated, and congratulations to all of the winners and the other nominees. If you’d like to see the full list of winners—and/or the extending nomination lists (so you can see what else nearly made the ballot)—visit

Lightspeed Reader Survey Favorite Story Poll Results

While Brooke Bolander’s “And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead” did not take home the Hugo Award (or the Sturgeon Award, which was also announced during Worldcon), it did win the “Favorite Story Poll” we recently conducted, in the science fiction category—and by a substantial margin. “Madeleine” by Amal El-Mohtar was the runner-up. There was a tie for third place, with “The Universe Sung in Stars” by Kat Howard and “Rock, Paper, Scissors, Love, Death” by Caroline M. Yoachim receiving the same number of votes.

In the fantasy category, Catherynne M. Valente’s story, “The Lily and the Horn,” from the Queers Destroy Fantasy! special issue, was voted as the readers’ favorite. “Tea Time” by Rachel Swirsky came in second, narrowly edging out “And the Winners Will Be Swept Out to Sea” by Maria Dahvana Headley (which, thus, came in third).

Congrats to all, and thanks again to all of you who participated in the Reader Survey and/or Favorite Story Poll!

Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016

As you may recall, in addition to editing Lightspeed and Nightmare, I am also the series editor of Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy, which launched last year. The first volume was guest edited by Joe Hill, and the 2016 volume (which comes out October 4) is guest edited by Karen Joy Fowler. The table of contents for the 2016 volume were recently announced over on io9, which includes two stories from Lightspeed (“Things You Can Buy for a Penny” by Will Kaufman and “Tea Time” by Rachel Swirsky), as well as many authors familiar to Lightspeed readers. Visit to see the full table of contents and/or to pre-order!

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That’s all we have to report this month. I hope you enjoy the issue, and 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.