Lightspeed: Edited by John Joseph Adams




Editorial: September 2018

Welcome to Lightspeed’s 100th issue!

To celebrate this milestone, we decided to publish a super-sized issue, with ten original stories—more than twice the amount of original fiction than usual—plus ten reprints and some special nonfiction to boot. And to make things even more commemorative, the vast majority of our fiction in this issue, both original and reprint, is from our most frequently published fiction contributors—the Lightspeediest writers to ever Lightspeed. It’s a distillation of what we’re made of, and we’re beyond excited to share it with all of you.

Our cover art this month comes from Hugo award-winning artist (and fifty-three-time Lightspeed illustrator) Galen Dara, illustrating new science fiction from Vylar Kaftan: “Her Monster, Whom She Loved.” We also have new SF from Carrie Vaughn (“Harry and Marlowe and the Secret of Ahomana”), Adam-Troy Castro (“The Last to Matter”), Ken Liu (“The Explainer”), and Sofia Samatar (“Hard Mary”), plus reprints from Merc Fenn Wolfmoor (“How to Become a Robot in 12 Easy Steps”), Charles Yu (“NPC”), Caroline M. Yoachim (“Stone Wall Truth”), An Owomoyela (“Travelling Into Nothing”), Seanan McGuire (“Frontier ABCs: The Life and Times of Charity Smith, Schoolteacher”), and David Barr Kirtley (“They Go Bump”).

On the fantasy side of the ledger, we’re featuring new work from Maria Dahvana Headley (“You Pretend Like You Never Met Me, and I’ll Pretend Like I Never Met You”), Cadwell Turnbull (“Jump”), Genevieve Valentine (“Abandonware”), Sam J. Miller (“Conspicuous Plumage”), and Kat Howard (“A Brief Guide to the Seeking of Ghosts”), plus we have reprints from Yoon Ha Lee (“The Coin of Heart’s Desire”), Theodora Goss (“Elena’s Egg”), Charlie Jane Anders (“The Super Ultra Duchess of Fedora Forest”), and Jeremiah Tolbert (“The Girl with Sun in Her Head”).

Our nonfiction includes an interview, as per usual, but for this special celebratory issue, our staff twisted my arm into letting them interview someone you’ve seen a lot in these pages over the years but never heard directly from in the form of an interview: me. (I tried to demur, but they insisted!) Otherwise: for a change of pace, our media review is a look at recent video games with a speculative bent, and then of course we’ve got author spotlights with our original fiction writers and a book review column from Arley Sorg. We’re also pleased to feature a special celebration of our contributors’ and staff members’ favorite Lightspeed stories of all-time, and then our novel excerpt this month is from Gene Doucette’s The Spaceship Next Door.

Well, that’s all there is to report this month. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy this celebratory super-sized issue, and here’s to the next hundred!

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.