Science Fiction & Fantasy




Editorial: September 2021

Welcome to Lightspeed’s 136th issue!

What if magic was real and you could talk about it on the internet? This month, our first fantasy short—“Fanspell: Flowers in Spring (RobYung, NSFW),” by Anya Ow—asks just this. It also explores the real-life effects of social media, a topic that’s never been more timely. Lizz Huerta’s new short “Sía” blends humor and heartbreak in a tale about a woman who finds unexpected truths when she attends a New Age spiritual workshop. “It Begins to Snow,” our fantasy flash piece from Adam R. Shannon, is a tiny meditation on relationships, set on the background of apocalypse. Our reprint this month is “Invasive Species and Their Habitats,” by Alexander Weinstein.

On the science fictional side of the issue, Adam-Troy Castro brings us a beautiful elegy for a lost love in his new flash story “Judi.” Thomas Ha takes us to a distant and dangerous world in “Where You Left Me.” It’s a story of space exploration and drug addiction gone horribly awry. Meg Elison tackles worker exploitation in her new story “The Revolution Will Not Be Served with Fries.” We also have a reprint from Violet Allen (“Mister Dawn, How Can You Be So Cruel?”).

Don’t miss author spotlights with this month’s fiction writers, and of course the book review team has been busy reading new releases. Our ebook readers will also enjoy an excerpt from Cat Rambo’s new novel You Sexy Thing.

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.