Science Fiction & Fantasy



Editorial, December 2010

Welcome to issue seven of Lightspeed! Here’s what we’ve got on tap this month:

December 7

Our lead story this month, “In-fall,” by Ted Kosmatka, puts us aboard a ship hurtling through space. Aboard this ship, two men—mortal enemies—await their inevitable deaths, although that means something very different for each of them.

In our first nonfiction article this month, “Black Holes: Starving and Misunderstood,” Dr. Pamela Gay gives us another perspective on black holes. Did you know they’re simply longing for attention, maybe a little extra companionship? And they’ll do whatever they can to get it, so it’s best if you stay out of their way.

December 14

“The Observer,” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch tells the story of a woman separated into various parts of herself. However, there’s always a dominant side. And that side will do whatever it can in order to survive. (Reprint)

In our feature interview with Greg Bear by John Joseph Adams and David Barr Kirtley, Bear discusses writing for Halo; his new novel Hull Zero Three; his collaboration with Neal Stephenson, The Mongoliad; and advising the Department of Homeland Security. (Reprint)

December 21

After reading our third piece of fiction for the month, “Jenny’s Sick” by David Tallerman, you might do a double take when you see your colleague coughing by the water fountain. A seasonal cold, he says, but are you certain that’s the case? Maybe it’s something more serious.

In the related nonfiction article, “Five Upcoming Plagues (We’re Doomed),” Genevieve Valentine keeps us up to speed on when and if we should pull out those face masks. Better stock up—just in case.

December 28

For our final story this month, we present “The Silence of the Asonu” by Ursula K. Le Guin, which allows us a glimpse into a race of people that do not speak as we do, but have plenty of other ways to communicate, some which may be more powerful than our own. (Reprint)

And for our final piece of nonfiction, we have an article by Lawrence M. Schoen, one of the world’s foremost authorities on the Klingon language. In “Linguistic Expectations,” he explains how if we’re ever going to understand alien speech, we’d better ditch our current expectations and start thinking above and beyond the norm.

That about does it for our fiction and nonfiction selections for December, but be sure to also look for our author spotlights, and keep an ear out for our podcasts of “Jenny’s Sick” by David Tallerman and “The Silence of the Asonu” by Ursula K. Le Guin, along with a resyndication of Drabblecast’s performance of Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s “The Observer.”

So that’s our issue this month. I hope you enjoy it. And remember, if you don’t want to wait for the content to be released on the site throughout the month, or you’d just like a handy, downloadable version of the magazine on your favorite handheld electronic reading device, Lightspeed is available directly from our publisher, Prime Books, in DRM-free ePub format, and is also available in Kindle, iBooks, and Mobipocket format from external vendors, or from Fictionwise, which offers a variety of formats.

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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.