Science Fiction & Fantasy




Editorial, January 2011

Happy new year, and welcome to issue eight of Lightspeed! We hope you had a great holiday season, and are ready to read some great new fiction this year.

Just one piece of business before we get to this month’s teasers: I’m pleased to announce that you can now subscribe to the ebook edition of Lightspeed, via Weightless Books, a new ebookstore managed by Gavin Grant and the team at Small Beer Press. Subscriptions are just $19.95 a year, which is over $15 off the cover price, so subscribe early and subscribe often—and tell your friends!

With that out of the way, here’s what we’ve got on tap this month:

January 4

In our first fiction story of 2011, “Postings from an Amorous Tomorrow,” debut author Corey Mariani shows us a future in which connections are limitless, love can be quantified, and your social networking status is your greatest asset.

Speaking of social networking…on the nonfiction side of things, in “The Future’s So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades,” Genevieve Valentine postulates about the future of social media. Sure, everyone you know is on Facebook, but wait ‘til you get a load of the iGlass!

January 11

A lonely drug dealer’s strange relationship with space cucumbers leads to a tentative new friendship in “Cucumber Gravy” by Susan Palwick. (Reprint)

Christopher Sedia, in “Neurotransmitters: God’s Way of Getting You High,” takes a look at some of the more dangerous (illegal!) drugs, the plants they come from, and what your chances are for addiction.

January 18

Turns out not all gorgeous, sparkling men are angst-ridden vampires. In Tanith Lee’s “Black Fire,” we see what happens when you let that gleaming stranger—who just happens to show up after you see a strange object soar across the evening sky—into your home.

In our feature interview this month, Christie Yant presents “The Redemption of Paolo Bacigalupi.” They discuss everything from newfound fame to SF versus mainstream fiction, and how Bacigalupi’s work fits into both.

January 25

And for our final story of January, we bring you Orson Scott Card’s “The Elephants of Poznan,” in which animals know more about saving mankind than we do. (Reprint)

In the related nonfiction, Jeremiah Tolbert speculates about the “Five Animals That Will Take Over the World After We Eradicate Ourselves,” and which of them we need to side with, ASAP. (Hint: It’s not the elephants.)

That about does it for our fiction and nonfiction selections for January, but be sure to also look for our author and artist spotlights, and keep an ear out for our podcasts of “Black Fire” by Tanith Lee and “The Elephants of the Poznan” by Orson Scott Card.

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.

After some months of technical delays, we’re also happy to report that every issue of Lightspeed is now available in the following stores: KindleiBooksNook, and Fictionwise. It’s also now available via two totally new channels: Wizard’s Tower and Weightless Books (of which the latter, as we mentioned earlier, also offers subscriptions).

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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.