Science Fiction & Fantasy



Editorial, July 2010

Welcome to issue number two of Lightspeed. Last month we debuted to an enthusiastic response from the science fiction community. There have been numerous comments here on our site, postings in the blogosphere, “likes” on Facebook, retweets on Twitter—and for that, we thank you.

One minor bit of administrivia before I get to this month’s teasers—we’ll be shifting our publication schedule slightly: instead of publishing fiction on Tuesdays and nonfiction on Thursdays, we’re just going to post each week’s content all on the same day, Tuesday. So the fiction, along with its associated nonfiction will now both publish on the same day.

In our July issue, we’ve got a whole new slate of material for you, and we hope you’ll let us know what you think of our offerings this month as well.

In Carol Emshwiller’s “No Time Like the Present,” the residents of a small, economically-disadvantaged town are surprised by the sudden influx of oddly tall, oddly rich, oddly speaking people who appear out of nowhere and buy up all the prime real estate. And if you don’t think that sounds shoe-dad, well, evolve why don’t you? (Original, July 6)

Corporate slavery, retrograde amnesia, posthumanism, and kicking ass take center stage in “Manumission” by Tobias S. Buckell, the tale of a mercenary named Pepper who must rebel against those who would seek to control him. (Reprint, July 13)

Steampunk is the order of the day in “The Zeppelin Conductors’ Society Annual Gentlemen’s Ball” by Genevieve Valentine—an SFnal take on a subgenre more known for its flights of fantasy—featuring heliosis, 19th century ephemera, and, of course, airships. (Original, July 20)

And from bestselling author George R. R. Martin, we bring you “…for a single yesterday”—one of his lesser-known tales, but also one of his most powerful—which explores the value of memory, music, and drugs in the aftermath of an apocalypse. (Reprint, July 27)

On the nonfiction side of things this month, in addition to author spotlights on Genevieve Valentine and Tobias S. Buckell, we’ll be starting off on a humorous note with Carol Pinchefsky and the “Top Five Time Travel Nightmares” you might encounter should go for a swim in the timestream. (July 6)

In “You Are the Person You Are Now,” Neurotopia’s Evil Monkey explains how memories work, the difference between retrograde and anterograde amnesia, and how you may be a new person from moment to moment. (July 13)

Gregory K. H. Bryant, meanwhile, provides us with “A Brief History of Airships,” a primer on the history and evolution of dirigibles that explains how steerable, lighter-than-air craft progressed from some crackpot inventor’s dream to the elegant, Victorian technology of yesteryear. (July 20)

And, finally, in “Music is Science Fiction,” we present an interview with indie rock band The Lisps, whose steampunk musical Futurity tells the story of two Civil War-era inventors who imagine a utopian future defined by an omnipotent machine that will end war once and for all. (July 27)

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 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.

Enjoyed this article? Consider supporting us via one of the following methods:

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.