Science Fiction & Fantasy

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Editorial

Editorial, August 2010

Welcome to issue three of Lightspeed. On tap this month… Fiction: “How to Become a Mars Overlord” by Catherynne M. Valente, “Patient Zero” by Tananarive Due, “Arvies” by Adam-Troy Castro, “More Than the Sum of His Parts” by Joe Haldeman. Nonfiction: “Dear Mars” by Pamela Gay, “Bangs & Whimpers: A Look at the Top Five Doomsday Scenarios” by Carol Pinchefsky, an interview with Robert J. Sawyer by Andrea Kail, “Cyborg-netics” by Matt London.

Nonfiction

Interview: The Lisps

FUTURITY follows the wartime experience of aspiring science fiction writer and lowly Confederate solider Julian Munro. While surrounded by destruction, Julian strikes up a correspondence with real-life metaphysician Ada Lovelace, history’s first female computer programmer. Together, the idealistic pair imagine a utopian future defined by an omnipotent machine that will end war once and for all.

Nonfiction

A Very Brief History of Airships

From the Hindenburg to the Goodyear Blimp, airships have for centuries captured our collective imagination and, in recent years, given lift to the popularity of the steampunk genre. But how much do we know, really, about their history and evolution? How did steerable, lighter-than-air craft progress from some crackpot inventor’s dream to the elegant, Victorian technology of literature?

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Genevieve Valentine

Steampunk tends to live in the space between science fiction and fantasy, depending on how it’s utilized in each particular piece. I think that both the science fiction canon and the science fiction community have accepted steampunk elements for a long time; I think that as steampunk earns its permanent place in the canon, it will do so via the examination of some of the tropes on which previous steampunk has been built, which will both broaden and strengthen the collective canon.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Tobias S. Buckell

Mostly I became interested in memory loss when I started reading about the fact that people are starting to figure out how to erase, block, and alter memories in labs. And I began thinking, since corporations are always viewing everything as a potential acquirable resource, why wouldn’t they own someone else’s memories? As a down payment on services? You can walk away from a house that’s been pledged as collateral, or savings. But your identity? They’d really own you.

Nonfiction

You Are the Person You Are Now

Buddhist interpretations of personhood suggest that we have a misguided understanding of our own internal reality; we perceive ourselves as part of a continuous state of being, moving from day to day and year to year. You, my friend, are a constant. An individual. Self-awareness is self-evident, right?

Nonfiction

Top Five Time Travel Nightmares

Time travel is currently only a thought experiment, but if you have to dream, dream big. Who hasn’t fantasized about going back in time to choose the winning lottery numbers, or to kill Hitler, or to say no to the prom date who drenched you in pig’s blood?

Editorial

Editorial, July 2010

New stories on tap this month: “No Time Like the Present” by Carol Emshwiller, “Manumission” by Tobias S. Buckell, “The Zeppelin Conductors’ Society Annual Gentlemen’s Ball” by Genevieve Valentine, and “…for a single yesterday” by George R. R. Martin.

Nonfiction

Every Step We Take

Climate change. Over-fished oceans. Killer hurricanes. Species extinction. Polluted air and water. Not a pretty list, is it? And a hell of a legacy we’re leaving behind for the kids. But these are the harsh realities we’re facing now as the consequences of our decades of planetary abuse finally come a-callin’. So what, if anything, can we do to fix this fine mess we’ve gotten ourselves into?

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Carrie Vaughn

The initial seed of inspiration was my ocean-going characters, who made their livelihood by the sea. I had to find a world to put them in, and I thought about what a positive post-apocalyptic future would look like. That is, the civilization-shattering disaster happened, but humanity didn’t lose its technology.”