Lightspeed: Edited by John Joseph Adams



Series Archive: The Kaslo Chronicles

Erm Kaslo is an “op”—a confidential operative based on Novo Bantry, a long-settled planet that is one of the Ten Thousand Worlds, humanity’s far-future civilization.

A highly trained, highly principled security agent, he is at the peak of his professional career when he discovers a forgotten truth: every several thousand years, the fundamental ground rules of the universe arbitrarily switch between rational cause-and-effect and “sympathetic association.” Very soon, the laws of physics will give way to the reign of magic.

Only a handful of people know what’s coming: technological civilization will collapse; Novo Bantry will be ruled by wizards. And the would-be mages are already jockeying for position.

The question facing Kaslo: how will he greet the new order?



The Blood of a Dragon

The moment Erm Kaslo’s flesh touched the substance of the entity, he understood everything — but only for that moment. Then it turned out that everything was far, far too much for a human brain to take in all at once. He felt as if his skull was straining not to burst its seams, and as if the mind it housed was a thimble into which someone had crammed a barrel’s worth of knowledge. Just sorting all the information into gross categories would be the work of several lifetimes; subdividing it into manageable portions would take millennia.


Hapthorn’s Last Case

My assistant said, “You have received an invitation from Holk Xanthoulian. He is embarking on a new menu and invites, and I quote, ‘a select coterie of the cognoscenti to sample its superlative assemblage of tastes, textures, and titillations.’” “He has a flair for the alliterative,” I said. “Sadly, that is true,” my assistant said. “Shall I decline?”