Science Fiction & Fantasy

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Illustrated by Galen Dara

Nonfiction

June 2014 (Issue 49)

It could be said that women invented science fiction; after all, Mary Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN is considered by many to be the first science fiction novel. Yet some readers seem to have this funny idea that women don’t—or can’t—write science fiction. Some have even gone so far as to accuse women of *destroying* science fiction with their girl cooties. So to help prove how silly that notion is, LIGHTSPEED’s June 2014 issue—our fourth anniversary issue—is a Women Destroy Science Fiction! special issue and has a guest editor at the helm. The issue features original fiction by Seanan McGuire, N.K. Jemisin, Carrie Vaughn, Tina Connolly, Heather Clitheroe, and many more. Plus, there is terrific nonfiction from Pat Murphy, Mary Kowal, and other talented women.

Science Fiction

Codename: Delphi

“Valdez, you need to slow down,” Karin Larsen warned, each syllable crisply pronounced into a mic. “Stay behind the seekers. If you overrun them, you’re going to walk into a booby trap.”

Science Fiction

How to Get Back to the Forest

“You have to puke it up,” said Cee. “You have to get down there and puke it up. I mean down past where you can feel it, you know?” She gestured earnestly at her chest. She had this old-fashioned cotton nightgown on, lace collar brilliant under the bathroom lights. Above the collar, her skin looked gray. Cee had bones like a bird. She was so beautiful. She was completely beautiful and fucked.

Science Fiction

Coma Kings

So I guess the story begins, fittingly, with someone handing me a Coma rig and saying, play me. Two a.m. and I’m at this party in somebody’s trailer out in the trashy part of town. I’m stoned out of my mind and there’s something on the television, either one of those cheesy infomercials or some sort of comedy thing making fun of those cheesy infomercials, and I’m trying to figure out which.

Science Fiction

In the Dying Light, We Saw a Shape

[email protected] calls them “space diatoms,” but I say “space whales.” They’re beaching themselves on our interstellar shores. Question is: why? —Tweet by @LilMeyerECID, January 7, 2021

Science Fiction

Invisible Planets

Chichi Raha is a fascinating place, its flowers and lakes unforgettable to all visitors. There, you cannot see a single inch of exposed soil because the land is covered by vegetation: the anua grass, as fine as silk thread; the kuqin tree, tall enough to scrape the clouds; and many varieties of unnameable, unimaginably strange fruits, exuding seductive aromas.

Science Fiction

Death and the Hobbyist

It wasn’t enough for my mother Juliet to be crazy. Of course not. She was always going to find a uniquely inconvenient way to drive us mad along with her.

Science Fiction

Dry Bite

Josephine had been up all night, her heart pounding, thinking about this day, about whether she would survive it. Now, out on the road and exposed on all sides, she was so scared she could barely breathe.

Science Fiction

The Schrödinger War

You’d think after seven tries, I could get the living part right, or at least be a pro at dying, but both are still messy and painful. At least dying doesn’t scare me anymore. I yank Olshevski back into our wrinkle of black basalt before the Eatees mist his head.

Fantasy

Breathless in the Deep

When Jantz spotted a black skeleton jutting up above the water, at first she thought it was just a tide-battered tree, but before long she could make out the shredded ropes and scraps of sail. The wooden bones were the charred yardarms of a sunken ship.