LIGHTSPEED MAGAZINE - Science Fiction and Fantasy

LIGHTSPEED MAGAZINE - Science Fiction and Fantasy

Canada

Edited by bestselling anthologist John Joseph Adams, LIGHTSPEED is a Hugo Award-winning, critically-acclaimed digital magazine. In its pages, you'll find science fiction from near-future stories and sociological SF to far-future, star-spanning SF. Plus there's fantasy from epic sword-and-sorcery and contemporary urban tales to magical realism, science-fantasy, and folk tales. Each month, LIGHTSPEED brings you a mix of originals and reprints featuring a variety of authors, from the bestsellers and award-winners you already know to the best now voices you haven't heard yet. When you read LIGHTSPEED, you'll see where science fiction and fantasy have come from, where they are now, and where they're going. The LIGHTSPEED podcast, produced by Grammy Award-winning narrator and producer Stefan Rudnicki of Skyboat Media, is presented four times a month, featuring original audio fiction and classic reprints.

Episodes

Adam-Troy Castro | Death Every Seventy-Two Minutes  

Negelein is at his workstation working on the Lafferty file when the bone spear arcs over the sea of cubicles and strikes just above his right ear, penetrating his skull with a wet crunch. Oblivion is not quite instantaneous; his neurons all fire at the moment his brain goes soggy with blood, giving him, in his last instant, an overwhelming taste of peppermint. | Copyright 2017 by Adam-Troy Castro. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.

Marta Randall | The Stone Lover  

When word came that the king had died, Kyros began packing his tools. Agathon had been a fine patron, commissioning statues and friezes for his capital’s many temples and his own palace, but his wife had no reputation for piety or art. He was surprised, then, when one of her pages delivered a scroll requesting his services. | Copyright 2017 by Marta Randall. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.

Indrapramit Das | The Worldless  

Every day NuTay watched the starship from their shack, selling satshine and sweet chai to wayfarers on their way to the stars. NuTay and their kin Satlyt baked an endless supply of clay cups using dirt from the vast plain of the port. NuTay and Satlyt, like all the hawkers in the shanties that surrounded the dirt road, were dunyshar, worldless—cursed to a single brown horizon. | Copyright 2017 by Indrapramit Das. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.

Jack Skillingstead | The Last Garden  

The Surrogate walked past Casey’s window. She watched its shadow slip across the shade, then she stood and zipped up her flight suit. This was the day. No matter what. The doorbell rang. It was polite, the Surrogate. It had manners. It rang the doorbell. It said please and thank you. It had saved Casey’s life, twice, and the first time she had been grateful. | Copyright 2017 by Jack Skillingstead. Narrated by Susan Hanfield.

Ashok Banker | Six-Gun Vixen and the Dead Coon Trashgang  

Dead Gulch lived up to its name. A two-bit hick town that was little more than a dirt track flanked by a couple dozen wood shacks. My beast growled low and mean as I started through and then reared up in yet another fool attempt to unseat me. I had to dig those rusty spurs in long and hard, twisting the boot heel like I was squishing a scorpion. My Halfie let out that familiar nerve-gnashing howl and settled down real quick. | Copyright 2017 by Ashok Banker. Narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir.

A. Merc Rustad | Later, Let’s Tear Up The Inner Sanctum  

Still in the hospital. Radiation burns suck. Mom came to see me, though, which was nice. She probably had to argue with that dick of a boss she works for to let her off early. You’d think since I nearly died because superheroes were fighting above my school that I’d get some sort of benefits or medical insurance, but noooo, it’s all on me and Mom to foot the hospital bills because fights are not a novelty anymore. | Copyright 2017 by A. Merc Rustad. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.

Kelly Barnhill | Probably Still the Chosen One  

“You must wait here,” the Highest of the High Priests told her. “We will return and bring you back to the Land of Nibiru once we have found the circlet to place upon your head.” The very mention of the circlet made the High Priest tremble with joy. Though the journey through the portal had been brief, the Land of Nibiru was many universes away from where Corrina now stood—in her own small kitchen, in her own small house. | Copyright 2017 by Kelly Barnhill. Narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir.

Molly Tanzer | Nine-Tenths of the Law  

Donna had picked up Jared’s favorite--Romano’s to go, he liked the rosemary bread and the penne rustica---and was just putting it in the oven to keep warm when they brought him in. _They_ being EMTs, after pounding urgently on the door, and _brought him in_ meaning he was on a stretcher. He had an IV in his arm and his eyes were bandaged with thick layers of gauze. | Copyright 2017 by Molly Tanzer. Narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir.

Jeremiah Tolbert | The West Topeka Triangle  

As much as the other kids in my neighborhood like to tell me I’m a know-it-all, I realize just how short the list of things I actually know is one cold winter morning in 1987. I know my vocabulary words, everything that can be known about the Bermuda Triangle, and how well-liked a kid is by who they walk to school with. | Copyright 2017 by Jeremiah Tolbert. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.

Adam-Troy Castro | The Whole Crew Hates Me  

They hate me. They have told me this, again and again, starting from almost the first day of the mission, and continuing every day since then, carrying their hostility well outside the confines of the solar system and into the realm of bentspace. Their hatred does not quite extend to the realm of murder, at least not yet; but it does include telling me every day, in every possible way, that they find my presence intolerable. | Copyright 2017 by Adam-Troy Castro. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.

Kat Howard | Seven Salt Tears  

When I was a child, my mother would tell me stories of the sea. When I couldn’t sleep, when I was restless, when I burned with some childhood fever, she would sit by my side, and conjure something wonderful and strange, something half-magic, from the ocean for me. “Mara,” she would say, smoothing the hair from my forehead as she tucked the covers around me, “did you know that to summon a selkie, you must shed seven tears into the ocean?” | Copyright 2017 by Kat Howard. Narrated by Bonnie Burgess.

Charles Payseur | The Death of Paul Bunyan  

Paul Bunyan has died. Paul Bunyan has died and Johnny Appleseed is heading north. Not for vengeance, like Paul would have wanted. Not to beat the hills red or divert a river over those responsible for killing the legend, but because it finally seems time to revisit old scars, old pains. “We were the fire in the night,” Johnny remembers Paul saying one night, so long ago. | Copyright 2016 by Charles Payseur. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.

Joseph Allen Hill | The Venus Effect  

This is 2015. A party on a westside roof, just before midnight. Some Mia or Mina or throwing it, the white girl with the jean jacket and the headband and the two-bumps-of-molly grin, flitting from friend circle to friend circle, laughing loudly and refilling any empty cup in her eyeline from a bottomless jug of sangria, Maenad Sicagi. There are three kegs, a table of wines and liquor, cake and nachos inside. | Copyright 2016 by Joseph Allen Hill. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.

Carlie St. George | Every Day Is the Full Moon  

There are things you know and things you don’t know. You find it helpful to make lists. For example: THINGS YOU KNOW: — A Wrinkle in Time is bullshit. You don’t care if it’s Riley Chu’s favorite childhood book, because she also identifies with Holden Caulfield, and thinks spiders are adorable. Riley’s opinions are not to be trusted. | Copyright 2016 by Carlie St. George. Narrated by Judy Young.

Rich Larson | The Cyborg, the Tinman, the Merchant of Death  

Sarge knew before I did, of course, but I still had to take him the transfer orders. I didn’t know how to feel on my way to the officers’ mess. I would miss my unit and I would miss my Sarge, but it was an honor, everyone said, to get shifted up to Incisive Maneuvers. To work with the Cyborg. The Tinman. The Merchant of Death. | Copyright 2016 by Rich Larson. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.

Helena Bell | I’ve Come to Marry the Princess  

Before Jack can apologize to Nancy, she has to believe that dragons exist. Nancy’s mad at him because they were supposed to perform a skit at the talent show and he stood her up. They’ve been practicing it for two summers. It’s called “I’ve Come to Marry the Princess.” When Jack didn’t show, Nancy had to go on stage all by herself. He didn’t ditch her on purpose; his dragon egg was hatching and he needed to be there. | Copyright 2016 by Helena Bell. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.

Alyssa Wong | Natural Skin  

As I shrug on my jacket, moving across the carpet as quietly as I can, my sister Xuemei pushes her blankets aside and rolls over onto her belly with a soft murmur. “Liin jie. Where are you going?”Fuck. I glance at her across our shared bedroom, her pale skin glimmering in the near darkness. My shoes are already on; no use lying about it now. “Go back to sleep, kiddo.” | Copyright 2016 by Alyssa Wong. Narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir.

J.B. Park | Shooting Gallery  

It took a while, but in the end we bargained it down to a shot right on my chest, with his mom’s gun. I didn’t know anything about guns, but the thing he showed me looked safe enough, a little pistol that was smaller than the palm it rested on. Then we ran into another problem: Nick wanted to bring his buddies, or at least the ones he trusted. | Copyright 2016 by J.B. Park. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.

Chris Kluwe | Dinosaur Killers  

Another rock fell today. Jaurez, on 54b. Pretty sure that’s who it was. Maybe. Didn’t talk much during the daily vidcalls, brown eyes peering out from beneath his shaggy black hair, floating every which way in zee-g. Supposed to keep it short, but company regs don’t apply. Not anymore. His kids were on Croia Hab. Partner too. Three of thousands, now just clouds of matter joining all the other debris. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.

Mary Anne Mohanraj | Plea  

Three families ahead of them in line. Many more behind, stretching along the beach; it had taken most of the day to get this far, and Eris’s sun was now setting, casting red-gold rays across the sand. Gwen resisted the urge to remind Jon to stand up straight. Their hosts--potential hosts--couldn’t stand up at all, and there was no reason cetaceans would even notice a human’s posture, much less care. | Copyright 2016 by Mary Anne Mohanraj. Narrated by Adenrele Ojo.

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