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

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.

Kat Howard | The Key to St. Medusa’s  

My parents knew I was a witch before I was born. The signs were there, they told me. They were unmistakable. Well. Not all of the signs, or they never would have kept me as long as they did. But enough: My mother’s hair, previously sedate and well-mannered, turned curly and wild during her pregnancy, sometimes even grabbing forks from other people’s hands at meals. | Copyright 2016 by Kat Howard. Narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir.

Stephen S. Power | Fade To Red: Three Interviews About Sebold’s Mars Trilogy  

I’ll be the first to admit that my homemade rover didn’t do the original justice and my color treatment was a better reflection of my Hollywood thinking than of the Martian landscape. What appealed to JPL was how I captured the tension of driving the rover across Gale, where every pebble can put years of training to the test. They were also impressed that I left my Curiosity outside Hanksville, Utah, not far from the Mars Desert Research Station, then controlled it and its cameras from a van several miles away. And they were amazed that my route for approaching the Mars Light almost perfectly mirrored their own. | Copyright 2016 by Stephen S. Power. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki; Jim Freund; Claire Benedek.

Jeremiah Tolbert | The Cavern of the Screaming Eyes  

“Is that the collapsible, carbon fiber ten-foot pole from TrunchCo?” I slammed my locker door and spun the combo lock, but it was too late; the fanboy already seen my gear. I didn’t know what his interest was, but I didn’t want to encourage him. I said nothing. He continued: “I’ve got the one from a couple of years ago that folds up. It sucks." Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.

An Owomoyela | Unauthorized Access  

Prison 17 had been built long enough ago that it got next to no natural light—before all the studies that said that light was good for prison behavior and morale. And of course the rest of its district had been remodded in the past ten years, so the view from outside was a phalanx of solar panels over heat-reflecting paint, making a headache-inducing pattern of black and white. Prisons and hydroponics. Narrated by Jayme Grant.

Jaymee Goh | Crocodile Tears  

Everything we crocodiles taste in the water has meaning. It tells us about the people who live here: who does the washing, who harvests the water crops, what they are growing in their fields and belukar. We even know littler details: who is pregnant, who is dying, what couple has been frolicking in the river, heedless of the risks we pose to them. | Copyright 2016 by Jaymee Goh. Narrated by Judy Young.

Sean Williams | The Lives of Riley  

The sirens are growing louder. Riley doesn’t know how the peacekeepers found out---he was so careful, so sure he’d covered every trace of his existence, all of it---but that’s less important now than getting away. He cannot afford to make any more mistakes. The night seems dark and empty as he leaves the warehouse through the back door. | Copyright 2016 by Sean Williams. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.

Maria Dahvana Headley | See The Unseeable, Know The Unknowable  

There are woods, and the woods are dark, though there are lights hung from the trees. Many of the lights no longer light up. Around the edge of the clearing, someone has strung a long chain of origami animals on barbed wire, some gilded paper and some newsprint, some pages torn out of books, some photographs, each animal snagged on its own spike. The animals have been rained on, and more than once. | Copyright 2016 by Maria Dahvana Headley. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.

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