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

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.

Tristina Wright | The Siren Son  

The day the dragons came, Neal kissed a boy. This span of months would later be remembered as the Awakening and condensed to precisely three pages in a tenth-cycle history text. Those three pages would lie nestled between twelve pages on the War of the Sea (when the merfolk rose up and attacked the trade ships in retaliation for an attack against their king) and twenty-four pages on the Reconstruction Age. | Copyright 2016 by Tristina Wright. Narrated by Paul Boehmer.

Jeremiah Tolbert | Taste the Singularity at the Food Truck Circus  

“There’s a stall in the new market where they cook just about anything on a stick.” These were the words, spoken by coworkers returning to the office from an early lunch, that drew me from my cubicle and onto the streets one late April afternoon. Everyone has their weaknesses, and mine has always been food. Anything? I thought. We’ll see about that. | Copyright 2016 by Jeremiah Tolbert. Narrated by Paul Boehmer.

Adam-Troy Castro | The Assassin’s Secret  

The world’s greatest assassin lives on a private island. That’s so much a given that you must have known it already. You’ve seen all those movies about master thieves, brilliant scammers, unflappable secret agents, dangerous people who live on their own tropical islands and must be lured into one last job. He was the source of the cliché. | Copyright 2016 by Adam-Troy Castro. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.

Mercurio D. Rivera | Those Brighter Stars  

The call came through as I paced outside the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex, puffing on an e-cig and watching my breath turn to vapor in the chill. “Hello?” The bald, skeletal image of a stranger stared back at me on my phone. “Ava,” he whispered. “Oh, Ava.” It took me a few seconds to regain my composure. “Dad?” I said. | Copyright 2016 by Mercurio D. Rivera. Narrated by Claire Benedek.

Jilly Dreadful | 5×5  

Dear Scully, I should’ve been suspicious of the girl in the lab coat offering me psychic ice cream. But with you and your ponytail, the psychic ice cream just seemed so harmless. After it gave me a brain freeze that’d make the Sierra Nevada Mountains jealous, imagine my surprise when I started hearing people’s thoughts—thank science it’s only temporary! Good call on that, by the way. | Copyright 2016 by Jilly Dreadful. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki and Justine Eyre.

Kenneth Schneyer | Some Pebbles in the Palm  

Once upon a time, there was a man who was born, who lived, and who died. We could leave the whole story at that, except that it would be misleading to write the sentence only once. He was born, he lived, and he died, was born, lived, died, bornliveddied. The first few words of a story are a promise. We will have this kind of experience, not that one. Here is a genre, here is a setting, here is a conflict, here is a character. We don’t know what is coming next, but we do know what is coming next. | Copyright 2016 by Kenneth Schneyer. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.

Ted Kosmatka | The One Who Isn’t  

It starts with light. Then heat. A slow bleed through of memory. Catchment, containment. A white-hot agony coursing through every nerve, building to a sizzling hum---and then it happens. Change of state. And what comes out the other side is something new. The woman held up the card. “What color do you see?” | Copyright 2016 by Ted Kosmatka. Narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir.

Rochita Loenen-Ruiz | Magnifica Angelica Superable  

A woman from the street came in laughing from the cold. It was funny to see her with her black hair blowing all about her face. Her face was red. Red from the cold, red from the laughing, red from the rage that fueled that laughter. There are funnier things than a woman like that, but, well, she was the only one we got to look at that afternoon. Her name was some kind of long. It was Magnifica Angelica something at the end. | Copyright 2016 by Rochita Loenen-Ruiz. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.

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