LIGHTSPEED MAGAZINE - Science Fiction and Fantasy Story Podcast (Sci-Fi | Audiobook | Short Stories)

LIGHTSPEED MAGAZINE - Science Fiction and Fantasy Story Podcast (Sci-Fi | Audiobook | Short Stories)

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

Timothy Mudie | An Ever-Expanding Flash of Light  

“Ladies and gentlemen, everyone you know---the entire world you know---is now dead.” Murmurs ripple through the assembled cadets. Not because they’re shocked---everyone knew what they were signing up for---but because it all happened without fanfare, a jump across light-years of space unaccompanied by any grand orchestral swell or roaring engine thrusts. The wiry guy with a shaved head standing next to Tone mutters, “Jesus, I didn’t even feel anything.” | Copyright 2017 by Timothy Mudie. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.

Jaymee Goh | The Last Cheng Beng Gift  

There was definitely something to be said about being Mrs. Lim, even into the Underworld: something about comfort, something about privilege, something about a status quo carried into the afterlife. The previous matriarch that bore the title of Mrs. Lim had moved on long before Mrs. Lim got there, but since Mrs. Lim had not liked the domineering nature of her predecessor, this did not bother her overmuch. One of things to be said about being Mrs. Lim was that during Cheng Beng, she received many, many presents. | Copyright 2017 by Jaymee Goh. Narrated by Claire Benedek.

Bruce McAllister | Ink  

The American boy, whose name was David, had always collected things. Coins, minerals, seashells, insects, and even house-brand bars of soap from hotels in his family’s travels. His collections helped him know who he was when so much of life did not; and the things he collected did not make him bleed, when so much of the world—the sharp, angular things of it—did. When you bought an old coin in a store, the coin didn’t bruise your skin or scratch your fingers. | Copyright 2017 by Bruce McAllister. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.

Christopher East | An Inflexible Truth  

As the commuter jet descended toward the ruins of Las Vegas, Roland Zhang craned his neck at the window, watching the skeleton towers grow nearer. Billowing clouds of dust clogged the air, and wind-blown dunes partially buried the filthy, abandoned buildings. He’d viewed footage from the far corners of the Earth, every remote hellhole imaginable, but this was the first time he’d ever seen the real deal in person. He tugged at his collar, sweating in spite of the air conditioning. | Copyright 2017 by Christopher East. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.

Susan Palwick | The Shining Hills  

“Are you all right?” The voice, sharp and worried, shot out of the pocket of shadow to her left. Startled, she turned and found herself blinking at a cop, one of the ones who patrolled the park on foot. In the last light of dusk, she could just make out his half-frown, his badge, the hand resting on a nightstick. He reminded her of her father. She shivered and pulled her sweatshirt more tightly around her. She should have brought warmer clothing, but she wasn’t going to be here long. | Copyright 2017 by Susan Palwick. Narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir.

Ashok K. Banker | Tongue  

Namaste, helloji, please to come in. First time visit, so nice you came. Thank you for removing gravity shoes. Please be comfortable, no formality. It is like your home only. What for I can get you? Mineral tea? Carbon Filter coffee? Gel Cola? If it is not in our supply ration, we can send Senthil to fetch from company concessionary on main asteroid. Senthil is our homebot, see, he is understanding our language fully now. Beginning time he was little confuse. Now he is fully understand. | Copyright 2017 by Ashok K. Banker. Narrated by Pooja Batra.

Debbie Urbanski | How to Find a Portal  

I remember as children we were warned about the women who drove the unmarked white vans that circled around our neighborhood during those long hot summers, in particular creeping slowly down the boulevard which ran alongside the park, where if you positioned yourself at the right angle, I suppose in front of the swings, you might be able to see a flash of a child’s private yellow underwear as they pumped their legs upward. | Copyright 2017 by Debbie Urbanski. Narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir.

E. Catherine Tobler | Mix Tapes From Dead Boys  

The derelict hangs in Neptune’s blue orbit, a chip of shadowy flint from a distance. Up close, it’s old and rusting, myriad old systems cobbled together, and Hadley swallows her nervous and exhilarated heart a dozen times as she latches the pod to its belly, makes a hard seal at the airlock, and geckos her team inside. The exterior of their spatulae suits—hands and knees and hips—permits them freedom of movement even in zero gee. Especially in zero gee. She glances back at their pod once. | Copyright 2017 by E. Catherine Tobler. Narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir.

Alvaro Zinos-Amaro | A Touch of Heart  

Many years ago, in Shangdong Province, there lived an unfortunate farmer by the name of Dou Zhuo. Like most of us who walk this teeming Earth, he was trapped in the circumstances that fortune had provided him. He owned a patch of land that supported crops only after backbreaking effort, and then with results that betrayed its resentment of the demands he put on it. His cucumbers were bitter, his cowpeas difficult to boil, his leeks over-pungent, his pak choi stiff, and his edible amaranth hardly deserving of its name. | Copyright 2017 by Alvaro Zinos-Amaro and Adam-Troy Castro. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.

John Grant | The Law of Conservation of Data  

“Slots Palace,” says Suze. You all stare at her. Staring at her is worth doing. She’s moved into a new bod since coming here, and the change has been a big improvement. There wasn’t exactly anything wrong with the one she initially adopted for the pentagon’s pre-consensuality union, but she became dissatisfied with it and the dissatisfaction affected the rest of you---especially Kagura, who said it reminded him in all the wrong ways of a past consensual of his who turned out badly. | Copyright 2017 by John Grant. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.

Matthew Kressel | Love Engine Optimization  

I rooted her system on the first day. It was the only way to be sure. Sure that she’d love me. Step by matching step, I walk her under the boughs of great elms in Prospect Park, while the slanting sun passes through the tangled mesh of leaves to dapple her smiling face. When her heart rate spikes, I know she’s excited. When it slows, she’s bored. | Copyright 2017 by Matthew Kressel. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.

Elizabeth Bear | The Heart’s Filthy Lesson  

The sun burned through the clouds around noon on the long Cytherean day, and Dharthi happened to be awake and in a position to see it. She was alone in the highlands of Ishtar Terra on a research trip, five sleeps out from Butler base camp, and---despite the nagging desire to keep traveling---had decided to take a rest break for an hour or two. Noon at this latitude was close enough to the one hundredth solar dieiversary of her birth that she’d broken out her little hoard of shelf-stable cake to celebrate. | Copyright 2015 by Elizabeth Bear. Originally published in OLD VENUS, edited by Gardner Dozois and George R. R. Martin. Reprinted by permission of the author. Narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir.

Scott Dalrymple | Marcel Proust, Incorporated  

It’s 12:15, and Monica West is late for our lunch. We’re meeting at a trendy Greenwich Village bistro, one of the few to survive the depression that bankrupted the City, and so many of its residents, nearly two decades ago. There are few reminders of those trying times here now. The place is packed with the young power elite, the air thick with talk of mergers and screenplays and spring designer collections. I order a glass of Cabernet and wait. | Copyright 2017 by Scott Dalrymple. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.

Shweta Narayan | World of the Three  

Then the Bird of A Hundred and Eight Names gathered together her three new children, and she said, “You have passed our people’s tests and joined our ranks, and may leave if you wish. But leaving will take you among the Alabar, who collect salt in their bare hands and have no fear of rust, and call themselves merely people. Some among us speak slightingly of them, for their lives are short and easily ended, and they don’t protect one another as we do. You should be more wary." | Copyright 2017 by Shweta Narayan. Narrated by Twinkle Khanna.

Susan Jane Bigelow | The Heart’s Cartography  

Jade was the sort of backwoods girl who had a map of the countryside tattooed on her heart, and she could feel it in her bones when the pieces of her world shifted. So when the new family moved into the house across the road that late summer, she felt ripples of wrongness radiating out from them and their too-bright clothes, their bizarrely old-fashioned wood-paneled station wagon, and their rolling words. | Copyright 2017 by Susan Jane Bigelow. Narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir.

Kendra Fortmeyer | Octopus vs. Bear  

You woke up female this morning, so now you have a choice: do what other people want, or be a bitch. It is a thing you know without precisely knowing it. The knowledge is built into the muscle memory of this miraculous new body; it is draped across the bones like a weight. You shudder, stretching your delicate female limbs beneath the unfamiliar, sun-drenched sheets. Female for a day, you think. | Copyright 2017 by Kendra Fortmeyer. Narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir.

Bruce McAllister | This Is for You  

There was one girl I really liked in school when I returned to Earth, but it took me three months to say hello. I wasn’t good with human beings. We’d just gotten back from Pitipek (a red-dwarf star system “just left” of Tau Ceti, as the joke goes). My father had been stationed there for two years with the TU’s Planetary Safety Agency, and living with the slow, enigmatic, bipedal Pitipeki---especially in one of their villages, and under those endless clouds---tends to make you lose your people skills. | Copyright 2017 by Bruce McAllister. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.

Adam-Troy Castro | James, In the Golden Sunlight of the Hereafter  

It took James Washington forever, almost literally forever, to remember that his wife and children were as dead as he was. For a while, he barely even realized that he was dead himself. Heaven, for lack of a better word, is bliss, and as anybody who has known euphoria can tell you, bliss doesn’t always allow room for rational thought. | Copyright 2017 by Adam-Troy Castro. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.

Jess Barber | Maybe Look Up  

You’re just stepping into the crosswalk when the SUV screeches to a stop with its bumper six inches from your hip. It’s sleeting. It wasn’t sleeting when you left your apartment, so you’re wearing canvas sneakers with holes beside the little toes, where all of your sneakers always get holes, and you haven’t been able to feel your feet for six blocks. It’s been weeks since you got more than four hours of sleep. | Copyright 2017 by Jess Barber. Narrated by Bonnie MacBird.

Lina Rather | Seven Permutations of My Daughter  

I’ve sought a world with a higher-than-average ratio of sunny days and a pharmaceutical industry that developed a decade before my own. Sun, of course, improves mental health. And a more developed pharmaceutical industry implies a more liberal outlook towards chemical intervention, a more specific range of treatment plans. It isn’t easy to write equations for these variables. | Copyright 2017 by Lina Rather. Narrated by Claire Benedek.

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