LIGHTSPEED is an online science fiction and fantasy magazine. In its pages, you will find science fiction: from near-future, sociological soft SF, to far-future, star-spanning hard SF--and fantasy: from epic fantasy, sword-and-sorcery, and contemporary urban tales, to magical realism, science-fantasy, and folktales.
Welcome to LIGHTSPEED's 122nd issue! Our cover art this month is from Galen Dara, illustrating our first original fantasy short of the month: "Baba Yaga and the Seven Hills," by Kristina Ten. Is there a place for a centuries-old Russian witch in San Francisco? You'd be surprised! Mari Ness takes us to Neverland in her piratical tale of "Great Gerta and the Mermaid." Plus, we have fantasy reprints by Benjamin Rosenbaum ("A Siege of Cranes") and Kiini Ibura Salaam ("Rosamojo"). During lockdown, it was hard not to think in terms of apocalypses. Things were so strange, so upended and lonely, that it seemed like the end of, if not the world, normal life. Luckily for us, apocalypse is always on Adam-Troy Castro's mind. He's given us a new story about different kinds of apocalypses in "The End of The World Measured in Values of N." Ray Nayler returns with an SF original ("The Swallows of the Storm") about a scientist researching an inexplicable phenomenon. We also have reprints by Tochi Onyebuchi ("Zen and the Art of an Android Beatdown, or Cecile Meets a Boxer: A Love Story") and Annalee Newitz ("The Blue Fairy's Manifesto"). Our nonfiction team brings our usual assortment of author spotlights, along with our book and media review columns. Our feature interview is with Alaya Dawn Johnson. Our ebook readers will also enjoy an excerpt from Ryan Van Loan's debut novel, THE SIN IN THE STEEL.