27 May 2016 ~ 0 Comments

The Best of Lightspeed (and Fantasy) Podcast 2015

written by David Steffen

Lightspeed is as good as ever, another big source for my award nominations each year.  John Joseph Adams continues to edit the magazine.  In 2015 they ran the wildly successful Kickstarter for their Queers Destroy Science Fiction special issue.  The QDSF special issue was published in May, and the Queers Destroy Fantasy followup was published in the occasionally-resurrected Fantasy Magazine page in December.  The QDSF issue was edited by Seanan McGuire, Steve Berman, Sigrid Ellis, Mark Oshiro, and Wendy N. Wagner.  The QDF issue was edited by Christopher Barzak, Liz Gorinsky, and Matthew Cheney.  Check out the Destroy site for more information about this series of projects (People of Color Destroy Science Fiction is the 2016 special edition upcoming)

Lightspeed publishes about half of their stories in podcast form.  The Lightspeed podcast published 52 stories, and the QDF special issues published 2 more.

The List

1. “Nothing is Pixels Here” by K.M. Szpara
Compelled to seek out the rare glitches in a simulated world, a man and his boyfriend decided to visit the real world for the first time since they were kids.

2. “Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World” by Caroline M. Yoachim
A scientist is visited by an entity that calls itself Achron, that exists outside the ordinary stream of time.  The story is split into sections based on fantastical versions of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World, which I enjoyed.

3. “Violation of the TrueNet Security Act by Taiyo Fuji”, translated by Jim Hubbert
The original Internet had been abandoned when the search engines went berserk and wiped everyone’s computers, locked everyone out of the Internet.  Now there is only TrueNet, the next generation of the Internet, with human safeguards in place to ensure that automated programs can’t overrun everything again.  But why did the search engines lock everyone out in the first place?

4. “Ghosts of Home” by Sam J. Miller
Very cool idea for a story, exploring the idea of household spirits in a time after the housing bubble popped.  What happens to all the spirits in those empty foreclosed homes?

5. “Veil of Ignorance” by David Barr Kirtley
Based on the theory that difference in perspectives perpetuates inequality because a person is more willing accept bad things happening to people if they’re certain it will only affect other people, a group of friends takes a drug that makes them as a group unable to be certain which one of them they are, to put down a veil of ignorance to see if they will treat each other better from the simple fact of each person not knowing whether they are the one mistreating or being mistreated.  Tricky point of view in this one, but I think it was pulled off nicely.

 

Honorable Mentions

“Werewolf Loves Mermaid” by Heather Lindsley

“Tea Time” by Rachel Swirsky

“The Lily and the Horn” by Catherynne M. Valente

 

 

 

 

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