Lightspeed #10 - March 2011
by John Joseph Adams
Edited by John Joseph Adams
Cover Artist: Donato Giancola
Review by Sam Tomaino
Date: 28 March 2011
Links: Lightspeed / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Here is the tenth issue of Lightspeed, the new online magazine. You can find the issue and how to pay (or not) for it at www.lightspeedmagazine.com.
The fiction begins with an original story, "Singing the Names" by Maggie Clark. Nia travels to the planet Bo to defend her father on a charge of murdering a native there. Both species and planet are called Bo and they are known for speaking or singing for a very long time. Clark also details other interesting things about their planet and physiology. Nia's father abandoned her and her mother 30 years ago to study the Bo and she has issues with all of that. Clark combines all of this into a very good story. We are told that this is her first published story so she will be someone to watch.
Next, is a reprint, "Gossamer" by Stephen Baxter (first published in Science Fiction Age in 1995). A wormhole accident cause Lvov (atmospheric specialist) & Cobh (pilot) to crash on Pluto. While waiting to be rescued they discover something extraordinary. This may or may not be a good thing. Baxter is good at the hard science kind of story and this is a good example of it.
Then, it's another reprint, "Spider the Artist" by Nnedi Okorafor (first published in the anthology Seeds of Change in 2008). Eme is a woman living in the Nigeria near a major oil pipeline. She retreats from her abusive husband by going into her backyard and playing her guitar. She attracts the attention of one of the murderous spider-like droids, created to protect the pipeline, that everyone calls Zombies. This all results in a change for her and her village. This was quite an interesting story and I was glad it was reprinted.
The fiction concludes with another original, "Woman Leaves the Room" by Robert Reed. This is the kind of story only Robert Reed could write. It begins with a man having a conversation with a woman. We get the idea that there is a barrier in between them. She suddenly leaves the room. Our narrator encounters other people in the same way. I can't really say any more as what is really happening is too good to spoil. Reed, once again, shows us why he's one of the genre's best writers.
The tenth issue of Lightspeed was another good one. I do recommend that you check out their web site at www.lightspeedmagazine.comwww.lightspeedmagazine.com and support them in some way.