Lightspeed #13 - June 2011
Edited by John Joseph Adams
Cover Artist: Randy Gallegos
Review by Sam Tomaino
Lightspeed Online Magazine
Date: 28 June 2011
Links: Lightspeed Magazine / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Here is the thirteenth 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, "Snapshots I Brought Back from the Black Hole" by K.C. Ball. This one is told by an A.I. linked to Captain Sergei Kolenkhov of the Albert Einstein, the spaceship in which the exploration ship Quantum Wanderer rode out to a black hole. Chloé Dubois is in the exploration ship maintaining its distance above the black hole's event horizon. Tethered to the Einstein is a module containing Andy Mercer, Chloé's husband filming her ship. Other human emotions are involved here making for a solid story.
Next, is a reprint, "Frost Painting" by Carolyn Ives Gilman (originally published in Bending the Landscape, 1997, edited by Stephen Pagel & Nicola Griffith). Galena has traveled from Chicago to Montana to try to convince her lover, Thea, to come back to her. Thea, an artist, has joined a sort of art colony cult under the direction of beings called the Dirigo, who may have been on Earth forever. Thea is creating a different kind of art in the mountains of Montana. This was an interesting story about love and control and well-worth reprinting.
Then, it's another original, "Transcript of Interaction Between Astronaut Mike Scudderman and the OnStar Hands-Free A.I. Crash Advisor" by Grady Hendrix. The title gives you the setup. What you get are a series of hilarious bits of advice from the OnStar to the astronaut, many of them based on movies, books or comics. This was just a lot of fun.
The fiction concludes with another reprint, "Recording Angel" by Ian McDonald (originally published in Interzone in 1996. Gaby is a reporter sent to Kenya to record the alien Chaga xenoforming Africa. There, amidst all the celebrities gawking at the event, she meets Prenderleith, described as "the Last White Hunter". Through him she gets a different perspective as to what is going on. An interesting story that there has been (apparently) sequels to. They might be worth checking out.
This issue of Lightspeed was a pretty good one. I do recommend that you check out their web site at www.lightspeedmagazine.com and support them in some way.