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Lightspeed #15 - August 2011
Edited by John Joseph Adams
Cover Artist: Tim Warnock
Review by Sam Tomaino
Date: 30 August 2011

Links: Lightspeed Magazine / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

Here's the fifteenth issue of Lightspeed the online magazine with stories by Will McIntosh, John Varley, Genevieve Valentine, and Connie Willis along with Author Spotlights on all of them (and and Artist Spotlight on cover artist Tim Warnock) and non-fiction articles by Jeremiah Tolbert, Evil Monkey, and Graeme McMillan along with a Feature Interview with Actor Simon Pegg by John Joseph Andrews and David Barr Kirtley.

Here is the fifteenth issue of Lightspeed, the new online magazine. You can find the issue and how to pay (or not) for it at With this issue, I am instituting a policy of only reviewing the new stories. This online magazine has two.

"Defenders" by Will McIntosh is set in a future some 28 years after 17 million A.I. robots saved humanity from invasion by an alien race called the Luyten. As a reward, the Defenders, as they are called, were given the continent of Australia and the Australians were relocated. Now, Lila is the ambassador from the relocated Australians and is part of a large party of ambassadors meeting for the first time with the Defenders. Lila finds out that not only are there millions of Luyten still alive and captive of the Defenders, but that the Defenders want more "living room". Who can be mankind's allies? This sets up an interesting story but it stops dead before much happens. That makes it a bit unsatisfying.

In "The Nearest Thing" by Genevieve Valentine, Masom works for the Mori corporation which creates life-like dolls to replace family members that have died. One of the company's fair-haired boys, Paul, proposes a new product and brings in a strange woman named Nadia to consult. It takes some time for Mason to figure out what Nadia is, although many readers might suspect from the start. Nonetheless, Valentine works with some complex issues about what "almost human" might be. She gives us another thought-provoking story.

The fifteenth issue of Lightspeed was pretty good. I do recommend that you check out their web site at and support them in some way.

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