Lightspeed #17 - October 2011
by John Joseph Adams
Edited by John Joseph Adams
Cover Artist: Falk Haensel and Francois Beuzelin
Review by Sam Tomaino
Date: 27 October 2011
Links: Lightspeed Magazine / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Here is the seventeenth issue of Lightspeed, the new online magazine. You can find the issue and how to pay (or not) for it at www.lightspeedmagazine.com. Beginning with the August issue, I instituted a policy of only reviewing original stories. As usual, this magazine has two, but since one of the reprints is from a 2011 anthology, I'll treat it as new and review it.
I always like stories by Adam-Troy Castro and "Her Husband's Hands" is the author at his best. After Rebecca's husband's unit is attacked in the war, all that is left of him is his hands. His hands attached to metal bracelets that contain his backed up memories. The hands have attachments that allow them to see. They can type messages on a touch pad. They have her husband's memories and personality. Needless to say, this is a tough time for Rebecca. We follow them through this tough time and Castro tells their story perfectly. This another story I'll be adding to my Hugo short list for next year.
"Against Eternity" by David Farland is a very brief tale but it packs a lot into around 1500 words. Written in the second person, the you of the story is a tired old man who is slowly breaking down. Everyone he ever knew or cared about is dead. When he is offered the chance to go to war in a new body he jumps at the chance. I won't spoil the story by saying more only that it is quite good and ends perfectly.
"Some Fortunate Future Day" by Cassandra Clare, originally published in Steampunk!, edited by Gavin Grant and Kelly Link, 2011) is (as the anthology name suggests) a steampunk story. It is set during a war that seems to be in a Victorian-type era. Rose lives alone with intelligent dolls Cordelia and Ellen. They were invented by her genius father before he headed off for war. He also invented a device that can send you back in time up to a week in the past. Into Rose's world comes a wounded soldier, fallen from the sky. She nurses him back to health and falls in love with him, but her na´ve vision of love does not bode well. It was well worth reading this great story and I must seek out the anthology that it comes from.
The seventeenth issue of Lightspeed was another good one. I do recommend that you check out their web site and support them in some way.