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Lightspeed #30 - November 2012
Edited by John Joseph Adams
Cover Artist: Erick Schumacher
Review by Sam Tomaino
LIghtspeed Magazine / eZine  
Date: 27 November 2012

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

Here's the Thirtieth issue of Lightspeed the online magazine with stories by Sandra McDonald, Eleanor Aronson, Tom Crosshill, Tobias Buckell, Aliette de Bodard, Jeremiah Tolbert, Carrie Vaughn, and Richard Bowes, along with Author Spotlights on all of them (and Artist Spotlight on cover artist Erick Schumacher), along with a Feature Interview with Alastair Reynolds by The Geek's Guide to the Galaxy and another Feature Interview with Terry Brooks by The Geek's Guide to the Galaxy.

Here's the thirtieth of Lightspeed the online magazine. You can find the issue and how to pay (or not) for it at Here are my reviews of the original stories, two science fiction and two fantasy.

The first original science fiction story is "Searching for Slave Leia" by Sandra McDonald. Sheila, the assistant to a tyrannical showrunner in the present day, suddenly finds herself back in 1983, as a teenager attending the premiere of Return of the Jedi. Then, she's back on the set putting out many small fires. She shifts back and forth from moments in her past to the present, all building to a climax. The period detail is nicely done and the story, while pretty amusing, makes a good point.

The first original fantasy story is "La Alma Perdida de Marguerite Espinoza" by Jeremiah Tolbert. Alvardo has no soul of his own. It was taken at birth. He can be the custudio if someone else's soul or alma. He has been hired to catch a dying woman's soul and breathe it into her grandchild. This is taking place in a fantasy universe where El Dios Tacaņo creates no new souls and takes the ones that are free. All this results in quite a bit of intrigue and running around. An interesting concept fairly well delivered.

The second original second science fiction story is "A Well-Adjusted Man" by Tom Crosshill. The title character is Jim Turner, a police officer in a near-future United States (we assume) that is now called the Federation. In the opening, while adrenalized, he kills an innocent civilian. Then, he is reprogrammed to remember the event differently. Things get more ominous when he goes home to his family. More I can't say, only that this was a very well-written story.

The second original fantasy story is "Seven Smiles and Seven Frowns" by Richard Bowes. This is actually three stories, three versions of what is supposed to be the same event. A prince meets a girl in the woods and, one by one, loses his possessions. There are similarities in the stories, but the details make them all very different. Imaginatively told.

This was issue 30th of Lightspeed. You can access the stories for free. Check out their web site at and support them, if you want to, in some way.

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