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Lightspeed #55 - December 2014
Edited by John Joseph Adams
Cover Artist: Odera Igbokwe
Review by Sam Tomaino
Lightspeed eZine / Magazine  
Date: 30 December 2014

Links: Lightspeed Magazine / How to Subscribe / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

Here's the Fifty-Fifth issue of Lightspeed, with stories by Shale Nelson, N.K. Jemison, Vandana Singh, Paul Park, Rachael Acks, Delia Sherman, Nik Houser, Nalo Hopkinson, and Damien Angelica Walters, along with Author Spotlights on all of them (and Artist Spotlight on cover artist Odera Igbokwe, along with other features.

Here's the 55th issue of Lightspeed, the online magazine. You can find the issue and how to pay (or not) for it at their website. Here are my reviews of the original stories.

The first original science fiction story is "Pay Phobetor" by Shale Nelson -+- A young man gets a new MindPlant and buys a bunch of apps. Unfortunately, one is malware and demands ransom. When he doesn’t pay, the malware ruins his life. Truly horrifying.

The second original science fiction story is "Wake-Rider" by Vandana Sing -+- Leli is adept at riding the wake of ships that can get into Metaspace. She does this to thwart the Euphoria Corporacy that uses nanotechnology to enslave people. She has followed a salvage ship to a ruined generation ship that had been commanded by rebels against Euphoria. She makes an important discovery and must take that information to the rebels. But at what cost? Good solid story.

There is also a story reprinted from their limited edition of their special June 2014 "Women Destroy Science Fiction" issue which I did not review at the time. I will review it now: "They Tell Me There Will Be No Pain" by Rachael Acks. -+- Charlie has served 10 years with the military fighting bad guys. Now, she is done and the implants are removed. But things are not that simple. Not really much new here.

The first original fantasy story is "The Drawstring Detective" by Nik Houser. -+- In The Conspicuously Bigger On The Inside Antique Shop, run by a man who "tells people to call him Azim Abdulaziz, but everyone knows that his real name is Jeff", Char sees the Drawstring Detective, "He is a foot tall and made entirely of tin. He is dressed in charcoal-colored slacks, a white shirt and black tie, a black greatcoat, loafers, and a bowler hat, all of which are also made of tin. White gloves hold a folded umbrella. A small, tightly curled mustache stands in place of a mouth. His eyes are blue and half closed. His paint is faded and chipped in places....Molded into the underside of his left loafer are the words Made in Albuquirky." A "small tin ring is affixed to the Drawstring Detective's back." When she buys it and takes it home, she pulls the ring and it comes alive. He tells Char stories about his past, about his nemesis, the Impossible Doctor Fossil and the beautiful doll he loved and lost. Char's husband, Brad, is lazy, unfaithful and abusive and things eventually come to a head. Great story with a really nice ending.

The second original fantasy story is "A Lie You Give, and Thus I Take" by Damien Angelica Walters. -+- A woman seems to be captive in something like the gingerbread house from Hansel and Gretel. Other fairy tales intrude. Things happen but the story never quite coalesces.

This was issue 55 of Lightspeed. You can access the stories for free. Check out their web site and support them, if you want to, in some way.

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