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Lightspeed #60 - May 2015
Edited by John Joseph Adams
Cover Artist: Li Shuxling
Review by Sam Tomaino
Lightspeed eZine / Print / eBook  
Date: 29 May 2015

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

Here's the 60th issue of Lightspeed, with stories by C.C. Finlay, Annie Bellet, Seanan McGuire, Sean Williams, Merrie Haskell, Helena Bell, R.C. Loenen-Ruiz, and Matthew Hughes, with Author Spotlights on all of them (and Artist Spotlight on cover artist Li Shuxing), along with other features.

Here's the 60th 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 and a 2015 reprint.

The first original science fiction story is "Time Bomb Time" by C.C. Finlay. - +- Hannah is upset with her (former) boyfriend Nolon who wants to prove his theory of his temporal bubble theory -- "all we do is go through the same meaningless motions over and over". He has a device that is supposed to create a bubble in which this repetition happens. Cleverly written even when you figure out what is going on.

The second original science fiction story is "The Myth of Rain" by Seanan McGuire. -+- Climate change has wrecked California and now they are coming for the Pacific Northwest. Julie and her group are trying to save some animals. A story which just never lets up on the politics and never gets very interesting.

One of the reprinted science fiction stories is from a 2015 book, so I will review it. "Goodnight Earth" by Annie Bellet is from The End Has Come (edited by John Joseph Adams & Hugh Howey, 2015). Ishim is the captain of the Tarik, a boat that travels along what used to be called the Mississippi. His partner is Kaaron who has a past. She is one of the "War Children... Genetically altered, infested with nano-tech..., trained from the day they could walk to hunt, kill, be soldiers at the front of ... peace-keeping forces". They have been asked to smuggle a couple with two children to a city downriver. She realizes they are like her. What will she do? Good solid story.

The first original fantasy story is "Mouth" by Helena Bell -+- When she was five years old, Ann discovered she had a special power. Her baby brother was crying so she slapped him...and the mouth came flying off. She could not reattach it, so she hid it in a box where it deteriorated. She did not tell her parents what she had done. Her brother grew up disabled with an artificial mouth. We follow her through her life while she refines this power. She has a boyfriend for a while but that goes nowhere. Interesting idea but it could have been exploited more.

The second original fantasy story is "The Blood of a Dragon" by Matthew Hughes. -+- This is the final chapter of The Kaslo Chronicles, featuring the adventures of Erm Kaslo, former hardboiled operative and now wizard's henchman, after a world of science has given way to a world of magic. In the "what has gone before part", we are told that Erm "is being slowly absorbed into the substance of a vastly powerful entity mysteriously chained in the Seventh Plane, where will is the ultimate source of magical power. Now he will discover how he, his employer Obron, and even the Archon Filidor of Old Earth are playing pieces in another's plot to resurrect a monstrous ancient evil. But with his body and mind being consumed as fuel to feed the entity, Kaslo must find a way to use his failing strength in one last desperate bid to save the world". The entity stops absorbing Kaslo and starts telling him the story of the creation of the nine planes by a demiurge. We get the story of Majestrum, a great wizard. Kaslo grows through a great change as this wildly imaginative and colorful story concludes.

This was issue 60 of Lightspeed. You can access the stories for free. Check out their website and support them, if you want to, in some way.

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