Lightspeed #68 - January 2016
Edited by John Joseph Adams
Cover Artist: Galen Dara
Review by Sam Tomaino
Date: 29 January 2016
Links: Lightspeed Magazine / How to Subscribe / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Here's the 68th issue of Lightspeed, the online magazine. You can find the issue and how to pay (or not) for it at their website (see link above). Here are my reviews of the original stories.
The first original science fiction story is "Secondhand Bodies" by Jy Yang. -+- Our narrator is a rich young woman whose body runs to fat. A creepy cousin of hers knows of a company that will make her a perfect new body and someone will buy her old one (which is illegal). She meets the woman who will buy her body and falls in love with her because she is so beautiful. They begin an affair which does not end well. There are consequences. Good story.
The second original science fiction story is "Beyond the Heliopause" by Keith Brooke and Eric Brown. -+- In a near future, Suzanne Lingard is a succuessful journalist. She is estranged from her husband, Charles, who dumped her just before he went on the first flight beyond Pluto and beyond the heliopause, "a notional boundary line where the force of the solar wind is counter-balanced by that of the stellar winds of our neighbouring stars". She receives a message from her father to come visit him on his remote Sussex village. He is an eighty-nine year old retired Protestant minister and when he sees her, he tells her that he has lost his faith and he is dying. Even though Suzanne is herself an atheist, she is upset by this. Then, she gets a message from Charles asking her to take a flight to where his mission is to see something that "changes everything". Even though he has been gone for two years, Suzanne's flight there and back will only take two weeks, so she can be back in time to still see her father alive. She goes and we find out the big reveal. I won't say more except that I found the big reveal a little hard to believe. The story was OK but that was about it.
The first original fantasy story is "The Savannah Liars Tour" by Will McIntosh. -+- Ben's first love was Delilah. They were married, but she died twenty-two years ago. But in this world, one can visit the dead, just as you remember them, when you are in cryogenic sleep. Ben had promised to visit her and he has kept that promise. Unfortunately, his new wife, Jillian, has become tired of competing with a ghost. So he promises to break it off when he visits her one last time. Won't say more except that this was a great story.
The second original fantasy story is "Maiden, Hunter, Beast" by Kat Howard. -+- A nineteen-year-old woman, who is a virgin, finds a unicorn in an alley. It looks at her and starts to approach her, but she is called away. When she looks for the unicorn, she sees a "platinum-haired older woman with a spear slung across her back and she knows this woman is hunting the unicorn. We get shifting viewpoints (virgin, unicorn, hunter) until a final meeting of the three on the steps of a cathedral. Exquisite little fantasy.
This was issue 68th of Lightspeed. You can access the stories for free. Check out their website and support them, if you want to, in some way.