Lightspeed #70 - March 2016
by John Joseph Adams
Edited by John Joseph Adams
Cover Artist: Reiko Murakami
Review by Sam Tomaino
Lightspeed ISBN/ITEM#: LIGHTSPD201603
Date: 30 March 2016
Links: Lightspeed Magazine / How to Subscribe / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Here's the 70th issue of Lightspeed, the online magazine. You can find the issue and how to pay (or not) for it at their website (see link at the top of this review). Here are my reviews of the original stories.
The first original science fiction story is "Welcome to the Medical Clinic at the Interplanetary Relay Station | Hours Since the Last Patient Death: 0" by Caroline M. Yoachim. -+- The "you" of the story gets bit by mites and develops a rash. "You" then goes to a clinic with disastrous results. All this is told in pseudo-choose-you-own-adventure format. Hilarious!
The second original science fiction story is "RedKing" by Craig Delancey. -+- In this near-future, computer software is able to be jacked right into the brain, not only to simulate the senses for gaming or pornography, but "reaching down into the subcortical regions of pleasure and pain, fear and joy". Software can be developed like drugs and be self-erasing and leaving you wanting more. One of the worst was RedKing, which made people kill. The story opens up with a raid and arrest of the developer of it, a seventeen-year-old kid who calls himself Legion. Our unnamed narrator is a code monkey who analyses the data found on the kid's computer looking for the raw data for RedKing. He finds next to nothing. So he subjects himself to it to see how it works. It almost proves disastrous but it gives him an important insight. Good solid story.
The first original fantasy story is "Sparks Fly" by Rich Larson. -+- Arthur is a "sparkhead". When he gets excited, he causes electronic devices to malfunction. He's on a first date with Christina and doesn't want to tell her about it. That's not easy to do. Fun story and nice, too.
The second original fantasy story "Michael Doesn't Hate His Mother" by Marie Vibbert. -+- Michael and Julie live with some sort of machine they call Mother. It doesn't work very well and is actually dangerous. There is no explanation how this came about and this is deliberate. Problem is that it just makes the story too unbelievable.
This was issue 70 of Lightspeed. You can access the stories for free. Check out their website and support them, if you want to, in some way.