Lightspeed #81 - February 2017
Edited by John Joseph Adams
Cover Artist: Alan Bao
Review by Sam Tomaino
Date: 27 February 2017
Links: Lightspeed Magazine / How to Subscribe / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Here's the 81st 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 science fiction story is "Later, Let's Tear Up the Inner Sanctum" by A. Merc Rustad. -+- This starts off with blog of a normal teenage girl who witnessed a battle between super-powered entities. Our main protagonists are the super-villain Sin-Master and the super-heroine Ice Sickle, but we soon realize that these characters and others are a little more complex than that. I have a problem with naming one of the supers Impulse as that was a fairly major DC hero not that long ago. It is all a pretty dark look at the whole genre and that is not exactly as original as those not familiar with comics might think.
The second science fiction story is "The Last Garden" by Jack Skillingstead. -+- All life on Earth has been wiped out by a plague and panic. Casey is the only survivor of a crew that had been in orbit. There may still be humans on the Moon. Casey has only a robotic surrogate for company. Is there any hope? Bittersweet tale of survival. Well done.
The first fantasy story is "Probably Still the Chosen One" by Kelly Barnhill. -+- At age eleven, Corinna is whisked away to a fantasy world where she is the Chosen One and can rule her people. The High Priest returns her to her home saying that they would return for her soon. They don't. After many years, what must Corinna do? Found this a bit implausible.
The second fantasy story is "Six-Gun Vixen and the Dead Coon Trashgang" by Ashok Banker. -+- Our heroine walks into a western town. She's an Indian and not the Native American kind and confronts a lot of prejudice. Besides that, she's got six arms. Lot's going on with different kind of "half-breeds" in something like a typical Western trope. Imaginative and wild.
That's the latest issue of Lightspeed. You can access the stories for free. Check out their website and support them, if you want to, in some way.