Lightspeed #85 - June 2017
Edited by John Joseph Adams
Cover Artist: Randy Gallegos
Review by Sam Tomaino
Date: 29 June 2017
Links: Lightspeed Magazine / How to Subscribe / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Here's the 85th 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 science fiction story is "Marcel Proust, Incorporated" by Scott Dalrymple. -+- A drug called Proust enhances memory tremendously. There is a major downside, though. If one stops taking it, one forgets what one learns with it. Our narrator is a reporter investigating this. When she meets with the creator of the drug things come to a head. Good story that brings up a very interesting issue. I do have one quibble. In the beginning of the story, a character who majored in French in college had forgotten the meaning of the French word "poisson" (fish). Dalrymple is President of Columbia College in Missouri and he would know a lot more about higher education than I do. But, wouldn't someone who majored in French in college already have some familiarity with the language and not have forgotten such a simple, basic word?
The second science fiction story is "Love Engine Optimization" by Matthew Kressel. -+- Sam (short for Samantha) has thoroughly researched Jane from her internet profiles. She uses it to manipulate her and get her to fall in love with her. The only problem is a previous relationship named Dani who is taking revenge. But Sam is very good at what she does. Very good and scary character study and warning. Ends with a nice chill.
The first fantasy story is "World of the Three" by Shweta Narayan. -+- The author tells us Indian fables, most of which are about a mechanical being that goes from king to bird to woman. The stories themselves are charming and wonderfully bizarre but I ran out of patience with abrupt transitions and complete changes in storyline.
The second fantasy story is "Crossing the Threshold" by Pat Murphy. -+- Our narrator is dealing with the recent death of her father, but as the story opens she helps an old man climb over the fence at the railroad tracks. Her father was an anthropologist and an archeologist and she has some very odd objects to find a place for. She wonders about the old man. Was he just a bit confused or had she helped the devil over a threshold? She remembers her father talking about the Heat Death of the Universe. All this comes together into a splendid tale that especially touched me.
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.