Lightspeed Year One


John Joseph Adams

Welcome to Lightspeed: Year One!

For those of you not already familiar with Lightspeed, some background may be in order: Lightspeed is an online magazine ( that focuses exclusively on science fiction. Within its pages (or pixels, as it were), you will find all types of science fiction, from near-future, sociological soft sf, to far-future, star-spanning hard sf, and anything and everything in between.

Every month, we publish a mix of original fiction and reprints, and feature a variety of authors—from the bestsellers and award-winners you already know to the best new voices you haven’t heard of yet. So when you read Lightspeed, our hope is that you’ll see where science fiction comes from, where it is now, and where it’s going.

Which brings us to the anthology that you’re reading right now. This is the first in a planned series of print anthologies that will annually collect all of the fiction originally published in the magazine. This first volume will collect all of the fiction originally published in Lightspeed, from June 2010 to May 2011.

We’ve had a great first year. Nine out of the sixteen original stories published in Lightspeed in 2010 have been selected for reprint in a best-of-the-year anthology. Additionally, two of our stories—“Arvies” by Adam-Troy Castro and “I’m Alive, I Love You, I’ll See You in Reno” by Vylar Kaftan—have been named finalists for the Nebula Award, and another story—“Amaryllis” by Carrie Vaughn—was nominated for the Hugo Award. Lightspeed itself and yours truly were also nominated for the Hugo Award, and Lightspeed won the Million Writers Award for Best New Online Magazine. We’re hugely honored to have received all these accolades, but we’d like to think that these accolades are only a sign of more great things to come!

While fiction is Lightspeed’s focus (and only our fiction is included in this anthology), Lightspeed is also a nonfiction magazine. Alongside of our fiction selections, we run articles that riff off the ideas in the fiction. For instance, in our debut issue, we have a story about relativistic travel, so we asked sf author and expert astronomer Mike Brotherton to tell us about the science behind that familiar sf trope. We also regularly feature brief interviews with the authors we call “author spotlights,” in which the authors talk a bit about the stories behind their stories.

But there’s more to Lightspeed than that, too. Lightspeed is also a podcast, which features two stories each month in audio format, produced by Grammy- and Audie Award-winning narrator/producer Stefan Rudnicki.

And, finally, Lightspeed is not just a weekly online magazine, it’s also a monthly ebook magazine, so if you’d rather read it every month on your Kindle or Nook or Sony Reader or iPad (or even your PC!), that option is available, and you can also subscribe to the ebook edition via Weightless Books (

I hope you enjoy the anthology. If you do, I hope you’ll go to our website at to let us know what you think. And also—tell a friend!


Vylar Kaftan

We have a history of missed connections, you and I. Years ago, when you called goodbye from the shuttle launch, my flight was landing in Zurich. I’d changed planes, been re-routed from Frankfurt. That’s why you got my voicemail. I’d have answered if I could, and would’ve wished you luck, even if you wanted a life without me. I never managed to see Europa, like you did—just Europe, where I met my first husband. The one I wished was you.

When I heard your message, I was glad you were happy—yes, I’ve always wanted