Lightspeed Magazine #52, September 2014

lightspeed52

Original SF

Saundra Mitchell. Starfall.

Great story from Mitchell, illustrated by Reiko Murikami, picking up the theme of the story.

The start KV-62 goes supernova, and Amara, working on digitizing old census records, finds her already tenuous grasp on being slipping, as do others. As the supernova particles pass through Earth and inhabitants, Amara faces some very big questions about our very smallest elements, and what it means to be a transient being in a near-infinite universe.

Sam J. Miller. We Are the Cloud.

An excellent story from an author new to me, with a good mix of technology and social issues, and an interesting lead character.

The protagonist is Angel Quiñone, a 6-6 hulk of a boy in a group home. It’s residential child care, although without the care. Angel is very much on his own, separated from his peers by his size and speech impediment, and his mother by her previous substance misuse and her current partner. It’s an all-too-possible near future, and Angel, like many others with few prospects in life, has a shunt into his brain, which is connected by wifi to a data grid, leasing out some of his brain space.

He has a rare ability with his shunt, and when he meets another guy, Case, his life changes.

It’s a well-told story, think a bit of Midnight Cowboy crossed with William Gibson’s ‘Burning Chrome’. Good to see a same-sex relationship and some darker recesses explored.

SF Reprints

Holly Black. Ten Rules for Being an Intergalactic Smuggler (the Successful Kind).

Originally published in ‘Monstrous Affections – an anthology of beastly tales’, edited by Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant, not an anthology I’d have thought to have contained straightforward SF.

So good to have it re-published in Lightspeed Magazine. It’s a nicely written story, written in the second person where the ‘you’ to whom the story is being related is a young girl who runs away to space, and finds that indeed there are space pirates and all kinds of adventure, although it doesn’t always have a happy ending.

It starts out as being about the young girl finding her feet in a larger universe than she is familiar with, but there’s a sudden darker turn and she has to find inner reserves, as the reason for the inclusion in an anthology about ‘beastly tales’ become clear…

Tananarive Due. Herd Immunity.

I read this very recently when it appeared in the innovative ‘The End is Now‘, and I wrote:

    Due gets the second volume of ‘The Apocalypse Triptych’ underway, with me more than keen to find out what has happened to almost all of the characters in the first volume.

    Due updates us on young Nayima, a mid-teen girl who has had to leave her home and cancer-victim grandmother behind, and we find her on the road. Fortunately she’s able to look after herself, although the story opens memorably with her following a long ways back down a road from another survivor, who is far from keen to be caught.

    She does catch up with him at a deserted fairground, in which we find out some more about the virus that is wiping out humanity, and more about young Nayima’s inner strength.

Also in this issue :

Original fantasy by Sarah Pinsker (“No Lonely Seafarer”) and Matthew Hughes (“Under the Scab”), and fantasy reprints by Aliette de Bodard (“Prayers of Forges and Furnaces”) and Rhys Hughes (“Eternal Horizon”). Author and artist spotlights, feature interviews with authors Mary Robinette Kowal and Diana Gabaldon. The ebook version has a reprint of the novella “Giliad” by Gregory Feeley, and novel excerpts from THE BROTHERS CABAL by Jonathan L. Howard and THE NECROMANCER CANDLE by Randy McCharles.

Online here : more details

Kindle : amazon.com | amazon.co.uk

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