Vylar Kaftan. I’m Alive, I Love You, I’ll See You in Reno. (Lightspeed Magazine, June 2010).

Lightspeed Magazine launched in June 2010, an online mag edited by John Joseph Adams, which provides some content for free, some which has to be paid for.

My introduction to it was courtesy of the Escape Pod podcast of Vylar Kaftan’s story from Issue #1, which neatly co-incided on my iTouch playlist with a stretch of motorway ‘driving’ that allowed me to concentrate on the story. It’s a very clever conceit, very adeptly handled. So, of course, as it’s available online, you are strongly urged to read it or listen to it here before progressing.

The central conceit is a doozy, looking at a long term on/off relationship – the length of the relationship and the on/off nature partly due to time dilation due to travel to the stars. But the nature of the relationship, and the love, is related throughout to physics, finding analogies from a cosmic and planetary scale, down to the microscopic. It’s written in the form of a love letter, and it’s got to be a contender for inclusion in a Year’s Best.

The podcast is read by Mur Lafferty, who does a reasonable job. But after this story I listened to her read Heather Shaw’s ‘Little Match Girl’ in another Escape Pod episode, and across the two stories there were a number of noticeable stumbles over words, which needed to have been edited out and re-done.

And also in the Shaw story (not a contender for a year’s best), the final paragraph brought me to a complete halt (mentally rather than driving) – a bit of googling informs me that evidently American’s do pronounce the word quay as kway, rather than key as the rest of the English-speaking world does. So whilst it wasn’t a horrendous mis-pronounciation by Mur as I thought at the time, it still grated on this Brit!

2 Responses to Vylar Kaftan. I’m Alive, I Love You, I’ll See You in Reno. (Lightspeed Magazine, June 2010).

  1. Gordon Van Gelder August 6, 2010 at 5:01 pm #

    I’ve always heard “quay” pronounced as “key.”

    Next you’re going to tell me that Americans pronounce “queue” to sound like “kway-ay” instead of sounding like “cue”!

    —Gordon V.G.

  2. Mark Watson August 6, 2010 at 9:57 pm #

    Funnily enough I was going to raise the issue of “queue/kew-u-ee-u-ee” myself.

    There is some evidence on Tinternet that in some parts of America it is kway to rhyme with sway, as suggested by


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