LIGHTSPEED MAGAZINE - Science Fiction and Fantasy Story Podcast (Sci-Fi | Audiobook | Short Stories)

By John Joseph Adams and Stefan Rudnicki (Skyboat Media | Geek's Guide to the Galaxy | Nightmare Magazine)

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 Jan 3, 2019

Description

Edited by bestselling anthologist John Joseph Adams, LIGHTSPEED is a Hugo Award-winning, critically-acclaimed digital magazine. In its pages, you'll find science fiction from near-future stories and sociological SF to far-future, star-spanning SF. Plus there's fantasy from epic sword-and-sorcery and contemporary urban tales to magical realism, science-fantasy, and folk tales. Each month, LIGHTSPEED brings you a mix of originals and reprints featuring a variety of authors, from the bestsellers and award-winners you already know to the best now voices you haven't heard yet. When you read LIGHTSPEED, you'll see where science fiction and fantasy have come from, where they are now, and where they're going. The LIGHTSPEED podcast, produced by Grammy Award-winning narrator and producer Stefan Rudnicki of Skyboat Media, is presented four times a month, featuring original audio fiction and classic reprints.

Episode Date
Kat Howard | The Lachrymist
14:09
It is not the dust that brings her tears. The Lachrymist’s house is dusty, fragments of time and memory fallen everywhere, a living blanket that drapes itself over tables and chairs and things even stranger. But time and memory are to be expected anywhere the dead gather, and even in this abundance, they do not drive her to weeping. Neither is her weeping caused by the voices, calling to each other from shadowy ceiling corners, memories still embodied, repeating phrases into the cold air. | Copyright 2020 by Kat Howard. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Nov 19, 2020
Gene Doucette | Schrödinger’s Catastrophe [Part 2]
42:18
It took twice as long to get to the third deck from the first as it did to get to the first deck from the fifth. Alice was quite certain there was no mechanism in existence capable of adding fractional decks to the ship, and so was chalking this up to another aspect of the ongoing computer malfunction. She supposed a way to validate this was to ask that the elevator stop at, say, deck two-and-five-sixteenths, but she also didn’t want to encourage the computer’s departures from reality any more than necessary. | Copyright 2020 by Gene Doucette. Narrated by Justine Eyre.
Nov 12, 2020
Gene Doucette | Schrödinger’s Catastrophe [Part 1]
48:12
Things began to go badly for the crew of the USFS Erwin around the time Dr. Marchere’s coffee mug spontaneously reassembled itself. Dr. Louis Marchere was not, at that moment, conducting some manner of experiment. Well, he was, only not on entropy and the nature of time. He was running several other tests, of the kind that make perfect sense on a scientific vessel such as the Erwin. About half of them were biological in nature, concerning how small samples of cellular material react to certain deep-space factors. | Copyright 2020 by Gene Doucette. Narrated by Justine Eyre, Stefan Rudnicki.
Nov 05, 2020
Naomi Kanakia | Everquest
23:29
Gopal knew before he booted up the game---a Christmas present from his dad---that his character would be some form of elf or human, because the other races were all ugly, and he didn’t play games to be ugly. And he knew too, although he didn’t say it, that his character would be a girl. He always played girls online, although he’d be ashamed if anyone knew it, precisely because it played into the online belief that most girls in most games were “really” men. | Copyright 2020 by Naomi Kanakia. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Oct 29, 2020
Jenny Rae Rappaport | Everything and Nothing
19:54
Start with a romance: a man and a woman who are wildly and irrevocably in love with each other. Or two men. Or two women. Or two people, because life is beautiful and complex. Just know that these Lovers are important. The fate of the galaxy rests on their shoulders---because, of course, the fate of an entire portion of known space can be determined by two people in love. The laws of physics are remarkably vulnerable to the laws of love. | Copyright 2020 by Jenny Rae Rappaport. Narrated by Justine Eyre.
Oct 21, 2020
Caroline M. Yoachim | The Shadow Prisoner’s Dilemma
47:00
Vivian sat at a café opposite Cass. Everything around her had a gritty, dingy quality. Even Cass looked run down, their face deeply tanned and distressingly wrinkled. They were old now, many decades past being the child that Vivian remembered. She looked down at her hands, so different than the black shadows that she’d grown accustomed to seeing during all her years as a Shade---the skin was covered in age spots and hung loose on the bones. | 2020 by Caroline M. Yoachim. Originally published in OR ELSE THE LIGHT, edited by John Joseph Adams, Christie Yant, and Hugh Howey. Reprinted by permission of the author. Narrated by Susan Hanfield.
Oct 15, 2020
Stephanie Malia Morris | Forty Acres and a Mule
21:32
My parents’ farm has shrunk, as old things tend to do. The shed, the workshop, the paddock with its doubled wire fences and chicken coop---all squat and rain-blackened, coming into focus as I step from the car as if I have put on glasses or wiped rain from a window. The house itself stands straight-spined beyond the pear tree, gray in the drizzle, more withdrawn than the last time I visited. The tree has not changed. | Copyright 2017 by Stephanie Malia Morris. Previously published in FIYAH. Reprinted by permission of the author. Narrated by Janina Edwards.
Oct 08, 2020
Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam | Entanglement
22:44
Narrated by Judy Young.
Sep 24, 2020
Karen Joy Fowler | Persephone of the Crows
30:06
Isabelle Winters once saw a fairy. For real. It was little, like a hummingbird, with a hummingbird’s frantic wings, and it was moving through the garden, shaking the rosebuds open for the bees. She’s just told this to Polly, though not exactly in those words. The sarcastic for real, for instance, is all Polly. If there was ever a girl primed to see fairies, Isabelle Winters is that girl. | Copyright 2017 by Karen Joy Fowler. Originally published in ASIMOV'S SCIENCE FICTION. Reprinted by permission of the author. Narrated by Judy Young.
Sep 17, 2020
Caroline M. Yoachim | Shadow Prisons of the Mind
47:23
With the right overlays, the city was charming---apartment buildings done up like giant row houses, seamlessly blending Victorian and modern sensibilities, boutiques and cafés on tree-lined streets, parks bathed in sunshine. Vivian Watanabe had lived on this block, once, in a high-rise apartment painted cornflower blue with trim in teal and white. She couldn’t see it now, not the way she used to. | Copyright 2020 by Caroline M. Yoachim. Previously published in BURN THE ASHES, edited by John Joseph Adams, Christie Yant, and Hugh Howey. Reprinted by permission of the author. Narrated by Susan Hanfield.
Sep 10, 2020
Adam-Troy Castro | The Author’s Wife vs. the Giant Robot
45:52
The year I turned five, my father got taken out by a giant robot. I was present and I took it very personally. You honestly don’t expect that kind of thing when you’re a kid, not even if you’ve seen the giant robot from a distance every day of your life and have been taught what random carnage the giant robot got up to. I had grown to that tender age knowing that the giant robot killed people at the rate of one a day. | Copyright 2020 by Adam-Troy Castro. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Sep 03, 2020
Katherine Crighton | Sing in Me, Muse
21:15
O Mother, dear Mnemosyne! It is I, Anisah, fifteenth of my line! Here is my song. Long have I waited for this, the end of my first shift; at last I am a daughter grown old enough to sing. I have sat at my post---I have looked out my mirrored window---I have logged my report with the cousins who keep the histories. But for you, my mother, on my first night’s watch, I will confirm that, port and starboard, there is nothing out my window but the black and endless sea. | Copyright 2020 by Katherine Crighton. Narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir.
Aug 27, 2020
KT Bryski | The Bone-Stag Walks
30:26
The Bone-Stag walks at midwinter, sharp-antlered, hard-hoofed. Deep white snow spreads under deep black sky. Cold air slices lungs; rivers stand as stone. Over cresting drifts comes the Bone-Stag, leaving no mark of his passing. Down in the village, they draw their curtains fast against him. They bolt tight their doors. Garlic at the lintels and holly upon the sills. | Copyright 2020 by KT Bryski. Narrated by Justine Eyre.
Aug 20, 2020
Eden Royce | Miss Beulah’s Braiding and Life Change Salon
16:56
The chime above my shop door rings. It heralds a young woman wearing a head wrap boasting a network of silvery constellations on indigo, interspersed with the occasional yellow-gold moon. The wrap itself is made of silk---not the finest grade, mind you, but sufficient to conceal what she must see as a fault. None of her hair is visible, but the contorted celestial bodies show the fabric is at the end of its tether. Narrated by Janina Edwards.
Aug 13, 2020
Caroline M. Yoachim | The Shadow Prison Experiment
41:21
The shopping district was crowded on a Sunday afternoon, and Vivian Watanabe was out running errands with her sixteen-year-old, Cass. Together they wove through throngs of shoppers wearing customized skins or the generic default. Vivian wasn’t fond of Generics---they fell into that uncanny valley between a nondescript human and a silver android. Cold and impersonal, plus it was hard to keep track of who you’ve interacted with. Narrated by Susan Hanfield.
Aug 06, 2020
Ray Nayler | The Swallows of the Storm
47:01
One of the Senators cleared her throat, turned on the microphone in front of her, and began. “Would you like to tell us when you first became aware of the phenomenon, Doctor? Perhaps that would be the best place to start. We can formulate our questions from there.” The hearing was not in the main Congressional building. It was in a building on another part of Capitol Hill, in a room overdue for remodeling, with drop-ceiling panels stained by leaking pipes. But the room, however humble, was crowded. Harlan sat near the front of the room. | Copyright 2020 by Ray Nayler. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Jul 30, 2020
Mari Ness | Great Gerta and the Mermaid
50:44
That notorious ship that sailed to the wretched isle known as Neverland under the leadership of one James, self-styled Jas., Cook, called the Jolly Roger, has most naturally been a subject of intense study among historians. Yet even the most meticulous of these scholars have often failed to note that among that dreadful crew sailed at least one woman, Gerta, or, as she named herself, the Great Gerta, or, as she was named by others, Gerta the Girthy. | Copyright 2020 by Mari Ness. Narrated by Judy Young.
Jul 23, 2020
Adam-Troy Castro | The End of the World Measured in Values of N
16:07
Listen. The world ended thirty seconds ago. You greet this whisper with incredulity. After all, here you are, living and breathing. The people around you are living and breathing. You might be drinking coffee in lying in bed trying to decide whether to get up. You are reminding yourself of all the little life tasks awaiting you, things that need to be taken care of in order for you to continue going about your day. Thoughts of the apocalypse are a thousand miles away. Lunacy, they seem. | Copyright 2020 by Adam-Troy Castro. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Jul 16, 2020
Kristina Ten | Baba Yaga and the Seven Hills
42:37
It doesn’t take long. She has few earthly possessions and her travel options are limited. There is a train that runs west through the Swamp Forest to the coast, but everyone knows and fears the old witch here, and on moving trains, she can cause quite a commotion. “Do not eat my children, Baba Yaga!” people cry when she steps onto the dining car. “Oh, please, have mercy! Do not use your pestle to grind up my bones!” She sits quietly in a booth, minding her own business. | Copyright 2020 by Kristina Ten. Narrated by Justine Eyre.
Jul 09, 2020
Em North | Real Animals
55:57
The bear has been stalking the taxidermy garden for ten weeks now, ever since Raffi showed up. Sometimes it disappears for a few days or a week, but it always comes back. Prowls the perimeter, looking for weak spots. From inside the taxidermy garden, Raffi feels the bear’s presence tugging on her, as though it has become the pole of her personal compass. The taxidermy garden isn’t a real garden. It’s a ski chalet, or what used to be a ski chalet, all hand-hewn logs and wood stoves. | Copyright 2020 by Em North. Narrated by Judy Young.
Jun 25, 2020
Ben Peek | Refuge
47:48
Dear Mr. Quilas: This morning, I began to read your new collection of essays, Forgotten Lives. I’ve enjoyed a number of your books previously, but this collection held a particular interest for me. Aned Heast, the subject of your third essay, “A Refuge in Juar,” held a personal interest and I looked forward to reading your piece about him. Sadly, I was disappointed. Your essay was riddled with misinformation and errors. I’m sure you do not wish to be told that. Few writers want to be told they are wrong. | Copyright 2020 by Ben Peek. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Jun 18, 2020
Marie Vibbert | Single Malt Spacecraft
27:28
The first time Fresia tasted scotch, it was true love. She was twenty-two. Her boyfriend had just turned twenty-one and had gotten a bottle of Glen Livet from his dad. He poured a shot for himself and for his friend, but none for Fresia. “Come on,” she said, “I want to taste it.” “Girls don’t like whisky,” he said. “Trust me, you’ll hate it.” “Let me find out for myself.” “Not for what this costs, sorry.” The friend gasped over his empty shot glass. “Oh, that’s good.” Her boyfriend put the whisky on the top of the fridge where he knew Fresia was too short to reach. | Copyright 2020 by Marie Vibbert. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Jun 11, 2020
Julianna Baggott | The Postictal State of Divine Love
59:17
My mother used to tell me we came from the matriarchal vampiric line that had been traced farther back than Queen Elizabeth. She only told me these things after a seizure. Many people with epilepsy talk about how, after a seizure, strange memories pop up---small but suddenly vibrant details; my mother would recall the small vibrant details of our collective vampiric past. What kind of mother would do this? Mine. And, when I was little, I loved her for it. | Copyright 2020 by Julianna Baggott. Narrated by Judy Young.
Jun 04, 2020
Alexander Weinstein | Destinations of Love
23:51
Your guidebook writers are---alas---very familiar with booking tickets in search of love. How many of us haven’t packed our bags for the new continent with this foolish goal in mind? We’ve stumbled through our travels, searching cities and villages for romance. In cafés, opera houses, and hotel rooms, we felt acutely alone. Why, even the most exquisite restaurants were dulled by the empty chair across from us. | Copyright 2020 by Alexander Weinstein. Narrated by Paul Boehmer.
May 28, 2020
Ada Hoffmann | Melting Like Metal
52:33
When the quantum supercomputing systems of the God called Nemesis registered the sighting of the heretic Candor Gray---already tried in absentia and slated for termination, and assigned the serial number of HA3-940QK322PF-P---Enga Afonbataw Konum of Nemesis was already waiting, as she’d waited during the last few dozen stupid assignments. Enga was an angel of Nemesis, a no-longer-human cyborg built for a singular purpose: to hunt down and destroy the Gods’ enemies. | Copyright 2020 by Ada Hoffmann. Narrated by Susan Hanfield.
May 21, 2020
Millie Ho | The Fenghuang
36:14
Narrated by Justine Eyre.
May 14, 2020
Adam-Troy Castro | The Time Traveler’s Advice to the Lovelorn
27:12
Time is best described as the thing that must crawl by before even the most unlikely events finally get around to happening. A lot of it had passed in the little village we now visit, drifting down its cobblestoned streets like loose papers carried away by the wind, before the most unlikely of all developments had finally occurred. Samael, the junk collector, had fallen in love. Nobody had ever expected this, in large part because Samael was as dull and unimaginative a man who had ever lived. | Copyright 2020 by Adam-Troy Castro. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
May 07, 2020
Rati Mehrotra | The Witch Speaks
20:41
As different as earth and sky. That is what they said about us. Yet even earth and sky meet at the horizon. Shade your eyes from the sun. Look, far in the distance. Do you see that line where brown merges into blue? I’m ready to walk there. But not before having told my story. | Copyright 2020 by Rati Mehrotra. Narrated by Justine Eyre.
Apr 30, 2020
Andrew Dana Hudson | Voice of Their Generation
20:50
On their ninth rewrite of the third act of Detective Pikachu vs. Predator, it occurred to Thicket that they might just be the voice of their generation. In a fever, they swiped together the final epic speech where Detective Pikachu refutes Predator’s cynical attempts to turn him against his human partner, arguing that the Pokémon relationship with humanity was one not of servitude but of guardianship, for every Pokémon can see within each human the potential to rise above their flawed nature. | Copyright 2020 by Andrew Dana Hudson. Narrated by Paul Boehmer.
Apr 23, 2020
Celeste Rita Baker | Glass Bottle Dancer
38:34
When de words “glass bottle dancer” come to me as I was day-dreaming, listening to music on de radio, I thought it sounded like someting I’d like to see, didn’t tink it would change me whole life. I imagine it might mean taking a bunch of soda and beer bottles, laying dem on dey sides and stepping on dem widout having dem roll away. I thought a limbo dancer might do it to add someting special to dere act. | Copyright 2020 by Celeste Rita Baker. Narrated by Celeste Rita Baker.
Apr 16, 2020