The cover story for the March 2016 Lightspeed is Caroline M. Yoachim’s “Welcome to the Medical Clinic at the Interplanetary Relay Station, Hours Since the Last Patient Death: 0.” You have to admit, as title’s go, that one’s pretty darn good. The cover artist is Reiko Murakami.
The ebook-exclusive reprint this month is Mark W. Tiedemann’s novella “Miller’s Wife,” which originally appeared in Black Gate 4. Here’s what Rich Horton said about it when he reviewed it in the January 2004 issue of Locus.
The centerpiece of the Fall issue of Black Gate is Mark Tiedemann’s impressive novella “Miller’s Wife.” Egan Ginter is fleeing another failed relationship in the big city; he hopes a couple weeks at a friend’s house in the Ozark town of Saletcroix will heal him. But something odd is going on — Saletcroix’s valley is dying, and a bad run of luck is plaguing the townspeople… Tiedemann maintains the suspense very well, and resolves the story just that little bit unexpectedly to make it memorable.
Rich made “Miller’s Wife” his Recommended Story of the Month.
In his editorial, John Joseph Adams talks about the impressive success Lightpseed and its sister magazine Nightmare have had in the 2016 Awards season.
Awards season is officially upon us, and it looks like 2015 was a terrific year for our publications. The first of the major awards have announced their lists of finalists for last year’s work, and we’re pleased to announce that “Madeleine” by Amal El-Mohtar (Lightspeed, June 2015) and “And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead” by Brooke Bolander (Lightspeed, Feb. 2015) are finalists for the Nebula Award this year. Plus, from our sister-magazine, Nightmare, “Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers” by Alyssa Wong (Nightmare, Oct. 2015) is also a nominee! Congrats to Amal and Brooke and Alyssa and to all of the other Nebula nominees! That brings Lightspeed’s lifetime Nebula nomination total to fourteen since we launched in June 2010 (and Nightmare’s total to one!). We’ve currently lost twelve in a row, so here’s hoping Brooke or Amal breaks the streak! You can find the full slate of nominees at sfwa.org. The Nebulas will be presented at the 2016 Nebula Awards Conference, held this year in Chicago, Illinois, June 12–15.
In other awards news, Nightmare had two stories — the aforementioned “Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers” by Alyssa Wong and “Snow” by Dale Bailey — on the preliminary Stoker Awards ballot for best Short Fiction (plus Seanan McGuire’s story, “Resistance,” from my anthology The End Has Come, made it in the Long Fiction category), and we’re pleased to report that Alyssa Wong’s story made the final ballot! That marks Nightmare’s (and Alyssa’s) first Stoker Award nomination. So big congrats to Alyssa, and also to Dale and Seanan for nearly making it. You can find the full slate of what made the final ballot at horror.org.
Congratulations to all the nominees!
This month Lightspeed has original fantasy from Rich Larson and Marie Vibbert, and fantasy reprints by Andy Duncan and Seanan McGuire, plus original SF by Caroline M. Yoachim and Craig DeLancey, and SF reprints by Timons Esaias and Aliette de Bodard.
Here’s the complete contents for the March issue.
“The Premature Burials” by Andy Duncan (from Gothic.Net, 1998)
Looking up, Matthew saw pictures in the ripples and dimples of satin as if they were layers of clouds over Munson’s Hill. There, in the far corner: That drape looked like one of Mr. Venable’s cantankerous swans. And just overhead was the familiar lumpy profile of Mr. Krohn the wheelwright, mouth yawning wide. Matthew grinned at the thought of fat Mr. Krohn wedged into this narrow space.
“Sparks Fly” by Rich Larson
“There’s a dark side to sloths,” she said, using her straw to plumb the ice at the bottom of her glass, flicking red-blonde hair out of blue-blue eyes. “Sometimes they go to grab a branch, but accidentally grab their own arm, and then fall to their deaths.” “Because of the mossy fur?” I guessed, also guessing at the best way to put my hand onto hers on the bubbled-glass patio table. I could see her suntanned legs underneath and it put sparks under my skin.
“Rat-Catcher” by Seanan McGuire (from A Fantasy Medley 2, 2012)
I knew she was there. Lenet believed she was stealthy, and would perhaps have been correct, had I not been the cat of the Duke’s Theatre for four long years. All the sounds that grand old building could make were known to me… including the sound of a barefoot Cait Sidhe girl stalking the rafters like the ghost of Hamlet’s father. The footsteps stopped above my head. “Rand,” Lenet hissed, voice pitched low to keep it from carrying to the audience below.
“Michael Doesn’t Hate His Mother” by Marie Vibbert
At rest, coiled up, Michael’s mother is about the size of a riding mower. Michael’s living room is not much bigger than her.
With a shudder, she rises. Her little piston feet march, pulling her out of her coil. Lifters above the feet kick out like dancers in a line. She snakes into the kitchen. Julie shrieks in horrified delight. Their mother opens the refrigerator. Julie and Michael watch as she prepares them lunch. She nudges them into chairs at the table. They haven’t eaten at the table in a long time. Maybe she’s getting better.
“Welcome to the Medical Clinic at the Interplanetary Relay Station | Hours Since the Last Patient Death: 0” by Caroline M. Yoachim
You take a shortcut through the hydroponics bay on your way to work, and notice that the tomato plants are covered in tiny crawling insects that look like miniature beetles. One of the insects skitters up your leg, so you reach down and brush it off. It bites your hand. The area around the bite turns purple and swollen. You run down a long metal hallway to the Medical Clinic, grateful for the artificially generated gravity that defies the laws of physics and yet is surprisingly common in fictional space stations.
“The Mars Convention” by Timons Esaias (from Interzone, 1998)
Gesta waddled through the lobby of the Charenton Hotel Mars, masking his revulsion as best he could. The whole place had that cheesy charm that humans had so adored. Mindless plants grew in containers here and there. A large excavation filled with water, a “swimming pool,” lapped gently at the edge of the registration slab, giving off a faint trace of chlorine. Not enough chlorine to intoxicate, but it did give the air a pleasant tang.
“RedKing” by Craig Delancey
Tain held a pistol toward me. The black gel of the handle pulsed, waiting to be gripped. “Better take this,” she said. I shook my head. “I never use them.” We sat in an unmarked police cruiser, the steering wheel packed away in the dashboard. Tain’s face was a pale shimmer in the cool blue light of the car’s entertainment system. “Your file says you are weapons trained.” “Yeah,” I said, “I got one of those cannons at home, locked in my kitchen drawer.”
“The Waiting Stars” by Aliette de Bodard (from The Other Half of the Sky, 2013)
The derelict ship ward was in an isolated section of Outsider space, one of the numerous spots left blank on interstellar maps, no more or no less tantalising than its neighbouring quadrants. To most people, it would be just that: a boring part of a long journey to be avoided—skipped over by Mind-ships as they cut through deep space, passed around at low speeds by Outsider ships while their passengers slept in their hibernation cradles.
Editorial, March 2016 by John Joseph Adams
Movie Review: Deadpool by Carrie Vaughn
Book Reviews: March 2016: Amal El-Mohtar
Interview: Chuck Wendig and Alexandra Bracken (Guide to the New Star Wars Canon) by The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy
Ebook readers also get that exclusive reprint of Mark W. Tiedemann’s novella “Miller’s Wife,” plus an excerpt from Hugh Howey’s novel Shift, one of the first releases from the new book line for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, John Joseph Adams Books.
Read the complete March issue here.
Lightspeed is edited by John Joseph Adams. Most of the content is available free online; individual issues are available in multiple digital formats for $3.99. 6-month subscriptions are just $17.94 ($6 off the cover price), or $35.88 for 12 months ($12 off the cover price). Purchase copies and sample free content at the website.
We last covered Lightspeed with Issue 69, February 2016.
Check out Lightspeed‘s sister magazine Nightmare, also edited by John Joseph Adams.