I really enjoyed the second issue of Lightspeed Magazine. Time travel but uniquely appears in two stories in this issue, “No Time Like the Present” by Carol Emshwiller and “…For a Single Yesterday” by George R. R. Martin, a reprint from 1972. In the first, new people arrive in town, strange people that eventually find themselves persecuted by the town. Where they came from becomes obvious, but where they’re going is not. In the second, a commune has found a semblance of routine and contentment after nuclear war, but one resident who was only visiting when the war broke out has a way of escaping his sadness that leads to confrontation. A very melancholy and gorgeous story by Martin.
Martin’s story is also concerned with memory, and memory is one of the central concerns of Tobias Buckell’s action-packed, grim, character-driven “Manumission.” The protagonist appears in other Buckell stories I’m now dying to read.
I found much to like about “The Zeppelin Conductors’ Society Annual Gentlemen’s Ball” by Genevieve Valentine, though I found it a little opaque, especially at the end. There is a question of motivation near the end that suggests I missed something very important about the piece. I don’t happen to be a big fan of steampunk, but I really appreciated the exploration of class and oppression, and what I don’t understand likely has something to do with this exploration. Valentine creates a vivid world and layers in ephemera that provides even more detail about the state of things.
Nonfiction includes humor and essays, author interviews, and an interesting interview with The Lisps about their Futurity project.