Review: Lightspeed Magazine Issue 2 July 2010

Lightspeed Magazine, July 2010Lightspeed Magazine, July 2010 by John Joseph Adams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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.

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Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a fiction writer and poet, with his first published poem forthcoming later in 2017 from Impossible Archetype. His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey. Richard is also the Downlink Lead for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) team at the University of Arizona. He monitors images of the Martian surface taken by the HiRISE camera located on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in orbit around Mars and helps ensure they process successfully and are validated for quick release to the science community and public. Once upon a time, Richard wrote and edited the science and technology news and commentary website Frontier Channel, hosted the RADIO Frontier Channel podcast, and organized transhumanist clubs. Follow Richard on his website (, on Goodreads (richardleis), his (@richardleis), Twitter (@richardleisjr), and Facebook (richardleisjr).