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Lightspeed (www.lightspeedmagazine.com) is the critically-acclaimed, online science fiction magazine edited by bestselling anthologist John Joseph Adams. Lightspeed publishes all types of science fiction, from near-future, sociological soft sf, to far-future, star-spanning hard sf, and anything and everything in between. Each month, Lightspeed features a mix of originals a Lightspeed (www.lightspeedmagazine.com) is the critically-acclaimed, online science fiction magazine edited by bestselling anthologist John Joseph Adams. Lightspeed publishes all types of science fiction, from near-future, sociological soft sf, to far-future, star-spanning hard sf, and anything and everything in between. Each month, Lightspeed features a mix of originals and reprints, from a variety of authors - from the bestsellers and award-winners you already know to the best new voices you haven''t heard of yet. Now, in Lightspeed: Year One, you will find all of the fiction published in Lightspeed''s first year, from new stories such as Nebula Award finalists, Vylar Kaftan''s "I''m Alive, I Love You, I''ll See You in Reno" and "Arvies" by Adam-Troy Castro, and Carrie Vaughn''s Hugo Award-nominee "Amaryllis," to classic reprints by Stephen King, Ursula K. Le Guin, George R. R. Martin, and more. Contents: "I'm Alive, I Love You, I'll See You in Reno" by Vylar Kaftan "The Cassandra Project" by Jack McDevitt "Cats in Victory" by David Barr Kirtley "Amaryllis" by Carrie Vaughn "No Time Like the Present" by Carol Emshwiller "Manumission" by Tobias S. Buckell "The Zeppelin Conductors' Society Annual Gentlemen's Ball" by Genevieve Valentine "...For a Single Yesterday" by George R. R. Martin "How to Become a Mars Overlord" by Catherynne M. Valente "Patient Zero" by Tananarive Due "Arvies" by Adam-Troy Castro "More Than the Sum of His Parts" by Joe Haldeman "Flower, Mercy, Needle, Chain" by Yoon Ha Lee "The Long Chase" by Geoffrey A. Landis "Amid the Words of War" by Cat Rambo "Travelers" by Robert Silverberg "Hindsight" by Sarah Langan "Tight Little Stitches in a Dead Man's Back" by Joe R. Lansdale "The Taste of Starlight" by John R. Fultz "Beachworld" by Stephen King "Standard Loneliness Package" by Charles Yu "Faces in Revolving Souls" by Caitlin R. Kiernan "Hwang's Billion Brilliant Daughters" by Alice Sola Kim "Ej-Es" by Nancy Kress "In-Fall" by Ted Kosmatka "The Observer" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch "Jenny's Sick" by David Tallerman "The Silence of the Asonu" by Ursula K. Le Guin "Postings from an Amorous Tomorrow" by Corey Mariani "Cucumber Gravy" by Susan Palwick "Black Fire" by Tanith Lee "The Elephants of Poznan" by Orson Scott Card "Long Enough And Just So Long" by Cat Rambo "The Passenger" by Julie E. Czerneda "Simulacrum" by Ken Liu "Breakaway, Backdown" by James Patrick Kelly "Saying the Names" by Maggie Clark "Gossamer" by Stephen Baxter "Spider the Artist" by Nnedi Okorafor "Woman Leaves Room" by Robert Reed "All That Touches the Air" by An Owomoyela "Maneki Neko" by Bruce Sterling "Mama, We are Zhenya, Your Son" by Tom Crosshill "Velvet Fields" by Anne McCaffrey "The Harrowers" by Eric Gregory "Bibi From Jupiter" by Tessa Mellas "Eliot Wrote" by Nancy Kress "Scales" by Alastair Reynolds


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Lightspeed (www.lightspeedmagazine.com) is the critically-acclaimed, online science fiction magazine edited by bestselling anthologist John Joseph Adams. Lightspeed publishes all types of science fiction, from near-future, sociological soft sf, to far-future, star-spanning hard sf, and anything and everything in between. Each month, Lightspeed features a mix of originals a Lightspeed (www.lightspeedmagazine.com) is the critically-acclaimed, online science fiction magazine edited by bestselling anthologist John Joseph Adams. Lightspeed publishes all types of science fiction, from near-future, sociological soft sf, to far-future, star-spanning hard sf, and anything and everything in between. Each month, Lightspeed features a mix of originals and reprints, from a variety of authors - from the bestsellers and award-winners you already know to the best new voices you haven''t heard of yet. Now, in Lightspeed: Year One, you will find all of the fiction published in Lightspeed''s first year, from new stories such as Nebula Award finalists, Vylar Kaftan''s "I''m Alive, I Love You, I''ll See You in Reno" and "Arvies" by Adam-Troy Castro, and Carrie Vaughn''s Hugo Award-nominee "Amaryllis," to classic reprints by Stephen King, Ursula K. Le Guin, George R. R. Martin, and more. Contents: "I'm Alive, I Love You, I'll See You in Reno" by Vylar Kaftan "The Cassandra Project" by Jack McDevitt "Cats in Victory" by David Barr Kirtley "Amaryllis" by Carrie Vaughn "No Time Like the Present" by Carol Emshwiller "Manumission" by Tobias S. Buckell "The Zeppelin Conductors' Society Annual Gentlemen's Ball" by Genevieve Valentine "...For a Single Yesterday" by George R. R. Martin "How to Become a Mars Overlord" by Catherynne M. Valente "Patient Zero" by Tananarive Due "Arvies" by Adam-Troy Castro "More Than the Sum of His Parts" by Joe Haldeman "Flower, Mercy, Needle, Chain" by Yoon Ha Lee "The Long Chase" by Geoffrey A. Landis "Amid the Words of War" by Cat Rambo "Travelers" by Robert Silverberg "Hindsight" by Sarah Langan "Tight Little Stitches in a Dead Man's Back" by Joe R. Lansdale "The Taste of Starlight" by John R. Fultz "Beachworld" by Stephen King "Standard Loneliness Package" by Charles Yu "Faces in Revolving Souls" by Caitlin R. Kiernan "Hwang's Billion Brilliant Daughters" by Alice Sola Kim "Ej-Es" by Nancy Kress "In-Fall" by Ted Kosmatka "The Observer" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch "Jenny's Sick" by David Tallerman "The Silence of the Asonu" by Ursula K. Le Guin "Postings from an Amorous Tomorrow" by Corey Mariani "Cucumber Gravy" by Susan Palwick "Black Fire" by Tanith Lee "The Elephants of Poznan" by Orson Scott Card "Long Enough And Just So Long" by Cat Rambo "The Passenger" by Julie E. Czerneda "Simulacrum" by Ken Liu "Breakaway, Backdown" by James Patrick Kelly "Saying the Names" by Maggie Clark "Gossamer" by Stephen Baxter "Spider the Artist" by Nnedi Okorafor "Woman Leaves Room" by Robert Reed "All That Touches the Air" by An Owomoyela "Maneki Neko" by Bruce Sterling "Mama, We are Zhenya, Your Son" by Tom Crosshill "Velvet Fields" by Anne McCaffrey "The Harrowers" by Eric Gregory "Bibi From Jupiter" by Tessa Mellas "Eliot Wrote" by Nancy Kress "Scales" by Alastair Reynolds

30 review for Lightspeed: Year One

  1. 5 out of 5

    Gavin

    This audio anthology includes a selection of the best sci-fi short stories from online sci-fi magazine Lightspeed's first year. It has taken over a year for me to get through all the stories in this collection which is a fair reflection on the varying quality of the content. This was not the greatest collection of short stories I've ever encountered. There was a few decent ones but most are sub-par reads. I'll go ahead and share some small thoughts on each individual story. "The Cassandra Project This audio anthology includes a selection of the best sci-fi short stories from online sci-fi magazine Lightspeed's first year. It has taken over a year for me to get through all the stories in this collection which is a fair reflection on the varying quality of the content. This was not the greatest collection of short stories I've ever encountered. There was a few decent ones but most are sub-par reads. I'll go ahead and share some small thoughts on each individual story. "The Cassandra Project" by Jack McDevitt This was a moon landing conspiracy mystery. It followed a NASA employee who uncovered some hidden facts about the moon landings. This novella was an OK read but nothing memorable or special. Definitely better suited to a short story than an actual novel. Rating: 3 stars. "Amaryllis" by Carrie Vaughn This was a story about the meaning of family and friendship set in a fairly bleak dystopian future. It was an OK story that wrapped up just before I grew tired of it. I did like the the upbeat ending. It was quite unexpected. Rating: 2.5 stars. The Zeppelin Conductor's Society Annual Gentlemen's Ball by Genevieve Valentine I was not much of a fan of this strange story. It was told in a mix of newspaper clippings and thoughts from a Zeppelin captain. The world was creative and strange but at its heart this was really the tale of the abuse of power by those in privileged positions. Sadly it was a bit dull. Pity as I've enjoyed Valentine's short stories in the past. Rating: 2 stars. No Time Like the Present by Carol Emshwiller. This was quite an engaging and entertaining tale. It was about a group of time-travellers who were trying to escape the problems of the future by settling in the past. Their worries about changing the timeline lead them towards trying to stay a bit isolated from the locals of the time. The story was told through the eyes of a teenage local kid who went to school with some of the new kids. The theme was fairly relevant considering it dealt with issues like diversity and immigration and the story itself was decent enough without being super exciting. Rating: 3.5 stars. More Than the Sum of His Parts by Joe Haldeman. This was an excellent short story. Easily the best of this anthology so far. It was the compelling tale of an engineer on a space station who is badly injured in a work accident and is in the process of having a lot of his body replaced with robotic parts. The treatment is fairly experimental and the patient tells us his story via a series of diary updates. It was a compelling tale and the ending was quite unexpected. Rating: 4.5 stars. How to Become a Mars Overlord by Catherynne M. Valente I think this one was aiming for humour but it was just dreadfully dull. It was a real shame as I loved the last Valente short story I read so had high expectations for this one. Rating: 1.5 stars. Amid the Words of War by Cat Rambo This was a strange one. It told the tale of an exiled Arachnid alien. I have no idea what the moral of the story was and found it a bit puzzling at times but despite that it managed to grab and hold my attention. Rating: 3 stars. Flower, Mercy, Needle, Chain by Yoon Ha Lee Typical hard sci-fi. The story managed to be epic and confusing despite its tiny size! As with most hard sci-fi the story was mildly interesting but had zero emotional impact. Rating: 2 stars. Revising my rating of this one to 3 stars. I reread it and feel I enjoyed it more the second time around. I think first time it suffered from its proximity to Amid the Words of War by Cat Rambo as both were similar style stories. The Taste of Starlight by John R. Fultz This was like a dark version of the movie Passengers. On a long haul journey to a new colony planet a traveller awakens from cryo-sleep early. In Passengers the characters had time for a bit of sightseeing and romance. In this one the idiots forgot to pack enough food on the ship so our unfortunate insomniac is forced to resort to eating the other sleepers to survive. I'm fairly sure the moral of the story is always make sure you are properly packed before you go on holiday! A Taste of Starlight was a pretty well done short horror sci-fi. The more you read the more brutal it got! Rating: 3.5 stars. Tight Little Stitches in a Dead Man's Back by Joe R. Lansdale This was set in a post apocalyptic future and followed the story of one of the guilt ridden scientists who built the weapons that killed everyone. I've read Lansdale short stories in the past and think he has an engaging writing style but this story did not work for me. It had some good parts but on the whole was just a little too weird and twisted for my liking. Rating: 2 stars. Hwang's Billion Brilliant Daughters by Alice Sola Kim This follows the story of Hwang. He was caught up in a failed time machine experiment and now every time he falls asleep he is flung forward in time. Sometimes it is only a few days but other times it is hundreds of years. I quite like the idea of the story but the execution never quite worked for me. It was not even the writing style as that was quite engaging and the story had some interesting moments. Rating: 2.5 stars. Standard Loneliness Package by Charles Yu It was the story of a future where people could experience other peoples feelings and experiences. Our protagonist worked for a company where people paid to have the operators live the worst moments of their lives for them. I found Yu's writing to be quite engaging and enjoyed this sad story dealing with loneliness and isolation in an intriguing hi-tech future. That said, I always felt like this one could have been a lot better. Rating: 3.5 stars. The Silence of the Asonu by Ursula K. Le Guin This was really short but still managed to be an interesting introspective tale of humanities dealings with a silent alien race. I liked the story. Le Guin has never failed to deliver thought provoking stories in any of her works I've read and this one was no different. Rating: 3 stars. Jenny's Sick by David Tallerman This was set in a future where every sickness could be cured. It followed the story of a self harming women who injected herself with diseases so she could get sick and was told from the POV of her extremely self-absorbed boyfriend/roommate. It was a sad tale that would have been a lot better if the main POV character was not someone I was constantly disgusted with. Rating: 3 stars. Black Fire by Tanith Lee A mix between an alien first contact story and a duel POV crime story. This actually turned out to be one of the worst stories in the whole anthology. The characters were unlikeable and the story was incredibly dull and boring. This was my first try of Tanith Lee and sadly it was a real flop! Rating: 1 star The Elephants of Poznan by Orson Scott Card God is sick of humanity, again, and has decided to wipe them out for a second time. The good news is the Big Guy has mellowed over the years so rather than kill all the animals, except the ones Noah gathered on his Ark, like he did the first time God decides to take a more measured approach and just get rid of the humans via a plague. The good news is that God has decided to give the Elephants a go at real sentience. Unfortunately the elephants prove useless at manipulating things with any precision. It takes the idiots days to push down a building with their trunks! God decides it is time for half human half elephant hybrids! This tale is told from the POV of the guy who fathers the first of God's new master race. The guy was a total asshole who would not recognize empathy if it smacked him in the face so if he was typical of humanity I can see why God decided mutant elephants were a better bet going forward! This story was every bit as shit as it sounds. Rating: 1.5 stars. Simulacrum by Ken Liu This was set in a time when technology had advanced to the stage where holographic simulacrum's of people could be made. The Simularcrum's are accurate replicas of the humans they were based on at the time the simulacrum was recorded but they grew less accurate after the passing of a day or so. This story was told from the POV of the guy who invented the technology and his daughter. The pair had a strained relationship and both had issues of their own. This was an excellent short story. The world was interesting and intruiging. Liu's writing style was engaging and the story of the father and daughter was emotionally engaging and quite sad. Rating: 4.5 stars. Long Enough And Just So Long by Cat Rambo An interesting tale told in a time where humans have colonized places like Mars and the Moon and where they have just invented a gatway that lets humans travel outside our own solar system. It is also a time where robots have just gained their freedom. We followed a space prospecter through her daily life. We get to see a bit of the world, a bit of her relationship with her friend, and a bit of the time she spends with a newly freed sexbot. Not a lot actually happened over the course of the story but it still proved to be engaging enough as the world seemed like an intruiging one. Rating: 4 stars. Breakaway, Backdown by James Patrick Kelly This was a short story with a weird format. It followed a chat between a former astronaut and the person who was making a repair to the heel of her shoe. The astronaut was explaining the dangers of her job to the young worker who was thinking of joining the space fleet. The weird part was that the only part of the conversation we heard was from the astronaut! I liked Kelly's take on the dangers of long term life in space but still did not love this short story. It lacked the hook that would really have kept me interested. Rating: 2.5 stars. Woman Leaves Room by Robert Reed This was the story told through the eyes of a prototype AI. The story covers a large period of time as the AI interacts with various different people inbetween its bouts in sleep mode. The story was not perfect but it did prove interesting enough. Rating: 3.5 stars Saying the Names by Maggie Clark A lawyer arrives in an alien world ready to defend her father from murder charges in a society where the aliens die rarely. The was a decent enough story but nothing special or memorable. The aliens were suitably strange and alien but I was never invested enough in the humans to overly care about their story. Pity as the writing seemed engaging enough. Rating: 3 stars. Mama, We are Zhenya, Your Son by by Tom Crosshill The tale is told in the form of a bunch of letters that a boy writes to his mother as an unscrupulous doctor conducts experiments upon him. This one delved a bit into Quantum mechanics so I will admit that some of it was likely beyond my full comprehension! It was a strange tale but Zhenya did prove an easy character to sympathize with so that lent the story a degree of emotional engagement that has been lacking in a lot of the other stories in this anthology. Rating: 3.5 stars Velvet Fields by Anne McCaffrey We follow the story of a group of colonists who settle into the long abandoned cities of an alien race only to then find the place is not quite as abandoned as they first thought. I'm not really sure what to say about this one. I did like the world building but the writing was middling and I did not love the overall tone of the story as the ending was way too twisted! Rating: 3 stars. Elliot, Wrote by Nancy Kress A kid wants his scientist father to undergo a radical new medical procedure that removes memories after the father has a breakdown after thinking he say the face of Zeus in a piece of toast! I was not really a fan of this one. I failed to connect with the characters and the story itself was pretty dull. It did not help that the kid was one of those "the grass is always greener on the other side" sort. Rating: 2 stars. The Harrowers by Eric Gregory This was one of those apocalyptic zombie stories. The world building was OK but the story was dull, dull, dull! I was bored reading this one and not even remotely interested in the story or characters. Rating: 1.5 stars. Another stinker to see out this anthology! All in all I was not particularly happy with the stories in this collection. There was way more misses than hits but at least their was one outstanding story in the form of More Than the Sum of His Parts by Joe Haldeman and a couple of other good entries from Ken Liu and Cat Rambo that made this worth the time I invested in it! You may notice a few stories missing if you read the eBook version of Lightspeed Year One. That is because I listened to the audio version and they were not included. I gather their absence was an audio rights issue. Overall Rating: 2.5 stars. Too many duds and the overall tone was a it too bleak for my liking. A few upbeat short stories would have gave this anthology a better balance.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rob

    Using my usual anthology rating method here... Rate the individual stories and then deriving the overall rating from the averages. Lightspeed: Year One had a mean of 3.532 and a median of 3.5; Goodreads doesn't do half-stars, so I'll round up. But I'm rounding up mostly because I'm really favorable on the editor, and one of my friends is a slush reader for them. (Also the fiction I'm otherwise reading in the magazine is consistently great.) Breaking it down... • "I'm Alive, I Love You, I'll See Yo Using my usual anthology rating method here... Rate the individual stories and then deriving the overall rating from the averages. Lightspeed: Year One had a mean of 3.532 and a median of 3.5; Goodreads doesn't do half-stars, so I'll round up. But I'm rounding up mostly because I'm really favorable on the editor, and one of my friends is a slush reader for them. (Also the fiction I'm otherwise reading in the magazine is consistently great.) Breaking it down... • "I'm Alive, I Love You, I'll See You In Reno" (Vylar Kaftan) ★★★★☆ • "The Cassandra Project" (Jack McDevitt) ★★★½☆ • "Cats in Victory" (David Barr Kirtley) ★★★½☆ • "Amaryllis" (Carrie Vaughn) ★★★★★ • "No Time Like the Present" (Carol Emshwiller) ★★★☆☆ • "Manumission" (Tobias Bucknell) ★★½☆☆ • "The Zeppelin Conductor's Society Annual Gentlemen's Ball" (Genevieve Valentine) ★★★½☆ • "…for a Single Yesterday" (George R.R. Martin) ★★★☆☆ • "How to Become a Mars Overlord" (Catherynne M. Valente) ★★½☆☆ • "Patient Zero" (Tananarive Due) ★★★☆☆ • "Arvies" (Adam-Troy Castro) ★★★★☆ • "More Than the Sum of His Parts" (Joe Haldeman) ★★★☆☆ • "Flower, Mercy, Needle, Chain" (Yoon Ha Lee) ★★★★½ • "The Long Chase" (Geoffrey A. Landis) ★★★☆☆ • "Amid the Words of War" (Cat Rambo) ★★★★☆ • "Travelers" (Robert Silverberg) ★★★☆☆ • "Hindsight" (Sarah Langan) ★★★☆☆ • "Tight Little Stitches in a Dean Man's Back" (Joe R. Lansdale) ★★★½☆ • "The Taste of Starlight" (John R. Fultz) ★★☆☆☆ • "Beachworld" (Stephen King) ★★☆☆☆ • "Standard Loneliness Package" (Charles Yu) ★★★★☆ • "Faces in Revolving Souls" (Caitlín R. Kieran) ★★★½☆ • "Ej-Es" (Nancy Kress) ★★★★☆ • "In-Fall" (Ted Kosmatka) ★★★★½ • "The Observer" (Kristine Kathryn Rusch) ★★★½☆ • "Jenny's Sick" (David Tallerman) ★★★½☆ • "The Silence of the Asonu" (Ursula K. Le Guin) ★★★★½ • "Postings from an Amorous Tomorrow" (Corey Mariani) ★★★½☆ • "Cucumber Gravy" (Susan Palwick) ★★★☆☆ • "Black Fire" (Tanith Lee) ★★★☆☆ • "The Elephants of Poznan" (Orson Scott Card) ★★★★☆ • "Long Enough and Just So Long" (Cat Rambo) ★★★☆☆ • "The Passenger" (Julie E. Czerneda) ★★★☆☆ • "Simulacrum" (Ken Liu) ★★★★★ • "Breakaway, Breakdown" (James Patrick Kelly) ★★★★☆ ** was a 3 for me right up until the last 500 words • "Saying the Names" (Maggie Clark) ★★★★☆ • "Gossamer" (Stephen Baxter) ★★★★☆ • "Spider the Artist" (Nnedi Okorafor) ★★★★★ • "Woman Leaves Room" (Robert Reed) ★★★★☆ • "All That Touches the Air" (An Owomoyela) ★★★★½ • "Maneki Neko" (Bruce Sterling) ★★★★☆ • "Mama, We Are Zhenya, Your Son" (Tom Crosshill) ★★★☆☆ • "Velvet Fields" (Anne McCaffrey) ★★★★☆ • "The Harrowers" (Eric Gregory) ★★★½☆ • "Bibi from Jupiter" (Tessa Mellas) ★★☆☆☆ • "Eliot Wrote" (Nancy Kress) ★★★☆☆ • "Scales" (Alastair Reynolds) ★★★½☆

  3. 5 out of 5

    Brian Palmer

    My second anthology of the year, and another really good one! This is a nice thick collection of short stories that were published in the magazine Light Speed; I read a lot of authors I hadn't seen before, and will be looking for.. Many of the stories are haunting; some are horrific (in a very well written way). In this vein is the half-fairy tale, half apocalypse of Joe Lansdale's"Tight Little Stitches on a Dead Man's Back", which involves a man getting a tattoo of his deceased daughter; John Fu My second anthology of the year, and another really good one! This is a nice thick collection of short stories that were published in the magazine Light Speed; I read a lot of authors I hadn't seen before, and will be looking for.. Many of the stories are haunting; some are horrific (in a very well written way). In this vein is the half-fairy tale, half apocalypse of Joe Lansdale's"Tight Little Stitches on a Dead Man's Back", which involves a man getting a tattoo of his deceased daughter; John Fultz's "The Taste of Star Light," chilling in the way of the classic "Cold Equations;" and Ken Liu's "Simulacrum", which in passing tears viciously at people's keepsakes. Also definitely worth tracking down is Nancy Kress's "Ej-Es," although I had run into it in another anthology and praised it there.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Boris

    Fun collection with a couple of stories in it good enough to make me put the book down and just think about the story for a while. Not as good as the Science Fiction Hall of Fame collections, but it is about level with the SFWA Grand Masters collections.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ross

    a good collection of many talented authors, good lunchtime reading

  6. 5 out of 5

    Deb

    Short stories...some good some okay some not so good. Have to check it out again to finish.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sonic

    most of the stories were enjoyable with one or two exceptions.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Terry

    Too much negativity. Sorry.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cate

    There's a lot here to like, and I imagine something for just about everyone. There's a lot here to like, and I imagine something for just about everyone.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Annette

    I'm dazzled and full-up of beautiful ideas...left as breathless and grinning as I can remember. This is science fiction as science fiction should damn well be. I'm dazzled and full-up of beautiful ideas...left as breathless and grinning as I can remember. This is science fiction as science fiction should damn well be.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mike Smith

    When I first began reading science fiction, in the mid-1970s, most of the stories I read were short stories. I devoured short SF for many years, largely because there were so many collections available: year's best, Hugo winners, Nebula winners, hall of fame, single-author collections, golden age magazine collections, etc. Nowadays, however, I rarely read short SF. Mostly, I read novels, and novels have been getting longer and longer since word processing made editing so much easier. So it was a When I first began reading science fiction, in the mid-1970s, most of the stories I read were short stories. I devoured short SF for many years, largely because there were so many collections available: year's best, Hugo winners, Nebula winners, hall of fame, single-author collections, golden age magazine collections, etc. Nowadays, however, I rarely read short SF. Mostly, I read novels, and novels have been getting longer and longer since word processing made editing so much easier. So it was a treat to stumble across this collection, the first from the online SF magazine Lightspeed. Gathering together nearly 50 short stories mostly from the 2000s (up to 2011, but with some going back as far as the early 1970s), this collection is a showcase of excellent SF storytelling. There was only one story I'd read before (Stephen Baxter's "Gossamer"). There is a wide range of styles and sub-genres. Some themes did stand out for me, though. There seemed to be a large number of post-apocalyptic stories; characters trying to survive and adapt after some cataclysm alters or ends modern life. Zombie stories were also quite common, with varying degrees of futuristic scene-setting. I also found many of the stories to have a rather gloomy outlook. The science fiction I read in my youth was more optimistic. I guess today's writers, in the post-9/11 world, have a different perspective. Not every story will appeal to every reader, but any fan of short SF will find at least several stories in here to entertain, to enlighten, and to make you question what you think you know.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bryce

    A good selection of science fiction short stories. Some were great, others were so-so (as you'd expect in an anthology). The ones that stood out: - Arvies (Adam-Troy Castro): Humanity has developed to where those who are worth anything stay in a perpetual fetal state and experience life through those who are physically born (and thus are Dead and have no rights). Makes you think about how we define human worth. - More Than the Sum of His Parts (Joe Haldeman): An engineer suffers an accident and has A good selection of science fiction short stories. Some were great, others were so-so (as you'd expect in an anthology). The ones that stood out: - Arvies (Adam-Troy Castro): Humanity has developed to where those who are worth anything stay in a perpetual fetal state and experience life through those who are physically born (and thus are Dead and have no rights). Makes you think about how we define human worth. - More Than the Sum of His Parts (Joe Haldeman): An engineer suffers an accident and has many of his body reports replaced with mechanical replacements. As he learns to use them, does he become more or less human? The kicker comes at the end...how do we lose our humanity? - Simulacrum (Ken Liu): Through the lens of super-advanced, beyond photographic technology, the relationship between father and daughter is explored. How do we judge a person's life? Through a single moment or through the totality of their behavior?

  13. 4 out of 5

    Richard Magahiz

    This audiobook version of an anthology from 2011 was solid throughout, with even the stories I liked less showing excellent attention to craft. The only one I'd ready before was the Hugo-Award nominated story Amaryllis by Carrie Vaughn with its taut description of a near future communal society. The other ones are as different from it as can be, which I felt makes the collection stronger as a result. The audio version of the anthology has twenty-five stories in all out of the several dozen print This audiobook version of an anthology from 2011 was solid throughout, with even the stories I liked less showing excellent attention to craft. The only one I'd ready before was the Hugo-Award nominated story Amaryllis by Carrie Vaughn with its taut description of a near future communal society. The other ones are as different from it as can be, which I felt makes the collection stronger as a result. The audio version of the anthology has twenty-five stories in all out of the several dozen printed in the magazine's first year of publication. The narrators did a pretty good job at bringing the pages to life, though there was the usual problem with audiobooks when I would get lost and have to back up a few minutes to pick up the thread again when I missed the significance of some detail. Also, there were a few stories where I was surprised by disturbing content that took me by surprise, so sensitive readers might not want to take the chance with all of these.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Blue

    This book is such a grab-bag of stories that it's difficult to review. It starts off with several hopeful, sweet stories, sprinkling a few award-winners that had me tearing up joyfully and entices me to read further. For the middle stretch of the book, I found an abhorrent stretch of seemingly pointless body horror, gore, and death and despair that almost had me skipping over stories. The nice thing about it is they're short stories, so you don't have to suffer through the bad ones for so long. This book is such a grab-bag of stories that it's difficult to review. It starts off with several hopeful, sweet stories, sprinkling a few award-winners that had me tearing up joyfully and entices me to read further. For the middle stretch of the book, I found an abhorrent stretch of seemingly pointless body horror, gore, and death and despair that almost had me skipping over stories. The nice thing about it is they're short stories, so you don't have to suffer through the bad ones for so long. By the end, the editors added a few stories that I felt made the book worth reading through the entire collection. I can honestly say it was a roller coaster of intellectual concepts and the highs and lows of hope and disgust. Definitely reccomend.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Groucho42

    Terrible. The only thing saving it from one star is that there were a couple of good stories, but I didn't find one until almost 2/3 of the way through the collection of short stories published by the journal of the title. "In Falll", by Ted Kosmatka was the first one that was good, then Susan Palwick's "Cucumber Gravy" was also enjoyable. They're two very different stories but both were well done. "Saying the Names", by Maggie Smith, wasn't as good, but was also one of the very few that were abo Terrible. The only thing saving it from one star is that there were a couple of good stories, but I didn't find one until almost 2/3 of the way through the collection of short stories published by the journal of the title. "In Falll", by Ted Kosmatka was the first one that was good, then Susan Palwick's "Cucumber Gravy" was also enjoyable. They're two very different stories but both were well done. "Saying the Names", by Maggie Smith, wasn't as good, but was also one of the very few that were above average. A couple of others were good, but not good enough for me to remember. All the rest ranged from slightly below average to abysmal.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Brehm

    Stories I liked (in no particular order): "Cats in Victory" by David Barr Kirtley "...For a Single Yesterday" by George R.R. Martin "Patient Zero" by Tananarive Due "Beachworld" by Stephen King "Standard Loneliness Package" by Charles Yu "Ej-Es" by Nancy Kress "The Observer" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch "Jenny's Sick" by David Tallerman "Cucumber Gravy" by Susan Palwick "The Passenger" by Julie E. Czerneda "Gossamer" by Stephen Baxter "All that Touches the Air" by An Owomoyela "Maneki Neko" by Bruce Sterling "Th Stories I liked (in no particular order): "Cats in Victory" by David Barr Kirtley "...For a Single Yesterday" by George R.R. Martin "Patient Zero" by Tananarive Due "Beachworld" by Stephen King "Standard Loneliness Package" by Charles Yu "Ej-Es" by Nancy Kress "The Observer" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch "Jenny's Sick" by David Tallerman "Cucumber Gravy" by Susan Palwick "The Passenger" by Julie E. Czerneda "Gossamer" by Stephen Baxter "All that Touches the Air" by An Owomoyela "Maneki Neko" by Bruce Sterling "The Harrowers" by Eric Gregory

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mark Hewitt

    An entire year's worth of Lightspeed magazine's content on one volume. There's a varied, intelligent and entertaining selection of styles and subjects all loosely coming under the sci-fi banner. I don't want to spoil things for the new reader describing the stories or even highlighting a few favourites. Suffice to say that in my 50 years of reading sci-fi, this is the first volume of short stories I've ever read twice within six months. None of the tales are overly long or taxing on the brain. Per An entire year's worth of Lightspeed magazine's content on one volume. There's a varied, intelligent and entertaining selection of styles and subjects all loosely coming under the sci-fi banner. I don't want to spoil things for the new reader describing the stories or even highlighting a few favourites. Suffice to say that in my 50 years of reading sci-fi, this is the first volume of short stories I've ever read twice within six months. None of the tales are overly long or taxing on the brain. Perfect for a quick bedtime read before putting out the light.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dan Keoppel

    A big anthology that shares the hit and misses of big anthologies. Some big name authors don't always deliver their best work, but everything is consistently good. I liked how the editor grouped the stories, it sometimes seems like there were themes running through consecutive readings. It made it easier(fun) to string together a long reading session. This book was from 2011 and there were two apocalyptic - pandemic stories. I found both missed the mark, but nonetheless haunting given I was readin A big anthology that shares the hit and misses of big anthologies. Some big name authors don't always deliver their best work, but everything is consistently good. I liked how the editor grouped the stories, it sometimes seems like there were themes running through consecutive readings. It made it easier(fun) to string together a long reading session. This book was from 2011 and there were two apocalyptic - pandemic stories. I found both missed the mark, but nonetheless haunting given I was reading this during the shadow of COVID-19

  19. 4 out of 5

    Anna Hawes

    Fun mix of short stories. The following stories were my favorite: Manumission (Tobias Bucknell), Flower, Mercy, Needle, Chain (Yoon Ha Lee), Standard Loneliness Package (Charles Yu), Hwang's Billion Brilliant Daughters (Alice Sola Kim), The Observer (Kristine Kathryn Rusch), All that Touches the Air (An Owomoyela), Maneki Neko (Bruce Sterling), The Harrowers (Eric Gregory) Fun mix of short stories. The following stories were my favorite: Manumission (Tobias Bucknell), Flower, Mercy, Needle, Chain (Yoon Ha Lee), Standard Loneliness Package (Charles Yu), Hwang's Billion Brilliant Daughters (Alice Sola Kim), The Observer (Kristine Kathryn Rusch), All that Touches the Air (An Owomoyela), Maneki Neko (Bruce Sterling), The Harrowers (Eric Gregory)

  20. 4 out of 5

    David Blankenship

    Most of the stories are worth a read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Peter Loftus

    An excellent anthology with some really great names and even better stories.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    This is a nice anthology offering a varied selection of stories. Several I have heard else where. The narrators all performed very well and are to be commended. A good read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    John Banks

    Most of these are crap.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Gerhardt Schuette

    Great short stories to make you think.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    Unique stories but nothing spectacular. Recommend read if you have nothing else going.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sean Anderson

    I love this book. So many great writers in one place and nearly every story has been worth going back and reading multiple times.

  27. 5 out of 5

    David Osborne

    Too dark. Some stories were just dumb: packed with bad science, implausible chains of events, characters doing things that were just not believable (let's eat a radioactive animal!). Too high a percentage of "after the bomb" stories (For a Single Yesterday was great though). Some were more horror than Science Fiction. Still, a handful were sufficiently engaging, challenging, or inventive to give it a highly positive rating. Too dark. Some stories were just dumb: packed with bad science, implausible chains of events, characters doing things that were just not believable (let's eat a radioactive animal!). Too high a percentage of "after the bomb" stories (For a Single Yesterday was great though). Some were more horror than Science Fiction. Still, a handful were sufficiently engaging, challenging, or inventive to give it a highly positive rating.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Meh. A few good stories (I enjoyed The Cassandra Project and Amaryllis), several that were s0-so, and a couple that were very, deeply disturbing (The Taste of Starlight)

  29. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    There are some phenomenal stories in this collection. A few of them will stick with me for a while. My favorites were some horror scifi tales: "Tight Little Stitches in a Dead Man's Back" by Joe R. Lansdale "The Taste of Starlight" by John R. Fultz There are some phenomenal stories in this collection. A few of them will stick with me for a while. My favorites were some horror scifi tales: "Tight Little Stitches in a Dead Man's Back" by Joe R. Lansdale "The Taste of Starlight" by John R. Fultz

  30. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    I enjoy science fiction, and I am definitely on the laser side of the sword and laser spectrum. I enjoy reading about interesting new ideas and conjecture about how future developments might shape our lives. I really enjoy dystopian novels, but I am actually quite the optimist at heart. For all of these reasons, Light Speed seemed like a perfect match to my interests. Overall this collection is very, very dark. Many of the short stories paint extremely bleak pictures of a possible future. Loneli I enjoy science fiction, and I am definitely on the laser side of the sword and laser spectrum. I enjoy reading about interesting new ideas and conjecture about how future developments might shape our lives. I really enjoy dystopian novels, but I am actually quite the optimist at heart. For all of these reasons, Light Speed seemed like a perfect match to my interests. Overall this collection is very, very dark. Many of the short stories paint extremely bleak pictures of a possible future. Loneliness, separation, abandonement...these are all central themes. A few of the stories here stood out. I enjoyed the Stephen King story, as well as the story from Le Guinn. Altogether, though, I have to say that this collection was too bleak for my taste. I like my dystopia with a dash of good, and you won't find any here.

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