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Lightspeed Magazine, June 2016: People of Colo(u)r Destroy Science Fiction! Special Issue (Lightspeed Magazine, Issue #73)

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LIGHTSPEED was founded on the core idea that all science fiction is real science fiction. The whole point of this magazine is that science fiction is vast. It is inclusive. Science fiction is about people and for people—all kinds of people, no matter where they’re from or what they look like. The People of Colo(u)r Destroy Science Fiction! special issue exists to relieve a LIGHTSPEED was founded on the core idea that all science fiction is real science fiction. The whole point of this magazine is that science fiction is vast. It is inclusive. Science fiction is about people and for people—all kinds of people, no matter where they’re from or what they look like. The People of Colo(u)r Destroy Science Fiction! special issue exists to relieve a brokenness in the genre that’s been enabled time and time again by favoring certain voices and portrayals of particular characters. Here we bring together a team of POC writers and editors from around the globe to present science fiction that explores the nuances of culture, race, and history. This is science fiction for our present time, but also—most of all—for our future. People of Colo(u)r Destroy Science Fiction! is 100% written and edited by people of color, and is lead by guest editors Nalo Hopkinson and Kristine Ong Muslim, with editorial contributions from Nisi Shawl, Grace L. Dillon, Berit Ellingsen, Arley Sorg, and Sunil Patel. It features ten original, never-before-published short stories, plus ten original flash fiction stories, by writers such as Steven Barnes, Karin Lowachee, Sofia Samatar, Terence Taylor, Caroline M. Yoachim, and more. All that, plus five classic reprints, by the likes of Samuel R. Delany and Octavia E. Butler; an array of nonfiction articles, interviews, and book reviews; and more than two dozen personal essays from people of colo(u)r discussing their experiences as readers and writers of science fiction. Enjoy the destruction!


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LIGHTSPEED was founded on the core idea that all science fiction is real science fiction. The whole point of this magazine is that science fiction is vast. It is inclusive. Science fiction is about people and for people—all kinds of people, no matter where they’re from or what they look like. The People of Colo(u)r Destroy Science Fiction! special issue exists to relieve a LIGHTSPEED was founded on the core idea that all science fiction is real science fiction. The whole point of this magazine is that science fiction is vast. It is inclusive. Science fiction is about people and for people—all kinds of people, no matter where they’re from or what they look like. The People of Colo(u)r Destroy Science Fiction! special issue exists to relieve a brokenness in the genre that’s been enabled time and time again by favoring certain voices and portrayals of particular characters. Here we bring together a team of POC writers and editors from around the globe to present science fiction that explores the nuances of culture, race, and history. This is science fiction for our present time, but also—most of all—for our future. People of Colo(u)r Destroy Science Fiction! is 100% written and edited by people of color, and is lead by guest editors Nalo Hopkinson and Kristine Ong Muslim, with editorial contributions from Nisi Shawl, Grace L. Dillon, Berit Ellingsen, Arley Sorg, and Sunil Patel. It features ten original, never-before-published short stories, plus ten original flash fiction stories, by writers such as Steven Barnes, Karin Lowachee, Sofia Samatar, Terence Taylor, Caroline M. Yoachim, and more. All that, plus five classic reprints, by the likes of Samuel R. Delany and Octavia E. Butler; an array of nonfiction articles, interviews, and book reviews; and more than two dozen personal essays from people of colo(u)r discussing their experiences as readers and writers of science fiction. Enjoy the destruction!

30 review for Lightspeed Magazine, June 2016: People of Colo(u)r Destroy Science Fiction! Special Issue (Lightspeed Magazine, Issue #73)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rachel (Kalanadi)

    I'm consciously challenging myself to read more diversely, and I have been much more successful with this goal in short fiction than in novels, probably because of A) volume and B) economics. It's very hard to get hold of a variety of diverse SFF novels here in the U.S. Midwest. But a few magazines are doing great work - Lightspeed, Clarkesworld, Uncanny, Strange Horizons - that bring me a few diverse stories every month.I'm so lily-white it hurts. I've already had the lifelong privilege of seei I'm consciously challenging myself to read more diversely, and I have been much more successful with this goal in short fiction than in novels, probably because of A) volume and B) economics. It's very hard to get hold of a variety of diverse SFF novels here in the U.S. Midwest. But a few magazines are doing great work - Lightspeed, Clarkesworld, Uncanny, Strange Horizons - that bring me a few diverse stories every month.I'm so lily-white it hurts. I've already had the lifelong privilege of seeing myself - white, female, young - portrayed in the types of stories I love to read. It's time to expand my worldview, push the edges of my reading horizon, and explore cultures and values other than the whitebread American lifestyle I grew up with.And it's only by reading a lot of diverse stories that I will become comfortable and knowledgeable about the subject matter.At the moment, I'm still in the initial stages of trying out diverse stories, so very often my reactions are things like "This person's experiences challenges what I think families should be like," or "I don't know what these references to Hindu mythology mean, so I'm completely lost", or "This manner of storytelling is jarring and takes me out of the story". But I'm trying very, very hard to be self-aware and ask myself "Why?" Why do I feel this way? Why am I having this reaction? Can I differentiate between a story that is just different and one that actually isn't good? It's hard, but it's a reading experience that I really appreciate POC Destroy SF gave me.I wasn't amazed by much of the short fiction (see alll the reasons above), but I really loved a few of the reprints, like "A Good Home" by Karin Lowachee, "Empire Star" by Samuel R. Delany, and "The Evening and the Morning and the Night" by Octavia Butler. Of the original fiction, "Digital Medicine" by Brian K. Hudson, "Omoshango" by Dayo Ntwari, and "As Long as It Takes to Make the World" by Gabriela Santiago really captivated me because of either the story or the writing. I was also pretty amused by a few flash fiction pieces like "Other Metamorphoses" by Fabio Fernandes and "Chocolate Milkshake Number 314" by Caroline M. Yoachim.This issue is packed with writers that I must keep an eye out for in the future. I think it's fantastic that I'm reading SFF in an era where I can list off more than 2 or 3 authors of color currently writing in science fiction, and not simply fall back to the usual "Delany" and "Butler". I want the community to explode with these voices - it will benefit us all.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Luna

    What an amazing collection this is! Isha Karki's "Firebird" was my favorite of these stories and it is her first published piece, which I found shocking--her exploration of social castes, scientific research in the name of academia, and an individual's often juxtaposed desires to be accepted and be oneself are seamless and emotional without being too forthright. Karin Lowachee's "A Good Home" is simple, beautiful, and compelling as it explores the sentience of androids used as replacement soldie What an amazing collection this is! Isha Karki's "Firebird" was my favorite of these stories and it is her first published piece, which I found shocking--her exploration of social castes, scientific research in the name of academia, and an individual's often juxtaposed desires to be accepted and be oneself are seamless and emotional without being too forthright. Karin Lowachee's "A Good Home" is simple, beautiful, and compelling as it explores the sentience of androids used as replacement soldiers in war. Nick T. Chan's "Salot Moral" is creative and unique, tackling the experience of domestic violence for Mexican immigrants, as well as the cultural disconnect between the reality and myth of humanoids. Steven Barnes' "Fifty Shades of Grays" is incredibly provocative, involving chuckling and sincere contemplation within the same paragraphs. Dayo Ntwari's "Omoshango" is a fascinating sketch of international conflict mixed with myth and science-fiction. Gabriela Santiago's writing style in "As Long as it Takes to Make the World", as well as her abstraction and artistry in the vagueness of her story were gorgeous reading experiences. Jennifer Marie Brissett's "Breathe Deep, Breathe Free" struck a cord with me in particular because of the recent crisis in Flint, Michigan and I think would resonate strongly with the residents of Flint as well as other post-industrial towns experiencing the impacts of man-made environmental disasters disproportionately impacting the poor. I could go on about this collection; Octavia Butler and Samuel Delaney are both predictable and perfect choices for this collection's previously published section. The editors did a wonderful job. The only thing keeping the collection from five stars is that some of the stories weren't all that science-fiction-esque to me and so their place in the collection was confusing. Just a couple of the stories were flat for me as well.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Althea Ann

    **** A Good Home - Karin Lowachee Sensitive and relevant story about a disabled vet who agrees to take in another disabled, traumatized vet for home care. It's part of a new program to try to relieve severe overcrowding at the VA. After all, who's more suited to understanding the traumas and challenges than another vet? The catch here is that the vet needing care is actually an android. However, that doesn't really make a difference to the story, in that it still captures the very real issues wit **** A Good Home - Karin Lowachee Sensitive and relevant story about a disabled vet who agrees to take in another disabled, traumatized vet for home care. It's part of a new program to try to relieve severe overcrowding at the VA. After all, who's more suited to understanding the traumas and challenges than another vet? The catch here is that the vet needing care is actually an android. However, that doesn't really make a difference to the story, in that it still captures the very real issues with integrating people trained for and damaged by combat into civilian society.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tiamatty

    This was fantastic. It's an anthology of sci-fi stories, all made people people of colour. A variety of people from around the world, bringing their experiences and perspectives to the genre. And a lot of them are truly fascinating. All the stories are, at the very least, enjoyable. But most are excellent, interesting and insightful and poignant. Some are simple, some have very complex ideas. One (which is a reprint) will make your head hurt trying to wrap your mind around it - time travel is al This was fantastic. It's an anthology of sci-fi stories, all made people people of colour. A variety of people from around the world, bringing their experiences and perspectives to the genre. And a lot of them are truly fascinating. All the stories are, at the very least, enjoyable. But most are excellent, interesting and insightful and poignant. Some are simple, some have very complex ideas. One (which is a reprint) will make your head hurt trying to wrap your mind around it - time travel is always fun for that. There's also interviews with all the creators, and an essay from each, as well, so there's some cool extra content. This is great stuff, promoting high-quality content from diverse creators, which is always great to see.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kris

    I don't usually do magazine reviews but I enjoyed this edition so much I wanted to highlight it. A great collection of original fiction and essays from some writers I already love and some I am discovering. Surprisingly to me (and Contrary to my usual bookish instincts) many of my favourites were those that only touched on the science fictional and were really just amazing character pieces. So I am once again looking forward to the next destroy series, for everyone else, pick this up. Great value I don't usually do magazine reviews but I enjoyed this edition so much I wanted to highlight it. A great collection of original fiction and essays from some writers I already love and some I am discovering. Surprisingly to me (and Contrary to my usual bookish instincts) many of my favourites were those that only touched on the science fictional and were really just amazing character pieces. So I am once again looking forward to the next destroy series, for everyone else, pick this up. Great value you won't regret

  6. 4 out of 5

    'Nathan Burgoine

    I'll be posting short reviews of the stories in this collection as part of my ongoing Sunday Shorts series on my blog (click that link and they'll all pop up as they show up on the blog. "Empire Star" by Samuel R. Delaney probably hit the highest point for me, a novella-length that was just sheer perfection, but there were so many freaking excellent stories in this. I'll be posting short reviews of the stories in this collection as part of my ongoing Sunday Shorts series on my blog (click that link and they'll all pop up as they show up on the blog. "Empire Star" by Samuel R. Delaney probably hit the highest point for me, a novella-length that was just sheer perfection, but there were so many freaking excellent stories in this.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chasia Lloyd

    This is an outstanding collection of works by people of color and Native/Indigenous peoples centering original sci-fi works and personal ties to sci-fi. This issue has it all - new fiction, reprints of classics (including Octavia E. Butler!), interviews, personal and academic essays, gorgeous artwork, and book reviews. There is something for everyone here. Highlights for me among the new fiction included: - Nick T. Chan's "Salto Mortal" - Brian K. Hudson's "Digital Medicine" - Terence Taylor's "Wils This is an outstanding collection of works by people of color and Native/Indigenous peoples centering original sci-fi works and personal ties to sci-fi. This issue has it all - new fiction, reprints of classics (including Octavia E. Butler!), interviews, personal and academic essays, gorgeous artwork, and book reviews. There is something for everyone here. Highlights for me among the new fiction included: - Nick T. Chan's "Salto Mortal" - Brian K. Hudson's "Digital Medicine" - Terence Taylor's "Wilson's Singularity" - Fabio Fernandes's "Other Metamorphoses" - T.S. Bazelli's "The Peacemaker" - S.B. Divya's "Binaries" (probably my fave story in the whole lot) More than general sci-fi, "time" seems to be an undercurrent theme thrumming through most of these works. I'm not sure if it was intentional, but I was always aware of the passing of time and cycles, and it really blew my mind how well all these stories worked together.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    This is an awesome collection of stories and essays; it’s another fantastic achievement by Lightspeed. I’m giving this collection 5 stars because of the strength of the collection, the poignancy and relevance of the essays, and the great production values. Not all stories were 5 stars for me, but quite a few were. My individual ratings are below for those who are interested. Intros - 3 stars Kind of a weak beginning I thought, but maybe I was just eager to get to the stories this time. The essays This is an awesome collection of stories and essays; it’s another fantastic achievement by Lightspeed. I’m giving this collection 5 stars because of the strength of the collection, the poignancy and relevance of the essays, and the great production values. Not all stories were 5 stars for me, but quite a few were. My individual ratings are below for those who are interested. Intros - 3 stars Kind of a weak beginning I thought, but maybe I was just eager to get to the stories this time. The essays and non-fiction later in the book are more hard-hitting. Original Short Fiction A Good Home by Karin Lowachee - 5 stars - right up my alley, not sure if it was my early exposure to Asimov's robots or just my interests in psychology and computers, but I'm always a sucker for psychological A.I. stories, and this is a good one Depot 256 by Lisa Allen-Agostini - 4 stars - nice characterization and atmosphere, poetic ending but could have used a tiny bit more oomph Salto Mortal by Nick T. Chan - 5 stars - Wow, amazing incorporation of cultural references and issues of domestic violence in a disturbing, philosophical science fiction premise. Digital Medicine by Brian K. Hudson - 5 stars - Another great incorporation of cultural history into a personal story of relationships. The "computer" science fiction was a little tepid compared to nanobots or whatever, but it fit the context and had a lot of playful and instructional moments. Red Thread by Sofia Samatar - 4 stars - This one had good characterization (and a differently-abled parent), and a somewhat interesting world, but the diary narration isolates you from events a bit. Wilson’s Singularity by Terence Taylor - 4 stars - I like the idea here, and the problem of tradeoffs, which was extremely well depicted in the relationship conflict. First gay couple in the book, I think. Keep those intersections coming! Fifty Shades of Grays by Steven Barnes - 5 stars - Holy mother of ... I'm not sure I liked this one, it was hilarious, true, but it was also creepy as all get-out. Just a brilliant idea, though, executed flawlessly, with an ending that will make you choke on whatever reading beverage you are sipping. Omoshango by Dayo Ntwari - 4 stars - Powerful - and empowering - imagery, particularly as a rallying cry to Nigerians along the lines of a Black Exodus. But the fantasy elements got confused with the sci-fi ones for me, (view spoiler)[like organizing through radio signals and wormholes, but then using a magical axe with runes to clear out a new settlement (hide spoiler)] . Partly, I realize that this is part of the "speculative fiction" continuum, but I am still not completely comfortable with the concept. Firebird by Isha Karki - 4 stars - Some pointed statements being made about military justifications/entitlement and the genocide of unnoticed, "disposable" peoples, but again the fantasy and sci-fi got mixed up for me - (view spoiler)[still haven't heard a rational justification for telepathy or pyrokinesis, though I was captivated and disturbed by the descriptions of robotic and neural meddling among human guinea pigs... (hide spoiler)] . I'm going to have to do some research on Phoenix myths in the African Diaspora - there were not one but two stories in this collection with that symbolism, which both reminded me of 2015's The Book of Phoenix. As Long as It Takes to Make the World by Gabriela Santiago - 4 stars - Interesting concept; in fact, what I understood of it implied extremely fascinating possibilities; but the story was too confusing and vague with the details. The dreamy, lyrical pose, would have added a lot of flavor to another story, but here it only served to obfuscate the world-building, which was not what this story needed. Original Flash Fiction An Offertory to Our Drowned Gods by Teresa Naval - 3 stars - Beautiful, but depressing. Other Metamorphoses by Fábio Fernandes - 4 stars - Funny, no longer than it needed to be, but requires a familiarity with Kafka's The Metamorphosis to understand it. Breathe Deep, Breathe Free by Jennifer Marie Brissett - 5 stars - Creepy, funny, political. Always love text balloons! Morning Cravings by Nin Harris - 4 stars - Bizarre, but thought-provoking intersection of cultures. The Peacemaker by T.S. Bazelli - 4 stars - Wacky, maybe one pun too many, but realistic commentary. Binaries by S.B. Divya - 5 stars - Short and simple, but profoundly sentimental (in a good way!). Chocolate Milkshake Number 314 by Caroline M. Yoachim - 5 stars - A short and sweet story about cherishing. Four and Twenty Blackbirds by JY Yang - 4 stars - Maybe a little too disturbing, but well drawn characterization. I wanted to know more about this world. A Handful of Dal by Naru Dames Sundar - 4 stars - Beautiful idea, lyrically written, but I could have used a little more concreteness and detail. Hiranyagarbha by Kevin Jared Hosein - 4 stars - Great, haunting set-up, but anti-climactic ending. Reprint Fiction The Evening And The Morning And The Night by Octavia E. Butler - 5 stars - I read this originally as part of Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora but reading it again here it still knocked my socks off. Ms. Butler had a way of setting up the character and ethical interactions that is hard to top. Double Time by John Chu - 5 stars - What if brief time jumps were an affordable commodity, what would it be used for? As I rule I love time travel, but in this case the time travel takes a back seat to the captivating images Chu is playing with here. The emotional takeaway from this story is poignant. Delhi by Vandana Singh - 5 stars - Wow, they really know how to pick the reprints. This was fascinating, ghostly, and heartbreakingly sentimental. And rich with the cultural sights, sounds, and smells of Delhi past, present, and imagined. 1965 by Edmee Pardo - 4 stars - Kind of a simple tale, but it had a good time playing with space milestones, popular culture, and family connections. Empire Star by Samuel R. Delany - 5 stars - This melted my brain. It felt a little like Invisible Man (no, the other one!) with its rambling sojourn/coming-of-age tale, rambunctious plot turns, and the sense that every scene is a metaphor about race and class that you may be missing. This was a hard line to toe - outrageous humor and scathing commentary, but Delany carried it off brilliantly. And he threw in enough self-referential winks and literary references to make you dizzy. And when he tossed in (view spoiler)[time travel (hide spoiler)] ...?? He had me at "Hello". Novel Excerpt Infomocracy by Malka Ann Older - 4 stars - It was hard to get a feel for where this was going with just one chapter (3 scenes), but late 21st century Information mining/trading is a compelling and relevant angle, and it looked like there was a lot of innovative stuff here. Unfortunately a lot of it involves politics, which is rarely my thing, but it had some interesting characters and was clearly international in scope, so it was good enough to have me interested in checking out the book. Author Spotlights - 3 stars - Vaguely interesting, but not really my thing. Was useful for a couple of book/story recommendations. Nonfiction Because Some of Us Survived by Samantha L. Taylor - 4 stars - Relevant. Doing Dhalgreen by Terence Taylor - 4 stars - Informative. The Thunderbird's Path by Misha Nogha - 4 stars - Quite an interesting concept; I had to read this twice because the author is kind of mixing historical background with playful speculation. But the much-overlooked stories here are profound and important to our human history. Music Medicine by Zainab Amadahy - 4 stars - I’m giving this one 4 stars because it was well-written except in a few transitions. The science gets 5 stars, though; this technology truly blows my mind. Interview: Daniel H. Wilson by Grace Dillon - 4 stars Not really my thing, but I thought the interview was well done. Book Reviews: June 2016 by Sunil Patel - 4 stars - Also not really my thing, but some great books were reviewed here, and it is important to highlight these stories often overlooked by mainstream review sites. Artists Gallery - 4 stars - Again not my thing, but an extra star for normalizing black and brown bodies in visual media. Personal Essays - 5 stars - Some were more profound than others, but all the essayists had important things to say, and did a great job bringing their stories alive and making the personal political.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    Probably the best of the Destroy series that I've read so far. Notes on favorite stories, authors to check out, etc. Original Short Fiction "A Good Home" by Karin Lowachee "Salto Mortal" by Nick T. Chan "Digital Medicine" by Brian K. Hudson Already reading Terence Taylor "Fifty Shades of Grays" by Stephen Barnes "Omoshango" by Dayo Ntwari "Firebird by IshaIsha Karki "As Long As It Takes To Make The World" by Gabriela Santiago (https://twitter.com/lifeonearth89) (http://writing-relatedactivities.tumb...) Or Probably the best of the Destroy series that I've read so far. Notes on favorite stories, authors to check out, etc. Original Short Fiction "A Good Home" by Karin Lowachee "Salto Mortal" by Nick T. Chan "Digital Medicine" by Brian K. Hudson Already reading Terence Taylor "Fifty Shades of Grays" by Stephen Barnes "Omoshango" by Dayo Ntwari "Firebird by IshaIsha Karki "As Long As It Takes To Make The World" by Gabriela Santiago (https://twitter.com/lifeonearth89) (http://writing-relatedactivities.tumb...) Original Flash Fiction "Other Metamorphoses" by Fábio Fernandes(Kafka, Franz) inspired) "Morning Cravings" by Nin Harris (http://www.mythopoetica.com/) "Binaries" by S.B. Divya (http://www.eff-words.com/)(https://tw...) "Chocolate Milkshake Number 314" by Caroline M. Yoachim "Four and Twenty Blackbirds" by JY Yang (http://www.misshallelujah.net/)(https...) "A Handful of Dal" by Naru Dames Sundar (https://twitter.com/naru_sundar?lang=...) Reprint Fiction "The Evening and the Morning and the Night" by the brilliant Octavia Butler "Deli" by Vandana Singh (http://vandana-writes.com/) "Empire Star" by the brilliant Samuel Delany Mixed feelings about excerpt of Infomocracy but the premise is just so me. Author Spotlights The Chalice Project (YA) The Ballad of Billy Badass and the Rose of Turkestan (recommended by Brian K. Hudson Terence Taylor review column (http://www.fantasticstoriesoftheimagi...) Terrence Taylor work on documentary film about history of black speculative fiction (http://invisibleuniversedoc.com/) Nonfiction "Because Some of Us Survived" by Samantha L. Taylor (TBC) -http://www.upworthy.com/the-interview... -https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/w... "Doing Dhalgren" by Terence Taylor "Interview with Daniel H. Wilson" -Robopocalypse The Star-Touched Queen (from book reviews) Personal Essays Alyssa Wong @crashwong Alliette de Bodard Malon Edwards Yash Kesanakurthy (http://bookriot.com/author/yash-kesan...) Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali (http://www.khaalidah.com/) (https://twitter.com/khaalidah) Jeremy SzalJeremy Szal (https://jeremyszal.com/)(https://twit...) An Owomoyela (TBC) "Blue-Shifted Futures" by Vajra Chandrasekera (http://vajra.mhttps://www.goodreads.c...) -Talks about Soviet Union science fiction books (Colleagues/Eternal Wind) Currently reading Signal to Noise "Unlearning Erasure" by Julia Rios (TBC) (http://www.juliarios.com/) (Boston??) "Assimilation: The Borg Must Like It When You Don't Fight Back." by S.L. Huang Zero Sum Game Already a bit familiar with Ken Liu Suyi Davis Okungbow (http://suyidavies.com/) Indra Das (http://indradas.com/) "Intergalatic Collard Greens" by Troy L. Wiggins (https://afrofantasy.net/)(https://twi...) "We Were Always Here" by Mark Oshiro (already have links) "The People Men Don't See" by Nisi Shawl "The New Frontier is the Old Frontier" by Tamara Brooks "An Army of Claudia Kishis" by Sarah Kuhn (Babysitters club!)(http://www.heroinecomplex.com/)(https...) Misc. Collections, Notes, Etc. We See a Different Frontier: A Postcolonial Speculative Fiction Anthology States of Terror: Volume 3 Griots: Sisters of the Spear

  10. 5 out of 5

    Marco

    Lightspeed destroy is an annual initiative focusing on the writings of traditionally underrepresented minorities. The People of Colo(u)r Destroy Science Fiction special issue exists to relieve a brokenness in the genre that's been enabled time and time again by favoring certain voices and portrayals of particular characters. It brings forth a very diverse set of talented authors, some very well-established, and other very newm from around the globe to present science fiction that explores the nu Lightspeed destroy is an annual initiative focusing on the writings of traditionally underrepresented minorities. The People of Colo(u)r Destroy Science Fiction special issue exists to relieve a brokenness in the genre that's been enabled time and time again by favoring certain voices and portrayals of particular characters. It brings forth a very diverse set of talented authors, some very well-established, and other very newm from around the globe to present science fiction that explores the nuances of culture, race, and history. People of Colo(u)r Destroy Science Fiction! is 100% written and edited by people of color. It features twenty original, never-before-published short and flash fiction stories, plus five classic reprints, by the likes of Samuel R. Delany and Octavia E. Butler (believe it or not, I never had read anything from them before... I was blown away!). It also includes an array of nonfiction articles, interviews, and book reviews; and more than two dozen personal essays from people of colo(u)r discussing their experiences as readers and writers of science fiction.

  11. 4 out of 5

    ShingetsuMoon

    I received my copies of this book as a result of backing the Kickstarter project. Lightspeed delivers an amazing anthology from a great selection of diverse authors from a wide array of backgrounds and experiences. Each story was a wonderful delight to read each and every story and then to read the author interviews to learn more about them. The nonfiction articles and book reviews were an excellent addition as were the book reprints. All of the essays were incredibly touching looks at the author I received my copies of this book as a result of backing the Kickstarter project. Lightspeed delivers an amazing anthology from a great selection of diverse authors from a wide array of backgrounds and experiences. Each story was a wonderful delight to read each and every story and then to read the author interviews to learn more about them. The nonfiction articles and book reviews were an excellent addition as were the book reprints. All of the essays were incredibly touching looks at the authors life, about how they became interested in science fiction, about why they continue writing, or just about their life experiences. I especially enjoyed the stories, interviews and experiences from Native/Indigenous authors, a group that I admit I haven't read many stories from and I would like to get better at that. Whether simple or complex each one was insightful, poignant and engaging. This is a must read special issue for all lovers of science fiction and especially for those who are looking for stories from a more diverse array of authors.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Lisa

    So so good. Fresh, creative, not the same-old same-old that after a few decades of reading SFF gets so boring--of course a lot of that is that these voices have been kept out of SFF and really just screw the gatekeepers who think readers don't want stories by diverse voices. Some of my favorites: A Good Home, Karen Lowachee Salto Mortal, Nick T Chan Firebird, Isha Karki The Peacemaker, TS Bazelli A Handful of Dal, Naru Dames Sundar -- This one made me cry and sigh with envy that I hadn't thought of wr So so good. Fresh, creative, not the same-old same-old that after a few decades of reading SFF gets so boring--of course a lot of that is that these voices have been kept out of SFF and really just screw the gatekeepers who think readers don't want stories by diverse voices. Some of my favorites: A Good Home, Karen Lowachee Salto Mortal, Nick T Chan Firebird, Isha Karki The Peacemaker, TS Bazelli A Handful of Dal, Naru Dames Sundar -- This one made me cry and sigh with envy that I hadn't thought of writing a story in this format, which I thought was absolutely brilliant Delhi, Vandana Singh I'm going out and getting all the other Destroy issues and tracking down the authors to see what else they've written.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Shane

    A very, very high four stars. As with every short story collection, some good, some not for me (not bad, just not grabbed me as hard), together with a few short interviews with featured authors as well as a goodly collection of personal essays - written by not only a selection of the authors, but also many other POC voices within the SF/F community. My first foray into the Destroy series, and far from my last.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    I loved this collection. A lot of really strong, interesting work and thoughtful essays. I've now got a huge list of new authors (and things referenced in their essays and bios) to track down and enjoy. (I donated to the Kickstarter for this.) I loved this collection. A lot of really strong, interesting work and thoughtful essays. I've now got a huge list of new authors (and things referenced in their essays and bios) to track down and enjoy. (I donated to the Kickstarter for this.)

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dymphna

    Fantastic stories, brilliant essays, this issue has it all. Thank you Lightspeed, my reading list will now be more diverse than before.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Marie

    This is a tight, delicious, dense package of delights. And it's big. I thought "special magazine issue" and the price wasn't bad. I got this BIG FAT ANTHOLOGY WITH COLOR ART GALLERY... and I thought "DANG THAT WAS A DEAL!" And the content is exquisite. I stopped after the first four stories and thought, "Wait, doesn't every anthology have at least one dud story?" Well, there was one that didn't quite work for me, but it was just one in a cornucopia of the best dang stuff. Gabriela Santiago's "As This is a tight, delicious, dense package of delights. And it's big. I thought "special magazine issue" and the price wasn't bad. I got this BIG FAT ANTHOLOGY WITH COLOR ART GALLERY... and I thought "DANG THAT WAS A DEAL!" And the content is exquisite. I stopped after the first four stories and thought, "Wait, doesn't every anthology have at least one dud story?" Well, there was one that didn't quite work for me, but it was just one in a cornucopia of the best dang stuff. Gabriela Santiago's "As Long As It Takes To Make the World" is a poem of a story, rich in language and more evocative than Walden Pond. You'll sip it slowly and savor it. I also greatly enjoyed Sofia Samatar's "The Red Thread" and Lisa Allen-Agostini's "Depot 256" with their immersive worlds. The first story in the collection, "A Good Home" by Karin Lowachee tugged all my heartstrings hard. AND THEN THERE WERE FLASH STORIES! Oh flash, so tasty, so quick. Rich little appetizers. I couldn't read two in a sitting, I'd be overloaded. Great before bed or after work on the porch swing. "A Handful of Dal" by Naru Dames Sundar - a flash piece telling the story of an intergenerational colony ship through passed-down recipes. It was so perfect I cried for never having come up with something like this! AND THEN THERE WERE REPRINTS. Nisi Shawl collected a Star-Studded little section of The Best. I can't pick one because all five stories were THE BEST. I read Octavia Butler's "The Evening and the Morning and the Night" at the Cleveland Heights City Pool and the tale of bioengineering and pandemic - the frightening illness that turns not into an apocolypse but a new way of being and a treatment, wow! It will forever bear a trace of the 1920s coffee brick of the pool house. John Chu's "Double Time" came for me hard on the heels of watching "Yuri on Ice" so I was all "EE I KNOW THESE SKATING TERMS." And as a child of the 80s, too, figure skating was BIG. I just... wow... what a great application of a crazy technology! and the resolution! Vandana Singh's "Delhi" was a great companion to Gabriela Santiago's piece, another look at a place as a character, and such delicious details! ... see now I'm talking about all of them. AND THEN THERE's A NOVEL EXCERPT And then there's author interviews! I especially loved Gabriela's which included a URL to buy tea from her mother's farm. (Handy!) AND THEN THERE WERE ESSAYS! I'm a huge fan of autobiography and so the personal essays were particularly enjoyable for me. I loved hearing where science fiction entered these author's lives. I caught myself talking back to the book. "Yes! It was a paperback for me, in a spinner rack, at the school library." S. B. Divya talks about it in her essay "The Biggest Tent of All" how science fiction starts out as a solitary activity, and then you find fandom, and then we had the internet, and fandom is GLOBAL... So yes. Buy this book. If you are at all into Science Fiction, you owe it to yourself. I am a big fan of short fiction anthologies and this is the best I've read in years!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mel Staten

    I really loved this anthology. I tend to have trouble with groups of short stories--there will always be something that leaves a bad taste, or just isn't very good. Not so with People of Colo(u)r Destroy Science Fiction. Though I definitely had preferences among the stories, there were no duds, here. I often have trouble with Science Fiction because it's so bleak, as if needing to paint a dire portrait of humanity. In this compilation, there's a lot of hope. I did live ratings as I read the stor I really loved this anthology. I tend to have trouble with groups of short stories--there will always be something that leaves a bad taste, or just isn't very good. Not so with People of Colo(u)r Destroy Science Fiction. Though I definitely had preferences among the stories, there were no duds, here. I often have trouble with Science Fiction because it's so bleak, as if needing to paint a dire portrait of humanity. In this compilation, there's a lot of hope. I did live ratings as I read the stories, so I'll include that below to consolidate it. (Just a note, I rate by my own personal preferences and biases, and also compare them to each other. There are really no stinkers in this book, so if it seems lower than the others, I just didn't like it as much as some of the other stories.) I didn't rate the essays or personal essays, but they were all wonderful short pieces. Congrats to the editors of this volume. --- Short Stories A Good Home by Karen Lowachee -- **** -- A bit predictable but with a lot of heart, about a war-trodden veteran who takes in a war-trodden veteran android. It follows their relationship as it progresses and was just a refreshingly consistent story without too much doom and gloom. Depot 256 by Lisa Allen-Agostini -- *** -- Created a unique and charactered glimpse into the world. The story itself was very open-ended, which is often not my favorite, but the voice was very well done. Salto Moral by Nick T. Chan -- ***** -- Intensely suspenseful and satisfying the whole way through. I loved this story and cared quite a bit about the two characters. Want to look for more by this author. Digital Medicine by Brian K Hudson -- **** -- Very sweet, interesting story with great characters. Was only barely science fiction, but it was a satisfyingly emotional story. The Red Thread by Sofia Samatar -- **** -- A satisfying glimpse into an interesting world, unique and written as one-sided messages. Unique, quirky, subtle. Wilson's Singularity by Terence Taylor -- *** -- A well-told but not super unique story about an AI that goes to far to keep humans safe. Interesting characters that drive the plot forward. Fifty Shades of Grays by Steven Barnes -- **` -- A kinda funny, kinda predictable story about aliens who are sex tourists but who end up taking over the world. Decently told. Omoshango by Dayo Nywari -- ***` -- An interesting, thought-provoking story that tackles the issue of race head-on. It was the first story that made me feel uncomfortable as a white person reading it, but I think stories that force a person out of their comfort zone like that are inherently valuable and I appreciate the lesson. Firebird by Isha Karki -- ***** -- I loved this story, left me wanting even more. As Long as It Takes to Make the World by Gabriela Santiago -- ***** -- Easily the most beautifully written story so far, practically a written painting. On to Flash Fiction! An Offertory to Our Drowned Gods by Teresa Naval -- **** -- A beautifully brief glimpse. Other Metamorphoses by Fabio Fernandes -- *** -- Somehow wanting. Breathe Deep, Breathe Free by Jennifer Marie Brissett -- ***** -- Love, want more. Morning Cravings by Nin Harris -- *** -- A little too much fancy terminology to adjust to with flash fiction, but sweet and well told. The Peacemaker by T. S. Bazelli -- **** -- Interesting and sympathetic. Binaries by S. B. Divya -- **** -- Unique concept (takes place over exponential years), good execution. Chocolate Milkshake Number 314 by Caroline M. Yoachim -- ****` -- A sweet and sad story that felt complete. Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Jy Yang -- **** -- Ambiguous and haunting. A Handful of Dahl by Naru Dames Sundar -- *** -- Refreshing in concept, excerpts from a family recipe book. Sweet and simple. Hiranyagarbha by Kevin Jared Hosein -- **` -- Okay but not my favorite of the flash fiction by a long shot. This wraps up the Flash Fiction section, which was overall very decent, with hints of frustration. Reprint Fiction The Evening and the Morning and the Night by Octavia E. Butler -- **** -- A strange story with a chilling and ambiguous message. Definitely gave me a desire to look up more from this author. Double Time by John Chu -- ****` -- I wish more Science Fiction were like this, with the SF element being a driving element but not the point of the story. I loved it. Delhi by Vandana Singh -- *** -- Beautiful writing, but confusing and hard to follow, somehow. 1965 by Edmée Pardo -- *** -- Short but intriguing family anecdote. Enjoyed it despite a dry style. Empire Star by Samuel R. Delaney -- **` -- There is probably a jewel (haha) of a great story in here, but I couldn't get through it. I gave it about 10 pages, sometimes skimming, and had to give up. It's interesting, but I couldn't get past the dialectical writing and countless unknown nouns. No tea no shade, just not for me. May try to revisit another time. --- Again, thank you to Lightspeed and the editors for creating such a beautiful collection. Keep doing good work.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Hurley

    Some good stuff in here, some not-as-good stuff. Honestly? I would have been happy with an issue that was half this size. Far too many of the stories I found myself skimming. I did enjoy the collection of classics, especially Octavia Butler and Sam Delaney. The flash was great--Caroline Yoachim's story about milkshakes was lovely, as were many of the others. Lightspeed is very uneven for me, which eventually led me to cancel my subscription. Still, for those who are looking to have the most "ban Some good stuff in here, some not-as-good stuff. Honestly? I would have been happy with an issue that was half this size. Far too many of the stories I found myself skimming. I did enjoy the collection of classics, especially Octavia Butler and Sam Delaney. The flash was great--Caroline Yoachim's story about milkshakes was lovely, as were many of the others. Lightspeed is very uneven for me, which eventually led me to cancel my subscription. Still, for those who are looking to have the most "bang for your buck" word-count-wise, it's a great deal.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Guerric Haché

    Another great anthology by Lightspeed Magazine! I first read Women Destroy Science Fiction! a while ago and was very impressed, so I put this on my wishlist and got it for Christmas. I quite enjoyed the whole collection, though since this anthology includes 26 separate pieces of fiction, I figure it would be tedious or superficial to review all of them. Instead, I'll highlight a few of my favourites; as for the rest, I can say confidently that none of the stories were bad, and they're all worth r Another great anthology by Lightspeed Magazine! I first read Women Destroy Science Fiction! a while ago and was very impressed, so I put this on my wishlist and got it for Christmas. I quite enjoyed the whole collection, though since this anthology includes 26 separate pieces of fiction, I figure it would be tedious or superficial to review all of them. Instead, I'll highlight a few of my favourites; as for the rest, I can say confidently that none of the stories were bad, and they're all worth reading. But my favourites of the bunch? Salto Mortal (by Nick T. Chan) A great, affecting story about a woman struggling with being a refugee and having an abusive husband against the backdrop of an alien invasion of Mexico. The sci-fi elements took some time to unravel, but they did in perfect timing with the protagonist's own story, building up a compelling story of human bravery and subverting the typical alien invasion tropes along the way. Digital Medicine (by Brian K. Hudson) A Cherokee girl on probation for computer hacking spends some time with an old grandma in her community. It's a warm and fun story of friendship, 90s computer and internet culture, and Cherokee tradition blended together in a way that makes you feel like your sitting in the warm, dusty living room with them laughing along with the story. A Handful of Dal (by Naru Dames Sundar) A flash fiction story about a generation ship told through recipes passed down from generation to generation, the recipes changing to reflect the socioeconomic struggles of the generation ship's inhabitants and annotated by each successive generation with references to the world around them, the world that was, and the world that may yet come. The framing was clever and effective, and the story that unfolded was affecting and poignant despite the very short length. The Evening and the Morning and the Night (by Octavia E. Butler) A story about a strange disease that slowly causes hyperviolence, and the afflicted who are still healthy trying to learn how to cope or how to stop it. There are some background elements that feel contrived, but the story overall portrays a fascinating situation that I can't put my finger on - neither hope nor despair, not optimism or pessimism, but nonetheless a quiet certainty that things are fundamentally changing. It's a very interesting feeling, well worth the read. Delhi (by Vandana Singh) A downtrodden man living in Delhi perceives rifts in space-time, and through them glimpses the people and places of Delhi's past and its future, even communicating with them sometime. As he wanders the city trying to find a purpose for himself, trying to reconcile his visions with his place in the world, the author paints a vivid, textured, layered picture of the city itself that feels incredibly alive - appropriately enough, given the nature of the story.

  20. 5 out of 5

    D. Palmer

    An inspiring, beautiful, and expansive volume that delivers in all the best ways and will have you coming back.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Marc

    I enjoyed this and I'm glad I backed it. It was great to read stories from my fellow People of Color. I love anthologies though and I'm glad that the only theme was that it was sci-fi written by PoC. Because of that, the stories varied greatly in what they were about. Unfortunately, the book started to sag after the first few stories, for me anyway. And I thought one or two went on way too long. I thought it picked up again in the essay portion. I've never been a fan of essays but this might have I enjoyed this and I'm glad I backed it. It was great to read stories from my fellow People of Color. I love anthologies though and I'm glad that the only theme was that it was sci-fi written by PoC. Because of that, the stories varied greatly in what they were about. Unfortunately, the book started to sag after the first few stories, for me anyway. And I thought one or two went on way too long. I thought it picked up again in the essay portion. I've never been a fan of essays but this might have been the first time those essays resonated with me. I wonder why? I would love to read other of Lightspeed's special issues. I guess the "downside" is that these issues are way too big. Maybe if I had read this as an ebook, it wouldn't have seemed as daunting and I would have finished it faster? Still great though.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Joanna Chaplin

    There was lots that was great here, and some other stuff that was perhaps not for me. But I'm glad I was able to contribute to the Kickstarter and help this happen. There was lots that was great here, and some other stuff that was perhaps not for me. But I'm glad I was able to contribute to the Kickstarter and help this happen.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Noam

    I listened to all of the free podcasts at Lightspeed's website. This was so good that I'm buying the issue to read the rest. I listened to all of the free podcasts at Lightspeed's website. This was so good that I'm buying the issue to read the rest.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jetamors

    I loved everything in this! I think my favorite stories were "As Long As It Takes To Make The World" by Gabriela Santiago and "A Handful of Dal" by Naru Dames Sundar. I loved everything in this! I think my favorite stories were "As Long As It Takes To Make The World" by Gabriela Santiago and "A Handful of Dal" by Naru Dames Sundar.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    A great representation of some of the most interesting work being done in contemporary SF.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Hillary

    I at least moderately liked most of the stories in this anthology, though some were hit or miss. Weirdly, some of the ones I expected to like I didn't, and vice versa. Some of them seemed to reference mythologies I wasn't familiar with, and those were hard to get into, as a clueless white person. I also didn't expect to enjoy the nonfiction as much as I did. I definitely love that this anthology exists, though. I at least moderately liked most of the stories in this anthology, though some were hit or miss. Weirdly, some of the ones I expected to like I didn't, and vice versa. Some of them seemed to reference mythologies I wasn't familiar with, and those were hard to get into, as a clueless white person. I also didn't expect to enjoy the nonfiction as much as I did. I definitely love that this anthology exists, though.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Ann

    Fantastic collection of stories! I’m thrilled to find this source of authors to look for, and enjoyed all the fiction thoroughly, but in particular I want to mention Misha Nogha’s essay on the indigenous roots of science fiction and Zainab Amadahy’s essay “Music Medicine” (about biofields). Both were really thought provoking to me.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    An interesting collection of by non-white authors, providing a different perspective on the science fiction genre. Looking forward to reading the companion volume which collects sci-fi stories by LGBT authors.

  29. 4 out of 5

    nikki

    "the h word: the darkest, truest mirrors" by alyssa wong - 5 stars i need to get my hands on more of alyssa wong's writing because so far i have absolutely loved what i've read. "the h word: the darkest, truest mirrors" by alyssa wong - 5 stars i need to get my hands on more of alyssa wong's writing because so far i have absolutely loved what i've read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Duncan

    I'm entirely down with the ethos behind publishing a collection of stories from these authors but I failed to really connect with most of them. That's just me though. I hope they keep these issues coming, though. I'll keep reading. I'm entirely down with the ethos behind publishing a collection of stories from these authors but I failed to really connect with most of them. That's just me though. I hope they keep these issues coming, though. I'll keep reading.

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