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Lightspeed: Year One Paperback – November 22, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Lightspeed editor Adams provides an outstanding print anthology of stories collected during the online SF magazine's first year. These stories make it clear why Adams and the magazine have already separately been nominated for Hugo awards. [...] Years of work on F&SF and numerous lauded reprint anthologies have clearly honed Adams's talents and prepared him to be a major force in the field." --Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

"Lightspeed: Year One is a testament to how much science fiction remains relevant to our lives and our imaginations. It's a firm rebuttal to those who say 'the future is already here, no need to write about it anymore.' And here's hoping for Lightspeed: Year Two, and Year Three, and so on..." --Examiner.com

"I highly recommend Lightspeed: Year One. It's the print version of lightspeedmagazine.com, edited down to manageable size and full of very good stories. Jack McDevitt's 'The Cassandra Project' for one, about some very secret doings on the moon in the Apollo Project years, is a winner; Adam-Troy Castro's 'Arvies' is another winner about a nearly too-possible future ... but there really are far too many to list." --San Diego Union Tribune

"Adams has emerged as one of the most reliable editors working today, assembling some quality collections, and his firm hand on Lightspeed's rudder is more than evident in this collection. I can't wait to see what Year Two has to show us." --City Book Review

"A first-class anthology that shows that Lightspeed's accolades are well deserved." --Tangent Online

From the Inside Flap

Table of 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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Prime Books (November 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607013045
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607013044
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.7 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,076,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The writing cannot be denied as excellent throughout this collection of stories. However, the majority of the stories are exceedingly dark. Not the right read if you're looking to be uplifted about stories of the future.

Again, very well written and engaging stories, just a bit depressing in overall tone.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The problem with anthologies - especially ones that combine stories from different time periods - is that the quality of the total works will vary. The first story was quite bad and left me with a feeling of 'uh-oh, what did I just spend my money on', most stories are average, but some (old and new) are real gems and well worth the purchase.

All in all, a good buy for traveling and short jaunts. But not something you could sit down for a long read over.
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Format: Paperback
Lightspeed Magazine is a science fiction and fantasy e-zine that specializes in carrying only the best. Among the participating authors are such big names as Orson Scott Car, Stephen King and Ursula Le Guin, just to name a few! This anthology collects all of the stories from the first year of Lightspeed, containing some 48 stories...if I counted correctly.

As you might expect with an anthology of stories by different authors, they run the gamut from the so-so to the fantastic - though admittedly, a good deal of that is taste. Personally, I loved David Barr Kirtley's Cats In Victory, Genevieve Valentine's The Zeppelin Conductors' Society Annual Gentlemen's Ball, and Stephen King's Beach World. Probably the best part of a book like this is that it can introduce you to authors whose work you have never encountered before, or reintroduce you to authors you thought you knew.

I really enjoyed this nice, thick book, and I don't hesitate to recommend it. It's a lot of literature for the buck!
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I ordered this book in part because of John Joseph Adams, previously an editor at the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, which I've subscribed to for years; and in part because of old favorites like Joe Haldeman, Stephen King, Robert Reed, and Robert Silverberg.

The book anthologizes all the short fiction published in the on-line Lightspeed Magazine between June 2010 and May 2011. Almost half the material is reprinted. Specifically, the reprints are:

"Gossamer" by Stephen Baxter (1995)
"Manumission" by Tobias Buckell (2008)
"The Elephants of Poznan" by Orson Scott Card (2000)
"The Passenger" by Julie E. Czerneda (1999)
"Patient Zero" by Tananarive Due (2000)
"More Than the Sum of His Parts" by Joe Haldeman (1985)
"Breakaway, Backdown" by James Patrick Kelly (1996)
"Faces in Revolving Souls" by Caitlan R. Kiernan (2005)
"Beachworld" by Stephen King (1984)
"Ej-Es" by Nancy Kress (2003)
"The Long Chase" by Geoffery A. Landis (2002)
"Tight Little Stitches in a Dead Man's Back" by Joe R. Landsdale (1986)
"The Silence of Asonu" by Ursula K. LeGuin (1998)
"... for a single yesterday" by George R.R. Martin (1975)
"Velvet Fields" by Anne McCafferey (1973)
"Bibi from Jupiter" by Tessa Mellas (2007)
"Spider the Artist" by Nnedi Okorafor (2008)
"Cucumber Gravy" by Susan Palwick (2001)
"Scales" by Alastair Reynolds (2009)
"The Observer" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (2008)
"Travelers" by Robert Silverberg (1999)
"Maneki Neko" by Bruce Sterling (1998)

My two favorites were "The Taste of Starlight" by John R. Fultz, a rather extreme outer space horror tale, and reprint "Bibi from Jupiter" by Tessa Mellas, something like teen sex comedy combined with science fiction.
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I'm not usually fond of short stories, but this collection is terrific. I can't put it down, going from one great tale to another. I bought it because so many of my favorites were listed on the cover, but so far I've read mostly authors unknown to me. Kudos to the editors of LightSpeed. I need to subscribe!!
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Format: Paperback
"Best of year" anthologies are prolific in the science fiction field, but they aren't the only annual collections of short stories out there. Some individual magazines put out their best as well. What is unique, however, is a magazine publishing literally an entire year of its fiction entries into one anthology. Lightspeed: Year One is an amazing collection of forty-seven tales from the first year of the new online magazine Lightspeed's existence. They have now started including fantasy in their field of stories, so I'm even more looking forward to next year's anthology.

The problem with putting everything out there in book form, however, is that there will inevitably be some stories that don't work for some people. I used to subscribe to two or three SF magazines, and there was always the occasional clunker. No magazine is perfect, and tastes range too much for this type of anthology to ever achieve a five-star rating. For every story that has tons of fans, there will be somebody who doesn't like it. And while you can recognize the quality of the stories, that doesn't mean they'll all work for you.

That said, this is an excellent collection of old and new stories from some of the biggest names in SF writing (and even non-SF, as Stephen King has a science fiction story here). Each issue of the magazine features an old story and a new one, so you will be reading some classics. Yet the editors don't go for the easy ones. I've read a lot of SF, and all but a couple of these stories were still new to me (one wasn't due to its inclusion in a "best of the year" anthology that I had already read). Most of these are excellent, too.

Including stories in the same order as they appeared in the magazine sometimes leads to trouble.
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