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Lightspeed: Year One Paperback – November 22, 2011
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"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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Top Customer Reviews
Again, very well written and engaging stories, just a bit depressing in overall tone.
All in all, a good buy for traveling and short jaunts. But not something you could sit down for a long read over.
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!
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. There were two cannibal stories in a row (evidently that was a themed issue) and I couldn't stomach the second one. What little I read of it didn't attract me enough to get me to come back at a later date, either. There are the occasional stumbles out of the gate because of order issues.
Getting through these are worth it, however, for inspiring and fascinating stories like "Patient Zero" by Tananarive Due. This is the story of a young boy kept in isolation, his only companions the doctors who are examining him and a teacher, none of whom can enter his bubble. An unknown disease is ravaging the world, and this boy seems to be the carrier of it. It's a haunting tale of loneliness and implied horror when you realize just what's going on in the outside world. The ending of the story compounds that impact.
Or "Eliot Wrote" by Nancy Kress, about a boy trying to come up with a fitting way to write an English paper explaining "something important using extended metaphor." This is all a backdrop to dealing with a mathematician father who seems to be a bit insane. If we remove some of our memories in order to heal afflictions like this, would it fundamentally change who we are? Is it better to be ourselves and deal with our own psychological issues rather than having them taken away from us?
This is the kind of thing I love about science fiction in general, and anthologies in particular. The ideas are so intriguing and way out there, and short stories provide ample opportunity to explore so many of them at the same time. Even when the story isn't necessarily to your taste, it often forces you stop and think--which is what stories are supposed to do.
Lightspeed: Year One is a great advertisement for the magazine, which includes nonfiction pieces as well as the fiction collected here. If you don't want the challenge of reading monthly issues and don't care about nonfiction, you can't go wrong with the anthology either.
They've converted at least one fan.
Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book © Dave Roy, 2012