Review: Lightspeed Magazine, Issue 103, December 2018

Lightspeed Magazine, Issue 103, December 2018 by John Joseph Adams

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was an awesome issue of Lightspeed magazine where I really enjoyed every story. I was especially happy to find out that I started out my Lightspeed magazine subscription with this issue because for the next 5 issues they had stories by Ashok K Banker that all take place in the same universe and I loved the story in this issue. Here are my reviews per story:

Remaking History (Kim Stanley Robinson): this has a real feel of a golden age science fiction short story: a bunch of characters mostly having a philosophical discussion with a minimum of action or plot. Not a problem for me, I’m a huge fan of those old stories like what Asimov used to write.

Mouths (Liz Huerta): this story is a very interesting take on the climate dystopia. It’s almost entirely about the people involved. It’s not interested in the why or the details of the collapse; refreshing.

Vade Retro Satana (Maurice Broaddus): Broaddus gives us a SF classic in that this story is using the future to teach us our past. At first I thought it was odd that the aliens had what seemed to be African names. As things went on, it seemed this was merely human colonization on a galactic scale.

Under the Sea of Stars (Seanan McGuire): This story is another example of McGuire’s fascination with portal fantasies. I wasn’t sure where it was going to go until just about the end.

A love story written on water (Ashok K Banker): A really awesome, intricate story involving Southern Asian mythology.

Of a Sweet Slow Dance in the Wake of Temporary Dogs (Adam Troy-Castro): I realized what the twist would be just right before it happened. I have no idea what choice I would make in those circumstances. It’s an incredibly well-told story that left me stunned. Given that it came out in 2003 (it’s a reprint), it’s interesting that it shares some themes with the HBO adaptation of West World.

Grandma Novak’s Famous Nut Roll (Shaenon K. Garrity): that was really neat! Since it started off so mundane, I was looking for the twist. It was fun. I’m not well versed in fantasy and European mythology, so I may have missed what the clues mean (eg the foot print thing), but still very enjoyable.

The Counsellor Crow (Karen Lord): Another great plot twist as one wonders how this is going to become a fantasy.

All The Flavors: A Tale of Guan Yu, the Chinese God of War, in America (Ken Liu): a moving story about a sad part of American history. The cool part is that the footnotes at the end reveal that it’s actually historical fiction. I like Ken Liu’s style and look forward to eventually reading his silk punk trilogy.

Then an excerpt, book reviews, media reviews, and author interviews.

View all my reviews