This Week & Last on LIGHTSPEED: "A Temporary Embarrassment in Spacetime" + "A Hundred Thousand Arrows" + "On the Shores

Published on 2019-03-21

A Temporary Embarrassment in Spacetime by Charlie Jane Anders

EXCERPT: Sharon’s head itched from all the fake brain implants, and the massive cybernetic headdress was giving her a cramp in her neck. But the worst discomfort of all was having to pretend to be the loyal servant of a giant space blob. Pretending to be a thing instead of a person. This was bringing back all sorts of ugly memories from her childhood.

A Hundred Thousand Arrows by Ashok K. Banker

EXCERPT: After decades of warring, a time of peace came to the Krushan dynasty. The great armies of the Burnt Empire set aside their battle armor and weapons in exchange for flowers and rice. A great celebration lit up the streets of Hastinaga, the capital city. The marriage of Emperor Sha’ant and his unusual new Empress, Jilana. The daughter of a fisher chief married to the Emperor of the greatest empire in the known world!

Media Review: March 2019 by Carrie Vaughn

Carrie Vaughn dives into steampunk to review the film adaptation of Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines.

On the Shores of Ligeia by Carolyn Ives Gilman

EXCERPT: Seth Calder felt like he had barely dozed off when his alarm blared at 6:00 a.m. Level morning sunlight leaked through the blinds onto the birch and linen furniture of his Stockholm apartment. Amalia was already in the shower, so he lurched out of bed and went to check his news feed. NASA TO LAUNCH MARS CREW TODAY, said the first headline. The picture showed the ten crew members in flight suits, grinning at the camera.

Ambitious Boys Like You by Richard Kadrey

EXCERPT: Sonny, his cousin, was from Houston, but being from the city wasn’t why Witt found him interesting. It was that while Witt believed in everything—God, the Devil, spooks, not spilling salt without throwing some over your shoulder—Sonny believed in absolutely nothing. Not 9/11 or the Kennedy assassination, not heaven or hell. The way he talked, Witt sometimes wondered if Sonny believed in him.

Book Reviews: March 2019 by Arley Sorg

Reviewer Arley Sorg takes a look at A Memory Called Empire, by Arkady Martine; Ragged Alice, by Gareth Powell; and New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color, a new anthology edited by Nisi Shawl.