This Week on LIGHTSPEED: "The Effluent Engine" + "You Do Nothing But Freefall" + Interview with Na’amen Gobert Tilahun

Published on 2018-03-22

"The Effluent Engine" by N.K. Jemisin

EXCERPT: New Orleans stank to the heavens. This was either the water, which did not have the decency to confine itself to the river but instead puddled along every street; or the streets themselves, which seemed to have been cobbled with bricks of fired excrement. Or it may have come from the people who jostled and trotted along the narrow avenues, working and lounging and cursing and shouting and sweating, emitting a massed reek of unwashed resentment and perhaps a bit of hangover. 

"You Do Nothing But Freefall" by Cassandra Khaw & A. Maus

EXCERPT: Once upon a time, a fox came across a cat in the forest. Or something very similar to a cat, at least. The thing was neither flesh nor fur, but pale enamel, the tip of its nose and the insides of its ears daubed with blood. It sat on its polished haunches atop a mossy log beside a babbling brook, paw metronoming in salute. “Hello,” said the fox to the cat, drawn to its gleam and its amiable expression, its bobbing foreleg, but mostly by the golden coin at its throat. 

"Interview: Na’amen Gobert Tilahun" by Christian A. Coleman

EXCERPT:  I’ve gotten some great comments, including comparisons to works that I love (like Steven Universe!), but the best thing was someone telling me that my character Tae was the first time they’d ever seen themselves in a speculative novel. That’s so important to me, because I spent a lot of time searching for that. I was always a speculative fiction fiend, but all I wanted were heroes that looked like me and my friends. I would love to get to a point where writing supports my daily life, but even if that never happens? I don’t care, because of comments like that. The ultimate goal of my writing is to tell great stories centering people who are Brown and queer and disabled and all of the other identities that end up pushed to the sidelines.