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LIGHTSPEED MAGAZINE - Science Fiction and Fantasy Story Podcast (Sci-Fi | Audiobook | Short Stories)

LIGHTSPEED MAGAZINE - Science Fiction and Fantasy Story Podcast (Sci-Fi | Audiobook | Short Stories)

Edited by bestselling anthologist John Joseph Adams, LIGHTSPEED is a Hugo Award-winning, critically-acclaimed digital magazine. In its pages, you'll find science fiction from near-future stories and sociological SF to far-future, star-spanning SF. Plus there's fantasy from epic sword-and-sorcery and contemporary urban tales to magical realism, science-fantasy, and folk tales. Each month, LIGHTSPEED brings you a mix of originals and reprints featuring a variety of authors, from the bestsellers and award-winners you already know to the best now voices you haven't heard yet. When you read LIGHTSPEED, you'll see where science fiction and fantasy have come from, where they are now, and where they're going. The LIGHTSPEED podcast, produced by Grammy Award-winning narrator and producer Stefan Rudnicki of Skyboat Media, is presented four times a month, featuring original audio fiction and classic reprints.

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D. Thomas Minton | The Memory Plague

In the beginning, we are one, and we are ignorance. Our skin is chaffed tender from the womb-sac and the exit ring. Out, we writhe blindly in the grit that cuts our softness until the dryness of the air hardens us. Slowly, receptors awaken. Muted colors curve across the night, outlining the glistening ribs of the drop chamber arcing over us like planetary rings. Instinctually, we grope through the hard stillness. Our tac-pads draw against lines of unmoving flesh, cold like a memory of interstellar vacuum. A dome of skin radiates faint warmth. | 2021 by D. Thomas Minton. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
2021-01-21
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Adam-Troy Castro | Answering the Questions You Might Have About the Kharbat

You have just been attacked by a Kharbat. It has sprung on you from hiding, in some place where you foolishly imagined yourself safe; and even as its many glittering fangs sink deep into the flesh and bone of your shoulder, you know that any attempt to save yourself is futile, that you were always fated to perish in this way, and this beast was always fated to usher you screaming into the world of the dead. What is a Kharbat? I don?t know. Why am I asking you? I am the world?s leading expert. | Copyright 2021 by Adam-Troy Castro. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
2021-01-14
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P H Lee | Ann-of-Rags

I have heard it on the rumors that when the tale-spinner?s guild gathers in their secret places, a full half of them are sworn to never tell the truth, and the other half to never tell a lie, even if it mean their life. Being one of that trade myself, I can tell you that that?s more or less the shape of it, and I tell you so you?ll know that this tale I tell you is true, just as I heard it and just as it happened, for I am one of the ones sworn to the truth. The name I?m called is Dusty Boots, I come from the valley of Erwhile, and I am in love with a girl that I can never have. Copyright 2020 by P H Lee. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
2020-12-31
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Andrew Dana Hudson | Your Mind is the Superfund Site

?Ever consider killing yourself?? the gecko said. ?It?ll save you one hundred percent on your car insurance.? I was alone, but not. I tried to step on the creature, but my foot wasn?t there. I clenched my teeth, which felt like water. Alleyah?s Southie accent crackled a reminder of radio. ?Tracey, are you paralucid yet? Need another poke of DMT?? I was back in high school---or somebody?s high school. The classrooms were vintage Sears catalogs and a spruce tree that grew sideways---not in a directional sense but just with a profound association with the concept of sideways. I climbed the tree and then fell. | Copyright 2020 by Andrew Dana Hudson and C. Y. Ballard. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
2020-12-10
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Kat Howard | The Lachrymist

It is not the dust that brings her tears. The Lachrymist?s house is dusty, fragments of time and memory fallen everywhere, a living blanket that drapes itself over tables and chairs and things even stranger. But time and memory are to be expected anywhere the dead gather, and even in this abundance, they do not drive her to weeping. Neither is her weeping caused by the voices, calling to each other from shadowy ceiling corners, memories still embodied, repeating phrases into the cold air. | Copyright 2020 by Kat Howard. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
2020-11-19
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Gene Doucette | Schrödinger?s Catastrophe [Part 2]

It took twice as long to get to the third deck from the first as it did to get to the first deck from the fifth. Alice was quite certain there was no mechanism in existence capable of adding fractional decks to the ship, and so was chalking this up to another aspect of the ongoing computer malfunction. She supposed a way to validate this was to ask that the elevator stop at, say, deck two-and-five-sixteenths, but she also didn?t want to encourage the computer?s departures from reality any more than necessary. | Copyright 2020 by Gene Doucette. Narrated by Justine Eyre.
2020-11-12
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Gene Doucette | Schrödinger?s Catastrophe [Part 1]

Things began to go badly for the crew of the USFS Erwin around the time Dr. Marchere?s coffee mug spontaneously reassembled itself. Dr. Louis Marchere was not, at that moment, conducting some manner of experiment. Well, he was, only not on entropy and the nature of time. He was running several other tests, of the kind that make perfect sense on a scientific vessel such as the Erwin. About half of them were biological in nature, concerning how small samples of cellular material react to certain deep-space factors. | Copyright 2020 by Gene Doucette. Narrated by Justine Eyre, Stefan Rudnicki.
2020-11-05
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Naomi Kanakia | Everquest

Gopal knew before he booted up the game---a Christmas present from his dad---that his character would be some form of elf or human, because the other races were all ugly, and he didn?t play games to be ugly. And he knew too, although he didn?t say it, that his character would be a girl. He always played girls online, although he?d be ashamed if anyone knew it, precisely because it played into the online belief that most girls in most games were ?really? men. | Copyright 2020 by Naomi Kanakia. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
2020-10-29
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Jenny Rae Rappaport | Everything and Nothing

Start with a romance: a man and a woman who are wildly and irrevocably in love with each other. Or two men. Or two women. Or two people, because life is beautiful and complex. Just know that these Lovers are important. The fate of the galaxy rests on their shoulders---because, of course, the fate of an entire portion of known space can be determined by two people in love. The laws of physics are remarkably vulnerable to the laws of love. | Copyright 2020 by Jenny Rae Rappaport. Narrated by Justine Eyre.
2020-10-21
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Caroline M. Yoachim | The Shadow Prisoner?s Dilemma

Vivian sat at a café opposite Cass. Everything around her had a gritty, dingy quality. Even Cass looked run down, their face deeply tanned and distressingly wrinkled. They were old now, many decades past being the child that Vivian remembered. She looked down at her hands, so different than the black shadows that she?d grown accustomed to seeing during all her years as a Shade---the skin was covered in age spots and hung loose on the bones. | 2020 by Caroline M. Yoachim. Originally published in OR ELSE THE LIGHT, edited by John Joseph Adams, Christie Yant, and Hugh Howey. Reprinted by permission of the author. Narrated by Susan Hanfield.
2020-10-15
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Stephanie Malia Morris | Forty Acres and a Mule

My parents? farm has shrunk, as old things tend to do. The shed, the workshop, the paddock with its doubled wire fences and chicken coop---all squat and rain-blackened, coming into focus as I step from the car as if I have put on glasses or wiped rain from a window. The house itself stands straight-spined beyond the pear tree, gray in the drizzle, more withdrawn than the last time I visited. The tree has not changed. | Copyright 2017 by Stephanie Malia Morris. Previously published in FIYAH. Reprinted by permission of the author. Narrated by Janina Edwards.
2020-10-08
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Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam | Entanglement

Narrated by Judy Young.
2020-09-24
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Karen Joy Fowler | Persephone of the Crows

Isabelle Winters once saw a fairy. For real. It was little, like a hummingbird, with a hummingbird?s frantic wings, and it was moving through the garden, shaking the rosebuds open for the bees. She?s just told this to Polly, though not exactly in those words. The sarcastic for real, for instance, is all Polly. If there was ever a girl primed to see fairies, Isabelle Winters is that girl. | Copyright 2017 by Karen Joy Fowler. Originally published in ASIMOV'S SCIENCE FICTION. Reprinted by permission of the author. Narrated by Judy Young.
2020-09-17
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Caroline M. Yoachim | Shadow Prisons of the Mind

With the right overlays, the city was charming---apartment buildings done up like giant row houses, seamlessly blending Victorian and modern sensibilities, boutiques and cafés on tree-lined streets, parks bathed in sunshine. Vivian Watanabe had lived on this block, once, in a high-rise apartment painted cornflower blue with trim in teal and white. She couldn?t see it now, not the way she used to. | Copyright 2020 by Caroline M. Yoachim. Previously published in BURN THE ASHES, edited by John Joseph Adams, Christie Yant, and Hugh Howey. Reprinted by permission of the author. Narrated by Susan Hanfield.
2020-09-10
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Adam-Troy Castro | The Author?s Wife vs. the Giant Robot

The year I turned five, my father got taken out by a giant robot. I was present and I took it very personally. You honestly don?t expect that kind of thing when you?re a kid, not even if you?ve seen the giant robot from a distance every day of your life and have been taught what random carnage the giant robot got up to. I had grown to that tender age knowing that the giant robot killed people at the rate of one a day. | Copyright 2020 by Adam-Troy Castro. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
2020-09-03
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Katherine Crighton | Sing in Me, Muse

O Mother, dear Mnemosyne! It is I, Anisah, fifteenth of my line! Here is my song. Long have I waited for this, the end of my first shift; at last I am a daughter grown old enough to sing. I have sat at my post---I have looked out my mirrored window---I have logged my report with the cousins who keep the histories. But for you, my mother, on my first night?s watch, I will confirm that, port and starboard, there is nothing out my window but the black and endless sea. | Copyright 2020 by Katherine Crighton. Narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir.
2020-08-27
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KT Bryski | The Bone-Stag Walks

The Bone-Stag walks at midwinter, sharp-antlered, hard-hoofed. Deep white snow spreads under deep black sky. Cold air slices lungs; rivers stand as stone. Over cresting drifts comes the Bone-Stag, leaving no mark of his passing. Down in the village, they draw their curtains fast against him. They bolt tight their doors. Garlic at the lintels and holly upon the sills. | Copyright 2020 by KT Bryski. Narrated by Justine Eyre.
2020-08-20
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Eden Royce | Miss Beulah?s Braiding and Life Change Salon

The chime above my shop door rings. It heralds a young woman wearing a head wrap boasting a network of silvery constellations on indigo, interspersed with the occasional yellow-gold moon. The wrap itself is made of silk---not the finest grade, mind you, but sufficient to conceal what she must see as a fault. None of her hair is visible, but the contorted celestial bodies show the fabric is at the end of its tether. Narrated by Janina Edwards.
2020-08-13
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Caroline M. Yoachim | The Shadow Prison Experiment

The shopping district was crowded on a Sunday afternoon, and Vivian Watanabe was out running errands with her sixteen-year-old, Cass. Together they wove through throngs of shoppers wearing customized skins or the generic default. Vivian wasn?t fond of Generics---they fell into that uncanny valley between a nondescript human and a silver android. Cold and impersonal, plus it was hard to keep track of who you?ve interacted with. Narrated by Susan Hanfield.
2020-08-06
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Ray Nayler | The Swallows of the Storm

One of the Senators cleared her throat, turned on the microphone in front of her, and began. ?Would you like to tell us when you first became aware of the phenomenon, Doctor? Perhaps that would be the best place to start. We can formulate our questions from there.? The hearing was not in the main Congressional building. It was in a building on another part of Capitol Hill, in a room overdue for remodeling, with drop-ceiling panels stained by leaking pipes. But the room, however humble, was crowded. Harlan sat near the front of the room. | Copyright 2020 by Ray Nayler. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
2020-07-30
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Mari Ness | Great Gerta and the Mermaid

That notorious ship that sailed to the wretched isle known as Neverland under the leadership of one James, self-styled Jas., Cook, called the Jolly Roger, has most naturally been a subject of intense study among historians. Yet even the most meticulous of these scholars have often failed to note that among that dreadful crew sailed at least one woman, Gerta, or, as she named herself, the Great Gerta, or, as she was named by others, Gerta the Girthy. | Copyright 2020 by Mari Ness. Narrated by Judy Young.
2020-07-23
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Adam-Troy Castro | The End of the World Measured in Values of N

Listen. The world ended thirty seconds ago. You greet this whisper with incredulity. After all, here you are, living and breathing. The people around you are living and breathing. You might be drinking coffee in lying in bed trying to decide whether to get up. You are reminding yourself of all the little life tasks awaiting you, things that need to be taken care of in order for you to continue going about your day. Thoughts of the apocalypse are a thousand miles away. Lunacy, they seem. | Copyright 2020 by Adam-Troy Castro. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
2020-07-16
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Kristina Ten | Baba Yaga and the Seven Hills

It doesn?t take long. She has few earthly possessions and her travel options are limited. There is a train that runs west through the Swamp Forest to the coast, but everyone knows and fears the old witch here, and on moving trains, she can cause quite a commotion. ?Do not eat my children, Baba Yaga!? people cry when she steps onto the dining car. ?Oh, please, have mercy! Do not use your pestle to grind up my bones!? She sits quietly in a booth, minding her own business. | Copyright 2020 by Kristina Ten. Narrated by Justine Eyre.
2020-07-09
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Em North | Real Animals

The bear has been stalking the taxidermy garden for ten weeks now, ever since Raffi showed up. Sometimes it disappears for a few days or a week, but it always comes back. Prowls the perimeter, looking for weak spots. From inside the taxidermy garden, Raffi feels the bear?s presence tugging on her, as though it has become the pole of her personal compass. The taxidermy garden isn?t a real garden. It?s a ski chalet, or what used to be a ski chalet, all hand-hewn logs and wood stoves. | Copyright 2020 by Em North. Narrated by Judy Young.
2020-06-25
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Ben Peek | Refuge

Dear Mr. Quilas: This morning, I began to read your new collection of essays, Forgotten Lives. I?ve enjoyed a number of your books previously, but this collection held a particular interest for me. Aned Heast, the subject of your third essay, ?A Refuge in Juar,? held a personal interest and I looked forward to reading your piece about him. Sadly, I was disappointed. Your essay was riddled with misinformation and errors. I?m sure you do not wish to be told that. Few writers want to be told they are wrong. | Copyright 2020 by Ben Peek. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
2020-06-18
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Marie Vibbert | Single Malt Spacecraft

The first time Fresia tasted scotch, it was true love. She was twenty-two. Her boyfriend had just turned twenty-one and had gotten a bottle of Glen Livet from his dad. He poured a shot for himself and for his friend, but none for Fresia. ?Come on,? she said, ?I want to taste it.? ?Girls don?t like whisky,? he said. ?Trust me, you?ll hate it.? ?Let me find out for myself.? ?Not for what this costs, sorry.? The friend gasped over his empty shot glass. ?Oh, that?s good.? Her boyfriend put the whisky on the top of the fridge where he knew Fresia was too short to reach. | Copyright 2020 by Marie Vibbert. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
2020-06-11
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Julianna Baggott | The Postictal State of Divine Love

My mother used to tell me we came from the matriarchal vampiric line that had been traced farther back than Queen Elizabeth. She only told me these things after a seizure. Many people with epilepsy talk about how, after a seizure, strange memories pop up---small but suddenly vibrant details; my mother would recall the small vibrant details of our collective vampiric past. What kind of mother would do this? Mine. And, when I was little, I loved her for it. | Copyright 2020 by Julianna Baggott. Narrated by Judy Young.
2020-06-04
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Alexander Weinstein | Destinations of Love

Your guidebook writers are---alas---very familiar with booking tickets in search of love. How many of us haven?t packed our bags for the new continent with this foolish goal in mind? We?ve stumbled through our travels, searching cities and villages for romance. In cafés, opera houses, and hotel rooms, we felt acutely alone. Why, even the most exquisite restaurants were dulled by the empty chair across from us. | Copyright 2020 by Alexander Weinstein. Narrated by Paul Boehmer.
2020-05-28
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Ada Hoffmann | Melting Like Metal

When the quantum supercomputing systems of the God called Nemesis registered the sighting of the heretic Candor Gray---already tried in absentia and slated for termination, and assigned the serial number of HA3-940QK322PF-P---Enga Afonbataw Konum of Nemesis was already waiting, as she?d waited during the last few dozen stupid assignments. Enga was an angel of Nemesis, a no-longer-human cyborg built for a singular purpose: to hunt down and destroy the Gods? enemies. | Copyright 2020 by Ada Hoffmann. Narrated by Susan Hanfield.
2020-05-21
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Millie Ho | The Fenghuang

Narrated by Justine Eyre.
2020-05-14
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En liten tjänst av I'm With Friends. Finns även på engelska.
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