Lightspeed #88 - September 2017
Edited by John Joseph Adams
Cover Artist: Alan Bao
Review by Sam Tomaino
Date: 28 September 2017
Links: Lightspeed Magazine / How to Subscribe / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Here's the 88th issue of Lightspeed, the online magazine. You can find the issue and how to pay (or not) for it at their website (see link at the top of this review). Here are my reviews of the original stories.
The first science fiction story is "An Ever-Expanding Flash of Light" by Timothy Mudie. -+- Tone signs up for the Earth Merchant Force. The time dilation in traveling out into space means centuries will pass on Earth while he is gone a year. His wife, Irina, goes into a cryopod. When he returns after his first tour, he visits her in cryo but does not revive her and goes out on another tour. He keeps doing this. Why? I won't spoil that but will say this was another beautifully told tale.
The second science fiction story is "Ugo" by Giovanni De Feo. -+- Cynthia meets Ugo when they are both children. He calls her Cinzia and tells her that they will marry in ten years and one month. This scares her a bit. The next summer, they meet again. He kisses her in a very adult way. She learns about his Leaping, sending his mind into the future. He knows what is going to happen, but he won't tell her much about it. They grow up, break up, reconcile and marry. Cynthia pursues a career in ice-skating. On the day of the Olympic tryouts, the story takes a surprising turn and becomes something truly special. Beautiful, bittersweet tale.
The first fantasy story is "The Last Cheng Beng Gift" by Jaymee Goh. -+- Mrs. Lim has been dead and existing in the Underworld for years. She regularly gets gifts from her children for Cheng Beng. But her daughter, Hong Yin gives her gifts she doesn't like. The relationship was difficult when she was alive. Will a visit to her change that. Nice use of traditions and beliefs of which I'm unfamiliar. Real perfect ending.
The second fantasy story is "A Pound of Darkness, a Quarter of Dreams" by Tony Ballantyne. -+- Miss Scales buys products from Keswick's to sell in her store. But, after a reorganization, a new representative, Mr. Black, insists on selling her new products: supernatural things like darkness and dreams and souls. Mr. Black is a demon and Miss Scales proposes a contest for her soul versus being left alone. This is a classic contest with the devil tale and a very good one.
That's the latest issue of Lightspeed. You can access the stories for free. Check out their website and support them, if you want to, in some way.