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 new 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.
Adam R. Shannon | It Begins to Snow
When it begins to snow, it never stops. Perhaps not for you, but another iteration of you---a manifestation of your wild possibilities. I hope it’s not you, for my sake. When it begins to snow, the sky comes down in sharp, precise fragments, and you press your forehead against the window and think: don’t ever stop. And it doesn’t. I don’t want it to be you, because when it begins to snow, the world ends. | Copyright 2021 by Adam R. Shannon. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Adam-Troy Castro | Judi
She sank to the ground on a world without name. We were far from home, farther than we had ever gone, maybe farther than anyone had ever gone. It was so far away, or at least so strange for some undefinable local cause, that we could have filled volumes with all the alterations in the way things worked; in the ways that light worked, in the way that time worked, in the way that mass worked. We spoke of bringing back word to the learned of my world and hers. We talked of making our names. | Copyright 2021 by Adam-Troy Castro. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Isabel Cañas | My Sister is a Scorpion
My baby sister didn’t used to be a scorpion, but she is one now. I don’t know if that sounds weird to you, but it doesn’t to me, because right after my sister was born, Abuelita turned into a white crane and flew away. She was so sad after we buried Abuelito, you know. One winter day, she stepped outside of the faded stucco church into bright sunshine, her Bible tucked under one arm. Maybe the touch of the sun was not enough to warm her after the shadows of the church. | Copyright 2021 by Isabel Cañas. Narrated by Roxanne Hernandez.
Nelly Geraldine García-Rosas | Before the Haze Devours You
If time can stop, this is how it feels. 01:32:03 PLSS WARNING: Abnormal temperature detected in EMU. Yunuen was born to be trapped in this moment. She has been looking at the same alert in her helmet’s heads-up display for a perpetual instant that has become her whole existence. One billion kilometers away from home, she lies in the purgatory that is the red glow of this warning message. In front of her eyes, these petrified uppercase letters have lost all their meaning. Time does not exist anymore. | Copyright 2021 by Nelly Geraldine García-Rosas. Narrated by Kate Orsini.
Lulu Kadhim | Amber Dark and Sickly Sweet
Talia sat at the edge of Eliza’s bed, her hands clasped. She was new---so was I, but she was newer. I went to her, and stroked her head, careful to avoid the honeycomb on her brow. “Daughters.” Mother Anam’s face was twisted when she came back from searching the rest of our rooms, her shoes clicking on the hard, pocked floor. It always seemed to us that she was disappointed that we hadn’t broken a rule, that she couldn’t punish us. | Copyright 2021 by Lulu Kadhim. Narrated by Justine Eyre.
Everdeen Mason | Miss the Zen, but Miss You More
“Welcome to Float Isolation Therapy, an intensive twelve-day experience. You will become one with the stars. During your time in your personalized FIT pod, we encourage you to explore the deepest recesses of your mind.” Bei Bei floated in mid-air and felt the strain in her lower back, but she didn’t care. The picture had to be perfect. The lighting in the egg-shaped pod was excellent. | Copyright 2021 by Everdeen Mason. Narrated by Janina Edwards.
The story selection is excellent, a good mix of authors, and sub-genres.
While speculative short fiction is often very much subjective in terms of enjoyment and relatability, the majority of the stories on this podcast are, from my view, excellent. More important than the content, however, is the excellent quality of the narration - in particular, those tales related by Stefan Rudnicki. He has an arresting and yet soothing storyteller’s voice.
This story, with the dulcet tones of Stephen Rudnicki, just broke my heart.