Lightspeed is the critically acclaimed, online science fiction magazine edited by best-selling anthologist John Joseph Adams. Each month at lightspeedmagazine.com, top authors and brilliant new voices alike span the genre’s full spectrum, from near-future sociological science fiction, to star-spanning hard science fiction, and everything in between. This audiobook contains all the podcasts from Lightspeed's first Hugo-nominated year, performed by a host of star narrators, for your listening pleasure.
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This is abridged, which means you get exactly half of the stories that are in the printed version. There are five, 5 star stories, eight, 4 stars, six, 3 stars and the rest or 1-2 star stories. There are 23 different authors, Cat Rambo has two stories.
EVOLVE My favorite was by John R. Fultz, The Taste of Starlight. This is about a man who wakes up early from Cryo, and is a long way from the final destination and he can not re-enter Cryo. He feels he is too important to the mission to die, so he starts eating his companions. It is graphic and not for everyone. Haldeman, Lansdale, and Gregory have good stories. Robert Reed always has good stories and this is no exception. Card has a good story, The Elephants of Poznan, which is a repeat story he has printed several times. If you have not read Card's short stuff this is a good example of his quality writing in short stories.
THE LANGUAGE OF KNOWING SOMETHING Carrie Vaughn has a four star story, which really shows her excellent writing and world creating style. I read her first Kitty book, but it is Paranormal Romance (Chick Lit) and I did not like it. I am rediscovering her in short story form. She wrote a story called, Astrophilia, which is included in Gardner Dozois's, The Year's Best Science Fiction, Thirtieth Annual Collection, which is in the same universe as this story called Amaryllis. Both stories are pretty good and Vaughn knows how to put you in the story. She also has one of the better stories in George R.R. Martin's, Warriors, anthology. All her stories have very strong female leads. Maybe after she has written her 50th Kitty book, if she is interested in the other half of the population (and she may not really care) she could write a novel from this Amaryllis universe, I would buy it.
THE PROBLEM IS, I DON'T WANT A LIFE. As mentioned by some other reviewers, these stories are very dark, bleak, depressing. Just as it is easier to complain, then compliment, it is easier to seem intelligent when you write about Orwellian futures, instead of Constructive futures. I challenge today's writers to come up with good stories about a future we can look forward to. John Joseph Adams mentions his web site in the introduction, in which you can subscribe and get two stories a month. If this is an example of the stories picked each month, then I have to decline, not due to the quality, but to the overwhelming sadness.
If The Story Does Not Fit, You Must Quit. A lot of the stories are not stories, they are entries in Diaries. It is amazing how many times different authors use this technique. Several of the stories do not have plots. One story is a phone call, in which you only hear one side of the conversation. The worse story is by an author who quit her day job to write, please go back to your day job, oh wait, you were not to good at that either. Sorry, that was pretty mean of me, but it is so funny.
The narrators are excellent, not a bad one in the group. Their professionalism raises these stories up a notch. I slammed Rudnicki in a previous review over not his narration, but his producing, if he produced this, thanks, excellent job.