REVIEW SUMMARY: Psychosis and special government operatives; alien manipulation; alternate history; mermaids; Stygian horrors; mechanized warfare; pause buttons for children and more await discerning readers in the February 2013 issue of Lightspeed.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: This issue contains two original works of science fiction and two original works of fantasy, plus two additional reprint stories in each genre, interviews with each featured author as well as extended interviews with Steven Erikson and Lois McMaster Bujold. There is an essay on homage in science fiction, a reprint novella by Tad Williams, and a novel excerpt from Karen Lord’s recently released The Best of All Possible Worlds.
PROS: Seven out of the eight short stories are recommended; variety of selection in story styles; insightful author interviews; nice feature with the cover artist that includes full-color art gallery; well organized magazine layout.
CONS: One story was too enigmatic.
BOTTOM LINE: Issue #33 of Lightspeed is well worth picking up and is just the latest example of why this magazine is consistently strong and worth the price of a monthly subscription. There are entertaining, thought-provoking stories as well as bonus content that mirrors the type of work visitors to SF Signal expect to see on a daily basis. All four original works in this issue are solid offerings demonstrating the creativity and imagination present in contemporary SFF short fiction .