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)

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Science Fiction and Fantasy


Ellen Kushner | When Two Swordsmen Meet
Jun 20 • 14 min
When two swordsmen meet, no one knows what to expect. It’s a cold night in a cold city. Cold stone under cold starlight. He walks down a deserted street, sure of himself, sure of the weapon he bears. He’s not altogether surprised when the stranger steps…
Isabel Cañas | The Weight of a Thousand Needles
Jun 13 • 47 min
A full moon silvers the stalls of the Light Markets, the bazaar of the living and the dead. Here, where jinn mix with mortals and gods, where sorcery sits thick on the air, blue as incense, a crow presides over its wares. Silver rings set with opals like…
Deji Bryce Olukotun | Between the Dark and the Dark
Jun 6 • 85 min
Two hundred ships moved through the stars, leaving an iridescent trail of transmission beacons in their wake. Five billion kilometers long, the beacons stretched all the way to Earth, a desiccated and shaken planet that the passengers once called home.…
Adam-Troy Castro | The Minor Superhero, at Home after His Series Ends
May 23 • 18 min
He has a superhero name. It’s as stupid as every other superhero name. It’s not something you can comfortably call another person in casual conversation. Just try to have a normal-sounding talk with some of the guys in the Liberty Force. “So, hello, uh,…
Max Gladstone | The Iron Man
May 23 • 31 min
The boy stopped playing after his Mom and Dad chained the iron man to the Kingdom’s heart. The boy used to run alone and brave through the welt within the walls, and even ranged as far as the borders of the wood. He tossed the ball his mother gave him…
Rati Mehrotra | This Way to Paradise
May 9 • 53 min
The mountains were beautiful, even though the roads that took you there were broken. Even though the whole world was broken. Tara sat on the side of the pitted road, soaking in the autumnal sun, gazing at the distant snow-capped peaks in awe. Forgetting,…
Kathleen Kayembe | The Ocean That Fades Into Sky
May 2 • 83 min
Although it takes constant effort for Coasts to mold herself into a human body when none live on her shores, and a far greater effort—-even with her mother’s help—-to sustain a flight of giant sea turtles across hundreds of miles, for once she is…
Shweta Adhyam | A Conch-Shell’s Notes
Apr 25 • 20 min
This is the story of a conch-shell, and the man who answered its call to adventure. The powerful and mysterious conch resided in a seaside temple on the outskirts of Peacetown. Whenever a resident of the town found themselves at life’s crossroads,…
Matthew Corradi | Gundark Island, or, Tars Tarkas Needs Your Help
Apr 18 • 44 min
When Tommy Burke took me out to Gundark Island to see the alien, I wasn’t really expecting much. Maybe I was just going because I thought it would be cool to take a ride in Tommy’s canoe. Or maybe I was just hoping Tommy might turn out to be a friend. If…
Ashok K. Banker | The Seeds of War
Apr 11 • 48 min
Hastinaga was ablaze with word of Vrath’s amazing feat. Vrath’s stepmother, Dowager Empress Jilana, while taken aback at the manner in which it had been done, nevertheless bit her tongue when she saw what he had accomplished. That the two daughters of the…
Caroline M. Yoachim | The Archronology of Love
Apr 4 • 74 min
This is a love story, the last of a series of moments when we meet. Saki Jones leaned into the viewport window until her nose nearly touched the glass, staring at the colony planet below. New Mars. From this distance, she could pretend that things were…
Woody Dismukes | My Children’s Home
Mar 28 • 28 min
My children do not dream and neither do I. But that does not mean our sleep is sound. Sometimes they wake in the middle of the night, eyes wide and wet, grasping for a reason they stare into the darkness. I wish I could tell them it was a nightmare, that…
Ashok K. Banker | A Hundred Thousand Arrows
Mar 21 • 80 min
After decades of warring, a time of peace came to the Krushan dynasty. The great armies of the Burnt Empire set aside their battle armor and weapons in exchange for flowers and rice. A great celebration lit up the streets of Hastinaga, the capital city.…
Carolyn Ives Gilman | On the Shores of Ligeia
Mar 14 • 47 min
Seth Calder felt like he had barely dozed off when his alarm blared at 6:00 a.m. Level morning sunlight leaked through the blinds onto the birch and linen furniture of his Stockholm apartment. Amalia was already in the shower, so he lurched out of bed and…
Maria Romasco-Moore | Self-Storage Starts with the Heart
Mar 7 • 39 min
You’ll notice how the commercials never mention the price. They’ve all got some lab-coated guy with chiseled cheekbones spouting dumbed-down drivel about how emotions have wavelengths, the same as light or sound, which are reflected and absorbed by the…
Carrie Vaughn | Marlowe and Harry and the Disinclined Laboratory
Feb 28 • 40 min
Lieutenant James Marlowe watched a room full of grown, distinguished men act like young ladies at their first ball. Flustered, fidgeting, adjusting each others’ cravats, going back and forth from one table to another inspecting equipment and displays that…
Ashok K. Banker | The Terrible Oath
Feb 21 • 93 min
The nation greeted Vrath with great warmth and approval. The Burnt Empire regarded its liege as nothing less than a demi-god; in a sense, this was not far from the truth: Whether or not the Krushan dynasty was in fact born of stonefire, they were…
KT Bryski | Ti-Jean’s Last Adventure, as Told to Raccoon
Feb 14 • 22 min
Okay. So. There’s a time when I’m looking for Coyote, because I need to tell him this story. So, I walk the St. Lawrence River from one end to the other, and I cannot find him. Check the Rockies—-he is not there. I even paddle to Baffin Island, because he…
Matthew Baker | Life Sentence
Feb 7 • 63 min
Home. He recognizes the name of the street. But he doesn’t remember the landscape. He recognizes the address on the mailbox. But he doesn’t remember the house. His family is waiting for him on the porch. Everybody looks just as nervous as he is. He gets…
Meg Elison | Endor House
Jan 24 • 20 min
Meet Hermes Maleficarum, the reclusive force behind the multiverse’s biggest publishing house. A mystery generations in the making. The first thing I notice about Hermes was how unlike the rest of his family he seems. Hermes’ parents, Taliesin and his…
Tony Ballantyne | Midway
Jan 17 • 34 min
It’s not unusual to hear music in a spaceport arrival lounge. After all, if aliens didn’t enjoy music, I’d never have been able to travel. But this sounded familiar. Disturbingly familiar. Standing in line, I felt a sinking sensation as the tune wound its…
Ashok K. Banker | Son of Water and Fire
Jan 10 • 66 min
Born of water, into water, the boy knew no other world. It would not always be thus. Someday, he had been told, he would leave here for another place. His mother had told him this, in a quiet time, her body swollen and expanded to its widest, spanning…
A. Merc Rustad | With Teeth Unmake the Sun
Jan 3 • 67 min
Io Destiny is a rich planet, home to three billion lives, built as a faceted gem to honor the Seven Suns. All the gods are worshiped equally here in peace. Temples caress the lower atmosphere and ships dance in celestial orbit; the Seven Suns are honored…
Seanan McGuire | Under the Sea of Stars
Dec 27, 2018 • 46 min
We have traveled here, to this most innocuous of country landscapes, to make good on a promise made by my grandfather, Carlton Whitmore, to a girl he loved in his youth. How foolish that sounds, writ down so! But it is true. Grandfather met her on the…
Shaenon K. Garrity | Grandma Novak’s Famous Nut Roll
Dec 20, 2018 • 22 min
Hello, family! As everyone who follows my sister on Facebook knows (and who isn’t reading Kat’s posts? Twenty lashes with a wet noodle, and you bet it’ll be Grandma’s kluski!), last weekend she and I visited Grandma Novak for … baking lessons! Though…
Lizz Huerta | Mouths
Dec 13, 2018 • 29 min
Times were strange, and those who survived the collapse had a jarring mixtape of skills. Plumbers were holy men, exorcising the encampments of the demons of human waste. They brought forth, stored and dispensed the holiest sacrament of all, clean water.…
Ashok K. Banker | A Love Story Written on Water
Dec 6, 2018 • 90 min
Bhi’ash was a king of the Axe clan. Truthful and courageous, he was renowned for having performed one thousand Black Horse sacrifices and one hundred Fire sacrifices. For his devotion, upon his demise he attained entrance to the heavenly realms and was…
Stephen Graham Jones | Moonboys
Nov 22, 2018 • 10 min
You ask how my brother died on the moon that day, but that’s the wrong question. Ask instead what he spelled with his bootprints when we first stepped down from the platform. Ask instead the one song he listened to, the whole flight there. Ask why he…
Matthew Hughes | Hapthorn’s Last Case
Nov 15, 2018 • 74 min
My assistant said, “You have received an invitation from Holk Xanthoulian. He is embarking on a new menu and invites, and I quote, ‘a select coterie of the cognoscenti to sample its superlative assemblage of tastes, textures, and titillations.’” “He has a…
Theodore McCombs | Talk to Your Children About Two-Tongued Jeremy
Nov 8, 2018 • 49 min
His name was Two-Tongued Jeremy; he was a monitor lizard with a forked tongue, thick glasses, and a wild, wagging smile meant to convince children that learning could be fun, too. He came highly rated. He updated automatically. When our promising children…