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Lightspeed Magazine, February 2015 (Lightspeed Magazine #57)

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  208 Ratings  ·  83 Reviews
LIGHTSPEED is an online science fiction and fantasy magazine. In its pages, you will find science fiction: from near-future, sociological soft SF, to far-future, star-spanning hard SF--and fantasy: from epic fantasy, sword-and-sorcery, and contemporary urban tales, to magical realism, science-fantasy, and folktales.

This month, we have original science fiction by Brooke Bo
Kindle Edition, 197 pages
Published February 1st 2015 by John Joseph Adams
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Apr 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-shelf, sci-fi
I've only just discovered Brooke thanks to people at Goodreads and I can tell you that I'm super thrilled and not merely because it's filled with tons of f-bombs. :) Her characters are not only gritty but realistically hard-bitten and delightfully crass and full of shit. It's a delight!

Seriously, though, this story is much more than meets the eye, from uploaded consciousnesses into meat shells, a cool cyberspace adventure, mobsters, hitmen, and even a travel to the underworld to bring her love b
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead” by Brooke Bollander:

Cyberpunkish story of the beautifully foul-mouthed and delightfully gun-happy heroine, I love thee.

Brooke Bolander of the gloriously revengeful Talons that Crush Galaxies, thy punch-packing tales I find slightly scrumpalicious.

Trish of the not so despicable book taste, bless your bloodthirsty little heart for drawing my nefarious attention to this enchantingly gritty piece.

This story is short. This story is free. READ IT.
Althea Ann
May 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Hard-bitten, tough mercenary finds herself in a difficult corner when a deal goes bad and a bunch of mobsters have her hacker partner's consciousness trapped in a machine... To try to save him, she'll have to face not only her real and physical opponents, but will also have to win a virtual battle against a security system that resembles herself... and not herself now, but herself at her hardest, most invulnerable peak.
An action-packed, violent, gritty cyberpunk adventure.
Apr 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
With a title like that, how could I not read this?! Bwahahahahaha.

Ok, first things first: The very first thing I read by this author was for International Women's Day, a short story called The Last of the Minotaur Wives . Then followed Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies , also a short story.

These few pages were enough to introduce an author with a VERY unique style. She likes strong language, probably to shock, but she mixes it up with scifi and mythological elements, presenting the perfect blend i
Mar 23, 2015 added it

Killer kung fu awesome cyberpunk. A writer needs masterful line-by-line style to keep this much action exciting, and Bolander's a master, slamming together character growth and self-discovery with the blood; it's the kind of action you only find in prose, beautiful with sharp edges.

Just go read it, 'K? Or else the guns come out.
May 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
"The mobster has a gun pressed to Rack’s forehead. The mobster has a god-shitting gun pressed to her partner’s fucking forehead, and the only thing Rhye can do is watch and scream as the man smiles at her and pulls the trigger and blows Rack’s perfect brains out from between his ears."

How about that for an opening? I don’t usually go for cyberpunk - especially violent cyberpunk - but I loved the writing style here. It’s brutal yet beautiful, literally crackling with energy, and Bolander sustains
La Pomme
Feb 21, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: science-fiction
If you manage to peal off the 151 f**ks in these twenty or so pages (yep, I counted) you'll find a terribly non-novel novelette. No idea why this is a Nebula nominee, unless the 151 f**ks subconsciously affected the Jury?
Victoria Rose
Thank you, goodreads friends, for dragging this angry red blinking dot of a novella onto my radar.

Rhye is a grade A, no bullshit, bonafide badass - the kind you would really want to stay far, far away from lest you get a punch in the face and a boot up the arse. She finds herself in a sticky situation when her partner's brains get blown out while trying to extract important data from a security system. She has to plug in herself, destroy the security system, rescue her lover, and retrieve said d
Nadine Jones
Jun 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
And You Shall Know Her By The Trail Of Dead
by Brooke Bolander

(Thanks, Goodreads, for completely messing up the listings of all the short stories on this site! geez ...)

Trite trite trite trite trite. The author is so busy creating "atmosphere" that she seems to have forgotten to write a story. It's just fuck this and ball sack that and anally fuck your mother with a fish hook. I'm not even making that one up. (well, maybe I am, just a little)

I frequently got confused as to whether I was reading f
Lance Schonberg
A 2015 Nebula nominee for best novelette, but I’m not sure how or why. This story didn't really work for me.

Mix a little cyberpunk with a lot of profanity and near-future extreme violence and start with the basic plot of a Mafia rescue operation gone wrong leading to extra complications. There’s a little bit of literal interpretation of the most difficult battle (facing yourself), but while there’s a little character growth, for both the primary POV and the one who takes over near the end, I’m s
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
I've been trying to read all of the 2015 Nebula short fiction nominees, but I'm going to give this one a pass. In the first four paragraphs there were about a dozen F-bombs, which is too much even by my somewhat relaxed standards. Also a shootout and brains getting blown out.

DNF after 4 paragraphs.

If you don't mind tons of profanity and want to go check out this novelette, it's free online at Lightspeed Magazine.
May 14, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook
Honestly, I can see why this didn't win. It read like bad Shadowrun fanfic from the late nineties, as transcribed by someone who had watched too much Tarantino inspired cinema.
Kathy (Kindle-aholic)
May 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-fiction
I loved this kickass sci fi short story. LOVED IT. Cyborgs, security programs, lots of fight scenes.
May 01, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 1-star
Gratuitous violence and profanity masking a boring concept.
Feb 02, 2015 rated it liked it
And You Shall Know Her By the Trail of Dead - 4 stars
I may be incorrectly remembering the exact intricacies of the plot, but the main characters is an android or some similar manufactured sort. She has feelings and thoughts like humans, but is second class. In the story she must "dive" into her partner's "brain" to try to save his life and fix a situation that went wrong. It's futuristic pulp with an intense writing style. Rich world.

Buffalo - 2 stars
Reading the author notes afterwards made the
Feb 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
There were some great stories in here and I liked this issue better than last month's.

I do admit that while the first story presented a very intriguing concept and plot the sheer amount of swearing in it finally made me give up on reading it and move on.

The next story Buffalo was a nice story but aside from discussions between characters it didn't really offer a while lot in the way of science fiction or fantasy content. It was great but just felt a bit out of place in the magazine.

Red Planet
Norm Davis
Feb 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Adult Mystery, Gumshoe, or Sci Fi fans.
Recommended to Norm by: Free SF, Fantasy and Horror Fiction Newsletter #49

And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead by Brooke Bolander
A Lightspeed Magazine audio production.

Here's one I'll be struggling with regarding rating for some time. For the sake of expedience I rated it 3 stars, “I liked it” verses 4 “I really liked it”. Where the truth lies in between. I rounded down because I was somewhat confused a great deal of the time. The concepts of the characters didn't really dawn on me until possibly the end, with hints I was getting it all along the way. If I wer
Lis Carey
Rhye is an AI, and like all AIs, a second-class citizen. It's not at all clear to me how these things work in this world, but she reports wandering the streets until age twelve, when she was snatched up to become a soldier. She was a soldier until she turned 25, and she was very, very good at killing. After her service, she earns a minimal living fighting in deathmatches.

Have I mentioned lately that I Don't Do Grimdark? No, probably haven't had occasion to because, in fact, I don't do grimdark.
My favorites this time:

"And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead" is a pretty neat cyberpunk story, part in the real world and part in cyberspace, with a mismatched pair of partners trying to bail each other out of a sideways situation. ****

"Veil of Ignorance" (reprint) takes the titular concept (resolving moral issues by examining problems with all sides being unaware who occupies each role) and implements it with an alien drug that causes identity swaps. Interesting idea. ***1/2*

"In the Hou
Aug 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review is for "And You Shall Know Her By The Trail Of Dead" by BROOKE BOLANDER.

Cyberpunky and irreverent, as counter-culture as early William Gibson (think Molly with the slasher fingers) or Richard K. Morgan (Altered Carbon). Prose raining with hard similes, fresh as newly-poured concrete.

Effin good. Nominated for a Nebula in 2015, novella length. Free to read online here.
Apr 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, sf-fantasy
I thought it was brilliant, but then, I don't mind profanity. I'm surprised that some of the reviewers were put off by it. It felt true to the world the MC was immersed in.

It was so grim, I didn't really want to finish it, but the excellence of the writing kept me reading. And then, the ending!! PERFECT!!

I nominated it for the Hugo and am delighted that it made it to the final five. I think it's the only non-RABID puppy nominee, so it's got a good shot at winning. Hope it does.

May 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, sci-fi-awards
This cyberpunk action story is extremely fast paced, impossible to put down, and fun to read. The main character, Rhye, is an artificial woman, created, used, and discarded by "regular" humans. Her hard upbringing made her somebody you would not want to mess with. She is a rough, violent, foul mouthed machine, but her meeting with Rack, a hacker, is going to profoundly affect her life.
Mar 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-fiction
Bloody, profane, bawdy, and surprisingly touching.

I keep wanting to quote it at people, but I can't because it's like, 90% profanity, and also the quotes don't work unless you have the several thousand word lead up. I really enjoyed this.
Elizabeth Brenner
May 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Highly entertaining and deeply satisfying! Bolander reached into my head, pulled out all the hard edges, and jammed them into every sentence of this story. And she managed to get a few of the subtle things, too. Well done.
Mar 19, 2016 rated it did not like it
I tried to read this. I tried since it was highly recommended. But after four pages saturated with the same threadbare gutter expletive, I simply could not take any more. Doesn't she know any other words?
3-3.5 stars.

Warning: Lots and lots of profanity, but it actually works if you sort of ignore it or take it in stride.
Brooke Bolander really puts the punk into cyberpunk. This was a fast and dirty explosion of a short story, the third I've read of hers, and so far my favourite. Definitely an author to follow!
Sep 30, 2016 rated it liked it
I listened to this on StarShipSofa podcast. This was a great, fast-action story. Lots of profanity, but in audio it works quite well especially in the capable hands (voice) of Gabrielle de Cuir.
Fuck. Yeah.

Wow. This took me a while to read - I started it almost two months ago, but never managed to make it through (even though it's super short.)

Just finished it, and it's incredible. Mind blowing. I can't wait to read Bolander's first novel, which is supposed to come out next year.
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John Joseph Adams is the series editor of BEST AMERICAN SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY. He is also the bestselling editor of many other anthologies, such as ROBOT UPRISINGS, DEAD MAN'S HAND, BRAVE NEW WORLDS,WASTELANDS, and THE LIVING DEAD. Recent and forthcoming books include WHAT THE #@&% IS THAT?, OPERATION ARCANA, PRESS START TO PLAY, LOOSED UPON THE WORLD, and THE APOCALYPSE TRIPTYCH (cons ...more
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Lightspeed Magazine (1 - 10 of 97 books)
  • Lightspeed Magazine, June 2010
  • Lightspeed Magazine, July 2010
  • Lightspeed Magazine, August 2010
  • Lightspeed Magazine, September 2010
  • Lightspeed Magazine, October 2010
  • Lightspeed Magazine, November 2010
  • Lightspeed Magazine, December 2010
  • Lightspeed Magazine, January 2011
  • Lightspeed Magazine, February 2011
  • Lightspeed Magazine, March 2011