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Lightspeed Magazine, June 2015: Queers Destroy Science Fiction! Special Issue

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  297 ratings  ·  48 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.

Even in science fiction, supposedly the genre of limitle
Kindle Edition, 533 pages
Published May 31st 2015 by John Joseph Adams (first published May 10th 2015)
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Start your review of Lightspeed Magazine, June 2015: Queers Destroy Science Fiction! Special Issue
Jun 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone learning to communicate across walls
I definitely liked this anthology better than Queers Destroy Fantasy! . It felt more diverse and fleshed out.

My notes as I read:

~ Amal El-Mohtar's book reviews were passionate and compassionate: a winning mixture. They almost won me over to try Elizabeth Bear's Karen Memory. (Almost, because, well, I'm not adding anything to my To-read list before I bring it down to 90- entries. Ah, wish me luck.)

~ Cedar Rae Duke's essay "Not Android, Not Alien, Not Accident: Asexual and Agender in Science Fi
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars, not quite as amazing as Lightspeed's Women Destroy Science Fiction, but only by a hair. Some of my favorites of the original fiction: John Chu's "Influence Isolated, Make Peace" and Amal El-Mohtar's "Madeleine." From the Flash Fiction: "Rubbing is Racing" by Charles Payseur, "Helping Hand" by Claudine Griggs, and Sarah Pinsker's "In the Dawns Between Hours." ...more
~~Poulomi Sylphrena Tonk$~~
Good, short read. I came across this while scrouging for some short story to pass time.
Better classified as under psychological genre than science fiction.
Bridget Mckinney
Jun 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Read the original review at SF Bluestocking

Last year, Lightspeed invited women to destroy SF; this year the LGBTQ+ community gets their turn. It's glorious, and it kicked off this month with a massive special issue of Lightspeed.

At over 500 pages (according to my epub of it), Queers Destroy Science Fiction! is a weighty piece of work, and it's clear that it's been conceived and crafted with deep caring and exquisite attention to its purpose. Most importantly, a real (and successful!) effort was
Rebecca Crunden
Feb 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
I've just stumbled upon this collection of LGBT+ stories and I can't wait to dive into them all. It's 500+ pages too, like YAAAAS. But also, I do *not* have time for these wonderful distractions. THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS I WANT TO READ AND THE LIST IS ONLY GROWING GOOD GRIEF. (This is like the best problem to have, really, but still, the ever-growing TBR is ridic)

read in this collection so far:

Bucket List Found in the Locker of Maddie Price, Age 14, Written Two Weeks Before the Great Uplifting o
Aug 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Amogha by: Broke Bibliophile
"She wonders at how change comes in like a thief in the night, dismantling our sense of self one bolt and screw at a time until all that’s left of the person we think we are is a broken door hanging off a rusty hinge, waiting for us to walk through."

I can't help but nod at how true this statement is. Dealing with change is something we constantly battle with, all the while being perplexed each and every time. We never learn, do we?

The narrative of story alternates between two different styl
I'm kind of disappointed in this anthology actually, there were only two stories that stood out to me, and I skipped through a few others because I just couldn't get into them.

The two stories I really liked were:
- (Influenced Isolated, Make Peace) by John Chu; and
- Trickier With Each Translation by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam.

Both were very early in the anthology, so maybe they raised my expectations and I'm being unfair on the rest? I don't know.

The collection of essays were all worth a read.
Jan 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook
Time to make some notes about this one, so I can let my mother borrow it!

Original Shorts Section

pg. 69 "We let a man name himself after his children, after a country not relevant to any of them, not true to any story of their lives. We assert that names are changeable, assignable at whim, and then we attach unalterable value to them."

pg. 273 "The Tip of The Tongue" by Felicia Davin, reminds me of Fahrenheit 451
pg. 86 Felicia Davin bisexual Western MA scifi writer (TBC?)

pg. 87 "How to Remember to
Jul 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, lgbt
Lightspeed is a very well-known science fiction and fantasy magazine. Even in science fiction, supposedly the genre of limitless possibility, where everyone is invited to the adventure, minorities are often underrepresented. Last year Lightspeed started the "destroy science fiction" series, a yearly program focusing on underrepresented minorities to give them a voice, and to see what they have to offer and to contribute to the genre. In 2014 they focused on sci-fi and women. This year (2015) the ...more
Jun 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
originally posted at:

A while back I read the short story Pockets from Amal El-Mohtar which was a very cool story and I have been keeping my eye out for another story to appear from her and this month in the special issue of Queers Destroy Science Fiction! from Lightspeed Magazine wherein another one of her stories appeared: Madeleine.

I read the store once and didn't really know what to make of it (feelings wise). I read it again and just reading the first
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
A while back I ran across a Kickstarter campaign to record and distribute a bunch of stories as an audiobook, and the name of the collection was to be Queers Destroy Science Fiction! How could I not sign on?

My reward, once the campaign was successful, was a download of the collection, which I just finished listening to. What a treat. Not every story is a gem, of course (never has there been an anthology that was genius from start to finish), but there are only one or two true clunkers. Most are
Tim Childree
Jun 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
SO. FREAKING. GOOD. From the short fiction to the flash fiction to the reprints to the nonfiction to the essays, this is an exceptionally-well-curated collection that is worth every penny and every minute you spend on it.

You can get all of the "___ Destroy" collections (or preorder unreleased ones) at

Once my reading queue shrinks a little bit, I'll definitely be picking all of the other collections up.
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
A grieving Madeleine volunteers for a clinical trial. But the drug has side effects - flashbacks at odd times, increasingly vivid and increasingly to unfamilar times. It is here that she meets Zeinab and finds companionship. But Zeinab claims it is Madeleine who is her imaginary friend rather than vice versa. SPOILER ALERT - at the end one is left wondering whether the two trial volunteers are experiencing reality together or not
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I can't recommend it enough. A great balance of SF exploring LGBT+ themes and issues, and cracking stories with characters who "just happen to be" queer. A great collection for any fans of genre fiction. ...more
I finally read the personal essays from the back of this special issue, which means I finished it! I've been reading this on and off ever since it was published, so I've forgotten a lot of the stories. I did prefer the Queers Destroy Fantasy! special issue, though (surprising no one). ...more
Sep 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent anthology in which is quite visible the effort that was put in making it as inclusive as possible.

There are happy stories and sad stories, angry stories and thoughtful ones, stories filled with hope and hopeless, but in all of them, the characters are brilliant and what shines at their heart.

Really worthy of your time.

The narrators vary in their effectivity, but they are en general very good.
Issue 61, June 2015

The Queers Destroy Science Fiction! Manifesto

edited by Seanan McGuire

勢孤取和 (Influence Isolated, Make Peace) - John Chu - 4 stars
Emergency Repair - Kate M. Galey - 5 stars
Trickier With Each Translation - Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam - 5 stars
The Astrakhan, the Homburg, and the Red Red Coal - Chaz Brenchley - 3 stars
The Tip of the Tongue - Felicia Davin - 4 stars
How to Remember to Forget to Remember the Old War - Rose Lemberg - 5 st
Sep 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbt, anthology
Influence Isolated, Make Peace by John Chu: 2.75/5
Emergency Repair by Kate M. Galey: 4/5
Trickier With Each Translation by Bonnie Jo Stufflebaum: 4.25/5
The Astrakhan, the Homburg, and the Red Red Coal by Chaz Brenchley: 1/5
The Tip of the Tongue by Felicia Davin: 4.5/5
How to Remember to Forget to Remember the Old War by Rose Lemberg: 3.5/5
Plant Children by Jessica Yang: 4.75/5
Nothing is Pixels Here by K. M. Szpara: 4.25/5
Madeleine by Amal El-Mohtar: 5/5
Two by Two by Tim Susman: 5/5
Feb 19, 2018 rated it liked it
there's something about the intersection between sci fi & lgbt anthologies that never lands properly. there's something wrong with the politics of it, the feel-good "we're all the same kind of q/eer" mentality that does a disservice to the complexity & variety of the lgbt community. invariably i find myself always wanting these sorts of anthologies to be very good and i end up disappointed because i have found that they never are as a whole, though some of the stories stand out. i don't have thi ...more
Nicole Lisa
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I thought this was more uneven than other installations in the Destroy issues but there was some great stories and the cumulative effect of reading so many queer stories in a row is not to be underestimated. Some of my favorites:

Influence Isolated, Make Peace, John Chu
Trickier with Each Translation, Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam
Tip of the Tongue, Felicia Davin (I really really liked this one)
Plant Children, Jessica Yang
Two by Tow, Tim Susman
In the Dawn Between Hours, Sarah Pinsker

Red Run, by AMJ Hudson
Jun 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was an incredible anthology. There were very few stories that I didn't particularly like - and only one that I clearly disliked. The rest of the stories were really well-written!

While reading many of them, I would reach the end of the story wishing there were more stories (or even books!) based on the same universe, because there was incredible world-building.

The most important element of the anthology, I believe, were the believable, realistic and relatable characters. I was genuinely in
Kat Heatherington
Jun 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Very solid collection! I am not a huge fan of short fiction (at all; i need the depth and breadth of a novel to really sink into), but as collections of short fiction go, this collection is extremely well-selected, and the vast majority of the stories are extremely good. and, rarest of rare beasts, there is not one single coming-out story among them! for which i would like to lavish the editor with exceptional praise. FINALLY we are seeing more strong queer (non-alien) characters in fiction, whe ...more
Michael Burnam-Fink
Mar 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, 2016
I heard that Queers Destroy Science Fiction was super controversial, really good, really transgressive. As usual, the rumor mill was wrong. Not that this is bad, and I don't actually read a lot of contemporary short scifi so my comparisons might be off, but I found this collection surprisingly... "bland" is the best word. Little domestic problems that were not particularly science-fictiony, or particularly GLTBQ. The only new story that really stuck with me was one of the flash fictions, "Bucket ...more
Maggie Gordon
A quiet, nostalgic story about a woman wracked with grief. She decides to participate in an experimental drug trial after her mother dies, but she begins to experience strange, powerful flashbacks to her past. They are perfect recreations of her memories until another woman appears. Who is she? Is talking to her such a good idea? As Madeline's life spirals out of control, it seems like her imaginary friend is the only thing keeping her tethered. But what if the friend was actually real? It's a l ...more
AJ Kerrigan
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
To paraphrase the premise of the story as described by the author on Writing Excuses:

A woman has participated in a clinical trial for an Alzheimer's drug. Now she's experiencing flashbacks to memories that are basically hallucinations, and it feels like time travel as a consequence. A lot of the story involves experiencing extremely vivid memories and observing them.

Interesting premise, and a fine story that does it justice.
Fantasy Literature
May 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
We love this.

Reviewed in our Short fiction Monday column:
Cat M
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A gorgeous story about grief and loss and memory and coming out of the dark.

Madeleine's slow, unexpected journey back from grief is just perfect.
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I like this story better than the winner itself.
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Jessica Yang
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbtqia-not-ya
My words are in this, so I'm biased and I'm gonna give this five stars! Ha. ...more
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Hi! I'm Seanan McGuire, author of the Toby Daye series (Rosemary and Rue, A Local Habitation, An Artificial Night, Late Eclipses), as well as a lot of other things. I'm also Mira Grant (, author of Feed and Deadline.

Born and raised in Northern California, I fear weather and am remarkably laid-back about rattlesnakes. I watch too many horror movies, read too many comic books, and

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