"Why was this character gay? It didn't add anything to the story." "It was distracting how he had a husband instead of a wife. It made the story hard to read." "If she was a lesbian, why didn't you say anything during her first appearance? This feels like a retcon."
Even in science fiction, supposedly the genre of limitless possibility, where everyone is invited to the adventure, heterosexual, heteroromantic, and cisgendered are considered the default, to the extent that everything else is "deviation," and must be eyed with suspicion. (For a timely example, look no further than the people recutting and remixing the recent finale of a popular animated series to take away the bisexuality of the main character (no spoilers!). Because only a male/female happy ending can truly be considered "happy.")
already invited women to destroy science fiction, it was only fitting that
LIGHTSPEED look for a new group of individuals who wanted to trade their
feelings of marginalization for sledgehammers, and the "I Want to Destroy
SF" inbox filled up all over again. People really wanted to break things
in that most magnificent of ways: with prose.
We're here. We have always been here. And we are very, very excited to show it.
LIGHTSPEED was founded on the core idea that all science fiction is real science fiction. The whole point of this magazine is that science fiction is vast. It is inclusive. Science fiction is about people, and queer people, no matter how they identify [Gay, lesbian, bisexual, demisexual, asexual, pansexual, intersex, transgender, genderfluid, genderqueer--anyone who fits within the QUILTBAG], are a big part of that. We always have been. We're just sometimes hard to see. So, in the interests of visibility and breaking stuff, here we are to show you just how wide the spectrum of sexuality and gender identity can really be.
Part of our goal with this project--and indeed, our dearest wish--is to get as many queer creators involved as possible. Show the world that we are legion, we are amazing, and we are a part of the great, glorious landscape of the science fiction genre (right before we burn it all to the ground).
We're so excited.
If you're excited too, and not just in the I GOTTA HAVE THIS THING sort of way but in the I GOTTA BE PART OF THIS kind of way, good news! If you write fiction, we're currently open to submissions for the issue. If you don't write fiction, or even if you do, but you want to help out in some other way, the best thing you can do is help spread the word about this campaign. And if you have other ways you'd like to help, we're happy to listen!
We’ll publish the special issue whether the campaign is successful or not, but the campaign will determine how big and awesome we make the issue. If we raise just $5000, we’ll be able to make the special issue a special double-sized issue,and if we raise even more than that, we have a few really excellent stretch goals lined up as well.
A regular issue of LIGHTSPEED contains an equal mix of science fiction and fantasy short fiction, consisting of 4 original stories, 4 reprints, plus a novella reprint (exclusive to our ebook edition). Each issue also includes a feature interview, a book review column, an artist showcase, and spotlights on the authors who appear in the issue.
- All science fiction (no fantasy)
- 5 original, never-before-published short stories, including original stories by award-winning authors Catherynne M. Valente, Amal El-Mohtar, and John Chu
- About 5,000 words of original flash fiction (about 5 flash stories)
- 2 previously-published short stories
- 1 previously-published novella
- Author Spotlights on our authors in this issue
- Assorted nonfiction features
- An original cover by artist Elizabeth Leggett
If we successfully fund, the special DOUBLE issue will contain the following additional material:
- 5 additional original, never-before-published short stories (for a total of 10)
- About 5,000 additional words of original flash fiction (for a total of about 10 flash stories)
- 2 additional previously-published short stories (for a total of 4)
- Author Spotlights on the additional authors
- Even more assorted nonfiction features
- Plus, if we unlock one of our stretch goals, the issue will include additional material as well.
And naturally, all of the above will all be authored entirely by queer creators.
For this special issue, control of the magazine has been handed over to a talented team of queer creators:
Seanan McGuire, Guest Editor
Steve Berman, Reprint Editor
Steve Berman has edited more than thirty anthologies, including the Shirley Jackson Award finalist, Where Thy Dark Eye Glances: Queering Edgar Allan Poe and the annual series Wilde Stories: The Year's Best Gay Speculative Fiction, which has been a two-time finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. His gay YA novel, Vintage, was a finalist for the Andre Norton Award. He founded Lethe Press, one of the larger LGBT publishers, in 2001. He resides in New Jersey, the only state in the Union with an official devil.
Paul Boehmer, Podcast Producer
Paul Boehmer attended his first Shakespearean play while in high school; he knew then that he was destined to become the classically trained actor he is today. Graduating with a Masters Degree, Paul was cast as Hamlet by the very stage actor who inspired his career path. A nod from the Universe he'd chosen aright! Paul has worked on Broadway and extensively in Regional Theatre; coinciding with another of his passions, Sci-Fi, Paul has been cast in various roles in many episodes of Star Trek. Paul's love of literature and learning led him by nature to his work as a narrator for Books on Tape, his latest endeavour. Paul is married to the love of his life, Offir and they live in Los Angeles with their two midnight-rambling Tomcats Dread & David.
Cecil Baldwin, Podcast Host
Cecil Baldwin is the voice of the wildly popular podcast Welcome to Night Vale, written by Joseph Fink and Jeffery Cranor. Cecil plays Cecil Palmer, a radio host who reports on the strange goings-on in Night Vale, a desert community where monsters and conspiracies are just daily occurrences.
Sigrid Ellis, Flash Fiction Editor
Sigrid Ellis is co-editor of the Hugo-nominated Queers Dig Time Lords and Chicks Dig Comics anthologies. She edits the best-selling Pretty Deadly from Image Comics and edited the Hugo-nominated Apex Magazine in 2014. She lives with her partner, their two homeschooled children, her partner’s boyfriend, and a host of vertebrate and invertebrate pets in Saint Paul, MN.
Mark Oshiro, Nonfiction Editor
What if you could re-live the experience of reading a book (or watching a show) for the first time? Mark Oshiro provides just such a thing on a daily basis on Mark Reads and Mark Watches, where he chronicles his unspoiled journey through various television and book series. He mixes textual analysis, confessional blogging, and humor to analyze fiction that usually makes him cry and yell on camera. He’s been nominated for a Hugo in the Fan Writer category in 2013 and 2014 for his work, and he’s nearly done with his first novel.
Wendy N. Wagner, Managing Editor
Wendy N. Wagner grew up in a town so small it didn’t even have its own post office, and the bookmobile’s fortnightly visit was her lifeline to the world. Her short fiction has appeared in magazines and anthologies including Beneath Ceaseless Skies,The Lovecraft eZine, Armored, The Way of the Wizard, and Heiresses of Russ 2013: The Year’s Best Lesbian Speculative Fiction. Her first novel, Skinwalkers, is a Pathfinder Tales adventure. An avid gamer and gardener, she lives in Portland, Oregon, with her very understanding family. Follow her on Twitter @wnwagner.
LIGHTSPEED (lightspeedmagazine.com) is a digital 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. When you read LIGHTSPEED, it is our hope that you’ll see where science fiction and fantasy comes from, where it is now, and where it’s going.
LIGHTSPEED is a winner of the Hugo Award (and four-time finalist), and stories from LIGHTSPEED have been nominated for the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, the Theodore Sturgeon Award, and the World Fantasy Award. Last year, we crowdfunded our first "Destroy" special issue, Women Destroy Science Fiction!, which was named one of NPR's best books of 2014.
When not doing special issues devoted to destroying science fiction, LIGHTSPEED is usually edited by bestselling anthologist John Joseph Adams, editor of anthologies such as Wastelands, The Living Dead, and Brave New Worlds, and series editor of Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy.
All of the money raised by this project will be used to fund the publication of the Queers Destroy Science Fiction! special issue and related stretch goals. Anything leftover after that will go toward the production of future issues of LIGHTSPEED.
- All backers who pledge at least $5 (the DESTROY SF! reward level) will receive an ebook copy of the LIGHTSPEED Queers Destroy Science Fiction! special issue. The special issue will be available in June 2015.
- All ebook rewards, including ebook subscriptions, will be made available DRM-free in epub, mobi, and PDF format via our ebookstore. Mobi is primarily for Kindle/Kindle app users; Epub works on lots of things, such as Nook, Kobo, and iBooks.
- Wilde Stories 2014 is a gay best-of-the year reprint anthology; Heiresses of Russ 2014 is a lesbian best-of-the-year reprint anthology. Both were published by Lethe Press, which is run by our QDSF reprint editor Steve Berman. For more information, clickthrough above.
- If you select one of the subscription rewards, your subscription will begin with the June 2015 issue.
- Since all of the subscription rewards include the DESTROY SF! reward, the QDSF special issue won't count against your subscription; so if you buy a one-year subscription, you'll really be getting 13 issues, rather than 12, etc.
- If you are an EXISTING SUBSCRIBER: If you choose one of the subscription rewards, we'll just extend your current subscription by the specified term (i.e., by 1 year, 2 years, etc.). Note: We can only do this for subscribers who subscribe directly via the LIGHTSPEED store or via Weightless Books; unfortunately we can't offer to extend subscriptions for Kindle Periodicals subscribers. When we send out the Kickstarter survey after the campaign concludes, we'll ask you which store your subscription is currently with and renew it accordingly.
- If you want the DESTROY PRINT reward, but also want to back at a higher tier, we also have options for that. Just look for the rewards that have PRINT in the titles.
- To our international backers who want the DESTROY PRINT! reward—we apologize for the stiff fee ($20) for international shipping, but that's what it costs, unfortunately! The print edition will likely be between 1-2 lbs., which means the shipping will be $18+, so we rounded that up to $20 for the "handling" part of "shipping and handling."
- PREMIUM REWARDS - Skype Chats: Chats can be about whatever you want, including the business of writing and publishing, so these are extremely valuable rewards for aspiring writers. But if you just want to squee about your mutual interests, that's okay too!
- PREMIUM REWARDS - Dinners: You'll need to get yourself to the location of the dinner, and prepare to make plans ahead of time (i.e., you can't just show up at San Diego Comic Con and expect to get your dinner without making plans first). The cost of your meal will be covered. You may bring one additional person to dinner with you.
In the event we massively exceed our goal, we'd like to thank our backers by offering the following stretch goals:
$10,000 - Essays & Artwork Booster - UNLOCKED!
The Personal Essays we're posting on Kickstarter throughout the campaign will also be included in the issue, and we'll double the number of stories illustrated in the issue from four to eight.
$15,000 - Destroy/Subscriptions Booster - UNLOCKED!
If you chose a LIGHTSPEED subscription reward, you'll get LIGHTSPEED issues #1-61 (including the Queers Destroy Science Fiction! issue), and your subscription will begin with #62 (July 2015). If you already have issues #1-61, we will substitute FANTASY issues #1-58.
If you chose a NIGHTMARE subscription reward, you'll get access to NIGHTMARE issues #1-33, and your subscription will begin with #34 (July 2015). If you already have issues #1-33, we will substitute FANTASY issues #1-58.
All other reward tiers will get 3 additional back issues of LIGHTSPEED (for a total of 6), plus 3 back issues of NIGHTMARE and 3 back issues of FANTASY.
$20,000 - JJA Queer Sampler - UNLOCKED!
LIGHTSPEED publisher John Joseph Adams will assemble an ebook sampler of queer stories previously selected for publication in his many projects. It will be made available exclusively to backers of this Kickstarter. Everyone who pledges at least $5 will receive an ebook of this additional reward. It will be like a short anthology (about 50K words; about half the size of a normal anthology). [Estimated delivery: Jun. 2015]
$25,000 - Podcasts Booster - UNLOCKED!
We normally podcast 4 (out of 8) stories we publish on our website each month. If we reach this stretch goal, we'll podcast all 7 short stories we publish on the website, plus one of the flash fiction pieces. [Estimated delivery: Jun. 2015]
$30,000 - Queers Destroy Horror! - UNLOCKED!
We'll publish an additional special issue, Queers Destroy Horror! Everyone who pledges at least $5 will receive an ebook of this additional reward. It will be published as a special issue of our sister-magazine, NIGHTMARE. [Estimated delivery: Oct. 2015]
$35,000 - Queers Destroy Filk! - UNLOCKED!
Seanan McGuire, who in addition to being an amazing writer and our amazing guest editor, is an amazing filk artist. If we unlock this stretch goal, she will write a song about destroying science fiction. We'll post the song online so it can be shared with anyone and also downloaded as an MP3. [Estimated delivery: Jun. 2015]
$40,000 - Queers Destroy Fantasy! - UNLOCKED!
We'll publish an additional special issue, Queers Destroy Fantasy! Everyone who pledges at least $5 will receive an ebook of this additional reward. It will be published as a special issue of our sister-magazine, FANTASY. FANTASY merged with LIGHTSPEED in 2012, but we'll revive it for this one special issue. [Estimated delivery: Dec. 2015]
$50,000 - JJA Queer Anthology Booster - UNLOCKED!
We'll make the JJA Queer Sampler (the $20K stretch goal) into a full-sized anthology (about 100K words, about 20-25 stories). Everyone who pledges at least $5 will receive an ebook of this additional reward. [Estimated delivery: Jun. 2015]
We’ve had a lot of requests for special reward packages since we didn’t offer every possible combination of items. Well, we hear you, backers! So we decided to go ahead and offer reward “add-ons” to allow you greater flexibility in backing the campaign.
To add an add-on to your pledge, click the "Manage Your Pledge" button, then increase your pledge by the relevant amount. For instance, if you want to add ebooks of the Women Destroy special issues, you would increase your pledge by Pledge $10; or, if you wanted those AND the Women Destroy Fantasy issue in trade paperback, you would increase your pledge by Pledge $27 (Pledge $10 + Pledge $17). Make sense?
There’s no way to tell us NOW which add-ons you want (an unfortunate limitation of Kickstarter), so we’ll get that information from you during the Kickstarter survey process after the campaign is over. Basically we’ll send out the surveys and ask if you added any add-ons to your pledge, and then we’ll cross-reference everything with the pledge data.
Sound complicated? You bet it is! Which is why we didn’t offer add-ons initially. But enough people have been asking about them that we thought it would be worth the extra work on our end, and of course we want our backers to be happy!
Note: All of the trade paperback rewards listed below INCLUDE the shipping price. Also note the price difference for US pledges vs. international pledges (due to international shipping costs).
Queers Destroy Add-Ons
- Pledge $28 Extra (per copy) - Queers Destroy Science Fiction! special issue LIMITED EDITION in trade paperback ($5 US shipping included).
- Pledge $43 Extra (per copy) - Queers Destroy Science Fiction! special issue LIMITED EDITION in trade paperback ($20 International shipping included)
- Pledge $17 Extra (per copy) - Queers Destroy Horror! special issue in trade paperback ($5 US shipping included)
- Pledge $32 Extra (per copy) - Queers Destroy Horror! special issue in trade paperback ($20 International shipping included)
- Pledge $16 Extra - Ebooks of queer best-of-the-year anthologies WILDE STORIES 2014 & HEIRESSES OF RUSS 2014
- Pledge $17 Extra (per copy) - Queers Destroy Fantasy! special issue in trade paperback ($5 US shipping included)
- Pledge $32 Extra (per copy) - Queers Destroy Fantasy! special issue in trade paperback ($20 International shipping included)
Women Destroy Add-Ons
- Pledge $10 Extra - Ebooks of last year's special issues: Women Destroy Science Fiction!, Women Destroy Fantasy!, and Women Destroy Horror!
- Pledge $17 Extra (per copy) - Women Destroy Fantasy! special issue in trade paperback ($5 US shipping included)
- Pledge $32 Extra (per copy) - Women Destroy Fantasy! special issue in trade paperback ($20 International shipping included)
- Pledge $17 Extra (per copy) - Women Destroy Horror! special issue in trade paperback ($5 US shipping included)
- Pledge $32 Extra (per copy) - Women Destroy Horror! special issue in trade paperback ($20 International shipping included)
- Note: Women Destroy Science Fiction! special issue LIMITED EDITION in trade paperback is also now available, but it’s one of the PRIMARY rewards, not an add-on, because we have a limited quantity available. If you want to select it, you should choose it as your primary reward, and then select whatever additional add-ons you’d like.
Magazine / Subscription Add-Ons
Note: For subscription rewards, you can purchase gift subscriptions for others, but please only purchase one subscription for yourself (i.e., don’t purchase two 24-issue subscriptions in order to get a 48-issue subscription).
- Pledge $19 Extra - Ebook subscription to NIGHTMARE (12 issues), includes back issues 1-33, subscription begins with #34.
- Pledge $31 Extra - Ebook subscription to LIGHTSPEED (12 issues), includes back issues 1-61, subscription begins with #62. If you already have issues #1-61, we will substitute FANTASY issues #1-58.
- Pledge $67 Extra - Ebook subscription to LIGHTSPEED (24 issues), includes back issues 1-61, subscription begins with #62. If you already have issues #1-61, we will substitute FANTASY issues #1-58. Note: If you selected one of the LIGHTSPEED subscription rewards, this is included with your pledge as a result of our stretch goal.
- Pledge $115 Extra – FANTASY MAGAZINE Ebook MegaBundle (every issue, 1-58). Pledge $120 Extra - LIGHTSPEED Ebook MegaBundle (every issue, 1-61).
- N/A - NIGHTMARE Ebook MegaBundle (every issue, 1-33). If you want this add-on, just grab the NIGHTMARE subscription reward either as your primary reward or an add-on. Because of our $20K stretch goal, this is included with NIGHTMARE subscription rewards.
- N/A - LIGHTSPEED Ebook MegaBundle (every issue, 1-61). If you want this add-on, just grab one of the LIGHTSPEED subscription rewards either as your primary reward or an add-on. Because of our $20K stretch goal, this is included with LIGHTSPEED subscription rewards.
- Pledge $17 Extra (per copy) - LIGHTSPEED: YEAR ONE anthology [info] in trade paperback ($5 US shipping included)
- Pledge $32 Extra (per copy) - LIGHTSPEED: YEAR ONE anthology [info] in trade paperback ($20 International shipping included)
- Pledge $17 Extra (per copy) - THE MAD SCIENTIST’S GUIDE TO WORLD DOMINATION anthology [info] in trade paperback ($5 US shipping included) **Includes a story by guest-editor Seanan McGuire**
- Pledge $32 Extra (per copy) - THE MAD SCIENTIST’S GUIDE TO WORLD DOMINATION anthology [info] in trade paperback ($20 International shipping included) **Includes a story by guest-editor Seanan McGuire**
Risks and challenges
The Queers Destroy Science Fiction! special issue is scheduled to publish June 1, 2015. LIGHTSPEED has been publishing monthly issues since June 2010, and we haven't missed an issue or had an issue come out late in all that time, so there's no reason to suspect that we'll start now. We also hit all of our reward fulfillment deadlines for our previous "Destroy" project, Women Destroy Science Fiction! (which also included bonus special issues Women Destroy Horror! and Women Destroy Fantasy!, all of which came out on schedule).
But not only should you not worry about us delivering; you also shouldn't worry about the quality. LIGHTSPEED won the 2014 Hugo Award for Best Semiprozine, and our Women Destroy Science Fiction! special issue received all kinds of acclaim--including being named one of the best books of 2014 by NPR. So all signs point to the Queers Destroy Science Fiction! issue being another awesome one.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (32 days)