Lightspeed is a new online science fiction magazine edited by John Joseph Adams. Adams was an editor for the print magazine F&SF for nine years, as well as ongoing editor of many exciting theme anthologies, so he has lots of experience looking for good SF stories. It’s an exciting time for short story writers as they transition to online and ebook markets. Lightspeed is a good looking site, offering a number of innovative options, including audio versions of stories, as well as the ability to purchase issues in a variety of ebook formats, including Kindle, iBook, ePub and Mobipocket.
Reading Lightspeed online is apparently free, with “Our regular publication schedule each month includes two pieces of original fiction and two fiction reprints, along with four nonfiction articles. Fiction posts on Tuesdays, nonfiction on Thursdays,” but you can buy the entire monthly issue for reading immediately on your ebook reader for $2.99.
I tried to buy the first issue online, with the hope of using PayPal, but aborted my order when asked for my address and no payment method was stated. Since they take donations via PayPal that might be an option. It would be nice if that information was at the top of the checkout page.
I’m thinking about buying an iPad, so I’m looking forward to seeing Lightspeed on the beautiful iPad screen. I also discovered I can buy Lightspeed as a Kindle edition through Amazon and read it on my Kindle Reader for my iPod touch, so I purchased it that way for now. That took less than 30 seconds, and maybe less than 15. I wish all ebook magazines were this easy to get, and $2.99 is a very fair price I think.
I’m glad I didn’t buy the first issue online now because I would have had the hassle of downloading it to my computer, importing it into Stanza Desktop, and then going to my iPod touch and copying it over by WiFi. The Amazon method was much more direct.
So if you’re an ebook reader, check your different ebook stores for Lightspeed. It would be helpful if the Lightspeed site had a page about all the various ways to get it on your ebook reader program and device. This magazine is perfect for the iPhone crowd, and it would be extremely cool to see them combine their print and audio editions into an iPhone App.
I hope Lightspeed plans to distribute with Fictionwise because they are great at selling editions for almost any kind of ebook reading device, and they are a great site for getting all the major science fiction magazines in ebook editions.
Ebook editions might be the future of science fiction magazines.
JWH – 6/6/10