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Welcome to issue 142 of LIGHTSPEED! Once upon a time, television viewers enjoyed the thrilling investigations, fast cars, and casual lifestyle of Magnum, PI. This month, we're delighted to offer you Shiv Ramdas' new fantasy novelette, "Bhatia, PI," which features a thrilling investigation, fast lies, and a lifestyle not so much casual as "totally out of cash." If you're looking for a few good laughs, we think Bhatia has you covered. Our other original fantasy works include Maria Dong's new story "Nine Tails of a Soap Empire"-a tale of obsession and power that will make you re-think the bubbles beside your sink. Nicole D. Sconiers returns to our pages with a flash piece called "Hood Alchemy," a rumination on the way ordinary objects can change us-even without magic. Our fantasy reprint is "All the Time We've Left to Spend" by Alyssa Wong. Our SF shorts include a scholarly essay from beyond the apocalypse: "An Exegesis of the Socioreligious Ramifications of the Collection of Peribi," by Daniel David Froid. If you've ever caved and bought your kid a fast food meal just because of the toys, this story might have extra resonance. In her new story "The Historiography of Loss," Julianna Baggott wonders what might happen if we could recreate the past, and what we might learn if we did. Merc Fenn Wolfmoor contributes a flash story, "The Heaven That They Never Knew," and our SF reprint is "Parables of Infinity," by Robert Reed. The nonfiction team has brought us spotlight interviews with our authors and some reviews of terrific new books. Our ebook readers will get a sneak peak of Maurice Broaddus's new novel, SWEEP OF STARS.
Have you used the Tibet Almond Stick from the Zenith Chemical Works in Chicago on fine furniture? Would a good paper airplane give you a soupcon of pleasure? Provided you were given assurances that you would not be harmed by the products of either, would you rather spend time with a terrorist or with a manufacturer of breakfast cereal? What in your view is the ideal complexion for a cow? Is there a natural law that draws a plastic bag to an infant similar to the law that draws a tornado to a mobile home? Do you understand exactly what is meant by custard? Would it be better if things were better, and worse if things were worse, or better if things were worse and worse if things were better? 2b1af7f3a8