Summary: Lightspeed, 2012
Lightspeed is a newish webzine (it began in 2010) focused on Science Fiction and Fantasy, edited by John Joseph Adams. In 2012 it officially merged with its former companion, Fantasy Magazine. Also, late in 2012, a horror companion was added, Nightmare. Finally, I should mention that beginning in January 2013, I will be serving as reprint editor for the magazine.
Lightspeed publishes 2 SF and 2 fantasy original short stories each month (length extending to shorter novelettes), and also 2 reprint stories in each category, and other content such as artist spotlights, an editorial, and author interviews. The ebook edition includes bonus material in the form of a reprint novella each month, occasional excerpts from recent novels, and additional nonfiction. In 2012, I counted just about 230,000 words of original fiction this year. This was 48 stories, three of them short novelettes, the rest short stories (a couple of which were just under my 1500 word boundary that makes them "short-shorts" in my perhaps eccentric categorization).
They had another very good year. I am taking two stories for my Best of the Year anthology. These are "The Gravedigger of Konstan Spring", by Genevieve Valentine (February), about a town by a spring with curious properties; and "Give Her Honey When You Hear Her Scream", by Maria Dahvana Headley (July), a sharp romantic story of love affairs involving a wizard and a witch. Other first-rate stories included Caroline Yoachim and Tina Connolly's "Flash Bang Remember" (August), an engaging YA-ish story set on a generation ship and concerning a girl brought up with a common childhood to many predecessors; Adam-Troy Castro's "My Wife Hates Time Travel" (September), another love story, and also a clever look at the ramifications of the invention of time travel; and Linda Nagata's "Nightside on Callisto" (May), a strong SF adventure set about a small skirmish in a war against AIs. Also two stories from April, "Ruminations in an Alien Tongue" by Vandana Singh, about an alien structure and a woman who studies it and the man who keeps coming back to her through time and the structure, again and again; and "Forget You" by Marc Laidlaw, a lovely brief fantasy about lovers and memory. Also, two stories bordering on horror: "Blue Lace Agate", by Sarah Monette (January), a bit of a "buddy cop" story about two members of the Bureau of Paranormal Investigation looking into a murder; and "Renfrew's Course", by John Langan (May), in which a couple retraces a sinister route in Scotland, rumored to lead to a magician who will make you his apprentice, at great cost. I should mention as well a very fun steampunkish story by Carrie Vaughn, "Harry and Marlowe and the Talisman of the Count of Egil" (February); and also a sweet coffee shop fantasy by Ken Sursi, "The Seven Samovars" (September). There was good work too by Ken Liu, Marissa Lingen, Benjamin Parzybok, Richard Bowes, Jeremiah Tolbert, C. C. Finlay, and Sandra McDonald.
The stories are evenly split between SF and Fantasy (according to the design of the magazine), and the writers as well are evenly split between men and women.