We’re pleased to announce that BULL SPEC #1 is open for pre-orders.

While I’m sure we’ll find the edge cases that lurk and wait to bite, no orders are getting mangled or lost. So: BULL SPEC #1 is open for pre-orders: http://www.bullspec.com/order.

[And source code for the Google App Engine to Paypal ExpressCheckout portion of the site is available on GitHub: bullpay.py]

While any feedback would be great, in particular:

  1. Is having a pre-filled “suggested” gift appropriate? If not, should it be “0” or “empty” — with “empty” requiring some value to be entered before submitting the form?
  2. Do the gift buttons (0, less, more, roundup, enter my own, suggest) make sense?
  3. Would a “pre-confirmation” page be better or worse? It would fit in between the order form and navigating to Paypal. We started with such a page but took it out.

Thanks! We even had one pre-order already this afternoon!


Pardon the mess; Getting ready for pre-orders.

Pardon the mess, folks. There will be some intermittent issues at bullspec.com and http://www.bullspec.com — and potentially the e-mails @bullspec.com — while we roll over some DNS records in preparation for opening a simple site to start accepting pre-orders for the print issue. We’ve found our printing partner and finalized our first-run costs ($3/copy: 64 lovely full-size glossy pages, pull-out-able serialized graphic novel in full color in the middle if we can close on that in time), and are now working to finalize our payment processing partners. We do know the “price” for the first issue will be “$3 + $postage + $?” (no stinking “handling”) where the “$?” is up to you — yes, $0 is more than awesome. YES: $0 is more than awesome! We’ll have a nice list of content for the first issue put together “real soon now” as well, but one thing that won’t be in there: a single paid advertisement. (If you see something that looks like an ad; it’s more a ‘flyer’ to somebody we want to thank or something we’ve heard about that we just plain like. Maybe everyone else in the world thinks these are “ads;” fair enough.)

While we don’t know a couple of things (still working on that cover art decision and a few last sections of content), a bit more info on the preorder process, particularly our refund policy:

  • Before we go to press (mid January): up to and including full refunds (cost plus postage plus gratuity) with no questions asked. (Just please don’t preorder with the intention of doing this, OK? Thanks. If it’s a change in financial situation we’d ask, if possible, to only refund the gratuity portion, if any, as the main purpose of the preorder is to get the right size for the first printing. But we will respect your decision in this area.)
  • After we go to press: Please, no refund requests unless you don’t receive the magazine by the end of February. (The first go at labeling and shipping might be slow.)
  • After you receive the magazine: If you hate it; let’s talk about it and work out a refund and the passing on of your copy (local library donation, return, etc.) (And again, just please don’t order with the intention of doing this. All else? We’ll be cool.)

For bookstores and other shops crazy enough to jump aboard this early: talk to us! We have a few ideas for how we’d prefer to work with you but would be thrilled to hear about anything you’d have in mind. Particularly if you’re local we can be very, very flexible on how we handle stocking and returns. And if you’re willing to offer the ‘zine for our “$3+$?” “cover price” — we’ll practically bend over backwards to make it work.


Looking for a serialized graphic novel for the 2010 run.

OK. Let’s do this. BULL SPEC is looking for a 4 issue (2-4 full size pages each) spec fiction related comic for the 2010 run. Reprints OK. PG to low PG-13 rating. For original work: Not pro advance payment for comics at this time, but the text will be advanced at $0.05/word along with some additional advance for the art, though not at “a picture is a thousand words” as we would all like, not yet. But not insulting, and BULL SPEC will revert its share of all royalties to the authors until a pro advance is met. (Regular share after.) Contact editors@bullspec.com if interested.


We’re pleased to announce that BULL SPEC #1 will include a feature on: game designer and author Lee Hammock.

Rounding out our interviews for BULL SPEC #1 will be game designer and author Lee Hammock, currently Lead Game Designer on the RPG/FPS hybrid MMOG Fallen Earth for Cary, North Carolina-based Icarus Studios. We’re very much looking forward to sitting down with him and talking about his writing, gaming both digital and tabletop, Fallen Earth, and what’s next.


We’re pleased to announce that BULL SPEC #1 will include a feature on D. Harlan Wilson.

While for the most part we’re about to enter “stealth mode” as we get ready for the late January first issue, there are a few more things we’re just too excited about to keep under wraps. For today, we’re very pleased indeed to announce that BULL SPEC #1 will include an expanded feature on award-winning novelist, short story writer, cultural theorist, and screenwriter D. Harlan Wilson, including an interview and reviews of his latest novel (Peckinpah: An Ultraviolent Romance) and his latest nonfiction book (Technologized Desire: Selfhood & the Body in Postcapitalist Science Fiction). More to come? You bet.


We’re pleased to announce that BULL SPEC #1 will be including some articles, reviews and interviews, including an interview of: Jennifer Bedell & Zachary Boyd of Durham’s Sci-Fi Genre Comics & Games.

While some other things are still too much in the pending stage, we’re pleased to announce that due to such great response so far, we’re going to move to a full e-zine format a little ahead of schedule. To that end, we’ve started tracking down some articles, reviews, and interviews to include in BULL SPEC #1 in January, and we’re even more pleased to announce that our first interview will be of Jennifer Bedell & Zachary Boyd of Durham’s Sci-Fi Genre Comics & Games.

Having recently celebrated the 3rd anniversary of their brick-and-mortar store (ScifiGenre.com went online in 2003) great things are always afoot at a place which is near and dear to the hearts of speculative fiction fans in Durham and beyond. We look forward to taking you a bit “behind the scenes” at Sci-Fi Genre, and helping you get to know Jennifer and Zachary a little better in the process as well.


Slight updates to guidelines. Status.

We’ve made some updates to our guidelines and wanted to briefly highlight them:

  1. Explanation of logarithmic word count share for anthologies;
  2. We will accept attachments of any kind (as long as we can read them!) in future submissions periods;
  3. We will accept two story submissions per author, per submissions period, to avoid a common occurrence this time around of having already accepted a story on one or the other side of the speculative fiction spectrums and not giving enough time for a follow-up submission;
  4. Capped the first advance payment (upon acceptance) at $50, with the remainder still payable at publication; this allows us greater flexibility in making selections further in advance of publication, and only effects stories longer than 2000 words.

Also, we’re very, very close to closing out this submissions period. You’ve overwhelmed us, to be honest, with great submissions and made our jobs more difficult than we dared to hope. We appreciate everyone’s patience so much as we’ve gotten started on this crazy journey.


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