BULL SPEC is now accepting subscriptions.

I’m finally at a point where I feel comfortable that I will be continuing the print magazine at the very least long enough to honor a 4-issue (a year, as BULL SPEC is quarterly) subscription. I didn’t want to open the doors taking subscriptions, but as Issue #2 is well underway, stories, reviews, and interviews starting to fill out Issue #3, and even a couple things already booked for Issue #4, I went ahead and flipped the switch. In keeping with the “pay what you like” theme for everything I do, subscriptions start at the projected $15 printing cost for the four issues. What are you waiting for? SUBSCRIBE NOW!


Free shipping to the United Kingdom until 8 PM GMT.

I’ve a box going that way anyway and a few more copies won’t overburden the load. So until 8 PM GMT (4 PM Eastern Time, about 7.5 hours from now) orders from the United Kingdom can select “Local” shipping. There won’t be a better chance to get BULL SPEC #1 if you’re in the U.K. so head over to the funky/ugly/terrible order form and grab a copy! (Limit one copy per person, please.)


Another review! Bookgasm’s Rodd Lott reviews BULL SPEC #1.

While he found some things I need to do better (such as give the reader something to go on before plunging them into an interview), Bookgasm’s Rodd Lott also had some very kind things to say in his review of BULL SPEC #1, calling BULL SPEC a “worthy vehicle for the short story” and singling out the first chapter of Mike Gallagher’s serialized comic “Closed System” as “great fun.”

So check out the review!


BULL SPEC #1 PDF available under a Creative Commons license at "pay what you want." Yes, even $0.

It’s the way I wanted to do things from the beginning, and even though it is the result of an awful lot of work (and not a tiny amount of money) I’m putting my money where my mouth is when it comes to a lot of things, the two that come to mind right now are:

  1. Gift Economy: Don’t want to pay, don’t pay. Want to support the authors, artists, and editor behind Bull Spec? I hope I made it easy enough.
  2. Creative Commons: The PDF file is offered under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. This means you can e-mail it to your friends, share it using BitTorrent or whatever, even host it on a non-commercial website. I’d like to ask nicely here that you don’t host it on a website for a few months so that “the place” to get the file is through Bull Spec for a little while. After all, it’s a free download, and hopefully it’s not going anywhere.

So. Yeah, the website is still not much. I’ve put my time into other things. But, as crufty as it is, it works. So what are you waiting for? Get the BULL SPEC #1 PDF already!


BULL SPEC is available at two new places.

The first is at the Chapel Hill location of Ultimate Comics, where I finally met owner Alan Gill and learned about as much as I could have hoped about the local comics scene. (For example, did you know that Cowboy Ninja Viking features an Ultimate Comics cameo? I didn’t.)

The second is at the Durham County Library‘s Main Branch. Don’t look for it in the periodicals section, instead head upstairs to the North Carolina Collection and look for the periodicals section. As a kid who grew up loving books and my own local public library, I’m very, very happy that you can find it there.


A truly "diabolical" contest.

The writing blog Diabolical Plots is having a little contest to celebrate its hit counter rolling into five digits, and what better way to celebrate fun base-10-centric milestones than with a giveaway? So I sent David Steffen an extra copy of Bull Spec #1 to give away.

But there’s a catch. Both Diabolical Plots and Bull Spec like to do interviews, and are asking you to give an idea of somebody in speculative fiction to interview. For the full details check out the Diabolical Plots post on the contest, and good luck!

And if you just can’t wait a week to find out if you’ve won, you can always order a copy of your own. Just sayin’. (Or head to one of the 12 Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill bookstores carrying Bull Spec and pick one up today!)


Well, that’s neat. BULL SPEC #1 is "very cool."

In “Bull Spec” On Target for Speculative Fiction, Suvudu blogger (among many other things) Matt Staggs says the magazine is “very cool.” That’s very cool of him. Not as cool as this picture of him:

But pretty darned cool. Also “sharp-looking and smart.” That goes for Matt, too.


More stores, nearer you. And starting to spill the beans on BULL SPEC #2 content. And other random assortments.

First, some store updates. BULL SPEC #1 found a home in two more area stores today, bringing the total to 10. Thanks to All Fun & Games in Apex and the wonderful, amazing, beautiful shrine to books that is Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill. That place… well, I hadn’t been there yet and they just jumped in line for where I’d like to do an event.

More store updates? Let’s. Talks have been going very well with some very supportive folks: managers of the Raleigh-Durham area Barnes & Noble stores. Fingers crossed, anyone?

Anyway, it’s getting too hard to keep some things to myself with respect to the second issue. So…


Now that it’s in the can (on film and disk) I’m happy to say that BULL SPEC #2 will include an interview with John Kessel. Fiction and non-fiction author, anthology editor, two-time Nebula winner, professor of creative writing and science fiction at North Carolina State University, cyclist, and very interesting fellow indeed. Hint: he’s very skeptical about using things like Moore’s “Law” to argue for the likelihood of a technological Singularity.

Stories? Yes. An absolutely wonderful science fiction story headlines BULL SPEC #2: “Hirasol” by Melissa Mead. I have two more stories booked already for the issue, the first a hard-to-classify story from Uri Grey and the second a real “ride” of a fantasy story from Kaolin Fire. Not as much local flavor as I’d like, so a 4th story from a local author will be in there somewhere, maybe a 4th and a 5th, depending on whether I take another novel excerpt or not.

Some other interviews are planned, some poems are booked, some reviews are starting to come together, and, of course, the second (of four) parts of Mike Gallagher’s serialized graphic short story “Closed System” will remain the physical centerpiece of the issue.

Among other things, I am looking for a short essay to be translated into English/Spanish/French/Chinese for the issue, and if you read Josh Whiton’s “There Are No Orcs” in BULL SPEC #1 you would have a good idea what I am looking for.

On BULL SPEC #1: the PDF version is nearly ready, with some final bits to tweak. (Some early review copies were already sent out.) However the click-through “pay what you want, even $0″ e-order system is barely started. I know I need to get that available to folks, and I’ll keep the midnight oil going until it’s ready.

And I’m way, way behind on reading submissions. Sorry to everybody on that front. But I hope the pavement pounding I’ve been doing to get into stores, and the stack of review copies I’ve been mailing out, end up paying dividends enough to make it worth the wait.


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