Though it’s still 2 months away, issue #3’s original fiction is set: 5 stories, from Katherine Sparrow, David Steffen, Lavie Tidhar, Melinda Dansky, and Denali Hyatt.
Again hearkening back to “the kind of story I opened Bull Spec to publish” (a happy, lucky theme for me) is Katherine Sparrow’s 4600-word “Like Parchment in the Fire.” A very hard to categorize story, the author offered that it “has a radical alternative history vibe.” Definitely. A story which brings 17th century Britain’s “True Levelers” to life and contrasts and interweaves their struggles with the activities of the 1960s radicals of San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury District in a softly slipstream way which I was very, very happy to have in my hands indeed.
The second story I accepted for this issue comes from David Steffen. With the year-long graphic story having as its theme and focus time travel, I’ve turned down several pretty good and/or interesting time travel stories as just being too overlapping. David, whose fiction appears in Pseudopod, Brain Harvest, the Oz-themed dark fantasy anthology Shadows of the Emerald City, and has written some excellent non-fiction for Fantasy Magazine, sent me the 1300-word “Turning Back the Clock” and it… well, you’ll have to wait. It’s cool.
Really completing things from a non-local perspective is Lavie Tidhar’s 1800-word story “The Story of Listener and Yu-En”. It is a beautiful little story with a core of goodness I could not resist. Another one which is hard to categorize for me other than “speculative fiction”.
The last two stories come from local authors Melinda Thielbar and Denali Hyatt. Melinda’s 2200-word story “You’re Almost Here” is an amazing second-person rip through the near future which I simply cannot wait for folks to read; Denali’s 1800-word “Cityscape” is a beautifully well-imagined story of a far-flung planet in the distant future. It’s to be her first publication and I hope it’s the first of many.
So. 5 stories, 11700 original words. I might pick up a reprint still for this issue, but that mostly depends on whether I get one I really love, and how many and how long the excerpts, interviews, reviews, and other features are. Some of the interviews are set, others are pending, I’ll keep folks updated! This issue is looking like 68 pages already…