We Want Poetry!

With issue 3 available for pre-order, our poetry editor is hungry for more poems. Please feed him! We want poetry that takes one outside the ordinary, grabs the reader in the guts, and offers up a feast. The best guide to our taste is to read past issues of Bull Spec: send us something that would go well with the other poems we’ve published, would complement the stories, would add a little spice or would distill the essence of the whole in a single drop.

We’re particularly fond of verse that shows a story, whether it spans 10,000 years in ten lines or measures a moment in one hundred. Give us something speculative: entice the reader’s imagination, open up their soul, ask them to feel more than when they picked up the page.

Genre is a guide, not a blueprint. We’re happy to read poems that are clearly within the realms of science fiction, fantasy, horror, slipstream, cyber/steam-punk, the surreal, the realism of magic, and/or the weirdness of what everyone knows but refuses to talk about. But we’re just as eager for poems which weave in between and outside of these (often obscured) boundaries.

Please have a care with form. Our poetry editor wants poems, not flash fiction. Rhythm and rhyme, assonance and alliteration, metaphor and meter all have their place–but should never be noticed upon first hearing a poem. They are merely stones to step the reader from the known to the unknown.

Please send your poem(s) to poetry-submissions at bullspec dot com and let us know: (1) where you are writing from; and (2) if it has been previously published, where and when. If sending multiple poems in one submission, please let us know if they are meant to be published as a set or individually. Please send no more than 3 poems at once. You can put the poem(s) in the body of a plain text email or in a rich text attachment if particular formatting is required. A line count is much appreciated.

Please note: we are not yet open to non-local submissions of fiction. We are open to both local and non-local submissions of poetry (especially extraterrestial submissions from resident aliens orbiting Durham, NC). Please read our guidelines for further information, such as (the few) limitations on subject matter and details regarding rights purchased and payment made.


BULL SPEC #3 has gone to the printers! (Pre-orders, anyone?)

Whew. It’s been quite a ride, but Bull Spec #3 is now in the printer’s hands. That means:

Some notes of interest:

  • United Kingdom orders or subscriptions may select United States shipping! Yeah!
  • I’m working on Australia. Honest. Let me know how hard I should be working on that in the comments.
And just look at the cover, from local artist Jason Strutz!

So, what are you waiting for? Stories from Katherine Sparrow, Melinda Thielbar, Lavie Tidhar, David Steffen, and introducing Denali Hyatt; interviews/articles with David Drake (along with an excerpt of his novel The Legions of Fire, Joe Haldeman, Brandon Sanderson, William Gibson, Paul T. Riddell, and Firetower Studios‘ Jeremy Whitley and Jason Strutz, and Tachyon Publications on turning 15; poetry from Deborah Walker, David Sklar, Rob Elkind, Matt Ronquillo, and Robert Laughlin; reviews; trilingual flash fiction (thank you, Gio Clairval!); “Happenings”; and, of course, Mike Gallagher’s next installment of “Closed System”; and more story illustration by both Mike and Joey Jordan.

Whew. 3 months. 64 pages. And 3 months to do it all over again. Issue #4 will bring new fiction from David Tallerman, Nick Mamatas, Erin Hoffman, and, of course, more. (Interviews with Mark L. Van Name, Clay and Susan Griffith, Lou Anders, John Claude Bemis, …) So why not just subscribe and not have to worry about missing anything? You know, you can still subscribe back-dated to issue #1…


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