Thanks for sending a story to Bull Spec! We are indeed open and reading submissions as of October 1, and yours has been received and tagged into the submissions process. Where it goes from here is: a first reader (right now: me) will take a look, and decide whether it looks like something that the fiction editors, Natania Barron and Eric Gregory, should consider. You may hear directly back from a first reader via a form letter in the case of a rejection, or you’ll be notified when and if the story is forwarded on for further consideration.
The plan is to operate on a cyclical reading period basis of being open for two months, give or take based on the number of stories we need, and in the third month closing for submissions to make sure we don’t hold onto stories longer than necessary.
Again, thanks for trusting Bull Spec with a story, I hope we can do a much better job of getting back to you sooner and more clearly than I have been able to manage up to now. It’s good to be open!
Publisher, Bull Spec
Wait. Just wait a minute. Year 2 has barely started and I’m talking about Year 3?
I’m talking about Year 3.
When I started Bull Spec, I committed to two years. Thanks to an awful lot of support (and trust, and work) from you all, I think that the magazine should go longer. I haven’t been accepting stories, or, in point of fact, reading many stories—if I can’t accept them, I shouldn’t be reading them, or at least that’s my excuse today—and that simply can’t go on. So I’ve been trying to get a plan set which not only means there will be a third year, but (in my opinion) that the magazine will be stronger.
That means among other things that’s it’s time for me to let the professionals get to work. On that note, I’m very happy indeed to announce that Natania Barron and Eric Gregory are coming on as Bull Spec‘s fiction editors.
What does this mean? The stories they accept will appear (along with a few I already have accepted) as early as Issue 8 publication wise, but effective immediately they’ll be the ones reading and accepting and editing stories. (Though it doesn’t yet mean that we’re open for new submissions, as there are still quite a lot of stories to be read, and we have a reading process to get into place.) It also means that Bull Spec‘s fiction will be even stronger, as Natania and Eric are very talented and imaginative young writers (and editors—Natania was most recently co-editor at Crossed Genres and Eric is one of the fiction editors at The Raleigh Review) with great eyes for good stories. I’m very excited about this, and I hope you all are as well.
It also means that Bull Spec is in good hands going forward, for Year 3 and beyond. Hooray! (And as a side note, completely unrelated I assure you, a subscription starting with issue 6 is now available, which means the first issue of Year 3 is, in a way, available for pre-order already!)
And there’s more plans. Finally, finally, real e-book versions? A completely re-vamped and (non-Sam-edited-by-hand-nonsense) website? A pile of book giveaways and other promotions? Yes. Soon. But for today, let’s celebrate Natania and Eric being so
foolish awesome, and look forward to their reign of terror awesome over the slushpile. Again: Hooray!
OK. Here we go, announcements time!
1. Bull Spec #5 is available now! IN PRINT: You can (1) come to Quail Ridge Books tonight for the launch party at 7:30; (2) wait until early next week for the issue to show up on local newsstands; or (3) order (or, you know, subscribe…) print copies at [bullspec.com]. IN PDF: (1) E-bookstores Weightless Books ($) and Wizard’s Tower Books (£) both have the issue available, or (2) via the still-funky-clunky e-order page.
2. The issue contains the winner of the Bull Spec Teen Writing Contest. That winner is Hillsborough’s Benjamin Paul, whose story “The Messengers” is on page 29. Honorable mention goes to Maryam Ali’s “Out of Darkness”.
3. Speaking of contests, the BLACK HALO backhanded evil mini-blurb contest also has a winner. While I really liked Jared’s “Probably not the book you’d expect from the cover art.” the book goes to Steve Burnett, though, for:
For writing Black Halo, Sam Sykes should not immediately be helping the police with their inquiries.
4. Lastly, and this quite fun: I’ve just heard from SFWA (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America) that its board has voted to accept Bull Spec as a qualifying short fiction market. That was one of the goals I set out for Bull Spec, and along with delivering on a (more or less!) quarterly schedule, now looks to be achieved. Thanks again to the writers and artists who’ve entrusted me with their work, and I look forward to the next challenges.
While print copies won’t be available until the launch party at The Regulator on Wednesday, January 12th, BULL SPEC #4 is available now for orders and downloads and sample previewing in the usual places.
Again the cover is from Carrboro’s Jason Strutz:
And behold! the contents of what squeezed into the
64 68! pages, cut-and-pasted nearly unformatted from layout for now:
Jet Packs! Jason Strutz
4 Freedom Acres Andrew Magowan
12 O, Harvard Square! Nick Mamatas
16 The Burning Room David Tallerman
21 A Mathematician’s Apology Don Norum
24 City of Shadow and Glass Erin Hoffman
26 Tornado of Sparks James Maxey
33 Closed System Mike Gallagher part 4 of 4
32 Closed System Mike Gallagher ≈ Interview
by Samuel Montgomery-Blinn
42 Pyr at Five & 100 Lou Anders ≈ Article and
Interview by Samuel Montgomery-Blinn
50 Children No More Mark L. Van Name ≈
Excerpt; Essay and Interview by Dan Campbell
56 The Greyfriar Clay and Susan Griffith ≈
Review by Natania Barron; Article by Alex
57 Pathfinder Orson Scott Card ≈ Article by Alex
58 Reviews ≈ Surface Detail Iain M. Banks
by Patrick Ward; The Secret History of
Fantasy Peter S. Beagle by Paul Kincaid;
The Horns of Ruin Tim Akers by
Joseph Giddings; The Strange Affair of
Spring-Heeled Jack Mark Hodder by Joseph
Giddings; The Way of Kings Brandon
Sanderson by Richard Dansky; Stories Neil
Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio by Richard Dansky;
The Universe in Miniature in Miniature
Patrick Somerville by Jason Erik Lundberg
64 Poetry ≈ Masdevallia Mark Brandon Allen;
Beastwoman’s Snarled Rune Rose
Lemberg; Enchantment Jennifer McConnel;
with the fisher on the lake Kaolin Fire;
The Guardian at the Fountain of
Eternal Youth Alexandra Seide
66 Editorial ≈ The Year That Was & The Year to
And… this exercise already revealed one error, in that one of the many things which couldn’t fit into these 68 pages remained in the contents list, that being Paul Kincaid’s review of Sacred Space. Actually that one will have to wait for issue 5.
Anyway: what are you waiting for? Get those orders on, and if you’re nearabouts the Triangle area, see you in a couple of weeks!
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.
Whew. It’s been quite a ride, but Bull Spec #3 is now in the printer’s hands. That means:
- Sample is up at Issuu! (Includes the complete “Happenings” section so dig in!)
- You can pre-order issue #3 right now!
- If you are a reviewer, you can request an early PDF copy be e-mailed to you (must accept 25 MB attachments!)
- Deliveries (local subscribers and stores) and mailings in 10 days or so!
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.
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…
Folks may get the idea that I need to get help. Well, I have.
Alex Granados is coming on as associate editor. He’ll be doing some fiction editing, handling the rewrite process, copy editing, and, when I get things sorted out enough to even be able to get help on that front, reading story submissions. His background is, like mine, in the newspaper world, and I’ve been so very fortunate to run into him.
Dan Campbell is coming on as the new Bull Spec poetry editor. He’ll be handling the poetry page(s) up until layout, so he’ll be reading submissions, evaluating them, editing them, and then sending me poems to publish. I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about his enthusiasm for this.
So: cheers! Welcome aboard, I hope I don’t lead us into the rocks, but it’s good to have a few folks on lookout and manning the sails.
First, some upcoming things which didn’t make Issue #2′s “Happenings” which I’ve recently learned about:
- I had local author John Claude Bemis‘ The Wolf Tree in Happenings, but not the book’s launch party at Purple Crow Books in Hillsborough on August 28
- Brandon Sanderson is reading and signing from Way of Kings: The Stormlight Archive, Vol. 1 at Quail Ridge Books on September 7 at 7:30 PM
- William Gibson (!!!) is bringing his Zero History tour to Duke University on September 21 at 7:00 PM
Second, and on the topic of scheduling, I’ve started putting together a schedule of folks you might see at the Bull Spec dealer table at NASFiC/ReConStruction this weekend. While I don’t know yet when some other folks will be dropping by, David J. Halperin has gotten the ball rolling by scheduling some time to meet and greet and talk to folks about his upcoming book (February 2011) from Viking, Journal of a UFO Investigator. I first heard about the book from SFScope, but did not read that last paragraph and had no idea that Dr./Prof. Halperin was writing from, literally, down the street from me. That bit of information only came via meeting him at a lunch outing with the Raleigh Write to Publish Meetup Group. Since then I’ve been very much looking forward to reading a book described like this:
The book is “structured like The Wizard of Oz and influenced by the work of Philip K. Dick, Philip Pullman, and Madeleine L’Engle, the book tells the story of a 1960s teenager whose mother is slowly dying. He keeps himself sane by spinning a story in which he duels with the embodiments of death, unravels the mysteries of time and existence, and becomes lover to the most desirable girl he can imagine, all in a world in which nothing happens that is not conspiracy. Eventually, the boy descends into the nether-world and emerges transformed. Much of the UFO content in the book is based on factual lore.”
And David is polishing up another book as well, so there’s lots to talk about. He’s going to be available Thursday (1-2p, 4-6p), Friday (11a-1p, 2-3p), and Saturday (2-4p), so there’s plenty of opportunities to fit him into your schedule, and to ask him how much of the UFO journal is autobiographical…
There is some great programming, from steampunk to podcasting and all manner of things between. Behold! The ReConStruction/NASFiC program schedule is out! And paired with the daily membership rates, those folks who have waited to get their plans (and memberships) together can start to figure things out.
(And don’t forget, if you’re either already in town or coming into town a day early, Wednesday August 4th, come to the 7:30 Bull Spec #2 party at Quail Ridge Books!)
And there’s some fun things to talk about, dealer-room wise… next week! Guests; books; signings; meet and greets; magazines; free smells; …
Well, putting together a UK shipment with a local reshipper, and this time I’m going to give folks a bit more time to get in on things. Until Monday morning EST (Update: extended to Wednesday, August 4th!), UK folks can order Bull Spec #1 and/or Bull Spec #2 and select “US Shipping”. I’m not ready to commit to better subscription shipping rates yet, but I think I’m getting closer. (Sorry Australia, I haven’t strong armed a friend/acquaintance into being a reshipper there, yet.)
Also: shipping is marginally less expensive for issue #2 than issue #1 (fewer pages) but I haven’t been able to update what passes for the order system to figure that out. If that matters to you, when ordering issue #2 in print: US folks, take $0.15 off of what you might think is a good gratuity; Canada take $0.35; World take $0.85.