Announcement: author Robert V.S. Redick joins the lineup for the Summer Speculative Fiction event

I’ve very excited to announce that we’ve added another author to the already amazing lineup for the 3rd annual Bull Spec Summer Speculative Fiction event. That author is Robert V.S. Redick, author of The Chathrand Voyage Quartet, recently completed with book 4, The Night of the Swarm, in February. Redick studied literature and Russian at the University of Virginia, tropical conservation and development at the University of Florida, and fiction writing in the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, NC. He has worked as the editor for the Spanish and French websites of the antipoverty organization Oxfam America, and as an instructor in the International Development, Community & Environment (IDCE) Department at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

The Night of the Swarm (The Chathrand Voyage, #4)

There’s also a Facebook event, which even though I haven’t sent out my mass invites for it yet, you can join, and invite your friends. You can? You should! The event, at Raleigh’s Quail Ridge Books on Saturday, August 3, will also feature Karen Lord, Will Hindmarch, Nathan Ballingrud, Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, and Mur Lafferty.


As of late last night, this is what you’ll get if you submit a story:

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!

-Sam

Sincerely,

Samuel Montgomery-Blinn
Publisher, Bull Spec


Bull Spec: Year 3, with fiction editors Natania Barron and Eric Gregory.

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!


Whew. Announcements a-plenty a-go-go!

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.


Well, BULL SPEC is a quarterly. Issue #4 now available!

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:

Cover Art
Jet Packs! Jason Strutz

Fiction
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

Graphic Short
33 Closed System Mike Gallagher part 4 of 4

Features
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
     Granados
57 Pathfinder Orson Scott Card ≈ Article by Alex
     Granados

Departments
40 Happenings
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
     Come

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!


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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