We’re pleased to announce that BULL SPEC SHORT #1 will be: Terry Bisson’s "George."

The summer before George was born, Katie and I lived in a house on a high hill. The hill sloped up gently on three sides, covered with thick grass kept short by the wind; but in the back, behind the house, if fell off sharply, down a high, rocky cliff, to the sea. The house was right at the top, about thirty yards from the edge of the cliff, and all we could see of the ocean from there was its top edge, where it tilted up against the sky. The cliff was so high and the wind from the sea was so noisy that usually we couldn’t hear the surf, even from the edge of the cliff. I would go there sometimes and peer down; there was no sound except the wind; and the surf moved in and out like great wings, beating against the wind and rock that pinned them down.

BULL SPEC is pleased to announce that BULL SPEC SHORT #1 will be Terry Bisson’s “George:”

Many of Terry’s short stories are the stuff of legend and hearsay. “They’re Made Out Of Meat” makes an at least monthly round of “Have you read this?” (or in the case of the short film based on it, “Have you seen this?”) across The Internets, but it was “Bears Discover Fire” which won the 1991 Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and Sturgeon awards for short story and which headlined his first short story collection, Bears Discover Fire and Other Stories in 1993. It was in that collection that I encountered “George” and it instantly became one of my favorites, and it was one another of the first previously-published works whose rights we started trying to solicit. Of the story, Terry wrote in his afterword for “Bears Discover Fire and Other Stories:”

I came to the short story both early and late. In 1964, after the birth of my eldest son, Nathaniel, I wrote a story about a kid born with wings. “George” won honorable mention in a Story magazine contest and made me fifty dollars. After a couple of false starts, though, I gave up the form entirely.

It was in the midst of writing these stories that I found “George” in the files of my literary ex-mother-in-law and read it, for the first time in years, with some trepidation. I was pleased to find that though I wouldn’t write it again, I wouldn’t change a word in it. Since it was noticed (if never published) by Whit Burnett of Story magazine, it is my connection with another era in literature; that also pleases me. And it is reassuring to me in another way.

I have sometimes felt that I was a gate-crasher in the world of SF, passing off odd mainstream works as fantasy and science fiction in order to get them published. “George” assures me that I have, in fact, for better or worse, been a fantasy writer from jump, engaged in a long process of coming home.

Terry is up to too many things to mention in one little announcement, but of particular note are his recent interview of Kim Stanley Robinson for “Galileo’s Dream,” and an excellent new edition of his alternative history novel “Fire on the Mountain” from PM Press. For more info on these and a whole host of other things, visit his website.

Look for BULL SPEC’s production of “George” online, in e-book, and audiobook, somewhere in the middle of 2010. We hope you will enjoy this story as much as we have.

We’re pleased to announce that BULL SPEC BENEFIT SHORT #1 will be: Joe Meno’s "The Architecture of the Moon."

By Monday the moon has stopped glowing. One moment it is the singularly most important shape in the nighttime sky and then it is gone…

BULL SPEC is pleased to announce that BULL SPEC BENEFIT SHORT #1 will be Joe Meno’s “The Architecture of the Moon:”

I first encountered this shimmeringly wonderful short story as one of featherproof books’ free mini-book light reading series, where you can download a well-produced PDF which you can print, fold origami-style, and enjoy. I would offer my thoughts on it, but those of The Story Prize judges do it far better justice than I could:

In lesser hands, these unconventional forms and outlandish leaps of imagination would feel like empty concepts, but Meno fills each of these stories to the brim with heart. There is true emotion hiding behind every trick mirror, and it comes across in spades. As I finished each story, I found myself looking forward to the next, wondering what Meno would surprise me with. But what sets this collection apart, and moved me the most, was that his characters consistently choose hope over despair. Meno brings great skill to every line, and proves, as in his story, ‘The Architecture of the Moon,’ that human connection can be the small light used to illuminate a great darkness.

“The Architecture of the Moon” (and other of Joe’s works) is available in your local and favorite online bookstores and libraries as one of the stories included in his collection “Demons in the Spring,” available in various formats and in various places as described on Joe’s website, a summary being hardcover and Kindle versions at amazon.com, and in audiobook format on Audible.

Joe’s newest novel is The Great Perhaps, a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice and the winner of the Great Lakes Book Award for Fiction 2009, and which the Chicago Tribune describes as “Laugh-out-loud funny but frequently sad, Joe Meno’s new novel runs the gamut of emotions and techniques as it depicts a Chicago family in turmoil.” It is available wherever quality books are sold.

Note: There will still be an English e-book version of this story, though it would be difficult indeed to improve on featherproof’s in terms of art and origami stylings, we’re hoping some e-book formats made for device and online viewing will help get this story into as many hands as possible.

Look for BULL SPEC’s production of “The Architecture of the Moon” online, in e-book, and audiobook as BULL SPEC BENEFIT SHORT #1 in December, with 100% of donations going to benefit DURHAM LITERACY. Thanks very much to Joe for bravely being the first author to grant BULL SPEC license to produce his work under these terms, and we hope to be able to start contributing to the Durham communities in the way Joe (and featherproof) do to Chicago’s. Another special thanks to featherproof for graciously allowing us to use the cover art from their awesome production of the PDF, credited to Bleached Whale Design.

Update: Due to some scheduling concerns, we may not be able to produce this at the quality level we’d like by December, in which case it would fall back to February. We’ll keep everyone posted. We’d love to see comments on whether people would like to see simultaneous release in all formats/languages, or have these trickle out as they are available.


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