New speculative poetry review site Versification reviews the poetry in Bull Spec issues 1-6! I’m particularly happy that Versification‘s Erik Amundsen is the reviewer, as I’ve enjoyed his other reviews there. Overall, he provides a solid critique for our work with poetry over the last year and more, ending with: “Bull Spec seems to be developing quite well as a poetry publication. I know that poetry is not ever going to be its first priority, but its choices are showing signs of steady improvement, and I’m glad of that.”
In his LiveJournal The Elephant Forgets, Rich Horton summarizes the first year of Bull Spec and gives a statistical roundup along a pair of axes (author gender and story genre). In particular he notes Lavie Tidhar‘s “The Story of Listener and Yu-En” (issue #3) and Nick Mamatas‘ “O, Harvard Square!” (issue #4) along with mentions for Katherine Sparrow, Melissa Mead, Natania Barron, Don Norum, and Kaolin Fire. So: go read the roundup, and see what else Rich has been reading this year. (Hint: everything.)
Mark Watson recently reviewed Bull Spec #3 in Best SF and had some nice things to say, along with introducing me to some British zine terminology like “sides” rather than the pedestrian “pages”, and says, “There’s a lot in the magaze to like.” Thanks, Mark!
The Independent Weekly’s Brian Howe has a very nice article in this week’s issue, which is free to pick up all over the Triangle. Somehow he turned 90 minutes of rambling, disorganized nonsense into a no-nonsense article which hits on what speculative fiction is, a year of publishing and getting to know local authors and readers, how the zine has hopefully grown, and I’m really, really thrilled with it.
So, that’s it for me today. Go read the article!
So. In early-ish April my cats and I filmed a brief overview of BULL SPEC #1, and there was (other than intermittent interruption by cat) a pretty big problem: I’d held my finger over the camera’s microphone for a pretty good segment. Well, one of the things I never got around to doing was re-recording this, and besides: how could I recapture the magic of frolicking cats?
So, part one:
First, I took a few minutes the other day to fill out the questionnaire form for Duotrope’s Editor Interview for BULL SPEC. Some of the questions were fun, some were harder, some were impossible: “Describe what you publish in 25 characters or less!”
Second, the Locus Online: Monitor leads its Other Magazines: March-April index entry with: “New zine Bull Spec debuts” and it’s absolutely amazing (and probably a bit unfair to the other magazines, but I’ll take it) to be mentioned in the same sentence with Black Gate, Interzone, The NYRSF, LCRW, and the other great publications whose ranks I can only hope someday to truly join if I work very hard and get very, very lucky.
I’d enjoyed Frank Dutkiewicz’s very detailed reviews of Writers of the Future XXIV and XXV, and asked him if he’d take a look at Bull Spec #1 and give me the same honest, critical feedback. Wow. He more than delivered, with in-depth analysis of each and every story, excerpt, illustration, interview, and review. I’ve got some work to do to keep the things he liked going and to try to address his points of criticism, but I’m very grateful that he went over the issue with such a fine-toothed comb and attention to detail and that the baboons (it’s meant to be endearing, really) over at Diabolical Plots have published it: Frank Dutkiewicz reviews Bull Spec #1. At 4000 words it definitely takes over the title for most in-depth review, so check it out!
While he found some things I need to do better (such as give the reader something to go on before plunging them into an interview), Bookgasm’s Rodd Lott also had some very kind things to say in his review of BULL SPEC #1, calling BULL SPEC a “worthy vehicle for the short story” and singling out the first chapter of Mike Gallagher’s serialized comic “Closed System” as “great fun.”
So check out the review!
But pretty darned cool. Also “sharp-looking and smart.” That goes for Matt, too.