16 December 2014

set the hook

Many of the writer's conferences and workshops I've attended recently have focused on starting your novel or short story in medias res (in the midst of things). It does seem as if our culture has changed and readers, like everyone else, want immediate excitement. Author Jeanne C. Stein writes about this in a Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers blog entry Adventures in Genre Writing: Lesson Five. Jeanne's Genre Writing series is worth reading. One main point she makes in this installment is the opening of your story must "set the hook." You have to get the reader interested in your story very quickly. Jeanne also recommends against character or setting descriptions in the opening.

Take a look at your WIP. Do you have a bunch of descriptions in the beginning or do you set the hook? If you're happy with it, send it on over!

09 December 2014

genre fusion

I enjoyed Cory Dale's term "genre fusion" in the recent Electric Spec author interview. She said, I can't write anything that doesn't combine genres, and fantasy sneaks into all my stories no matter what. ... I write what I like to read. I wanted to create something unique, something I'd never seen done before. I like to think of ... genre fusion rather than a mash-up, and like cooking, the combined flavors work well together.

There's a down side to genre fusion, however. As Dale says Mashing up genres is great for readers, but it scares the crap out of publishers.

But don't fear, intrepid author! Electric Spec is definitely a market that appreciates genre fusion. Please send us your melded flavors of speculative fiction! We're looking forward to reading them.

02 December 2014

What's your fave?

Check out this excellent cover art by Karl Eschenbach:

What's your favorite part of the new issue of Electric Spec? I've really been enjoying all the stories and the interview and the cover art. I guess that's not super surprising since I helped make the issue. :)
Can you believe we just wrapped up the ninth year of publication?

And how about that poem in the "Letter from the Editors"? We can thank Editor Dave for that. Thanks, Dave!

As always, if you see something awry, please email us at submissions (at) electricspec.com without "SUBMISSION" in the subject line. We'd enjoy hearing your opinions here in the comments section.

Of course, we are currently accepting submissions for the first issue of 2015! Good luck!

30 November 2014

Live, we are!

We're live with the notable November 2014 issue of Electric Spec! Thank you authors! Thank you editorial staff, including Chris Devlin and Nikki Baird, our associate editors. Thank you to our tech guys at Hardlight Multimedia. And thank you to our cover artist Karl Eschenbach. We appreciate everyone's contributions.

And special thank you to our readers! We wouldn't exist without you!

25 November 2014

steampunk alternate history urban fantasy

We have a super-interesting author interview for our notable November 30, 2014 issue of Electric Spec. We're interviewing Cory Dale, author of Demon Fare, out December 15, 2014. Demon Fare is an utterly unique novel in the steampunk alternate history urban fantasy genre. And, yes, I just made up that genre, but this novel has it all.
It has lots of steam-powered machinery, and just look at the cover (left): it's very steampunky. It's alternate history because one hundred and fifty years ago something happened to Earth that put it on an alternate course. And it's quintessential urban fantasy in tone and plot: it has humor, it has romance, it has good versus evil, and it has kick-ass heroes.
I did ask Dale about this genre mash-up and much more. You'll have to check out the whole interview this coming Sunday November 30!

18 November 2014

epic fantasy with a twist

To finish up our preview of coming attractions, at least as far as short fiction is concerned, we have some epic fantasy with a twist in the notable November 2014 issue of Electric Spec. It's a bit curious that we don't get more epic fantasy submissions... (Hint, hint.)

In grad school I studied speculative fiction and I wrote a paper one semester in which I stated (provocatively) that there are reactionary elements inherent in epic fantasy. I was trying to stir up trouble but I do think epic fantasy tends to be old-fashioned with damsels in distress and brave knights, etc. Thus, you can imagine my delight in Tyler Bourassa's "Plight of the Magi" featuring a kick-ass female protagonist in an epic fantasy setting. As I've said before, we enjoy original fiction here at Electric Spec.

We also have a lovely (creepy) mixture of epic fantasy and the macabre in the next issue. The story in question is "Corrine's Song" by Michael Haynes, and it's one of the creepiest and saddest pieces I've read.

Are you intrigued? I hope so! Check out all our new stories on November 30!

11 November 2014

humor in spec fic

Surprisingly, we have quite a bit of humor coming in our notable November 2014 issue of Electric Spec. Personally, I really enjoy humor in my spec fix. We'll be interviewing Cory Dale on her upcoming novel Demon Fare, a humorous steampunk alternate history urban fantasy. (!) But I'll tell you more about that later in the month.

In the issue will be one of the funniest stories I've ever read, "Aladdin's Neti Pot" by Sarina Dorie. Imagine, if you will, the genie Aladdin living in a neti pot instead of a lamp... What could possibly go wrong? :)

We'll also have the story "Dennis" by Nathan Ehret. This starts out with The trouble with being a robot was you never got to do anything for fun. It just gets better from there.

I'd have to say, in general, humor can be a little problematic. Humor arises when the reader's expectations are subverted resulting in surprise. The reason humor is tricky is every reader has different expectations. The story in Editor's Corner this time will be my "Green is the New Black." I think it's funny, but you'll have to decide for yourself if you agree.

Also in the next issue will be "Best's Laid Plans" by Lane Cohen. We selected this story because it's a very good time-travel story featuring Pete Best and the music world. At the production meeting I was surprised to find out the other editors did not realize "Best's Laid Plans" was humorous. Look at the title; it has an actual pun! How could this not be humorous?
Also consider a quote from the story: "Oops," Britney said. "I did it again." Ha! But be forewarned: Britney is definitely not the character you might expect her to be.

Be sure to check out all the stories coming November 30, 2014!
Stay tuned in coming weeks for more previews of coming attractions.