17 January 2017

Remembering Butler

I can't resist mentioning a super interesting article by Scott Timberg over at Salon.com about awesome writers Junot Diaz and Octavia Butler. It's called Remembering Octavia Butler: "This country views people like Butler and like Oscar as aliens and treats people like us like we're from another planet". Diaz discusses Butler's significance, his favorite Butler stories, and puts it all in the context of our current societal issues. Among other things Diaz says "Butler was a model of artistic courage." Check out the article!

What are your favorite Butler stories?
I must admit Parable of the Sower really speaks to me. The dystopian aspects are chilling. The environmental collapse seems prescient.

What do you think Butler's influence has been on our culture?
IMHO: huge! Furthermore, her work, her life and her courage speak to readers more and mroe every year.

In other news we've closed for subs for the fabulous February 2017 issue. We're deep in the slush pile...

10 January 2017

art vs. entertainment

Somehow our next submission deadline has crept up: January 15, 2017! Get those stories in to be considered for the fabulous February 28, 2017 issue of Electric Spec! We're starting our twelfth year of publication!
Of course, after that we'll consider your story for our marvelous May 31, 2017 issue.

Over the holidays I actually went to a couple movies, in actual movie-theaters! It made me think about the eternal dichotomy artists--including authors--must face: art versus entertainment. Art is difficult to define. It includes a diverse range of activities which are intended to evoke some response in the viewer. Entertainment might be defined as an activity that holds the interest and attention of the viewer, often giving pleasure. Hhm. If you think these seem very similar I agree with you. (Maybe my definitions could be better?)
In my subjective opinion, a movie in which everyone dies in the end might be considered more art-y. Thus possibly the divide between art and entertainment is pleasure. If something is more pleasurable it's more entertaining? If something is less pleasurable it's more artistic? I need to ponder this some more.

At any rate different fiction markets have a different balance of art vs. entertainment. Before you submit a story you should peruse previous issue of a 'zine. Luckily, we have all the issues of Electric Spec still available! And they're free! Wow!
Here at Electric Spec we're probably a little bit more on the entertainment side of the divide...

Send us your stories!
And stay tuned for an exciting new issue at the end of February!

20 December 2016

girl cooties rock!

There's a new group on our planet called Girl Cooties. They are all about Science fiction for women by women. Their welcome page says If you’re interested character-based stories that examine who we are and how the big questions of science and society affect us in our daily lives, this is the meeting place for you. Yay!
And We have no interest in negativity or in tearing others down. Yay!

They formed to help address The Leaky Pipeline: Where are Women’s Voices in Science Fiction? question. The bottom line is fewer female SF authors are published and reviewed. Boo! Check out Dr. K. Kitts' article here.

Personally, I love SF--and,spoiler alert--I am female. If you love SF, Definitely check out the whole awesome Girl Cooties site here. Girl Cooties Rock!

And don't worry, here at Electric Spec we still love male (and agender, bigender, transgender, cisgender, basically all genders) authors and fantasy, and macabre horror, and all other kinds of speculative fiction.
Send us your stories!

13 December 2016

story endings

Yes, we are still revelling in the fabulous November 30, 2016 issue of Electric Spec! But we are also starting work on the fabulous Februrary 2017 (!) issue.

I've been working on the slush pile...

There seems to be two different schools of thought on story endings. I've read some stories in slush which seem to sort of peter out.
Some people might say this is a sophisticated ending, an artistic ending. I'm afraid I would say this is not an emotionally satisfying ending. If you survey the stories in our 'zine we tend not to publish the peter-out endings.

The alternative school of thought is a kapow-whiz-bang! ending. I prefer these. I want authors to engage my emotions. Make me laugh! Make me cry! Make me say, "Aw!" I want authors to take me on a journey. Let's go somewhere. Let's have an adventure!

Of course, not all editors agree with me.

No one ever said writing was easy...

06 December 2016


Here at Electric Spec we're still revelling in the stories in our November 31 2016 issue. They're all quite different, from Lenin's Nurse: Notes for a Dissertation by Chris Barnham to Gazer by Karen Osborne to The Yuru-chara of Hector, NY by Morgan Crooks to Childe Roland by Sidney Blaylock, Jr. to Mered's Lament by Chris Walker. (And yes, that may be the longest sentence I've ever written!)

What's your favorite? I must admit, I really enjoyed them all!

If you haven't read them all yet: do so!

It's also neat that we got so much behind-the-scenes info from authors, here on the blog.
Thanks, authors!

And soon we'll begin work on the 2017 issues...