24 March 2020

Authors Give Back

There's lots of free fiction accessible from Electric Spec Issues. Please check it out, if you're looking for shockingly good speculative fiction. :)

Smashwords is holding the very neat Authors Give Back promotion March 20, 2020 through April 20, 2020 with many, many books marked down, so folks stuck at home can have good stuff to read.

Authors Give Back

From our Electric Spec family to yours: take care!

17 March 2020

from Editor Smith

If you haven't checked out the fabulous February 2020 issue of Electric Spec yet, I highly recommend it! In addition, there's lots of free fiction from our fifteen years linked to the Issues page--if you were stuck at home for some reason. Feel free to share your favorite story in the comments here! :)

Like Dave and Renata, I am a founding editor of Electric Spec. It was fun to connect with them lately and share their thoughts here on the blog. As I recall, creating Electric Spec was Dave's awesome idea. I also recall the name "Electric Spec," for electronic speculative fiction, was Renata's awesome idea. Wow! Talk about ideas that stand the test of time. Hurray for them!

I've told the story of the origins of Electric Spec at cons, but I don't think I have on the blog...
Dave, Renata, and another founding editor, Georgia, were in a Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers (RMFW) critique group together. We were all sending out short stories and getting rejections. One evening, we were shooting the, ah, stuff, about this sad state of affairs and Dave said, "Hey, why don't we start our own ezine?" We discussed it and thought we could be a kinder, gentler 'zine. We thought we could encourage and nurture writers. Bottom line: we all embraced the idea immediately.
This was in the very early days of ezines, so we basically invented our own wheels. As I recall, we all helped each other with everything, but Dave was great with the legal stuff, Renata was excellent with the editing stuff, and I did a lot of the technical stuff. Happily, it all came together.

Eventually, Renata and Georgia stepped down and we got another editor, Betsy Dornbusch, who put her stamp on things. (Betsy was also in a RMFW critique group with Dave and I.) She was instrumental in creating the current look of the ezine. Eventually, both Dave and Betsy stepped down and Grayson Towler and Nikki Baird stepped up. Chris Devlin stepped up to be a copy editor. Grayson, Nikki and Chris are also in RMFW. Hmm, I'm sensing a pattern...
As our popularity has grown, we've had to get a bunch of associate editors. First Minta Monroe and Candi Cooper-Towler joined us, and recently, Lauren Slawson and Beth Chan.

All our editors are committed to nurturing writers, helping them grow, and reach a wider audience. And, all our editors are volunteers!
So, kudos, to all the editors, past and present! Thank you for making a positive difference in the world! Hopefully, we'll be nurturing writers and entertaining readers for many years to come!

Take care, everyone!

10 March 2020

from Editor Hill

Check out the new issue of Electric Spec!
In honor of our fifteenth year, we asked Emeritus Editor Renata Hill for some of her thoughts.


Wow, 15 years! Very cool! I'd love to participate. A couple of stories STILL stick in my head...

My fave story was the one about the baby gargoyle and his guardian (sorry, I've long forgotten the title). The man went out in the countryside and tried to get the gargoyle to stay and live out there, but it flew home after him. I enjoyed it so much bc the characters were complex and vivid, I could see the setting (his house, this place in the country, etc) and the protagonist's development followed an interesting arc as he struggled to figure out what to do with this extraordinary creature who had entered his life.

The second most memorable story for me was an urban sci-fi adventure (don't remember this title either) about a young man who made money selling body parts on the black market. He had a pair of eyes that were very valuable. Gangsters were involved. The author did an excellent job of plunging the reader into this gritty, dark reality. I sympathized with the protagonist's determination to succeed and found the story very compelling.



Thanks, Renata! Very interesting! :)

03 March 2020

from Editor Hughes

We're still excited about the new February 28, 2020 issue of Electric Spec. Thanks again, to everyone who contributed!
You may not have noticed, but we started our fifteenth year! In honor of this, I asked emeritus editor David E. Hughes for his thoughts.


Thanks for the chance to comment. I'm so excited that Electric Spec has reached the fifteen year mark and is still thriving!

I remember being so nervous about launching the magazine. We were starting from scratch, and we had no idea if people would submit stories for our first issue. We did get submissions, but I was dismayed by much of the slush. Then I read "Raising Archie" by Michael Stone. Not only was it a clever story, but it was about gargoyles, which I already had a fondness for. I knew if we could pick up stories like that, then Electric Spec would be a worthwhile venture.

For the early issues, some of the stories that we picked needed some editorial help. We were often willing to take a diamond in the rough and make it sparkle. I don't think there were many (if any) magazines that would take time and effort to work on substantive edits in that way. For those stories where I ended up doing some major edits, I was often worried that the authors would be upset when they saw the proof. However, it turned out that most authors understand and appreciate edits. We ended up with some great final products.

I'd be remiss if I didn’t mention the Editor's Corner story: "The Dog that Broke the Camel's Back." I was lucky enough to co-write that one with current editor Lesley Smith. If I recall correctly, that one arose out of a writing exercise we did in our critique group. Lesley and I decided to try to write a story by trading off on the narrative. It turned out to be quite a wild ride since neither of us knew exactly where the story was going as we wrote it. (I know, not the recommended technique for a good story). It was so fun reading it again—-I love stories that make me laugh!


Thanks, Dave! Very interesting!

28 February 2020

New Issue Out!

Woo hoo! The new issue of Electric Spec is out! Woo hoo!

We're excited about all our new stories: "Welcome to the 27 Club" by JL George, "Strings" by P.G. Streeter, "The Tenders" by Aaron Emmel," "Mira Bug" by Stefani Cox, "The Prey" by John Wolf. Thank you so much authors! Thank you Artist Brian Malachy Quinn!

Thank you Editors and tech staff that made it happen!

Most of all, thank you readers! Woo hoo!

27 February 2020

from Author Cox

We're almost done with the fun February 2020 issue of Electric Spec. We're excited to feature the SF tale, "Mira Bug" by Stefani Cox. Here's what she has to say about it:

With "Mira Bug," I wanted to examine human longing for connection, particularly in the context of a mother/daughter relationship. The protagonist, Ginny, is adrift in her life, spending much of her time alone and focused on her work. When Mira comes into her life through the capabilities of Altern, she has a new way to reach out to another person. She's especially longed for a child, so her ability to "create" the kid she never had is at first empowering. However, as Ginny gets drawn further and further into the virtual reality of being with Mira, she loses touch with real world connection, which she also needs. It’s through letting go of her obsession with Altern (with the help of Alexis) and opening up to the possibilities of an actual child in her life, that Ginny reawakens to her true existence.

I'm always curious about how future technologies can both help and hurt us in questing for connection, and in seeking to understand ourselves better. I'm inspired by stories like those in the TV show Black Mirror, where human dramas interface with future technology. (Though I'd like to think "Mira Bug" leads to a happier ending.) Like most things in life, there are both positive and negative aspects upcoming advances, and we'll have to learn as a society how to deal with both.


Thanks, Stefani! Very interesting. Check out all the new stories on February 28, 2020!

25 February 2020

from Author Emmel

We're excited to feature Aaron Emmel's story "The Tenders" in our February 28, 2020 issue of Electric Spec. Here's what he has to say about it:

What excites me about this story, along with the magic tree and swashbuckling pirates, is a world where understanding how the world works is only the first step to being able to advise monarchs. You also have to understand and learn from your own capacity for failure. That ended up seeming even more fantastic than the magic, in two senses of the word--it doesn’t really exist, but it would be great if it did.


Very interesting! Thanks, Aaron!
Check out "The Tenders" and the rest of the stories at the end of the month!