16 April 2024

Give your story the best shot

Wow! We're excited about all the great stories we got for the marvelous May 2024 issue of Electric Spec! Submissions for this issue are now closed.
Since we get so many stories, there's an easy way you can give your story the best possible shot at publication: obey our submission rules. Recall, these submission rules are listed on our Submission page. The main items are:
  • between 250 and 7000 words
  • traditional manuscript format: indented paragraphs instead of left justification and double-spaced
  • include the title, your name, address, and word length on the first page of your story
  • attachment in Rich Text Format (RTF)
  • subject line: SUBMISSION: Story Title by Author's Name (Word Count)
  • include a a cover letter
  • submit only one story at a time

Thanks for submitting! Good luck!

09 April 2024

Grab the reader

The next submission deadline is fast approaching: April 15, 2024.
We've already received a lot of great stories for the marvelous May 2024 Electric Spec Issue!
If you've submitted: thank you!
Our large number of stories means we get to be very selective about which we ultimately pick. Competition is stiff. For authors, this means you will be better off if you grab the reader on the first page. You will be even better off if you grab the reader in the first paragraph. There are many ways to do this including unique characterizations, dialogue, and/or descriptions, dramatic problems, dialogue and/or settings. Make the reader wonder: what happens next? If the editor is thinking this, we are much more likely to buy the story.
Good luck with your story!

02 April 2024

Gruesome murder stories

We, the Electric Spec Editors, have been hard at work on the marvelous May 2024 issue! This involves reading a lot of stories from the slush pile. I'm not sure why but recently I got to read several stories that featured gruesome, and/or bloody, and/or gory murders. Some of these were well-written stories. But it doesn't matter. We do not publish gruesome murder stories. Please send these stories to other markets!

19 March 2024

Basking in the February glow...

Phew! We're still basking in the glow of the fabulous February 2024 issue of Electric Spec.
We're so proud to present our stories:
  • "Artifacts" by Christian H. Smith--There's a secret way to bring wonders from dreams into the waking world, but some dreams turn into nightmares.
  • "Family Roots, Family Thorns" by Brian D. Hinson--The heir apparent to a spacefaring agricultural dynasty faces the dangers of ambition, betrayal, and DNA splicing.
  • "Neither Snow nor Rain nor Gloom" by Kathryn Yelinek--Delivering mail in faerie tale land takes muscle and determination... and a bit of sass doesn't hurt.
  • "Wane and Wax" by Devan Barlow--A princess with long hair, a tower, and a handsome suitor. This time, it's not what you might expect.
  • "The Howl of Darkest Night & Other Tales" by Alex James Donne--Horror stories are supposed to haunt us, though maybe not this much.

Which one is your favorite? I can't decide!

12 March 2024

Announcing 2024 RMFW Anthology

Many of the Electric Spec editors have been, or are, members of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers (RMFW).
We are excited about the 2024 anthology "Without Brakes, Fingers Crossed" which will be published September 7, 2024 and will include a story by the fabulous Paolo Bacigalupi!

Read all about it on the March 8 RMFW blog,

05 March 2024

From February Author Hinson

We are pleased the author of "Family Roots, Family Thorns," Brian D. Hinson, in the fabulous February 2024 issue of Electric Spec sent us some comments about the story:

A woman walks into a bar in New Taichung, Callisto…

Mirjana settled in at the Jammed Neck Ring, where a human bartender served. His braided red-blonde beard reached his belt. As she sat, he asked, “Perhaps you would like to try Quevedo Reposado Tequila?”

A group of New Mexico professional SFF authors, under the banner of Turquoise Apocalypse, meet once a month to critique. The quote above is from my novel that’s currently in search of a literary agent, but when it was under critique, Rebecca Roanhorse (Between Earth and Sky Trilogy) took issue with the scene above. “Would they really have tequila on the moons of Jupiter?”

Fair point. Tequila is made from blue agave, which takes an average of ten years to mature before it can be harvested for tequila production. It needs mineral-rich soil and a semi-arid climate that’s not excessively hot. The highest quality blue agave is grown in the state of Jallisco, Mexico where the altitude is around 5,000 feet, a major contributor to the necessary mild clime.

So, Rebecca had inspired me to write about the fictional Quevedo dynasty: centuries-long growers of agave and distillers of tequila. And Liquor Royalty. In the background of “Family Roots, Family Thorns,” the Quevedo family packed up the business when Earth’s climate made growing agave naturally beneath the skies impossible. Instead of going underground with climate-controlled greenhouses to scratch profit from a dwindling earth market, the Quevedos struck out for the Outer, where the market was untapped. Some genetic tweaking with the agave gave it maturity in two years.

And so the story begins with trouble in the dynasty, when the father chooses an heir to the fortune. And genetic engineering isn’t confined to the crop. It's employed in bizarre and contemptible ways during this brother-against-brother family war. And the effects stretch beyond what either brother predicted.

So, enjoy a shot of Quevedo Tequila, “…a little sunshine makes all the difference.”

Interesting! Thanks, Brian!
Readers, be sure to check out all the February 2024 stories!

28 February 2024

Fabulous February 2024 Issue Live!

The fabulous February 2024 issue of Electric Spec is live!
Thank you, authors! Thank you to our artist!
Thank you to the whole Electric Spec team!

Thank you, readers!
We hope you enjoy this issue as much as we did.