30 November 2011

New Science

I found this map of the future explorations of science fascinating. The Institute for the Future just had their conference and created a map from their discussions:

The map focuses on six big stories of science that will play out over the next decade: Decrypting the Brain, Hacking Space, Massively Multiplayer Data, Sea the Future, Strange Matter, and Engineered Evolution. Those stories are emerging from a new ecology of science shifting toward openness, collaboration, reuse, and increased citizen engagement in scientific research.

From this I envision all science turning into a giant wiki, even more than it is now. We can power and fund more study than ever before, harnessing the Internet and the Information Era. (Though I would argue we're entering a new era quickly: The Exchange Era.)

And of course for writers, the ideas based in these new scientific explorations are boundless. Have fun with them!

29 November 2011

New Issue Tomorrow!

It's down to the wire... A brand-new exciting issue of Electric Spec is coming November 30, 2011!
We have five fabulous stories from authors Neil James Hudson, Sam Kepfield, Sharon Dodge, Simon Kewin, and Steven Young.
We have an intriguing interview with up-and-coming novelist Rob Ziegler.
And our film critic takes a look at the work of Pedro Almodovar.
Of course, we also have a piece of excellent cover art, this time by Cathy Miller Burgoyne.
Be sure to read the new issue tomorrow!

Interestingly, two of our authors are 'repeat offenders.' To tide you over until tomorrow, check out Sam Kepfield's earlier story with us "Salvage Sputnik" and/or Simon Kewin's "Remembrance Day".

22 November 2011

carol berg interview

One of our favorite authors, Carol Berg, has a new interview over at sffworld.com: Interview with Carol Berg. Go check it out to learn more about why she writes fantasy, enjoys torturing men, er, male characters, and more. :)

Of course, back in 2007, our own David E. Hughes did an excellent interview of Ms. Berg: Interview with Multiple-Award-Winning Author Carol Berg. Amongst lots of other neat information, Berg gives advice for up-and-coming writers:
  1. Read, read, read, Read good writing. Read across genres.
  2. Write, write, write. Revise, then write more. Find serious fellow readers/writers with whom to exchange critiques. Learn to give critique and learn to take it.
  3. Learn the craft of writing. Learn grammar, learn the cliches of your chosen genre and how to avoid them (this is particularly important for fantasy writers where cliches are rampant thanks to the heavy influence of Tolkien imitators and D&D-like role-playing games!). Learn about maid-and-butler dialog, said-bookisms, and using your opening to make a contract with the reader, always remembering that craft does not diminish art.

Thanks, Carol! (And Dave!)

Coming November 30, 2011 a New Issue of Electric Spec! Yes, folks, it's true; it's just a little over a week away...

15 November 2011

why write?

We owe you guys a post, so here goes. Behind the scenes, we continue to labor on the upcoming excellent November 30, 2011 Issue of Electric Spec. Mostly we're editing stories right now. Everything's coming along well. We are excited to share the issue with you at the end of the month.

But somewhere in there I got to wondering, why do people write stories? George Orwell in his famous essay "Why I Write" gave multiple reasons:

  1. Sheer egoism.
  2. Aesthetic enthusiasm.
  3. Historical impulse.
  4. Political purpose.

Obviously, we're not all Orwell. :)
I've often heard authors say "I write because I can't not write." Being a writer is really the only vocation one can toil at for years with little or no financial compensation. I guess that makes it an avocation! Why do I write? I'm still pondering that one...

How about you? Why do you write?

10 November 2011

Electric Spec update

Greetings, dear readers! We, the Editors, successfully completed our production meeting for the fabulous new November 30 2011 Electric Spec Issue. There was lots of food and drink (beer!) consumed and imbibed. Spirited discussions ensued...but no one got bloody. Huzzah! One of us even had a chocolate volcano (okay, it was me). The point is, we did select five very good stories for our next issue. I believe all authors have been emailed one way or the other. Thanks for submitting; we appreciate it.
We discussed cover art and the upcoming movie column and an interview column. Everything's coming along nicely. Please check it out November 30 2011.

What's left to do? We have to edit the stories and columns and input the content into our content management system. And, of course, get the final go-ahead from authors.

We also need to start working on slush for our next issue.

As an aside, for any writers out there, we didn't have a lot of straight fantasy in submissions this time. We had some horror/fantasy, but no epic or high fantasy and not much urban fantasy. Recall epic/high fantasy is fantasy set in a so-called secondary (imaginary!) world. In contrast, urban fantasy tends to be set in the primary or real world with some magical or other paranormal elements thrown in. Some people call this type of primary world fantasy "low fantasy."

Anyway, we do like to have a variety of speculative fiction so consider sending us some fantasy for our next issue. :) Thanks!

08 November 2011

post thursday

Hi, folks. This is just a quick post to tell you we'll post on Thursday Nov 10 with some more behind the scenes Electric Spec info.

Good luck to everyone participating in NaNoWriMo!
Hang in there. :)

01 November 2011

behind the scenes report

Greetings, ElectricSpec writers and readers! We trust you survived Halloween okay, and hope those slammed by that freaky snow storm on the east coast are keeping warm. Here at Electric Spec we are between snow storms and working on the upcoming November 30, 2011 issue. We have gotten through the pre-October 16 slush--so you should have heard from us if you submitted a story before then. We've scheduled our production meeting, aka the beer-swilling arm-wrestling, knock-down drag-out, driven to fisticuffs debate over which stories to pick. We're working on cover art and columns and all the other behind-the-scenes stuff we have to do.

We will make our decisions about stories by the end of next week, so hold-for-voting folks should hear from us by then. Everything is looking really good at this point. Phew! I think that about covers everything regarding behind the scenes reportage. Be sure to check out the fabulous new issue on November 30, 2011!

Oh, and good luck to the NaNoWriMo folks!

Thanks for reading. :)