30 August 2012

We're Live!

The awesome new issue of Electric Spec is live! Go check it out!
Thank you very much to everyone who helped us put this one out including authors Andy Goldman, James Bizzel, Joe Ollinger, Simon Kewin, Linda Hilburn, and this time Nikki Baird! Woo hoo! Thanks to our cover artist, Laura Givens. Thanks to all the editorial and technical staff.

And for those of you who submitted stories and didn't make it into the issue: Thank you to you, too!

Especially, thank you, Readers!

28 August 2012

Get Ready!

Readers, get ready! Start your, uh, spectacles? E-readers? I guess start whatever you want to start. This week we will release our new issue of Electric Spec! Some highlights include:

As Dave recently alluded to, there's lots of awesome fiction! In the fantasy sub-genre, we have "My One and Only" by James Bizzell, which uses an unique story structure to explore the question of just what is a soul mate. Also in fantasy, Simon Kewin brings us "The Chronicles of Zer" which emphasizes the importance of books being read. In the cyberpunk department, we have "False Negative" by Andy Goldman, which reminds us the spam in our inbox isn't nearly as bad as it could get. Another late summer thriller for sci-fi readers is Joe Ollinger's "10,000 Bones", an extraterrestrial noir tale that will shake you to your . . . er, bones.

And as if all that wasn't enough, in Special Features, we offer an interview with vampire writer Lynda Hillburn, of Kismet Knight fame. And finally, we're excited to present a new addition our Editor's Corner: our awesome associate editor Nikki Baird shares with us the unique romantic fantasy, "The Hundred Year Storm." Combine that with dramatic cover art and you have a super-fantastic ezine issue! W00t! :)
I admit I may not be totally objective.

Check it out this week!

24 August 2012

New Issue Almost Here!

We're putting the final touches on our August issue, which comes out one week from today. To whet your appetite, I'll mention that one of the stories I edited was unique not just in its plot, but also in its structure. Really cool how the events in the story mirror the structure of the story itself. (Okay--I won't keep you guessing. It's James Bizzell's "My one and Only.") I'm also excited because we have a great story from one our favorite E-spec authors, Simon Kewin. I believe this is Simon's forth story with Electric Spec!

21 August 2012

writing tips from writers

Many of you may have seen this already but BuzzFeed has a nice collection of "30 Indispensable Writing Tips From Famous Authors". For our writers, here's a nice sampling:
  • If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.--Elmore Leonard
  • Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.--Anton Chekhov
  • If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.--George Orwell
  • Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler's heart, kill your darlings.--Stephen King
  • Remember: when people tell you something's wrong or doesn't work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.--Neil Gaiman
  • A short story must have a single mood and every sentence must build towards it.--Edgar Allan Poe
  • Start as close to the end as possible.--Kurt Vonnegut
Read all the tips here.

In other news, our fabulous new August 31, 2012 issue of Electric Spec is coming along swimmingly! Be sure to check it out next week!

17 August 2012

a couple good links

We interrupt our regularly scheduled broadcast for two neat links.

On Writers in The Storm Blog, Kristen Lamb explains What Star Trek Can Teach Us About Great Writing--the 2009 J.J.Abrams movie. Electric Spec readers and writers should enjoy topics such as

  • Star Trek proved that imperfect characters resonate with audiences.
  • Star Trek perfected showing, not telling.
  • Star Trek employed parsimony.
  • Star Trek showed character via relativity.
  • Star Trek relied on character and story.
  • World-building is something a writer must employ to assist or accentuate the core conflict.
There's lot of good advice here!

The president of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers (RMFW), Mark Stevens, talks about Tall Tales: Rocky Mt. Fiction Writers Conference in Denver. I agree with Mark. The RMFW conference is awesome! Check it out Sept. 7,8,9 2012 in Denver if you can.

14 August 2012

behind-the-scenes update

We, The Editors, are in the thick of things, getting ready for the new issue of Electric Spec. Personally, I finished my initial edits of my two assigned stories, and passed things off to the authors for their feedback.
What the heck? I'll tell you about them (because they're both really good). "False Negative" by Andy Goldman is a disturbing extrapolation of what could happen if human beings have to deal with their selves being spammed. "10,000 Bones" by Joe Ollinger is a tale of disillusionment and human greed--set on another planet, of course. Yes, these are both science fiction. I do tend to edit the most science-fiction-y of our stories because I'm a scientist. :) Read the new issue on August 31, 2012!

We also have something new in the upcoming issue: a story by our Associate Editor, Nikki Baird, in Editor's Corner. For those of you who don't troll the obscure webpages of Electric Spec,
Nikki Baird writes science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Her short horror story, "Devastation Mine" was published as part of the anthology Broken Links, Mended Lives, which was nominated for a Colorado Book Award. She has been a finalist in the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers' Colorado Gold contest for the last two years in the Speculative Fiction category, and is a regular contributor to writersonthebrink.com. Read more about Nikki here. So, be sure to check out her story, too!

In other news...we have been neglecting the slush pile. :(
Sorry. We'll get back to it soon. If you've submitted: hold on!

07 August 2012


Once in a while we get an author who doesn't want us to edit their story or they don't want to sign the contract or they want us to edit their story before they sign the contract or similar. What happens when this occurs? The author doesn't get published. Personally, I find such situations quite sad. The author has gone to the trouble to write a good story but hasn't gone to the trouble to learn about the publishing business. Editors never work with content without a contract.

It's particularly sad with regard to Electric Spec because we created the 'zine with the sole purpose of helping authors. All the editors are writers and love fiction and we all know how tough the publishing market is. We want to help you get your best work out there for the reading public! When we edit a story we always work with the author in partnership to create the best story possible.

We're now accepting submissions for our November 2012 issue. Check out our Fiction Submission Guidelines where it says before publication we may edit the story for length or readability. However, we always remain true to the spirit of the story.

Good luck! :)

03 August 2012

production meeting

My head has finally stopped pounding enough to give you all an update. We, The Editors of Electric Spec, had our production meeting this week. We had a super-duper special guest: our associate editor Nikki Baird. Thanks for all your help, Nikki! Plenty of fun and excitement and refreshments and arguments were had by all. I admit the caber toss was probably a mistake. One of us (okay, it was me) had 8 different kinds of beer! Possibly writing the blog post about the production meeting isn't quite the high honor my fellow editors and the beer goggles may have led me to believe...

Anyway, we are smack dab in the middle of the process of emailing the authors in hold-for-voting to tell them the big news. Stay close to your inbox if you're waiting for 'yeah' or 'nay'. If you didn't make it in the issue: thank you for submitting--we appreciate it. If you did make it in: Congratulations! We will start editing the stories as soon as we get the contracts back. What else? We plan on five neat stories in this issue. We have a neat story planned for Editors Corner. Editor Betsy will do a neat author interview. We have neat cover art. Apparently, I use the word 'neat' too often. :)

There were some spirited discussions about which stories to include. What was the tie-breaker? Originality. If there was a story that included a plot idea or a world or a story structure we hadn't seen before, it had a better chance. If we couldn't predict where the story was going, it had a better chance. We also did have to address the question of issue balance: we could not have 5 stories about love triangles involving a mopey human, a vampire, and a werewolf. Darn!

Please check out the new issue of Electric Spec on August 31, 2012!