26 November 2013

urban fantasy coming Nov 30

The next fabulous issue of Electric Spec is almost here! I'm excited, how about you? The final two stories I'd like to brag about are two urban fantasies: "Discarded" by Miranda Suri and "At the Wave's Ebb" by Eric Del Carlo. Both of these are set on contemporary Earth and have speculative elements.

In "Discarded" modern art comes to life to help (or not) a man come to terms with his issues. Why's it titled "Discarded"? You'll just have to read it and find out. We've published Suri before. You can find her story "The New Arrival" here.

In "At the Wave's Ebb" an unusual man also has to come to terms with his issues. How's he unusual? What issues are these? Again, read it to find out. :) We've also published Del Carlo before. Check out his story "A Crowd of Possibilities" here.

A couple weeks ago I was remiss in not linking to Fredrick Obermeyer's previous story for us. Check out "The Coincidence Factory" here. We actually have another Obermeyer story, "Birth of a New Day" here. Clearly, we like Obermeyer. Hopefully, you do too.

Please check out all the new stories on November 30 2013!

Thank you in advance to all the behind the scenes folks and all the contributing authors. We couldn't have done it without you. Huzzah, for you! :)

19 November 2013

a high fantasy coming Nov 30

Among our excellent new Electric Spec stories coming out on November 30, 2013 is "Page of Skulls" by Tony Peak. This story has some horror elements, but I'd say it's high fantasy. What is high fantasy, you ask? High fantasy is usually set in an imaginary totally fictional or "secondary" world. High fantasy does not occur in any version of our real "primary" world.
We published a high fantasy story from Peak before. Check it out here while you're waiting for the new issue.

Of course, the subdivisions of fantasy literature are many. Closely related to high fantasy is epic fantasy. Epic fantasy is fantasy that is defined by the epic nature of the characters, plot, and/or themes. Notice most epic fantasy is also high fantasy. Famous examples here include the classics The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, A Song of Ice and Fire.
Interestingly, we don't get a lot of high or epic fantasy stories. Think about submitting one, if you've got one or an idea for one.

Probably the most popular kind of fantasy these days is urban fantasy. I said the other day that urban fantasy is a fantasy set on contemporary planet Earth. Notice it definitely does not have to be set in an urban area--this is a common misconception. Urban fantasy takes place on our world; it just has fantasy element(s) added to it. Next week I'll discuss a couple urban fantasies we'll be publishing in the next issue.

Check back then! :)

13 November 2013

rural science fiction

I'm not sure how it happened but the marvelous new November 2013 issue of Electric Spec has two stories, which for lack of a better term, I'm going to call rural science fiction.
They are:
  • a scary near-future story "Cortex" by Steve Rodgers which will make you think differently about video games and
  • a hilarious present-day (?) story "The IUD that Landed in Grandpa's Backyard" by Fredrick Obermeyer.
Both stories take place in rural areas and have characters that are not, shall we say, classically educated. The characters have distinctive dialogue with lots of regional slang. I'm not sure I've ever come across this sub-genre before but I know you all will enjoy the stories.

It raises the interesting question of sub-genres. Last year I got my M.F.A. in Writing Popular Fiction and extensively studied the different genres and sub-genres associated with speculative fiction. One very popular sub-genre now with readers and writers is urban fantasy. Urban fantasy is not necessarily what it sounds like, however; it doesn't have to be set in an urban area. Urban fantasy is set on the contemporary Earth and fantastical elements are just added in.
Hhm. Based on the concept of urban fantasy, maybe the stories in question should be classified as urban science fiction...

You'll have to read them on November 30, 2013 and decide for yourself. :)

05 November 2013

the November 2013 production meeting

Our production meeting got off to a rocky start as our regular meeting place was packed and asked us to wait for a long time for seating. Ugh. So, we left and went to another place down the road where margaritas and beers were buy one, get one free. Huzzah! Suffice it to say, this is our new regular place. :)

We, The Editors, try to be as objective as possible with our story selection. Thus, before the meeting we each rank the stories in hold-for-voting on a numerical scale. Interestingly, our pre-meeting rankings were very different this time. It didn't bode well... But when we discussed the stories we ended up with just five that were 'still in the mix', five stories that we all enjoyed, were original, and showed a mastery of craft. Viola; the stories in the issue! We've never had such a harmonious meeting. I'll blog more about the stories a little later in the month. Purely by coincidence (we don't consider the query letters or author names in our objective rankings), four out of five authors were folks we've published before. I don't know if that's good or bad, but it does seem to indicate we like what we like. Also in the issue Editor/Author Betsy will have an interesting essay in Editor's Corner. We've also got some neat art in the works. As we close out our eighth (!) year at Electric Spec, it promises to be another excellent issue.

We'd like to thank our awesome Associate Editor Nikki Baird for her help with the infamous slush pile: Thanks, Nikki!

So, what's next for the November 2013 issue? All the authors who submitted by the October 15, 2013 deadline have been contacted with a yay or nay. If you haven't heard from us, we probably didn't get your story. :( Once we hear back from the 'yay' authors, we start editing their stories and setting up the new issue on our Content Management System. Once we edit the stories, we send them back to authors for their approval, or if needed, for rewrites. Rinse and repeat as necessary. And then it magically all comes together by the end of the month...