30 December 2014

true literature

Like many of you, I've had a little time off recently. I've used the time to catch up on some reading including Norman Spinrad's interesting Asimov's essay "Genre versus Literature" in which he states true literature ... enlightens the mind, touches the heart, explores the feedback relationship between consciousness and the cultural and physical surround, raises and/or answers moral questions, and does so with a dramatic, entertaining and apropos story that climaxes in a satisfying epiphany.

That’s true literature. That’s good literature. And genre has nothing to do with it. It transcends genre by ignoring its requirements or fulfilling the requirements of as many genres as it pleases and ignoring all genre restrictions. At its best that’s great literature.

This is an excellent goal for all writers to aspire to. Look at your story. What does it teach the reader about the human condition? If the answer is nothing, maybe it's time to go back to the drawing board. I better get back to work myself.

In the meantime, the deadline for our first 2015 issue of Electric Spec is on the horizon: January 15, 2015.

23 December 2014

Spec the halls!

I really enjoy holiday speculative fiction. Every year I reread my copy of Connie Willis' book Miracle and Other Christmas Stories. It's part of my holiday tradition. Do you have any speculative fiction holiday traditions? If so, please share.

Unfortunately, the timing of the Electric Spec issues doesn't lend itself very well to any holiday focused editions. Maybe someday...

Happy holidays!

16 December 2014

set the hook

Many of the writer's conferences and workshops I've attended recently have focused on starting your novel or short story in medias res (in the midst of things). It does seem as if our culture has changed and readers, like everyone else, want immediate excitement. Author Jeanne C. Stein writes about this in a Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers blog entry Adventures in Genre Writing: Lesson Five. Jeanne's Genre Writing series is worth reading. One main point she makes in this installment is the opening of your story must "set the hook." You have to get the reader interested in your story very quickly. Jeanne also recommends against character or setting descriptions in the opening.

Take a look at your WIP. Do you have a bunch of descriptions in the beginning or do you set the hook? If you're happy with it, send it on over!

09 December 2014

genre fusion

I enjoyed Cory Dale's term "genre fusion" in the recent Electric Spec author interview. She said, I can't write anything that doesn't combine genres, and fantasy sneaks into all my stories no matter what. ... I write what I like to read. I wanted to create something unique, something I'd never seen done before. I like to think of ... genre fusion rather than a mash-up, and like cooking, the combined flavors work well together.

There's a down side to genre fusion, however. As Dale says Mashing up genres is great for readers, but it scares the crap out of publishers.

But don't fear, intrepid author! Electric Spec is definitely a market that appreciates genre fusion. Please send us your melded flavors of speculative fiction! We're looking forward to reading them.

02 December 2014

What's your fave?

Check out this excellent cover art by Karl Eschenbach:

What's your favorite part of the new issue of Electric Spec? I've really been enjoying all the stories and the interview and the cover art. I guess that's not super surprising since I helped make the issue. :)
Can you believe we just wrapped up the ninth year of publication?

And how about that poem in the "Letter from the Editors"? We can thank Editor Dave for that. Thanks, Dave!

As always, if you see something awry, please email us at submissions (at) electricspec.com without "SUBMISSION" in the subject line. We'd enjoy hearing your opinions here in the comments section.

Of course, we are currently accepting submissions for the first issue of 2015! Good luck!