30 November 2020

from Editor Grayson Towler

 Hi everyone!

I've got a story in the Editor's Corner this issue, "The Dragon and the Shepherd." I thought I'd share a little bit about how this story came about.

First and foremost, this is a tribute to Luna:


My wife and I had the good fortune to be Luna's companions for about 12 years, before she moved on to her next adventure last year. We still miss her terribly. 

I took almost no liberties with Luna's behavior and personality in the story... what you see is pretty much how she was (especially in her youthful, wildly athletic phase of life). If I wanted a companion on hand to help me break the ice with a dragon, I'd choose Luna anytime.

As for the rest of the story, it falls into some of the themes I like to explore in fiction. My dragons tend to be a mixture between the classic Western type (in physical appearance) and the Eastern dragons (as embodiments of natural forces). Mostly, I like my dragons to be fundamentally inscrutable. You can never really know all there is to know about them... and just when you think you've got them figured out, they show you something you'd never imagined. 

The humans in the story are mostly so wrapped up in their own stuff that they can barely notice what's really going on around them, though our narrator is favored with one of those rare glimpses we are all afforded once in a while.

Another theme I find interesting is the danger of self-righteousness... perhaps because it's a tendency to which I am susceptible. David, the dragon's handler, exemplifies this trait. Even though his cause is sympathetic, his prickly attitude makes it hard to be on his side. Being right doesn't really give us a blank check to be righteous... though it's tempting to think it does.

Hope you enjoy the story!

-Grayson Towler, Editor

Awesome November 2020 Issue Live!

The awesome November 30, 2020 issue of Electric Spec is live! Woo hoo!

Thanks so much to all the authors!

Thanks so much to all the Electric Spec staff.

And, especially, thanks so much to all the readers!

Woo hoo!

24 November 2020

from Author Atkinson

We're excited to publish Dor Atkinson's fantasy "Frost" in our November 30, 2020 issue of Electric Spec. She sent us some comments about writing:

Making art as a theatre director and a writer has gotten me through some difficult times. It has also afforded me an education because every time I consider a new story and characters, I have to think deeply about the human condition. Researching, creating, and sharing stories has helped me grow and become a better person.

Myths, social issues, and my own dreams and memories provide lots of writing fuel for me. I love writing speculative fiction because it’s an opportunity for me to view the world through a fractured lens and maybe, strangely, see things more clearly.

Thanks, Dor!
Readers, be sure to check out all the new stories at the end of this month!

17 November 2020

from Author Dorie

Greetings, Readers! The new issue of Electric Spec is getting closer...
We're excited to share the dark fantasy "Love Me Tinder" by Sarina Dorie with you. Here's what she has to say about it:

Often life inspires fiction. Even though this story is a quirky fantasy with dark humor, I am often inspired by things that happen in real life. Because I like to write about witches, monsters, and fantastical creatures, I always put a fantasy or science fiction twist on real-life inspiration.

For this story, I was inspired by real life situations like Tinder. At the time I wrote this, I was teaching high school and my students were often on online websites on their phone instead of participating in class activities. When I wrote this story, I had caught one of my students on Tinder. Probably students shouldn’t have even been on Tinder because the age minimum is 18 years old, but that’s a separate issue. That incident was one of the starting points for this story.

Other inspiration for this story was that I used to live in Japan. I taught English there for two years. There are a lot of single young people. I had several Japanese acquaintances who were single women and unmarried. It was hard for them to date, more so than women here because of cultural values that made them feel like it was taboo to ask men out. In 2007, Internet dating was another taboo. Several Japanese women I met liked dating American men because foreigners do things that are considered chivalrous, like opening doors for women and giving them gifts. I was told by one Japanese woman, that isn’t part of their culture, so it is novel and exciting.

But there are also cultural differences that make interracial dating daunting. Americans are very cavalier and unguarded in conversation topics, so I wanted to include that kind of faux pas in the story.

Also while living in Japan, I learned about Japanese mythology and monsters, like the jorogumo, a spider woman. I have written several stories about jorogumo because I find spiders to be creepy. In my series, Womby’s School for Wayward Witches, one of the characters is secretly a jorogumo and hiding her true heritage. Probably I will write more jorogumo stories in the future as well.

The last piece of inspiration was that I had been writing about a male character who was obsessed with monster women and a female character obsessed with monster men. In the stories with Darwin, the male point of view character, he wants to date a monster, but they always beat him up in the end—sometimes intentionally, sometimes accidentally. They are all stand-alone stories but also build as a series. I wrote this story through the female monster’s point of view.

Someday I hope to sell all the stories in the series and then put them together in one collection.

Wow! Thanks, Sarina!
Check out all the stories on November 30,2020!

10 November 2020

from Author Bowden

The next issue of Electric Spec is in the works... We're excited to share the story "Healing the Unicorn" by author Maureen Bowden. Here's what she has to say about it:

I've always loved to write and I've always loved mythology. Many of my stories explore what happens when reality and a myth collide. There's endless fun to be found in the concept.

According to the myth, a maiden rides the unicorn only once. What happens if she regrets taking the ride? In my story, 'The Healing of the Unicorn', she has the opportunity to heal her own and the unicorn's injury, and experience a re-awakening.

Enjoy the ride.

Thanks, Maureen!
Check out all the stories on November 30, 2020!

03 November 2020

Production Meeting Report

The Electric Spec editors recently had the production meeting for the notable November 2020 issue! In keeping with the state of the world, this was a virtual meeting. Yes, we are getting good at those! All the editors had their feline assistants in attendance. There may or may not have been a reappearance of swallowed grass. (What is it about cats and video meetings?)

We mostly agreed on stories this time around, with a couple of exceptions. Suffice it to say, we came to an agreement pretty quickly. Not surprisingly, none of us were excited about publishing grim, depressing stories. So, writers: take note, moving forward.

All unsuccessful writers have been emailed with the bad news. :( Successful authors will hear back from us soon, if they haven't already. Return those contracts quickly, so we can start editing stories. Consider writing a post for this very blog. The online issue construction has begun.

For some reason, for each issue, it seems a story or two goes awry between the author and the editors. I don't know why this is. But, if you submitted before Oct 16 and didn't hear from us, please resubmit. If you got a rejection, don't lose heart; please resubmit.

Hopefully, by the time the November 2020 issue comes out, things will be going better with the world. Good luck to all of us!