31 May 2021

The New Issue Is Out!

The marvelous May 2021 issue of Electric Spec is out! Woo hoo!

Thank you so much to all the authors! To the cover artist! To the Electric Spec team! It's an honor to work with so many great creatives. Woo hoo!

And, of course, the reason we're all here: Thank you Readers!

25 May 2021

from Author Pawley

We are excited to feature a brand new tale from Andrea M. Pawley in our marvelous May 31, 2021 issue of Electric Spec. It is called "The Kipnibbles Singularity." Here's what the author had to say about it:

Here's a fun thing to do -- find out how the brains of your friends work. I promise that interesting conversations will result.

Start by telling a friend that you're going to say a few sentences and that you'll ask afterward about what you just said. Then say something like this, "You see a person walking beside the street. Someone going in the other direction passes with a dog, and a car drives by." It doesn't much matter what you say. Just be sure to leave out the details, and only offer a few simple sentences about a scene. Then ask your friend to tell you what you just said.

Some people will add texture to the recollection. Some will stick to what you said. Others may only be able to recall one sentence. Regardless, when that's done, ask your friend if the thing they just recalled was something they saw or something they heard or something else entirely. The point is to get to how they formed and retained the memory.

In doing this little brain glimpse exercise with one of my favorite writer friends, I learned that she created the memory of what I said completely in sound. She had no visual at all. It turns out that when she writes, she doesn't see anything either. I was stunned at the time, but my conversation with her was an early one. I've since learned that the way memory works is all over the place.

I have about six mental tracks going at once with four of them completely visual. In my field of view when my eyes are open, the layers I can see exist on top of each other. One of the non-visual mental tracks sometimes ponders what it would be like not to have so many tracks observing and thinking about things all the time. The irony isn't lost on me.

In my visual way, I wrote "The Kipnibbles Singularity." I started with the name Vespasian. The image of a cat immediately came to mind, and I started to look around in my brain for what was in Vespasian's environment and what was important to him. The house revealed itself to me from the ground up. I saw that Vespasian had very strong feelings toward his food bowl, and that bowl was special in a science fiction way.

That story was a lot of fun to write. My mental tracks don't spend much time visualizing a technological singularity, but when they do, Vespasian the Cat is always involved.

Very interesting! Thanks, Andrea! Check out all the stories on May 31, 2021!

20 May 2021

from Author Guilt

We are excited to feature a brand new tale from Elizabeth Guilt in our marvelous May 31, 2021 issue of Electric Spec. It is called "Jeremy Sleeps." Here's what the author had to say about it:

Sleep can telescope or collapse time, and can mess with our perceptions. Yet because it's something that we (usually) do every day, we regard it as mundane.

Sometimes we're not even aware that we are sleeping. How often have you seen someone asleep on a sofa, snoring, only to have them open their eyes and deny that they've been asleep? Sometimes, lying awake at night, I feel as if I haven't slept at all - but am aware that the time has passed too quickly for that to be true. I might have memories of things that happened during the night which, when considered in the literal light of day, are too fantastical to have actually happened. Conversely, sometimes people will tell me things I said or did which I don't remember at all.

Years ago, I woke up in the middle of an argument; I was furious that a friend refused to accept what I was saying. As I repeated my point over and over, my conviction faded until I realised that I was talking absolute rubbish. By the time I was properly with it, I couldn't even remember what it was I'd been trying to say. The friend, by the way, was genuinely present, and was somewhere between amused and baffled by their end of the conversation - apparently I'd appeared completely alert the entire time, forming sentences that were syntactically correct, but utterly meaningless.

I am a sound sleeper, and often my alarm clock intrudes into a reality which waking-me wouldn't recognise. The things I believe about this little, ringing monster beside my bed - and the decisions I can take while wrestling with it - often owe far more to dream logic that sense. I am, quite literally, not myself when only half awake.

Sleep is, by any definition, a mind-altering substance, and I wanted to write a story which explored the experience of living more permanently in that half-space between sleeping and waking.

Very interesting! Thanks, Elizabeth! Check out all the stories on May 31, 2021!

18 May 2021

from Author Mabry

We are excited to feature a brand new tale from Sean Mabry in our marvelous May 31, 2021 issue of Electric Spec. It is called "The Law of Stonekin." Here's what the author had to say about it:

Why non-human protagonists?

That is the question I often ask my imagination, and always with a tone of accusation. After all, it’s much more difficult to write non-human protagonists. Whenever I do, I have to work that much harder to help the reader relate to them.

So what makes Guillaume the Gargoyle like us? What makes his story worth our time? A few things. First, he has an insatiable desire for novelty. I once read an essay about early human sex differences. It talked about the male tendency to push out into the unknown even in times of relative peace and comfort. That's weird, isn't it? And while it's not exclusive to males, it does speak to a certain impulse that makes our species unique.

Second, he's selfish, but in a particular way. He has an idea of what he wants and he makes the deadly mistake of assuming others want the same. Worse, he acts on it. If Guillaume wanted to hurt others, especially Benoit, then he'd be a flat, boring villain. Instead, his fundamental goodness becomes corrupted by a subtle and devious Ego. Sound familiar?

Third, and finally, he’s trapped in the Cycle of Trauma. Tauri the Stoneweaver created the Stonekin to suit his own needs. Guillaume created Benoit to suit his. Is Guillaume not perpetuating the same harm as before? He is, at first. He only escapes the cycle by sacrificing his own happiness for the autonomy of his new friend. Of course, that very decision earns him a second chance.

And if a weatherbeaten gargoyle can find his redemption, can't we all?

Very intersting! Thanks, Sean! Check out all the stories on May 31, 2021!

11 May 2021

from Author Foster

We are excited to feature a brand new tale from Luke Foster in our marvelous May 31, 2021 issue of Electric Spec. It is called "The Annie Scam." Here's what the author had to say about it:

Not every pandemic story is about a virus. Last year, many people tried their hand at online dating, some for the first time. Other people tried to take advantage of them. Those stories inspired "The Annie Scam."

Fun! Thanks, Luke! Check out all the stories on May 31, 2021!

06 May 2021

Cover Reveal!

We are excited to feature art by Michael Anthony Dioguardi for our May 2021 cover. He shared "We Get to Eat Now" with us:

About the piece, he says: My mushrooms need goopy yellow plutonium juice to thrive. They need to eat, right? We must continue to provide for them. Quinuclidinyl benzilate does wonders for their spore production And dimethylheptylpyran--such an aphrodisiac!

Fun! Thanks for sharing, Michael! Check out his bio on our Artists page. Check the whole issue on May 31, 2021!

04 May 2021

Production Meeting Report

The marvelous May 31 2021 issue of Electric Spec is coming in less than one month! Woo hoo! We had a great Production Meeting recently. I think we had as many cats in attendance as people--that's virtual meetings for you! Hopefully, it was our LAST virtual meeting! It was great because we got a lot of excellent stories and we were in agreement about how fabulous they were. If you submitted: thank you! We are very grateful to get so many excellent stories and pieces of art.

Down to business... All authors should have received an email from us with a yea or nay by now or within the next couple of days. If you haven't heard from us: please resubmit. Mysteriously, it does seem like cyberspace eats a story every once in a while. :(
Savvy readers of this blog know 'yea' emails are accompanied by a contract. Please send those back ASAP so we can start editing your story. Don't worry! We edit with authors.

All this means we should start posting blog entries from contributors in this exact space very soon. Woo hoo! Stay tuned!

May the Fourth Be With You!