Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Insanity, we has it.

We would have liked to have this lined up for our "coming out party" last Friday, and it may be a tiny bit premature, but we're in talks to provide video versions of some stories in American Sign Language, accept incoming video stories in American Sign Language, accept incoming stories in text or audio in Hindi, and provide text and audio versions of some stories in Hindi. There's other bits we won't mention yet as they would be even more premature, but things are COOKING, folks, and we couldn't be more excited about some of them.

We're also trying to finalize our process for providing physical media (CD, cassette tape, DVD, VHS, and print) on request for our productions for which we obtain rights, so that they can be available in places where high-bandwidth audiobooks are not. We're also actively seeking a new team member to provide various Arabic-language roles, from Arabic first reader for incoming submissions, to rough draft translations for our secondary readers, to literary-level translations, to narration, so if you might be or you know someone who might be interested, please send them our way. We're hoping to provide blank cassette tapes as well as some manner of receiving them as submissions in return, but again, still very early in how we can finance and process this.

Lastly, we are working through the details of being able to process charity-targeted donations both with full eligibility for tax purposes by the donor and with corporate (or personal) matching grants. It is a minefield of laws, software, and various other bits, but we're navigating through it slowly. For now, if you want to donate in a tax-deductible way (varies by street/neighborhood/city/country/state/country/planet) don't do it through us, please visit DURHAM LITERACY directly. We'd love it if you mentioned in the comments that you came from BULL SPEC but no worries either way.

It has been a crazy few days. Thanks again for the continued submissions and support!


  1. Unrelated question: Why did you decide to name yourselves Bull Spec? I'm guessing Spec is short for speculative fiction?

  2. Thanks for the question!

    BULL -- Durham, the Bull city; also we're "bullish" about what we hope to do in terms of getting great imaginative fiction into as many, varied hands in as many, varied ways as we can, from as many varied sources as we can.

    SPEC -- Speculative fiction, you nailed it. We're not sure yet about the genre-ization of 'fantasy and science fiction', we're just looking for well-written *fiction* that asks the question 'what if?' *What if* magic were real? *What if* peak oil throws a Moon-sized wrench into things? *What if* this bit of science or theory or postulation were true? *What if* the Sumerians were contacted by an alien AI? Even *what if* the gods of the Norse pantheon were real! And hopefully with interesting stories and characters and settings, of course.

  3. And if the stories are also "bullish" about the future and nature of humanity: yeah, we'd love that.

  4. "terms of getting great imaginative fiction into as many, varied hands in as many, varied ways as we can, from as many varied sources as we can."

    Btw, I think it's cool that you're talking about making stories available in multiple languages. Sharing my stories with people who do not speak the same language as me is a really cool concept.

  5. Another question: Does Bull Spec or any of the staff have a Facebook presence? I'd like to Become a Fan and/or add as a friend if it's possible. :)

  6. We have a very fledgling Facebook page at:


    Not sure yet how much we'll use it, but appreciate the interest!

  7. I've found Facebook to be a really nice tool for making announcements. With a little effort, you can get the fan list up to a respectable number, and then when you've got a new issue up (or whatever), then you can take 30 seconds to post a status there and it will go out to everyone on your fan list. I've been working on getting my friend list up in numbers, and so when I make an announcement, a whole lot of people get it. Even if only a small percentage are interested, that small percentage of such a big number is still significant. :)

  8. And as this is the "insanity" thread: if anybody knows a way we can send a fan letter/e-mail to Kim Stanley Robinson, let us know please. His interview on "Galileo's Dream" inspired us to start this venture and we'd like to send him a postcard.