Well, I just uploaded the file bullspec-01-201002261115.pdf to my printers. I don't really know what to expect next as this is the first issue, but, well, it's out there! 72 pages and about a month later than I'd hoped, but I'm incredibly excited to receive that first shipment of a big box of magazines and start delivering them to local bookstores The Regulator Bookshop, Quail Ridge Books & Music, and Internationalist Books & Community Center and mailing out (or for local folks, delivering courier-style!) those pre-orders.
So much to say, but for now, a few bits which didn't make it into the "thanks and welcome to Bull Spec" editorial column:
First and foremost, because I thanked her nearly lastly in the magazine, the biggest thank you of all goes to my wife, Kendra, for her support of this crazy dream. Probably she should have talked me out of it... but instead she told me to "go for it" and backed me up every step of the way.
Thank you to all the writers who trusted me with your submissions, which overwhelmed me both in their number and in their quality. Thank you to Duotrope's Digest and Ralan's List for your support and pointing those writers my way.
Thank you to Dan Shannon (pictured) at Durham Magazine (and Chapel Hill Magazine) for your advice on publishing and encouragement, and for sharing your printer, Publishers Press, with me. I don't think this would have been possible without their support. Thank you, Bryan and Dee at Publishers Press, for treating a tiny, tiny customer like an important one.
Thank you to Jeff VanderMeer for your good luck wishes! Sure, it was a long line of people getting you to sign Finch and in so many words telling you what to write in it... but I'll take it.
Thank you to Paul Riddell for the fun mailer from your Texas Triffid Ranch, the first "official" BULL SPEC mail. (I won't count the pile of mass mailings addressed to the PO Box's previous occupant if you won't.)
Thanks to the twin buoys by which my likely ill-advised efforts have been guided. The first is Mur Lafferty's advice on her I Should Be Writing podcast, "It's OK to suck!" Having decided to apply this to editing, design, and publishing, new editor of Durham Magazine Matt Dees had another point of view for me, "Dare not to suck!"
Dad, while I thanked you for my life-long love of science fiction and fantasy, thanks in particular for Heinlein's "Space Cadet." I couldn't have asked for a better first "real" book. Mom, while I thanked you for the trips to the library, thanks also for always encouraging me to be myself and follow my dreams. Heather, thanks for bookshelves full of "hand me down" books over the years and someone to talk to about them.
All those teachers over the years: Mr. Loeffler, Mr. Stuckey, Mr. Cox, Mr. Shank, Mr. Munn, Mr. Brice, Mrs. Ross, Mr. Walton, Mr. Hill, Prof. Rauh, Prof. Mathur, and so many others I cannot even recall by name. I am not sure how many individual pieces of information I remember but I remember scenes and themes, the overriding theme being one of an expectation of an honest effort, and a feeling that you all genuinely cared that I learn something, whether it was grammar, or history, or math, or how to make a turtle move on a computer screen, or simply how to grow up and take responsibility for my own life. You were all role models to me and I often think fondly of each of you. Thank you so very much for a foundation of learning and life.
Thanks to Kim Stanley Robinson's inspiring challenge that "we need to imagine what it might be like if we did things well enough to say to our kids, we did our best, this is about as good as it was when it was handed to us, take care of it and do better."
Thanks to Uri for being more understanding than I deserve about moving his fiction to issue #2. Thanks to Duotrope's Digest for giving me reprint permission for some of their market information, even though that is another thing which didn't make it into the final 72 pages. (It was supposed to be 64, darn it!)
And finally a heartfelt thanks and welcome to anyone so gracious enough to give this magazine a chance and a read.
Whew. Now I get to do this all over again. (Along with getting out and spreading the word about the issue, finalizing the electronic versions and audiobooks, ...) This time I'm aiming for just two weeks late instead of four...