First, some store updates. BULL SPEC #1 found a home in two more area stores today, bringing the total to 10. Thanks to All Fun & Games in Apex and the wonderful, amazing, beautiful shrine to books that is Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill. That place... well, I hadn't been there yet and they just jumped in line for where I'd like to do an event.
More store updates? Let's. Talks have been going very well with some very supportive folks: managers of the Raleigh-Durham area Barnes & Noble stores. Fingers crossed, anyone?
Anyway, it's getting too hard to keep some things to myself with respect to the second issue. So...
Now that it's in the can (on film and disk) I'm happy to say that BULL SPEC #2 will include an interview with John Kessel. Fiction and non-fiction author, anthology editor, two-time Nebula winner, professor of creative writing and science fiction at North Carolina State University, cyclist, and very interesting fellow indeed. Hint: he's very skeptical about using things like Moore's "Law" to argue for the likelihood of a technological Singularity.
Stories? Yes. An absolutely wonderful science fiction story headlines BULL SPEC #2: "Hirasol" by Melissa Mead. I have two more stories booked already for the issue, the first a hard-to-classify story from Uri Grey and the second a real "ride" of a fantasy story from Kaolin Fire. Not as much local flavor as I'd like, so a 4th story from a local author will be in there somewhere, maybe a 4th and a 5th, depending on whether I take another novel excerpt or not.
Some other interviews are planned, some poems are booked, some reviews are starting to come together, and, of course, the second (of four) parts of Mike Gallagher's serialized graphic short story "Closed System" will remain the physical centerpiece of the issue.
Among other things, I am looking for a short essay to be translated into English/Spanish/French/Chinese for the issue, and if you read Josh Whiton's "There Are No Orcs" in BULL SPEC #1 you would have a good idea what I am looking for.
On BULL SPEC #1: the PDF version is nearly ready, with some final bits to tweak. (Some early review copies were already sent out.) However the click-through "pay what you want, even $0" e-order system is barely started. I know I need to get that available to folks, and I'll keep the midnight oil going until it's ready.
And I'm way, way behind on reading submissions. Sorry to everybody on that front. But I hope the pavement pounding I've been doing to get into stores, and the stack of review copies I've been mailing out, end up paying dividends enough to make it worth the wait.