Friday, January 28, 2011

Not quite a year later... video for the John Kessel interview.

Filmed on 25 March 2010 and printed in Bull Spec #2, the video is finally posted. Enjoy:

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Looking for a few good people.

So. Thanks to Dan's excellent job of completely taking over poetry, and Melinda's amazing job of completely taking over advertising, I've had a few moments to actually think about what else needs doing around here. While that list is long, long, long, I'm ready to start the process of "filling out" the Bull Spec staff. Two right off the top which are big needs are Art Director and Digital Editions Editor. More after the jump.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Bull Spec Teen Writing Contest judged by Ann VanderMeer!

"Imagine two vast armies separated by a plain. Gryphons. Dragons. Mech walkers. Knights. Wizards. Rows of muskets. Rows of laser rifles. Rows of cannons. Velociraptors. Robots. Chariots. Hovercraft. Between these armies stand two teens. Siblings. A brother and sister. They hold outstretched hands, stretching out their other hands toward the armies, willing them to stop..."
So. I've wanted to figure out some way to help send a young writer in the area to the incredibly awesome Shared Worlds summer writing camp for teens at South Carolina's Wofford College for a while. Next summer's (2011's) program is scheduled for 17-30 July, with (among others) instructors Jeff and Ann VanderMeer, Nnedi Okorafor, Will Hindmarch, &c. Yeah, wow! You can read about Jeff's thoughts on teaching there via Matt Staggs at Suvudu. Yeah, wow! While it'll take further fundraising to make it all the way, it's time to get things started, as registration is already open.

What: A flash fiction contest for area teens, with stories inspired (in part, very loosely, or not at all!) by the opening paragraph in this post, on the theme of: teen siblings trying to stop a war. Magic. Technology. Either/Or/Neither. Fearlessness. Hope?

Errata: Stories must be at least 500 words and at most 1000 words, not including the title. (Stories may also be untitled, that's fine.) One story entry per person. Stories must not have been previously published.

Eligibility: Residents of the Triangle area of North Carolina who this coming summer (2011) will be rising 8th graders through rising 12th graders. So, currently in 7th grade through 11th grade.

Prize: $50, publication in Bull Spec #5 (around late March, 2011), and a contributor copy of the issue. Further, if the winner is accepted to the Shared Worlds program, a partial scholarship ($200) will be provided along with fundraising efforts to get as close to the full tuition ($2000) as possible.

Note: You don't actually have to want to (or be able to, you may have summer plans already, etc.) go to Shared Worlds to enter and win the $50 and publication. The age/grade requirement above still stands, however.

Judges: The judge for the contest will be award-winning editor Ann VanderMeer. YEAH, WOW!

Runners-Up: Outstanding runners-up, if any, will be mentioned by name and title of their submission.

How: E-mail your story either in the body of the e-mail or as an attachment, whatever, to [contests at bullspec dot com]. Please include your legal name, the name under which you want the story mentioned or published (if different), your mailing address, and your age and current grade level at which school, or if homeschooled or unschooled. Please use the following subject line: TEEN CONTEST ENTRY: <Insert Your Name Here>.

When: Deadline for entries is high noon EST, Friday, 25 February 2011. So you've got a little less than six weeks. Winner and runners up (if any) will be announced by high noon EST, Friday, 11 March 2011. Update: If this deadline is looming a little too largely and you are working on a story, please let us know and ask for an extension.

Other: Please, spread the word! Libraries, high schools, middle schools, etc. If you've got questions, drop me a line at [sam at bullspec dot com].

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A nice review of Bull Spec #3 in Mark Watson's Best SF.

Mark Watson recently reviewed Bull Spec #3 in Best SF and had some nice things to say, along with introducing me to some British zine terminology like "sides" rather than the pedestrian "pages", and says, "There’s a lot in the magaze to like." Thanks, Mark!

Best SF

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A great article on the first year of Bull Spec in today's Independent Weekly.

The Independent Weekly's Brian Howe has a very nice article in this week's issue, which is free to pick up all over the Triangle. Somehow he turned 90 minutes of rambling, disorganized nonsense into a no-nonsense article which hits on what speculative fiction is, a year of publishing and getting to know local authors and readers, how the zine has hopefully grown, and I'm really, really thrilled with it.

So, that's it for me today. Go read the article!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hugo pandering, part two: local focus.

In part one, I ran down the stories and writers published in Bull Spec this year which are therefore eligible for the appropriate Hugo (and Nebula!) award categories. In part three, I'll take a look at the wider world of stories and writers. But this? This is part two, where I'll try to highlight the local (and regional) novels, stories, and writers who are eligible to be nominated for the 2011 Hugo Awards.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Hugo nominations are now open! And now, some pandering, part one.

The nomination period for the 2011 Hugo Awards is open. Folks who either were members (attending or supporting) of Aussiecon last year, or who are members (attending or supporting, and there's still plenty of time to sign up for either!) of Renovation this year, can nominate up to five persons or works in each category. You have until Saturday, March 26th to do so.

I'm going to run three posts on this. The first will deal with stories and writers published in Bull Spec in 2010. The second will deal with other local authors and artists and their eligible books and stories, etc. The last will deal with the wider world of authors and artists who did amazing work in 2010.

So, first, the list of eligible works of fiction published in Bull Spec in 2010, all in the Best Short Story category, all of which can be found in the pay-what-you-like (even free!) PDF versions or, of course, in print: