Friday, August 10, 2012

Reminder: new website and blog.

It's been a while since I reminded folks that this Blogspot-based blog has pretty much been effectively abandoned. Bull Spec has a "new" home on the web at http://bullspec.com. Cheers!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Announcement: new website and blog.

While there's still some clutter about, and not everything is there that we'd fully like to be there: Bull Spec has a new Wordpress-based website and blog at bullspec.com. We'll no longer be updating this old blog. So head over there and stay tuned: the (very late) April newsletter is coming, with lots of news, including the arrival of Bull Spec #7 on Sunday, April 15th at 5 pm at Durham's Sci-Fi Genre Comics & Games as part of the next NC Speculative Fiction Night!

Monday, March 12, 2012

No e-mail newsletter this month (March 2012).

Well, as it's nearly the Ides of March and I haven't sent one out, just going to call it that there won't be an e-mail newsletter this month. Finally finished closing the tax books on 2011 which has been a big time sink, and now will find time to put the final touches on issue #7 and send it to the printers. There will be something fun going on in April, namely an honest to goodness issue launch party, but I don't want to plan it or announce it until I have a ship date from the printers. (Too many close calls recently, where I'm waiting at home on the afternoon of the event for the UPS truck to come up the hill...) Working on a few angles for that in terms of guests and turning it into an NC Speculative Fiction Night, but... too many kitchens, too few cooks for thinking on that today.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Heading to Stellarcon!

Well, it's the first weekend in March, so it's time for Stellarcon in High Point! The guest of honor this year is bestselling fantasy novelist Patrick Rothfuss, and there's a great lineup of additional guests of honor and other guest panelists.
Guest of Honor Patrick Rothfuss
Including me! (Not pictured.) Yay! I'm only going for one day, Saturday, from about 9 AM to 6 PM (taking the train if anybody wants to join me for the day trip) but somehow, the awesome folks at Stellarcon found some last-minute room for me:

Character Building Workshop
12:00-1:00 PM
A workshop-style panel in which industry professional provide the tools needed to create realistic and believable characters.
Panelists: Steve Long (moderator), Gray Rinehart, Patrick Rothfuss, Samuel Montgomery-Blinn

The Role of the Publisher in Today's Market
2:00-3:00 PM
With writers now able to bring their works to print themselves, are publishers still needed?  Authors and publishers discuss e-publishing, small-press publishing, and the large publishing houses.
Panelists: John G Hartness, J.L. Hilton (moderator), Misty Massey, Toni Weisskopf, Samuel Montgomery-Blinn

 Trek vs. Star Wars

4:00-5:00 PM
A lighthearted, audience-participation-encouraged "debate" of the two sf media juggernauts. Good thing we aren't talking Dr. Who vs. Firefly, so we might actually get out of this one alive...
Panelists: Albin Johnson (of the 501st) and Les Rickard (of Starfleet International), who will each bring along one or two non-guest members of their organization to join in, and Samuel Montgomery-Blinn (moderator)

Outside of these, I'll hopefully be stalking Mr. Rothfuss and whomever else is on an interesting panel, setting up a Bull Spec display in the fan table hallway, checking in on the dealer room, talking, etc. Looking forward to it!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Local author release day: Guardian of Night by Tony Daniel

Another week has passed, and, lo, there is another local author book newly released to the world. Today, it's Guardian of Night by Tony Daniel:

Here's the book description:

For alien Commander Arid Ricimer there was no going home. His species was winning the war with Earth, but the civilization he had fought for was gone, destroyed from within by ideologues and bureaucrats. So he does the only thing that makes sense to a person of integrity—he attempts to defect to Earth with his officers and an entire spaceship, a vessel that mounts a superweapon of almost unimaginable power. 
Hot on his heels is his former fleet, a force that has already devastated Earth once, and is poised to wipe humanity from existence forever, ready to do almost anything to deny Earth a chance. 
To the defenders of Earth he is an enigma—and potentially a Trojan horse. Yet after years of battling back from the brink of destruction, the U.S. space navy has the war-tested heroes to rise to the challenge Ricimer represents—and the danger that follows him—if only those in charge will listen. 
The players are in motion and the greatest confrontation this sector of the galaxy has ever witnessed is at hand. Now all depends on the courage of an honorable alien warrior and the intelligence and daring of his human allies.
The book is also available in e-book directly from publisher Baen in a variety of formats, as well as in audiobook, narrated by Victor Bevine (the same voice behind David Drake's Lt. Leary series) for Audible Frontiers:

Friday, February 3, 2012

Holy slush progress, Batman!

Thanks to the efforts of new associate fiction editors, a.k.a. "slushreaders", JM McDermott and Brenda Kalt, under "senior associate fiction editor" Sarah Rogers who has been pushing the boulder up the hill by herself for a good while now, there's been an amazing uptick in reading submissions. And now, even better: I finally figured out how to easily get all of the submissions slowly languishing in my old submissions inbox moved to their shared story reading inbox -- meaning, hopefully, these 100+ day old stories will actually get read very soon.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Local and regional (and Bull Spec alumni!) author release day wrapup, January 31, 2012

January 31, 2012 was a good day for fans of local and regional fantasy, as Hillsborough's James Maxey and Charlotte's Gail Z. Martin join Bull Spec #4 alum David Tallerman with new books.

First, Maxey's Greatshadow, which is out from Solaris Books and begins a new series:

"Greatshadow is the primal dragon of fire, an elemental evil whose malign intelligence spies upon mankind through every candle flame, waiting to devour any careless victim he can claim. The Church of the Book has assembled a team of twelve battle-hardened adventurers to slay the dragon once and for all. But tensions run high between the leaders of the team who view the mission as a holy duty and the super-powered mercenaries who add power to their ranks, who view the mission primarily as a chance to claim Greatshadow's vast treasure trove. If the warriors fail to slay the beast, will they doom mankind to death by fire?" Note: also available on Nook and Kindle. Bonus: an interview at McNally Robinson. Event: Maxey is reading on Friday Feb 10th at Quail Ridge Books.

Second, Martin's The Dread, which continues her second Winter Kingdoms series as book 2 of her Fallen Kings cycle from Orbit Books, after the four books of the Chronicles of the Necromancer from Solaris Books:

"Still reeling from plague and civil war, the Winter Kingdoms face an invasion force from across the Northern Sea led my a dark spirit mage in the name of ancient, vanquished gods. Summoner-King Martris Drayke and an untested generation of new rulers must stand against an unholy alliance of shadowy invaders. To prevail, Tris must win the uncertain support of the Dread, spirit-beings that stand guard within the sacred barrows over an even more fearsome threat imprisoned within. In the balance lies not only the freedom of the Winter Kingdoms, but Tris’s life and the soul of his young son, whose untested magic might be the biggest spoil of war.  The Dread is Book Two of The Fallen Kings Cycle, and it picks up the adventures of Tris, Jonmarc and the Winter Kingdoms gang immediately after the events in The Sworn." Note: also available in audiobook from Tantor Audio (Audible link), and on Nook and Kindle. Event: Martin has several readings coming up in the regional area.

Lastly, Tallerman's debut novel Giant Thief, out from Angry Robot:

"Meet Easie Damasco, rogue, thieving swine and total charmer. Even the wicked can't rest when a vicious warlord and the force of enslaved giants he commands invade their homeland.  Damasco might get away in one piece, but he's going to need help. Big time." Note: also available on Nook and Kindle, and coming on May 1 in audiobook from Brilliance Audio. Bonus: an interview at The Qwillery.

TIP: The book title links given go to Goodreads, where you can use the IndieBound search button to find the book in a local independent bookstore.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Bull Spec local events e-mailing list: February 2012

Vol 2. No. 2, January 30, 2012:

Welcome to the February 2012 events newsletter from Bull Spec! I hope a lot of you made it out to celebrate new books from local authors JL Hilton, Natania Barron, and Cate Tiernan last month, not to mention illogiCon with Joe Haldeman, along with a visit from Tor debut author Marissa Meyer. January comes to a close by bringing author Drew Magary to town for his novel The Postmortal, with events at Chapel Hill's Flyleaf Books on January 31 and Durham's The Regulator Bookshop on February 1.

Some NEW events below: Orson Scott Card comes to Quail Ridge Books on Feb 7, Karen Joy Fowler comes to NCSU on Feb 15, a special Andrew Neal cover for issue #1 of Adventure Time for Chapel Hill Comics, and NC Comicon has a date in Durham in November. Also: a deadline of February 1 for signing up to be a giver for World Book Night 2012 in April. Speaking of deadlines, January 31 is the last date to register as a supporting member for WorldCon, with one of the privileges being able to nominate and vote for the Hugo Awards.

Lastly... Wow. Issue #7 is still very very late. It really will be here "really soon now", and I'm very sorry to all concerned for the delay.



31 (Tuesday), 7 pm to 8 pm: Chapel Hill's Flyleaf Books hosts Drew Magary for a reading and signing of his debut novel The Postmortal -- published by Penguin in August: "Imagine a near future where a cure for aging is discovered and-after much political and moral debate-made available to people worldwide. Immortality, however, comes with its own unique problems-including evil green people, government euthanasia programs, a disturbing new religious cult, and other horrors. Witty, eerie, and full of humanity,The Postmortal is an unforgettable thriller that envisions a pre-apocalyptic world so real that it is completely terrifying." Facebook event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/176992959071540/


1 (Wednesday), 7 pm: The Regulator Bookshop hosts Drew Magary for The Postmortal: "Drew Magary will read from and sign copies of his new novel The Postmortal, which imagines a world twenty minutes in the future wherein the cure for aging has been discovered. Magary explores the implications of such a discovery and the problems that may arise, including evil green people, euthanasia programs, a new religious cult. This story of a pre-apocalypse is a dark comedy that is by turns tragic and comic. Drew Magary is a blogger for Deadspin." Facebook event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/169936239780091/

4 (Saturday), 10 am: The Orange County Library in Hillsborough hosts Hillsborough author James Maxey for a class on: "Where Do You Get Your Ideas? (And What Do You Do Once You Have One?)"

4 (Saturday), All Day: Carolina Games Summit at Wayne Community College in Goldsboro, NC: speakers, exhibitors, tournaments, and more.

NEW: 7 (Tuesday), 7:30 pm: Quail Ridge Books hosts Greensboro author Orson Scott Card for a reading and signing of his new "Ender's Shadow" novel, Shadows in Flight. Facebook event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/295538490494536/

8 (Wednesday), 6 pm: The Orange County Library hosts a panel discussion on "Where do you get your ideas?", moderated by James Maxey, with panelists John Claude Bemis (Nine Pound Hammer), A. J. Mayhew (The Dry Grass of August), Ed & Janet Howle (The Long Road to Paris), and Natania Barron (Pilgrim of the Sky).

10 (Friday), 7:30 pm: Launch party for James Maxey's Greatshadow (the first book in a new fantasy series from Solaris Books) at Quail Ridge Books: http://www.quailridgebooks.com/event/james-maxey-dragon-fantasy-greatshadow -- Facebook event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/261902680545846/

12: Regional author new novel: J. M. McDermott's When We Were Executioners, book #2 in his Dogsland Trilogy from Night Shade Books after Never Knew Another, to be released: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12804203-when-we-were-executioners

NEW: 15 (Wednesday), 7:30 pm: NCSU hosts Nebula Award-winning sf writer Karen Joy Fowler (author of Sarah Canary and the best-selling The Jane Austen Book Club) for a reading. The reading will probably be in the Thompson Theater on Dunn Avenue on the NCSU campus, where other recent readings have been. The reading is open to the general public and there is free parking in the parking deck  next to the theater. More information and a confirmed location will be available closer to the event date.

NEW: 18 (Saturday), 4 to 7 pm: Chapel Hill Comics hosts the launch party for Adventure Time #1, based on the hit animated TV series, with an exclusive alternate cover drawn by Chapel Hill Comics's own Andrew Neal: http://www.chapelhillcomics.com/content/?p=1523

24-26: Mysticon in Roanoke, Virginia with guests of honor author Sherrilyn Kenyon and actress Nicki Clyne (Cally Tyrol on SyFy’s Battlestar Gallactica)

MARCH 2012

1: Regional author new novel: South Carolina author T. C. McCarthy's Exogene, book #2 in his The Subterrene War series after 2011's Germline, to be released by Orbit Books: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11418025-exogene

2-4: StellarCon (March 2-4, 2012) in High Point with literary guest of honor Patrick Rothfuss. More info: http://stellarcon.org/

21-25: “The Monstrous Fantastic”, the 33rd International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts in Orlando, FL with guests of honor China Miéville and Kelly Link.

23-25: MidSouthCon in Memphis, TN with guests of honor author Michael Stackpole, writer and editor Cat Rambo, and more.

27: Regional author new novel: Wilmington's David Macinnis Gill's Invisible Sun, sequel to his award-winning 2010 novel Black Hole Sun, to be published by Greenwillow Books.

APRIL 2012

3: Local author new novel: Baen to publish Pittsboro author David Drake's newest novel in his Lt. Leary RCN series, The Road of Danger. More info: http://baen.com/order_isbn.asp?isbn=9781451635158

10: Ex-local author new novel: Tor Books to publish Mary Robinette Kowal's Glamour in Glass, sequel to her debut novel Shades of Milk and Honey which she launched at ReConstruction in Raleigh in August, 2010.

13-15: RavenCon in Richmond, VA with guests of honor author Glen Cook and artist Matthew Stewart.

NEW: 23: World Book Night 2012 -- sign up by February 1 to be a book giver, including several sf titles: http://www.us.worldbooknight.org/

MAY 2012

1: Local author new novel: Baen to publish Raleigh author Mark L. Van Name's newest novel in his Jon & Lobo series, No Going Back. More info: http://www.baen.com/order_isbn.asp?isbn=9781451638103

17-20: Nebula Awards Weekend in Arlington, VA with toastmaster Walter Jon Williams.

22: Local author new novel: Hillsborough's John Claude Bemis's The Prince Who Fell From the Sky to be published by Random House Books for Young Readers.

JUNE 2012

1-3: ConCarolinas (June 1-3, 2012) in Charlotte with writer guest of honor Jack McDevitt. More info: http://www.concarolinas.org/

15-17: DeepSouthCon in Huntsville, AL with guest of honor author Lois McMaster Bujold, with Lou Anders, David Drake, David Weber, and Toni Weisskopf among other participants.

21-24: ConTemporal (June 21-24, 2012) in Chapel Hill with literary guest of honor Cherie Priest and comic book guests of honor Studio Foglio. More info: http://contemporal.org/

JULY 2012

17: Regional author new novel: Tor to publish Greensboro author Orson Scott Card's (along with Aaron Johnson) Earth Unaware: The First Formic War.

20-22: LibertyCon in Chattanooga, TN with literary guest of honor Brandon Sanderson, master of ceremonies Eric Flint, and a special lineup of 25th anniversary guests including Timothy Zahn, Larry Niven, and Jerry Pournelle.

31: Local author new novel: Solaris Books to publish Hillsborough author James Maxey's Hush -- continuing his new fantasy series which begins with Greatshadow in January (see above).


1: Local editor new anthology: Raleigh author and anthologist John Kessel's latest anthology (co-edited with James Patrick Kelly) to be released: Digital Rapture: The Singularity Anthology from Tachyon Publications.

14: Local author new collection: Raleigh author Kij Johnson's fiction collection At the Mouth of the River of Bees to be published by Small Beer Press.


1: (Date TBD) Local author new novel: Raleigh authors Clay and Susan Griffith conclude their Vampire Empire series with book 3 (Title TBD) after 2010's The Greyfriar and 2011's The Rift Walker. From Pyr Books. More info: http://clayandsusangriffith.blogspot.com/


NEW: 17-18: NC Comicon at the Durham Convention Center: http://nccomicon.com/


Monday, January 16, 2012

An apology to my contributors, readers, and advertisers on the lateness of issue #7.

Well, there's really no hiding it, or "smoothing" it out this time. Issue #7 is no longer the "Winter 2011-12" issue; it's the "Spring 2012" issue. I want to offer (again) my apologies to my patient readers, my forgiving advertisers, and my contributors that their works, planned for 2011, are now coming in early 2012 instead. Additionally, an apology to the "2011 year in review" editors who essentially wasted their time considering these stories for 2011, some of which I also included in my yearly Pushcart Prize nominations, spots which should have gone to poems and essays and stories actually published in 2011. It is what it is. Issue #7 will be out as soon as we can finish it (which includes some rework on the cover; sorry JZ for yet another bother on that score) and we'll hope to have issue #8 out in May.

I thought I had learned my lesson with issue #4, which while it did come out in late (late!) December 2010, ended up creating a lot of confusion as the print copies didn't arrive until mid-January, for some reviewers late January. Apparently not. Well, we'll keep learning and keep trying, and thanks for sticking with us.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Heading to illogicon, Jan 13-15!

Well, it's time to pack up magazines and the crate that has become the traveling road show for "the year in local sf" and head to illogiCon, this weekend (Friday through Sunday, Jan 13-15) in Raleigh. I don't have any panels today, but I'm moderating an "Ethics in SF" panel tomorrow (Saturday) with Joe Haldeman, John Kessel, Kij Johnson, and Gray Rinehart, and two panels on Sunday: one on the year's best in sf, the other on local authors. I think I'm ready. Congrats to Warren Buff and company on putting together programming that ranges from the writerly (craft, publishing, career, etc.) to the readerly (readings, discussions) to other media (comics, films, games) to, well, all the rest of the craziness that is fandom, all the while keeping the con very affordable at $20 pre-registered, $30 at the door for the whole weekend, with single day registrations as well. I'm looking forward to seeing friends from far away (JM McDermott!) and further out in NC (Ada! Davey!) and an absolutely massive list of local writers, readers, fans, and friends. See you there?