Bull Spec is “is a professionally- and royalty-paying speculative fiction market and quarterly print magazine with DRM-free, commons-friendly e-books and audiobooks available for “donate what you like” in English, Spanish, French, and Chinese, based in Durham, NC, US”.
Samual Montgomery-Blinn is publisher/editor and, it would appear, does the majority of the work on the magazine himself.
There’s a lot in the magaze to like. Issue 3 has fiction from Lavie Tidhar, David Steffen, Denali Hyatt, Katherina Sparrow and Melinda Thielbar. All but one of the stories is short short – 2 or 3 sides, with Sparrow providing a six-sider, and uses the space available to her to flip her story between 17th Century Surrey and 20th Century San Francisco.
Tidhar’s story is a post-human affair with ‘The Story of Listerner and Yu-En’ featuring a slightly unlikely canine/feline interspecies love story, and with added Cow and Spotted-Grass Frogs, there’s a lot to be covered in three sides!
Whole page illustrations for each story is a nice idea, although for semipro artists, a whole page is a lot of space to fill successfully!
There’s more non-fiction than fiction, with an excerpt from a David Drake novel and an interview with him; a four page graphic serial ‘Closed System’ by Mike Gallagher which I (not the world’s biggest graphic novel expert) is very well done; a list of local/regional happenings; Montgomery-Blinn (or can I call him Samuel?) reflects on a meeting with Joe Haldeman, and a William Gibson reading, interviews Brandon Sanderson, reflects on 15 years of Tachyon, and interviews Paul T. Riddell, and the author/artists behind The Order of Dagonet graphic novel; allows a couple of others the opportunity to review some novels; there are poems – indeed, multilingual poems.
It will be interesting to see how the magazine develops. Issue 4 is about to hit the news-stands, and is also available elctronically and in audio format – from their website