Bull Spec #2 – Summer 2010
Edited by Samuel Montgomery-Blinn
Cover Artist: Vladimir Krizan
Review by Sam Tomaino
Bull Spec ISBN/ITEM#: 2152-5234
Date: 30 July 2010
Links: Bull Spec / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Well, now I have received Bull Spec #2 in the mail. It's a nice follow-up to the first issue.
The fiction begins with "Echoes of the Bouncing Ball" by Paul Celmer. Wheeler, who sells terraforming systems, is on a business trip to another planet and decides to buy a gift for his son. He chooses one gift over another and it makes all the difference to him. But that's not the end to this well-crafted story.
In the notes to "By the Dragon’s Tail" by Kaolin Fire, we are told that it was first published as part of the Crossed Genres Post a Story for Haiti Project, meant to encourage donations to charities involved in the Haiti earthquake relief efforts. This is the tale of Kith, who had worked as a miner until an accident mangled his hand He goes to a soothsayer called a Teller for advice. He is told to seek a dragon's tail but he wonders how that can help him to provide for his family. This was a nicely done little quest story.
We go from fantasy to science fiction with "Hirasol" by Melissa Mead. Sanchez and Branson are scientists, exploring another planet trying to find a cure for a plague on Earth. They find a wounded native creature. The creature is actually intelligent and looks something like a centaur. Sanchez is more sympathetic than Branson and performs radical surgery on the centaur but the prosthesis makes him a two-legged creature. Through a translating device, he gives his name as Hiera's Sorrel, Hiera being his mother's name. Sanchez interprets this a Hirasol and begins calling him that. Mead develops a story with a lot of heart which is the highlight of the issue.
The "The Other Lila" in the story by Gwendolyn Clare is the result of a transporter accident that results in two women named Lila who look and think exactly the same way. This was another elegantly told tale.
Uri Grey's "The Sad Story of the Naga" is one told by a mythical creature from Indonesia to a university professor in Israel. She tells him of a man who came to her village preaching Christianity and against her. But she sees a vision of a bleeding man above him and is deeply affected by it. This story ended the issue's fiction on a high note.
Bull Spec is developing into a nice regional science fiction magazine, Check it out at their website, www.bullspec.com, and give them your support.