Bull Spec #3 - Autumn 2010
Edited by Samuel Montgomery-Blinn
Cover Artist: Jason Strutz
Review by Sam Tomaino
Bull Spec ISBN/ITEM#: 2152-5234
Date: 26 October 2010
Links: Bull Spec / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
I received Bull Spec #3 just in time to get this review done. Samuel Montgomery-Blinn continues to improve the quality of the fiction in this magazine.
The fiction begins with "Story of Listener and Yu-En" by Lavie Tidhar. Tidhar is one of the genre's finest new writers and Bull Spec is moving up with a story by him. This one is a simple, but beautiful story about love and sacrifice set in the far future. Listener is airship pilot. She is also a dog. Yu-En is an adventurer and a tomcat. They go off in search of treasure, but find something else.
"Turning Back the Clock" by David Steffen is a story about a different kind of time-travel. Lewis must travel in time to save his wife's life. How he does it makes for a great little story.
"Cityscape" by Denali Hyatt is a look at life on another planet in which the seasons pass as fast as day and night on Earth. This causes a migratory culture to develop for most of the residents. Our narrator longs for a life more like one would have on Earth. This was a good quick look at another culture.
There are two stories alternating in "Like Parchment in the Fire" by Katherine Sparrow. One is set in Surrey, England in 1649 and the other in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury in 1966. The Diggers of the former are contrasted with the hippies of the latter. This one did not quite work for me.
Last of all there's "You're Almost Here" by Melinda Thielbar. It shows a culture, not far removed from ours, in which people don't live real lives anymore but rely too much on planned software. It was a nice little cautionary tale.
The Trilingual Flash Fiction section contains two stories. "Sand" by Natania Barron is a very brief, but effective, piece about two forces that work together or at odds. "A Crowded Place" by Paul Celmer is a clever, little time-travel cautionary tale. The French and Spanish translations of both look quite nice.
Last time, I wrote "Bull Spec is developing into a nice regional science fiction magazine", Now, I think it's moving beyond that. Check it out at their website, www.bullspec.com, and give them your support.