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Bull Spec #4 - Dec-Jan-Feb 2010-11
Edited by Samuel Montgomery-Blinn
Cover Artist: Jason Strutz
Review by Sam Tomaino
Bull Spec Magazine  ISBN/ITEM#: 2152-5234
Date: 21 February 2011

Links: Bull Spec / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

Bull Spec.#4 is here with stories by Andrew Magowan, Nick Mamatas, David Tallerman, Don Norum, Erin Hoffman and James Maxey along with some nice interviews and reviews, the conclusion of a graphic story, five poems and some other stuff

I received Bull Spec #4 and it’s quality continues.

The fiction begins with "Freedom Acres" by Andrew Magowan. Carolyn lives in a "down-market sun-division" called Freedom Acres with her husband, Jason, and son, Trevor. At Carolyn's insistence, they installed a shunt into Trevor that controls his actions. Carolyn likes control and she doesn't like the look of the new neighbor across the street. This was an interesting look at a possible future.

In "O, Harvard Square!" By Nick Mamatas, Kelly moved up to Boston and hangs around Harvard Square with her friends, Logan and Smitty. She receives a mysterious radio message on one of the fillings of her teeth and decides to investigate. This was a strange but interesting tale.

David Tallerman's "The Burning Room" is a chilling, little ghost story about a young woman named Taversham who rents an attic room from a widow named Mrs. Faraday. At night she feels a great heat, even though the embers on the fireplace have burned own. She sees a vision of a man. What is behind all this? All in all, like I said, a nice little ghost story.

"A Mathematician’s Apology” by Don Norum gets a bit too technical for me. It features a method developed that can prove a mathematical conjecture. Our narrator collaborates with a another man named Pfister on a book that changes the world.

Erin Hoffman's "City of Shadow and Glass" is just a one pager and doesn't tell much of story. It's impossible to summarize in any way and is just not the kind of writing I care for at all.

The fiction concludes with "Tornado of Sparks" by James Maxey (originally published in The Solaris Book of New Fantasy) that takes place in a fantasy world where dragons rule. Vendevorex is a sky-dragon, but the rulers of the land are sun-dragons. He tries to impress them by using a science indistinguishable from magic. But he has to pay a price and must make a moral decision. All this made for a very good story about a world that I’d like to see more of.

This issue also sees the conclusion of "Closed System" by Mike Gallegher, a graphic story that has been told over the first four issues. In an interview in this issue, the story is described as being about "a scientist historian who travels through time on a motorcycle chassis grafted into an ape head". The story is a bizarre one and would be difficult to follow if you didn't have all four parts in front of you. It had a fair amount of satire and made for a pretty good read.

Bull Spec continues to develop into a good new science fiction magazine,” Check it out at their website, www.bullspec.com, and give them your support.

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