Bull Spec #7 – Spring 2012
Edited by Samuel Montgomery-Blinn
Cover Artist: Angi Shearstone
Review by Sam Tomaino
Bull Spec Magazine ISBN/ITEM#: 2152-5234
Date: 26 April 2012
Links: Bull Spec / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Bull Spec is back after a long absence with issue #7, some nice stories and some more great stuff.
The fiction begins with "The Gearaffe Who Didn't Tick" by D.K. Thompson. Annabelle is a young gearaffe who does not tick. This point is made clear in the beginning of the story. We do not waste time on how gearaffes came into existence or what they are doing on what is clearly another planet. These things are unimportant. We find out that Annabelle's parents and the other gearaffes are in search of oil. There is at least another mechanized animal called a coalyote who might be dangerous. There is something in the dark which Annabelle fears cannot be kept away because she does not tick and make any noise. What this all becomes is a classic story of a young girl dealing with being different and a new and fascinating setting.
"Complications of the Flesh" by Jason Erik Lundberg is set in some near future in some foreign land. Our narrator is working for a nasty drug dealer and sleeping with his girlfriend. Not a good idea. The drug dealer has found out and is exacting his revenge. This had some interesting characters and a surprising ending.
"Inseperables' War" by Stephanie Ricker is set during the Vietnam War and opens with a young soldier on patrol. We flash back to when the soldier received his draft notice. His name is Bobby and he had a twin brother named John. John has something wrong with his leg and is ineligible for the draft. He would like to go with Bobby. In Bobby's last weeks at home, they spend even more time than usual with each other. Just before Bobby leaves, something odd is hinted at and this may be a solution to the problem of them separating. A nicely told little tale.
In "Fish Eyes" by Natania Barron, Brodd is a young man who knows he is fishing during the wrong season. He has no choice because his family is starving and his father is off to war. He goes fishing anyway and catches something very large. This one had a nice chill to it.
"Friday Nite at the A&W" by J.P. Trostle is a good little piece of flash fiction about a teenager finding a way to get to the local A&W to meet a girl he likes. The difference is that there are flying cars and jetpacks. Still, it seems things haven't really changed much.
The fiction ends with "When Dreams Wake" by Jason K. Chapman is a beautiful little story about a human woman named Sarah who has been taken from Earth to care for an ill extra-terrestrial on another planet. She is a bit disoriented at first, not remembering her past. When she remembers something about her past, she is horrified. Through the help of the ailing alien, she comes to terms with everything. A nice way to end the issue.
Bull Spec is definitely worth subscribing to! Support this nicely-done magazine and check it out at their website, www.bullspec.com.