Bull Spec #8&9 – Spring 2013
Edited by Samuel Montgomery-Blinn
Cover Artist: Cynthia Sheppard
Review by Sam Tomaino
Bull Spec Magazine ISBN/ITEM#: 2152-5234
Date: 29 May 2013
Links: Bull Spec / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Bull Spec is back after a 13 months absence with issue #8/9, some nice stories and some more great stuff.
The fiction begins with "Nahuales" by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Our unnamed narrator lives in modern day Mexico City but comes from a small village. One day, on her way to the subway, she sees what she calls a "nahual" under a streetlamp. It is in the form of a man with yellowed teeth and a black leather jacket. She recalls her great-grandmother's story of a time in her village when they lured a nahual with a goat and shot him when he came near. Over the next weeks, the present-day nahual is joined by two others who become increasingly menacing. What can she do? Good solid story in which the unease builds slowly while we learn of a new kind of monster.
"Call Down the Snow" by Gwendolyn Clare – Our narrator is of Native American heritage, working with a crew in Maine on a mountain called Katahdin. She sees a strange large bird that is all white. That night she discovers her first grey hair. When she sees the creature again, it is in a different form She knows it to be Bemola, some sort of Native American god. It begins leaving feathers for her. What does it want of her? Well done use of Native American beliefs and accepting one's heritage.
"Barren Sky" by Rich Matrunick – Merah works for the police on a planet which has seen a six-month drought. People are restless and violent. Some have turned to faith in rain dances, but others are opposed to them. Merah must come to terms with opposing ideas to do the best for his wife and daughters. Good story.
"Ancilla" by Brenda Cannon Kalt – St. Benedicta Rojas is a nun and assistant to another nun, St. Augusta Petitjean, stationed on Mars because of "a combination of New Vatican and United Nations politics". She was supposed to be sent home to Earth, but the orders from her Order have changed. Dejected, she must deal with Dr. George Nigel Pinkerton, a scientist who wants to complete his research on Mars, but is being sent home against his will because of his health. Interesting look at how a Mars station might operate.
"Here Be Dragons" by Elizabeth Creith - A process to increase fertility in women has resulted in zombie-like creatures called dragons and the fall of civilization. Sarah is part of a group living in the Sears Tower with occasional forays for food and supplies. She is faced with a horrible choice, but this story seems a little derivative. It also tries to justify an absurd part of the story with a non-explanation explanation.
The fiction ends with "Rogue Zombie" by Peter Wood and Paul Celmar. Johanson is a zombie out of step with the others. He still likes to do good deeds and does not want to needlessly scare people. His fellow zombies cook up a fate worse than death for him in this amusing story.
Bull Spec is worth checking out! Support this nicely-done magazine and check it out at their website.