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Friday, June 13, 2014


Cover by Herman Lau
THIS SATURDAY (JUNE 14th) at 1:00 PM MST, I'LL BE IN A LIVE GOOGLE+ INTERVIEW with Diane Walton, Managing Editor of On Spec, and Ryah Deines of Tyche Books. (The interview is now featured on YouTube.)  We'll be talking about On Spec's upcoming Silver Anniversary Anthology, soon to be released this summer at When Words Collide in Calgary. The gorgeous cover to the left, created by Herman Lau, features visual elements taken from all twenty-four stories and poems in the collection. For me, some of these stories were new. On Spec purchased them during a time when I took a hiatus from the magazine, so I was thrilled to read them for the first time. As for the others, it's been a joy to read them again, many of which are still my personal favorites. I hope you'll forgive the effusiveness, but this is one terrific anthology. I am proud to be associated with it, with the writers who contributed to it, with my fellow editors, and with Tyche Books. As well as the Table of Contents below, I've included links to the authors' websites, blogs, books, and what-have-yous, so you can see what other great things they're doing. I've also added a line or two to describe each story or poem. Here's the line-up:

Happy Eating on Ugrath 3 by Jason Kapalka (On Management's home planet, the Happy Eating fast food galactic franchise isn't happy with Urgath 3's franchise, anymore.)
Star-Seeing Night (poem) by Alice Major (where the clouds part for one night in the year, so we might see the stars.)
The Reality War by Bob Boyczuk (When her castle drops unexpectedly in the path of a royal road crew, Lady Miranda knows there's no gain without a little pain.) 
Casserole Diplomacy by Fiona Heath (Edna serves up some Newfoundland hospitality to alien newcomers. Her tuna casserole is a big hit everywhere.)
Jubilee by Steven Mills (Reverend Dave witnesses miracles as the Universe grows up.)
No Such Thing as an Ex-Con by Holly Phillips (Emily, a psychic and wrongly accused ex-con, does what she must to solve a murder and make things right.)
Closing Time by Matthew Johnson (Gao must cook for his father's ghost who isn't ready to leave for the afterworld. But what makes for a proper funeral party? The food or the company?) Matthew's story is also featured in his collection Irregular Verbs and Other Stories, to be released June 17th, through ChiZine.
Foster Child by Catherine Macleod (Once forged, Claire finds the bonds of motherhood are never broken.)
More Than Salt by Elaine Chen (Cordelia loves King Lear 'more than salt', a fool comforts an old wino, and despite the tragedy of uncomfortable truths, love endures.)
Where Magic Lives by Sue Bolich (Ray officiates at the funeral of a beloved author and finds the guests are more than he thought.)
The Black Man by A.M Arruin (When the folks of Bergamot View realize they are too 'vanilla' a community, they diversify with interesting results.)
Pizza Night by Laurie Channer (What happens when the pizza delivery box doesn't hold pizza?)
Boys’ Night Out by Rob Hunter (In the gated community of Sur la Mer the wives hide unmentionable things under garden toads.)
Mourning Sickness by Robert Weston (When elephants turn up, grief is evident.)
Sticky Wonder Tales by Hugh Spencer (Two brothers share letters about their contributions to their respective scientific communities, and how it all went wrong.)
Emily’s Shadow by Al Onia (Sandy and Emily rebuild a Vincent Black Shadow motorcycle. In the process, they also build something else.)
The Resident Guest by Sandra Glaze (A receptionist becomes friends with the hotel's resident ghost, only to learn what keeps him there, and what turns him away.)
Come From Aways by Tony Pi (When a linguist encounters what might be a medieval welsh king washed up on Newfoundland's shores, she finds both the past and the future mix.)
Still by Greg Wilson (When Mr. Leaf breaks Still's violin, she can't live with the consequences and runs away. Eventually she finds herself, and helps other puppets find themselves, too.)
Asheville Road by Corey Brown (In a world connected by rail, Devin learns of loss, of death, and what it is to be a railman.)
Buddhist Jet Lag (poem) by Christian McPherson (what happens when living in the 'now' slips a bit....)
A Taste of Time by Scott Overton (For Gabby, the past comes back to life through a little girl and her love of blueberries.)
Penultimate (poem) by F.J. Bergman (why chase eternal youth, when eternity is already yours?)
Pilgrim at the Edge of the World by Sarah Frost (In order to come of age and take his place among his people, Kaainka must journey through desert and danger to reach the site of his ancestors.)

The anthology is set for release this August. If you have some time tomorrow and can tune in to the interview, please join us!


  1. Anonymous4:32 PM

    Bravo!! Great cover!!