Summary: On Spec, 2008
On Spec continued to maintain its quarterly schedule. (And they even dated the Winter issue 2007/2008, conceding after several years that the Winter issues have not in fact appeared until early in the new year.) The four issues this year included 33 short stories (four of them short-shorts), for about 133,000 words of fiction. There were also a few poems, and some interviews and other non-fiction. The managing editor is Diane L. Walton, and the fiction editors are Walton, Robin S. Carson, Barb Galler-Smith, Ann Marston, and Susan MacGregor. One issue this year, for Fall, was called "the youth theme issue", and featured stories by writers aged 15 through 23, submitted for a contest.
My favorite stories this year came from the Winter issue: Gary Wilson’s "Controlled Release", about a computer game designer using stuff from Miskatonic University to properly render his game's monsters; and Kate Riedel’s "Pest Control", about a brilliant but socially uncontrollable mandolin player, and the family band his agent finally finds for him to play with. I also liked Claude Lalumiere's "The Sea at Bari" (Spring), about a man returning to Bari to encounter a childhood memory or obsession; Brent Knowle's "The Ragman's Vow" (Summer), about a comic book writer whose character seems to come to life to help him battle his demons; and Marissa K. Lingen's "Carter Hall Sweeps a Path", which combines Tam Lin with curling. Other nice work came from Heyden Trenholm, Marion Bernard, Angela Slatter, Seanah Roper, Dan Norum, and Priscilla McGreer.
I counted 8 SF stories out of 33 (24%). Also, 17 of 33 stories were by women: 51.5%. In 2007, the proportion was 40%.