On Spec

My story “The Observation Deck” came out not too long ago in On Spec, “the Canadian magazine of the fantastic”, and I recently finished reading the issue that has my story in it (Fall 2011, though I didn’t receive it until 2012).  My favorite story in the magazine was Megan Fennell’s “Hexenhaus”, which picks up the story of Hansel and Gretel after they’ve defeated the witch.  I also liked a story by Scott H. Andrews (the editor of Beneath Ceaseless Skies), “The Halberdier, by Moonlight”.

The cover is very pretty, a sort of Asian-inspired steampunk illustration by featured artist James Ng.  There’s more of Ng’s art inside, also very cool, especially “Imperial Sheriff”.  Though I wondered if the originals of the interior pictures, reproduced in the magazine in black and white, are actually color paintings (like the cover), as they seemed quite dark, and often lacking in contrast.

On Spec tends to publish a pretty diverse selection of fiction:  this issue had more fantasy, but 3 of the 9 stories (including mine) could be considered science fiction (two futuristic, one steampunk).  The fantasy stories ranged from magic realism to high fantasy to historical fantasy.

The only negative note:  although they did get it right inside the magazine, my name is spelled wrong on the cover.

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2 Responses to On Spec

  1. James Ng says:

    Hi Kristin,

    This is James. I was doing an update of my site and finding links to OnSpec when i stumbled on to your site and read your article. Just wanted to say thank you for the compliments on my cover. I haven’t actually seen the magazine yet as I am not in Canada right now, but yup the rest of my work are also colored paintings, I wasn’t aware they would be printed in black and white so i didn’t optimize them for greytones. The colored versions can be seen on my site.

    I will be getting my hands on the magazine next month, look forward to reading your story!




  2. Kristin says:

    Thanks for including the link to your site! The colored versions do look much better, much more vivid and detailed.

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