I started reading On Spec in the early summer, and as soon as I was done the spring issue I was more or less committed to this magazine. It works with what I love - the fantastical, and most of it is spectacular work that all appeals to me in one way or another.
"The Tamale God" by Jeffrey D. Johnson will probably be one of my favorites for a long time. This year in my creative writing class in Saint Mary's University, half of the class is critiquing the work of other people in the class. The other is putting forward good short fiction and analyzing it, and this semester, "The Tamale God" will be my contribution because it was a smooth, entertaining piece while at the same time containing much more the more you read it.
The Summer 2006 issue is just fantastic, and I can't quite pinpoint why. The content is exciting and amusing just like classic Science Fiction once was - pure satire. I almost want to be disappointed by the lack of fantasy, yet at the same time I enjoyed this issue so much that there's not much left to be desired anyway. I particularly appreciated "An Obtuse Argument Against Foreign Products" by Daniel LeMoal, "Androids and You" by Bill Stuart and "Everybody's Mother" by S. Evans... all of which might also be contributions toward my creative writing class. If you work with these authors again, please let them know how much their work is appreciated.
Thank you, On Spec. I almost want to order your back issues, but instead I think I'll just subscribe.