More About On Spec


Enlightened, entertained, and occasionally dumbfounded!

On Spec

I've enjoyed the science fiction/fantasy/speculative genre for 50+ years and have been enlightened, entertained, and occasionally dumbfounded by the versatility and originality of it all!

Your publication is, by far, the classiest of any I have yet encountered. Thank you for your efforts and best wishes for your continued success!


Thanks from an anonymous writer

I recently submitted a short story to your magazine. Although it was rejected, I greatly appreciate the time that was taken to respond to me personally and mention the reasons for its rejection. Thank you. Without this kind of input it is difficult for beginning authors to see what to improve in their stories.


Committed to this magazine

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.

Dawn D


Hi guys,

Now that I'm graduated and have time to do leisure reading, I tried some sci fi short stories in some of Isaac Asimov's little rags, but they were kinda lukewarm. I read about your magazine and ordered your latest through a local store. This writing is fantastic!

Ben M

Kudos to Ernie Reimer

I wanted to let you know that I thought Ernie Reimer's "Cerenkov Blue" was the most enjoyable and well-crafted story in On Spec #60. His characters spoke and moved as naturally as we do. His imagined future was both extravagant and yet plausible, communicated without the usual stiffness of contrived slang and jargon.

Thanks for publishing it, and I'd be pleased if you could forward the kudos on to Ernie.

Regards, Paul

What we don't want from poetry submissions

I visited On Spec's website (submission guideline page). I just had to comment on one aspect.

Your diatribe on what you don't want from poetry submissions is wonderful. I've never seen such an honest and frank statement. Thank you, made me grin so much my wife wondered what i was viewing.

Sadly, I lean to the short story but if I ever find myself creating a trite and pretentious piece of verse..... I'll burn it for you!

Thanks for the grin.

Chris H.

Wish there were more

Yours is one magazine that is not recycled by me. I hoard them. Wish there were more.

Joy E., Poughkeepsie, New York

Fantastic Canadian SF writers

I've just successfully completed my PhD thesis on National Identity in Canadian and Australian Science Fiction at the University of Reading and I've studied and enjoyed stories from On Spec as part of my research, so from a personal point of view it'd be great to make more people aware of all the fantastic Canadian SF writers out there!

Michelle Reid

Guidelines No-Nos

The No-Nos were so funny, I just had to write you. This is NOT some cheesy and half-baked plan to worm my way into your good graces, so that when you read my story, you'll buy it and pay off my mortgage. That document should be required reading in all college Lit classes!

Regards, Mark

Get political!

I visited your office on a whim because I was in the neighbourhood at the time. Seeing your office reminded me of Spider Robinson's experience when he visited the office of Analog many, many years ago. It's so normal looking! You kind of expect a glittering, high-tech office with loads of pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope on the walls.

Anyways, I'm having a ball thumbing through all the issues. One of the editorials caught me; it was about what On Spec has to go through to get an issue to press and to market. I now understand why subscriptions are so important to a publication. As a direct result of I will be subscribing this week. I always make it a policy to give myself a present on Christmas (and my birthday) and I can't think of a better one to give myself. Thanks for all of your help, understanding and patience.

Soon to be a new subscriber, Eric Hebert, Owner of Good Dog