In 1989, a small group of Edmonton writers formed The Copper Pig Writers Society in order to fill a niche in Canada–a paying market for English SF.
SF with a uniquely Canadian Perspective.
After selling out our initial print run of a test issue filled with stories sent to us by invitation, we began receiving inquiries as to when the “next one” would appear. That was a very long time ago. Editors have come and gone, and we are proud that some of them have made significant contributions to Canada’s literary scene, by becoming novelists.
Our little quarterly journal, On Spec adheres to a strong mandate that has served us well over the years. We discover and showcase quality works by predominantly Canadian writers and artists, in the genre we call “Fantastic” literature. We foster the growth of emerging writers in this genre, by offering support and direction through constructive criticism, education, mentoring, and manuscript development. We try to publish as many new writers as possible, alongside works by established writers, and we also endeavour to support these writings with innovative cover art for every mind-bending and emotion-provoking issue!
We love to get to as many events as we can, and you can often find an On Spec table in the Dealer room of your regional or national convention (come by the table and say “Hi”). If you’re interested in having On Spec come to your event, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the details.
Editorial Staff of On Spec
Isaac Calon has been proofreading On Spec for eight years. He lives in Vancouver with his wife, and “kids”, and he recently realized his adventurous side extends only to his taste buds.
Charlie Crittenden works as a bookseller in Edmonton. His background includes a love for law and English Literature.
Barb Galler-Smith resides in Edmonton with her fabulously supportive husband, John. She’s been an editor with On Spec since 2008. She is also co-author of the Druids Saga trilogy, a publication from EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing.
Dan Gyoba , our newest slush reader, is a lifelong science fiction fan and enthusiast. His hobbies span from DIY electronics to auto mechanics. He has has a passion for martial arts, and holds black belt rankings in karate, iaido and kendo, and is currently active in the Edmonton kendo club.
Barry Hammond is a professional freelance writer and editor residing in Edmonton. He is a founding member of the On Spec editorial collective.
Brent Jans is the nerdy guy who manages this website and On Spec‘s social media. He also runs Edmonton’s annual Pure Speculation Science Fiction and Fantasy festival.
Constantine Kaoukakis is an Edmonton high school teacher, and founder of The Wisteria Lodgers, the Sherlock Holmes Society of Edmonton. Constantine also edited the first issue of the Copper Pig Society’s mystery and suspense magazine, Sleuth.
Jerry LePage is an Edmonton technical 3D artist, digital design specialist and Flash developer.
Susan MacGregor, after many years is taking a bit of a hiatus from On Spec, but she contributes her editorial eye when needed. She is also the author of the acclaimed Tattooed Witch trilogy from Five Rivers Publishing.
Ann Marston, another Five Rivers author, has worked as a teacher, flight instructor, airline pilot, airport manager and literacy coordinator. Her Rune Blade trilogy and her Sword in Exile trilogy are being re-released by Five Rivers Publishing,.
Ashlin McCartney, a winner in our second “Youth” themed issue, is one of our eagle-eyed proof-readers.
Cat McDonald, has published her writing in Tesseracts 15, and Here Be Monsters, and has also worked as On Spec‘s designer, and copy-editor. She does the interviews with our cover artists.
Virginia O’Dine, of Prince Georges, B.C., works as a freelance editor and writer. She founded and ran Bundoran Press for several years before handing it to Hayden Trenholm. She also tells us that she has a flair for stand-up comedy.
Laurie Penner likes to spend her spare time cooking, thinking about cooking, and eating. She also does an awesome job editing stories and finding the errors in every issue before they go to press.
Joel Perry is an Edmonton-based technical writer and business analyst.
Madison Pilling is a student, writer, and poet in Edmonton. She’s a founding member of the Yellow Mountain Collective.
Diane L. Walton has been with On Spec since the beginning, and has served as Managing Editor for longer than she cares to remember.
A.J. Wells is a freelance writer and editor, also working on her first novel. She resides in Edmonton.
How to Contact On Spec
Just complete the information on our Contact page, and we will respond as soon as possible. Just remember, we are all volunteers, so replies may take a day or two.
Back Issue Information
We sell copies of some of On Spec‘s recent back issues at events but no longer take orders for specific issues in the old inventory. If you’re looking for something published within the past two years, you can certainly ask. We’ll charge the cover price plus postage to mail older issues to you.
Our Subscriptions page gives information on how to order digital copies of many of these issues.
You can get information on the stories and the writers we have published over the years. The Internet Speculative Fiction Database maintains a listing of every On Spec back issue and its contents, among the many other such listings the site maintains. It’s a great place to start if you need to research something from On Spec‘s past.