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The Renaissance & The Age of Enlightenment: The origins of Science Fiction by Constantine Kaoukakis

Many believe that science fiction originated with Jules Verne, but science fiction as a genre is older than that. With exploration and the spread of humanism, we have the emergence of science fiction in Thomas Moore’s Utopia published 1516, in which a perfect island nation is depicted.  Later, Anton Francesco Doni published a book I Mondi. In 1623, Thomas Campanella wrote The City of The Sun. After the publication of Galieo’s map of the moon, Ben Jonson wrote a masque for the court of James I called Newes For the New World Discovered in The Moone in which there are moon people riding in clouds. In Francis Godwin book in 1638, the antihero Domingo Gonsales visits the moon in a carriage towed by geese using the technology of another world. This was the first time any author used anything like this. In 1648, Samuel Gott’s first novel, Nova Solyma, is set in the future. The author Margaret Cavendish wrote The Blazing World in 1666 in which there is another world attached to one of the earth’s poles.

Congrats to BSFA Award Winners!

The British Science Fiction Association Awards have been announced. We are pleased to see the names of two authors previously published in On Spec, Jaine Fenn (winner Best Shorter Fiction category) and Aliya Whiteley (short-listed in Best Shorter Fiction category).

http://www.bsfa.co.uk/

Jaine’s story “The Path to the Sun” appeared in On Spec in 2002 and Aliya’s story “To the Farm” was in our Winter 2015-16 issue.  Congratulations to both authors!

Volume 28 No 1 is Available

If you look at the Current Issue page on the website, you will see a beautiful cover by Saskatchewan artist Joel Hustak. Kevin Cockle and Marcelle Dubé  and Suzanne Church make a return to our pages, and we are pleased to present new names to On Spec readers: Meghan Casey, Ashley Mullins, Christine S.R. Jackson, Brent Nichols, and William Squirrell. Poetry by Emeniano Somoza and Michelle Chen, interviews by Roberta Laurie and Cat McDonald, and an editorial by Barb Galler-Smith complete the issue.

Copies are available by mail, or from Variant Edition Comics & Culture and Happy Harbor Comics in Edmonton. We will be at upcoming events such as the Royal Bison Craft Fair in Edmonton (May), Vul-Con in Vulcan, Alberta (July) and the When Words Collide festival in Calgary  (August). Digital versions of many of our issues can be obtained through Weightless Books.

On Spec Vol. 28 No 1

The new issue of On Spec is currently at the printer, so our subscribers should be receiving their copies early in March. We have a beautiful cover by Saskatchewan artist, Joel Hustak, with new fiction from Marcelle Dubé, Meghan Casey, Ashley Mullins, Christine S.R. Jackson, Brent Nichols, William Squirrell, Suzanne Church, and Kevin Cockle. An editorial by Barb Galler-Smith, poetry from Emeniano Souza and Michelle Chen, along with interviews by Roberta Laurie and Cat McDonald.

“Casserole Diplomacy” E-book in Alberta Libraries

We are pleased to announce that, thanks to the Alberta government’s generous support of Alberta’s book publishing industry, Tyche Books has told us that  “Casserole Diplomacy and other Stories: an On Spec 25th Anniversary Retrospective” is available as an ebook through public libraries across Alberta!

Check your local library to see how this book can be accessed. For those new to On Spec, “Casserole Diplomacy” is a collection of editor-selected stories to celebrate 25 years of On Spec in Canada.

For more information about the Read Alberta E-book Project, click here.

Submission Update

We’ve been told that some writers tried to submit stories last night within the deadline, or so they thought. However, they found the link to Submittable for Short Fiction had been removed.
It appears that Submittable may have cut off submissions at midnight Eastern time, which left a lot of people out of luck. If you were one of them (and we rely on your honesty!) , please contact us by Friday, Febrary 3 at onspec@onspec.ca.

Best Wishes for 2017

As 2016 comes to a close, we at On Spec want to thank our loyal readers and subscribers for their ongoing support. Thanks go out also to the wonderful people who purchased seasonal gift subscriptions for their friends and family members. We are looking forward to new opportunities to bring On Spec to a wider audience in the coming year.

We would like to take this time to remind you that our free Teacher Toolkit is available for download. If you are or if you know a middle-grade English or Language Arts teacher, we offer a complete lesson plan to teach the story “Space Monkeys” by Ryan M. Williams.

From all of us to all of you, our very best wishes of the season! Peace and goodwill to all.