I haven’t done one of these in a while. Life gets in the way and you never know when some kind soul will post a review. Delighted with those that have appeared recently.


Editor Danielle Ackley-McPhail has put together a sweet collection [ . . . ] with, in my opinion, one of the most striking SF covers I’ve seen in many a year [ . . . ] There’s something here to delight any SF reader.

Don Sakers, The Reference Library, Analog


A rather personal kind of story, a mix between urban fantasy and coming-of-age-again story.

Hélène Louise, GoodReads

A good paranormal with an interesting cast of characters and an entertaining plot. I liked the style of writing and the world building. Recommended.

Annarella, GoodReads

Dead Bear Witness-6x9



If you like zombies, this is a novel to read. [ . . . ] It’s an interesting novel that is well written.

Susan, GoodReads


eSpec is proud to announce that this title has gone to press. Isn’t this a gorgeous cover by Mike McPhail of McP Digital Graphics? We certainly think so!


To follow in the footsteps of those who have gone before, first we must find them.

Dreaded hope settles over mankind as we stare into the heavens, looking for a sign we are not alone. Fearing we will find it, puzzled when we don’t.

Among the stars or in our own backyard, lose yourself in the wonder of these tales as we humbly posit mankind’s reaction to the awesome certainty that ‘they’ are out there…or at least, they were…

Footprints in the Stars

With stories by Gordon Linzner, Ian Randal Strock, Robert Greenberger, Dayton Ward, Aaron Rosenberg, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Jody Lynn Nye, Christopher L. Bennett, James Chambers, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Russ Colchamiro, Judi Fleming, and Bryan J.L. Glass

The following authors will be at Shore Leave, where the book will be debuted: Robert Greenberger, Dayton Ward, Aaron Rosenberg, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Christopher L. Bennett, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Russ Colchamiro, and series editor and cover designer, Mike McPhail.


Hard to believe we have been at this for five years, come October. That is a lot of blood, sweat, and cuss words…let me tell you! We have learned a lot and we have grown. We are making a name for ourselves and doing what we love. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like we are making too much progress, but then we look back and think “Damn!”

I did that today. My entire day has been nothing but entering and calculating data to see exactly what it is we’ve accomplished, by the numbers. So! Here it goes…

  1. We’ve published nine titles in electronic format only.
  2. We’ve published 39 titles in both print and electronic format.
  3. We have eight titles currently under review or in production.
  4. We have originated three imprints: eSpec Books, Paper Phoenix Press, and AGM Publications.
  5. We have three staff members: Danielle McPhail (publisher), Mike McPhail (art director/graphic designer), Greg Schauer (editor).
  6. Eight times out of eight times, we have paid out royalties either early or on time.
  7. We have zero company debt.
  8. We have a positive balance in each of our company accounts.

Those last three fill us with the greatest sense of accomplishment.

All-Time Top Bestsellers

  1. The Clockwork Witch by Michelle D. Sonnier
  2. The Sister Paradox by Jack Campbell
  3. The Weird Wild West
      edited by Misty Massey, Emily Lavin Leverett, and Margaret S. McGraw
  4. Issue in Doubt by David Sherman
  5. In All Directions by David Sherman
  6. Gaslight and Grimm edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Diana Bastine
  7. Dragon Precinct by Keith R.A. DeCandido
  8. The Best of Defending the Future edited by Mike McPhail
  9. Goblin Precinct by Keith R.A. DeCandido
  10. Unicorn Precinct by Keith R.A. DeCandido


In All Directions 2 x 3G&GRed-Gold Leaf-150Proof-DragonPrecinctNew-Proof-DTF1b

Goblin Precinct 2x3Proof-UnicornPrecinctproof-iwhk-coverproof-tbobaf

All-Time Highest Grossing

  1. The Sister Paradox by Jack Campbell
  2. The Clockwork Witch by Michelle D. Sonnier
  3. The Weird Wild West 
        edited by Misty Massey, Emily Lavin Leverett, and Margaret S. McGraw
  4. Issue in Doubt by David Sherman
  5. In All Directions by David Sherman
  6. Gaslight and Grimm edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Diana Bastine
  7. Dragon Precinct by Keith R.A. DeCandido
  8. The Best of Defending the Future edited by Mike McPhail
  9. If We Had Known edited by Mike McPhail
  10. Best of Bad-Ass Faeries edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail

Highlights of the last five years:

  • One title made it to the Bram Stoker Recommended Reading List.
  • Four titles were finalists for awards.
  • Two of those titles won those awards.
  • We have funded twelve successful crowdfunding campaigns (including one that is running right now – Defending the Future: In Harm’s Way.)
  • We have had the honor of publishing Faith Hunter, Jack Campbell, Brenda Cooper, David Sherman, Jody Lynn Nye, Jonathan Maberry, Bud Sparhawk, James Chambers, Jack McDevitt, Robert Greenberger, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Jeff Young, Michelle D. Sonnier, Bernie Mojzes, Aaron Rosenberg, Peter David, John C. Wright, Eric V. Hardenbrook, Christopher M. Hiles, Patrick Thomas, CJ Henderson, Judi Fleming, John L. French, Christopher L. Bennett, Gail Z. Martin and Larry N. Martin, Misty Massey, Mike McPhail, John G. Hartness, RS Belcher, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Misty Massey, James R. Tuck, Robert E. Waters, David Sherman, Tonia Brown, Liz Colter, Scott Hungerford, Frances Rowat, Ken Schrader, Bryan C.P. Steele, Wendy N. Wagner, Christine Norris, Danny Birt, Jean Marie Ward, Elaine Corvidae, David Lee Summers, Kelly A. Harmon, Jonah Knight, Diana Bastine, Brian Koscienski & Chris Pisano, Adam P. Knave, Jesse Harris, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, John Passarella, Jeffrey Lyman,  L. Jagi Lamplighter,  James Daniel Ross, DL Thurston, Lee C. Hillman, NR Brown, John A. Pitts, Jennifer Brozek, Ronald T. Garner, Nancy Jane Moore, Maria V. Snyder, Lawrence M. Schoen, Andy Remic, Charles E. Gannon, John G. Hemry, Ian Randal Strock, Peter Prellwitz, Drew Bittner, Ty Johnson, Torah Contrill, Walt Ciechanowski, Hal Greenberg and Kenneth Shannon III, Erik Scott de Bie, Ed Greenwood, Christopher J. Burke, Jim Knipp, Herika R Raymer, Anton Kukal, Marie Vibbert, CB Droege, David Bartell,  Rie Sheridan Rose, Jean Buie, David M. Hoenig, Jamie Gilman Kress, Jean Rabe, David Boop, Leona Wisoker Robert M. Price, Leona Wisoker, Edward J. McFadden III, Tony Ruggiero, Janine K. Spendlove, Bryan J.L. Glass, James M. Ward, Kathleen David, and Vonnie Winslow Crist
  • We have projects in the works by Robert E. Waters, Christopher L. Bennett, Michelle D. Sonnier, James Chambers, and Danielle Ackley-McPhail.
  • We have anthologies in the works with stories by Gordon Linzner, Lisanne Norman, Dayton Ward, and  Russ Colchamiro.

If you’ve made it all the way to the end here, thank you. It’s a lot of content but we are covering five years 😉 We’ll be making periodic posts throughout the year up to the anniversary. Thanks for joining us on this adventure!


by Rachel Fernandez


The wait is over and it’s time to party! This Saturday November 21, 2015 join us for a pre-release launch for the highly anticipated nostalgic flipbook anthology, The Side of Good / The Side of Evil.

Come celebrate the release, attend panel discussions, and meet The Side of Good / The Side of Evil attending editors and authors, including: Danielle Ackley-­McPhail, Greg Schauer, Bryan J.L. Glass, Gail Martin, Walt Ciechanowski, James Chambers, Drew Bittner, Aaron Rosenberg, and Keith R.A. DeCandido, as well as meet attending artists Mike McPhail and Jason Whitley.

What: Philcon: The Side of Good / Side of Evil Launch Party
Where:  Crowne Plaza Hotel, Cherry Hill, NJ in the Con Suite (suite 823)
When: Saturday, 7pm-9pm.

Can’t make it to the launch? We’re sad to hear it, but you can still get this amazing collection. Pre-order your copy on Amazon.

NOTE: To get this book in ebook pre-order the individual ebooks The Side of Good (B016Z5GEF8) and The Side of Evil (B016X95RC2)


For those attending Philcon (, here are our current panel schedules:

Danielle Ackley-McPhail

Sat 12:00 PM in Plaza IV (Four) (1 hour)
Panelists: Tobias Cabral (mod), Sally Wiener Grotta, Mitchell
Gordon, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Aaron Rosenberg, Gail Z. Martin

How to adapt old myths and create new ones. What makes a belief
system appropriate for a world.

Sat 1:00 PM in Executive Suite 623 (1 hour)
Panelists: Elektra Hammond (mod), Danielle Ackley-McPhail, April Grey, Roberta Rogow, Sally Wiener Grotta

Sat 7:00 PM in Executive Suite 823 (2 hours)
Panelists: Danielle Ackley-McPhail (hostess), Greg Schauer, Mike McPhail, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Gail Z. Martin, James Chambers, Walt Ciechanowski, Aaron Rosenberg, Bryan J.L. Glass, Drew Bittner, Jason Whitley, and Robert E. Waters

eSpec Books editors and authors celebrate the release of this nostalgic superhero/supervillain flipbook anthology

Sun 1:00 PM in Crystal Ballroom Three (1 hour)
Panelists: Neil Clarke (mod), Alex Shvartsman, Barbara A. Barnett, Hildy Silverman, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Robert E. Waters

So you have a finally finished a story. What are the main markets?Who do you want to avoid?

Any time I’m not on a panel, you can find me in the dealer’s room or hanging out in the public spaces or game room if the dealer’s room is closed.

Mike McPhail

Sat 12:00 PM in Plaza II (Two) (1 hour)
Panelists: Mike McPhail (mod), Christopher Weuve, Eric Hardenbrook,
Jack Hillman, John Skylar

How accurately is it depicted in SF literature, and how has it been
extrapolated into future settings? Who is writing it believably

Sat 4:00 PM in Plaza IV (Four) (1 hour)
Panelists: Michael A. Ventrella (mod), Dina Leacock, T. Patrick
Snyder, Mike McPhail, Catt Kingsgrave, Keith R.A. DeCandido

How do you handle building story arcs and developing characters when
you’re not solely in charge of a world? What changes when you’re
working with others at a professional level

Sat 8:00 PM in Executive Suite 823 (1 hour)
Panelists: Mike McPhail (mod), Jason Whitley, Aaron Rosenberg

eSpec Books editors and authors celebrate the release of this nostalgic superhero/supervillain flipbook anthology.


Good-EvileSpec Books is very pleased to announce that The Side of Good / The Side of Evil has come off the presses and is on it’s way to our hot little hands. We are excited about this project and hope you are as eager to see it as we are. The official release date is December 1, 2015.

If you just can’t wait, there are several things you can do.

First – you can join us at Philcon, a science fiction convention in Cherry Hill, New Jersey the weekend of November 20 – 22. We’ll be launching the book there and will have copies on hand for sale. Our party is scheduled for Saturday, November 21, in the Con Suite, from 7pm to 9pm. Not only will there be food, fun, and PRIZES, but editors Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Greg Schauer will be there, along with authors Gail Z. Martin, Keith R.A. DeCandido, James Chambers, Drew Bittner, Aaron Rosenberg and artists Jason Whitley and Mike McPhail, all of us ready to celebrate with you.

Second – Pre-order the print book on the eSpec Books Store: The Side of Good / The Side of Evil. All orders will be shipped out right after the launch.

Third – Pre-order the ebooks (there are two) on Amazon. They will deliver to your ereader as soon as the calendar flips over to December 1.

SoG6x9The Side of Good with stories by Robert Greenberger, Bryan J.L. Glass, Kathleen David, Gail Z. Martin and Larry N. Martin, John L. French, Walt Ciechanowski, and James Chambers, (includes an SideofEviloriginal Furious! short story!)

The Side of Evil with stories by James M. Ward, Peter David, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Aaron Rosenberg, Janine Spendlove, Drew Bittner, and James Chambers (includes an original SCPD short story!)


Everyone loves a hero…but sometimes we can’t help but root for the villain…

Indulge both impulses with this nostalgic flipbook anthology—The Side of Good / The Side of Evil. After all, everyone is the hero of their own story and sometimes a change in perspective can make a world of difference. 

Superheroes inspire us to be more than we can be, and on the flip side, Supervillains are reminders of the potential for darkness within us all. The Side of Good / The Side of Evil looks at the best and worst that über-mankind is capable of.

With stories by comic book and literary masters: James M. Ward, Bryan J.L. Glass, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Aaron Rosenberg, Robert Greenberger, Gail Z. Martin and Larry N. Martin, Janine K. Spendlove, James Chambers, Walt Ciechanowski, Drew Bittner, John L. French, and Kathleen David this collection is guaranteed to be super…no matter which side you pledge your allegiance to.

Featuring a never-before-published Furious(TM) short story! 


With the final days of our Superhero/Supervillain kickstarter winding down, we bring you an interview with Bryan J.L. Glass, contributor to The Side of Good / The Side of Evil, a Superhero Flipbook anthology,

Also, as a note, Bryan has generously donates some Furious memorabilia for a prize pack that all backers at the $20 or higher level (randomly selected by the backers themselves) will be qualified to win once our campaign funds, including:

1. A FURIOUS print signed by Bryan J.L. Glass.
2. A complete set of FURIOUS comics, issues 1-5, signed by Bryan J.L. Glass.
3. An original Furious Sketch autographed by Bryan J.L. Glass.
4: An assortment of Superhero DVDs:

  • The Complete Superman 5-Movie Bundle
  • The Green Lantern
  • The Watchmen
  • The Justice League animated Triple Feature

5. An assortment of Superhero related goodies

Now…on to the interview!

BryanJLGlass copy

eSB: Which side are you writing for?

BJLG: As I’m writing my previously established title character Furious, or “Furia” as she declared herself at the tail end of her first Dark Horse Comics mini-series, it would be easy to perceive her as one of those characters on the edge, in between god and evil, as if the slightest provocation could tip her over the edge into the darkness of villainy. But her journey is far from questionable. Furia is most definitely a heroine, as her path was purposefully chosen to atone for a lifetime of media villainy. The gimmick that sets her character apart from the rest of the super-heroic pack is that Furia’s alter ego is Cadence Lark, a former child star that grew up to become one of those out of control starlets destined to crash & burn before the media spotlight. Yet upon her deepest fall, she receives an experimental drug rehab that not only offered the moment of clarity that she had become a monster of a human being, but also left her with evolving super-powers. She is committed to her atonement along the path of good… but as her powers seem entwined with her emotions, both guilt and anger can trigger the worst from her, her powers recklessly crafting incidents for which the focus of the new media is only too eager to cast her as the villain of her story.

eSB: Please tell us a little bit about the inspiration for your story.

BJLG: My Furious story is entitled: Don’t You Know Who I Am? Playing upon the classic cliché of superstars who presume to be treated according to their expectations. If a genuine super-heroine were to steal the headlines in today’s world, she would not only be the target of fearful local law-enforcement & envious world governments, but would also become a target of exploiters, those looking to capitalize financially, as well as those already in the spotlight seeking to align their own stars with hers. We live in an era where larger-than-life stars like Kanye West see no shame in stealing the attention from others they believe is theirs to take. How might such a superstar react when an actual superhero achieves headlines they believe should belong to them?

eSB: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and how would it work?

BJLG: Ever since I was a child, I’ve pondered this question, and my answer has never wavered. Teleportation. One doesn’t need great strength in a fight if one can always achieve the element of surprise. One can always escape as the need requires. But most of all, teleportation would allow me to thwart my greatest enemy, time. I’ve always wondered what that says about me psychologically, as I dislike above all, wasting time in lines or travel.

eSB: Describe your ideal super suit.

BJLG: Definitely not spandex. Nobody wants to see that.

eSB: In your opinion, what characterizes a hero?

BJLG: Selfless sacrifice. Risking everything that one has, all that one is, and willing to lose it for the sake of another, or for a cause larger than themselves—whether choosing martyrdom against the landscape of a greater social injustice or to aid but a single life without any spotlight or notoriety.

eSB: In your opinion, what characterizes a villain?

BJLG: The villain takes what they want regardless of the cost upon another. Yet true villains never revel in their villainy; instead they rationalize themselves into heroes by selfish definition. They’ll exploit another all the while justifying that what they do is for a greater good. They’ll happily destroy the present if they’re convinced posterity will look upon them with favor. The most legendary villains aren’t satisfied with mere revenge. They seek to make their mark upon the world as a hero does, yet without the cost. They see themselves the hero because they truly believe the recognition is deserved.

eSB: What other comic or superhero-related work have you done in the past?

BJLG: Most of my work for Marvel Comics has focused upon the mythology slices of the superhero spectrum: Thor and Valkyrie. With our favorite hammer-wielding Asgardian, I’ve written the mini-series First Thunder, the movie tie-in video game Son of Asgard, the one-shot Crown of Fools, and a Burger King Kids Club mini-series entitled Valor (which was so favorably received, it was almost compiled as a Marvel mini-series itself, but the licensing agreement with BK proved too entangling). I’ve also written an Adventures of Superman story illustrated by Michael (Powers) Oeming. There is a magic that happens when writing tales that humanize characters that are so more than human, so much larger than life; as if our broken humanity can be elevated by bringing the divine closer to ourselves.

eSB: If there was one comic franchise you could work on, which would it be and why?

BJLG: Not a comic franchise, but still the superhero genre to be sure: Electra Woman & Dyna Girl. While we await the new reboot coming from Legendary, it’s quality and ability to capture an audience remains to be seen. Yet the classic incarnation from 1976 Saturday morning children’s TV starring Deidra Hall & Judy Strangis has captured my imagination for the past nearly 40 years. So influential was this old franchise upon my psyche that at the height of the B&W comics boom of the early 90s, my first published series was directly inspired by these Adam West/Burt Ward inspired super-heroines: Spandex Tights: Adventures of the Aerobic Duo—TV fitness instructors by day, aerobicizing evildoers by night!

eSB: Fiction or comics, which is your favorite medium and why?

BJLG: My preference is simply any form of storytelling itself regardless of the medium. I’ve written comics, a novel, short stories, video games, stage plays, screenplays and teleplays… I’d love to write for radio if audio were still a viable option. In the end, I’m committed to making my fiction read as true to the human experience as to make even the most fantastic tales resonate as the truth.

eSB: Please let us know where you can be found on social media.

BJLG: I can be found amidst most of the usual haunts simply by searching for my full professional name: Bryan J.L. Glass at Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, as well as my own website and my online store

eSB: Thank you for allowing this glimpse beneath your alter-ego. We’re looking forward to more super heroics and evil geniuses to come.


Our current kickstarter campaign, THE SIDE OF GOOD / THE SIDE OF EVIL, is approaching the home stretch.

We really want to see this happen, and we also want you all to know how much we appreciate your support. With just two weeks to go we are instituting our pre-funding bonus reward program.

Once we hit the designated goals outlined below all backers will receive the indicated bonuses. These are digital rewards that you receive regardless of whether or not this project funds…though we really hope it does for everyone’s sake!

So, if you love great fiction, classic comics, or superheroes (villains) please consider taking a look at our campaign. You could help make an awesome project possible, and get loads of free bonus fiction as well!

$2000 Pre-Funding Bonus
A free digital download of
1. Keith R.A. DeCandido’s Dragon Precinct short story “Gan Brightblade vs. Mitos the Mighty” (This is currently only available through this kickstarter)
2. Donald J. Bingle’s short story “Hell to Pay”
3. Gail Z. Martin’s Deadly Curiosities novella “The Final Death”

$3000 Pre-Funding Bonus
A free digital download of
1. John L. French’s short story “Hero”
2. Mike McPhail’s short story “Beyond Imagine”
3. Danielle Ackley-McPhail’s short story “Purgatory”

$4000 Pre-Funding Bonus
A free digital download of
1. Danielle Ackley-McPhail’s microfiction collection Flash in the Can
(This is currently only available through this kickstarter)
2. John L. French’s short story “The Right Betrayal”
3. Jean Marie Ward’s short story “Glass Transit”

$4500 Funding Bonus SuperHero Bundle
Once we fund, one backer pledging $20 or more (randomly selected by the backers themselves) will win a prize pack of superhero loot, including:
1. A FURIOUS print signed by Bryan J.L. Glass.
2. A complete set of FURIOUS comics, issues 1-5, signed by Bryan J.L. Glass.
3. An original Furious Sketch autographed by Bryan J.L. Glass.
4. An assortment of Superhero DVDs.
5. An assortment of Superhero related goodies.

We are just $95 away from unlocking the first bonus bundle. Can you help us spread the word? We love to give stuff away, but we can only do it with your help. AND there are only EIGHT slots left for the 100 Backer Bonus!

Please share: