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!




In A Flash 2016
The eSpec Books Annual Flash Fiction Anthology
edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail
and Greg Schauer
ISBN: 978-1-942990-37-6

In a Flash, the eSpec Books annual flash fiction anthology, features the highlights of the press’s monthly flash fiction contests from the preceding year. This collection of speculative microfiction runs the gambit from steampunk, westerns, and urban fantasy to science fiction and horror, with stories by Christopher J. Burke, Jim Knipp, Herika R Raymer, Anton Kukal, Marie Vibbert, CB Droege, David Bartell, Jeff Young, Rie Sheridan Rose, Jean Buie, David M. Hoenig, and Jamie Gilman Kress.

If you follow our blog you are familiar with our monthly flash fiction contests. The prize for winning these contests is publication on the blog and a free ebook. However, we have been so impressed with the submissions we have received we wanted to take things further. To that end we reveal to you now the first in a series of eSpec Books Annual Flash Anthologies. Congratulations to the winners and honorable mentions selected for inclusion.


Congratulations to CB Droege for taking the honors in this month’s eSpec Books Flash Fiction Contest. CB’s prize is publication on the eSpec blog and one free ebook from among the eSpec publication list.

Honorable Mention

My Dearest – Hamel Móric

Under Pressure

CB Droege

“Sometimes,” the scientist said to Geoff, “I feel like there is someone who does not wish me to succeed.”

Geoff froze in the midst of a calculation. Had he been discovered? What had he done wrong? How much did Dr. Ferenczi know? He only said, “What do you mean?”

“Ugh!” the scientist ejected, “It’s like there is some force of will, some aspect of the universe which desires my failure! A hand reaching down from above to strike each trial with… problems!”

Geoff took a deep breath, relieved. His assignment with Dr. Ferenczi had not been easy. He’d been on deployment here for three years already, and it was becoming more and more difficult to think of plausible ways to sabotage her experimental trials. He knew the importance of his work though, and of being trusted by the scientist. “You don’t actually believe that, do you, Doctor?”

The scientist sighed and sat heavily into the other chair at the console. She glanced through the large, plate-glass window above the controls into the sterile trial chamber. Geoff looked also. The chamber contained pressure vats of various sizes and powers. Some were large and free-standing, but most were sitting on stark white lab tables. At the table nearest the glass, a pressure vat was cracked, and green muck oozed from the crack.

“It doesn’t make sense, Geoffrey.” Ferenczi said.

“What’s that?” Geoff asked, turning back to look at the scientist once more. The woman had taken off her glasses, and was rubbing the bridge of her nose with two fingers. For a moment, Geoff felt sorry for what he was doing to her. She wasn’t an evil person. That’s what he had expected when he had arrived. The media’s depiction of Dr. Ferenczi, when she was a young woman, ranged from mad-scientist to angry radical, working to create the world’s deadliest weapon due to anger, radical philosophy, or at least an apathy toward her fellow humans. But the real woman was just a person, like any other. She was brilliant, and did possess a certain detachment, but she was neither crazy nor malicious, and she didn’t seem to really know what she was going to create.

“The data,” she said, and reached for the console to bring up colorful illustrations of the results from the most recent trial. “It should have worked. It should have worked eight iterations ago.” she gestured vaguely toward the screen. “The data is contradictory. The simulations show that we only need 15 GpA to fuse the super nitrates. We’ve had to invent a whole new type of organo-stable pressure vat, just to exceed those levels, and it still hasn’t brought us anything. If we manage much higher pressures, we’re going to start accidentally making vats full of diamonds.” Geoff laughed then, and the scientist smiled at his reaction. “I’m not kidding, Geoffrey…”

“I know,” he said, not bothering to stifle his amusement. “It was just a funny image.”

She sighed deeply again, and looked out at the vats. Her vats. An unexpected side-effect of his mission. He wondered if their creation would change anything.

“Doctor,” Geoff started tentatively, “I’ve taken a position in another lab.” He was lying, of course. His assignment was ending by necessity; it would be his birthday in a few weeks, and no one from the agency was ever allowed to work within their own time-line, even briefly. It was just too dangerous. He’d delayed Dr. Ferenczi for three years now, but someone younger than him would have to take up the job if that wasn’t enough. “I’ve made a short list of people I would like to recommend as my replacement.”

Dr. Ferenczi visibly sagged. “I understand, Geoffrey. I wouldn’t want to be tied to this project anymore either, if I were in your place,” she said, then looked over at him. “Maybe I should give it up too, eh?”

Geoff tried to keep his face expressionless. If Dr. Ferenczi gave up on the project now…

She looked out the window again. “No,” she said after a moment, “I guess I need to see this through. We’ll miss you though. You know more about this project than anyone, second to me.” She smiled. It was clearly forced. “Is the new position closer to home, at least?”

“Yes,” Geoff said, letting himself breath, “right outside of London actually.”

“Good,” she said, “It’ll be nice for you to be near family.” Geoff only nodded. “Will you be here still for next week’s trial?”

“It’ll be my last one.” he said.

“We’ll make it count then.” she said.

“Of course,” he said. “This will be the one that gets it right.”

The scientist nodded, tight-lipped, and the two of them began to work on the calculations for next week’s test, though Geoff already knew how it would go, how it had to go.