Jack-o'-Spec: Tales of Halloween and Fantasy

Edited by Karen A. Romanko

Jack-o'-Spec: Tales of Halloween and Fantasy features the many faces of science fiction, fantasy, and horror Halloweens: steampunk Halloweens, post-apocalyptic Halloweens, alternate history Halloweens, outer space Halloweens, and noir Halloweens, not to mention new speculative takes on Halloween perennials, such as haunted houses, witches, ghosts, vampires, and, of course, jack-o'-lanterns. Twenty-six authors have contributed short stories, flash fiction, and poetry to the anthology, transporting us to the mysterious realm of the Pumpkin King, introducing the trick-or-treating Norse gods, or describing a lover's visit on a brief reprieve from Purgatory.

Edited by Karen A. Romanko, Jack-o'-Spec is published by Raven Electrick Ink, publisher of Retro Spec: Tales of Fantasy and Nostalgia, Cinema Spec: Tales of Hollywood and Fantasy and Sporty Spec: Games of the Fantastic. The anthology was released on September 13, 2011.

If there is a holiday ripe for exploration, speculation and new myths, it is Halloween. Come and celebrate this night of nights with us.

Praise for Jack-o'-Spec: Tales of Halloween and Fantasy:

Reading Jack-o'-Spec is like stepping into a Halloween party that's been going on for 2,000 years. There's something delightfully pagan about these stories and poems, something that captures Halloween's dark, autumn atmosphere. Whether it's a mad scientist invoking Halloween ghosts on Mars, boys trapped in not one but two haunted houses, or a rich evocation of poetic seasonal spirits, Jack-o'-Spec has something for all Halloween lovers.
           -- Lisa Morton, Author, The Halloween Encyclopedia

Annotated Table of Contents for Jack-o'-Spec:

  • Jude-Marie Green, "Defying Gravity," fiction.
  • Jill M. Riga, "Bad Reputation," poem.
  • Leslie Brown, "Incursion," fiction.
  • Kendall Evans, "Deceiving the Dead," poem.
  • Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy, "Forty-Eight Hours a Year," fiction.
  • Gregory L. Norris, "The Two Houses," fiction.
  • Michael M. Jones, "Who Killed the Pumpkin King?" fiction.
  • Bruce Boston, "Halloween Hunchback," poem.
  • Elissa Malcohn, "Visitations," fiction.
  • Shannon Connor Winward, "All Souls' Day," poem.
  • Paul L. Bates, "Unwanted Children," fiction.
  • Geoffrey A. Landis, "Monsters," poem.
  • Cliff Winnig, "The Experiment," fiction.
  • Robert Borski, "Halloween (The Planet)," poem.
  • Samantha Henderson, "Sugar Skulls," fiction.
  • Nancy Ellis Taylor, "Dia de los Muertos/LA," poem.
  • John F.D. Taff, "The Lacquered Box," fiction.
  • Alexandra Seidel, "Tricks and Treats," poem.
  • James S. Dorr, "The Leaves," fiction.
  • Lyn C. A. Gardner, "The Chant of the Black Cats," poem.
  • Joe Nazare, "The Day after Halloween," fiction.
  • Alexandra Seidel, "Lanterns," poem.
  • Marge Simon, "Traditions," fiction.
  • Daniel R. Robichaud II, "Autumn Jitters," fiction.
  • Karen A. Romanko, "Death in a Harlequin Suit," fiction.
  • Jason S. Ridler, "The Night Ol' Jack Came Back," fiction.