Pure Spec 2014: Spec: The Final Frontier

November 14-16, 2014 at the Ramada Conference Centre Edmonton.

With David Gerrold, Dave Gross, Dan Riskin, Amber E. Scott, and Skype guest Samuel R. Delany!

Spotlight On: Dave Gross

Dave Gross!

Another of our speakers at Mini-Spec, Dave was full of thoughtful advice and hilarious stories. For the record, Dave Gross and Amber E. Scott make a killer combo!

Dave is an editor-turned-writer and has a plethora of titles associated with his name. If you like to read/play anything in the fantasy-horror scope, you’d like his stuff.

Spend a few minutes with his blog (bydavegross.com) and you can tell he’s one of those Creative Types, and that he has a great sense of humour. My kind of writer!

Pure Spec is excited to have Dave Gross back as a guest!



~eclipse fusion~ is an alliance of professional belly dancers devoted to the study and performance of Tribal Fusion belly dance. With a focus on dark fusion, Eclipse explores the lines between Middle Eastern and Tribal Fusion dance, infusing their performances with a theatrical intention and a blending of old and new dance forms. As fans of both science and fiction, not to mention Star Trek, Eclipse has a long history of creating excellent Spec-themed choreos and they have been working furiously on new choreographies tailored specifically for this year’s Pure Spec. The current collective of dancers includes: Anita, Loki, Lia, Marie, April, Maryna, Silje and Ashleigh.

Tickets available here!



A Pre-Spec panel: Women Talking About Women in Genre Fiction



We’re pleased to announce that there will be a “Women Talking About Women in Genre Fiction” panel on Thursday, November 13, at Lois Hole Library. From organizer Eileen Bell: “And there’s this… A Pre-Spec panel at the Lois Hole Library on November 13th, from 6 to 9 pm. The five of us will discuss women in genre, and we all have fairly strong opinions. It’s going to be so much fun!”

If the description was somehow not enough to convince you, check out this poster:


Spotlight on: Amber E. Scott!

Amber E. Scott!

I already knew a little about Amber from when she spoke at Mini-Spec back in May, but I needed to know more if I was going to write a Spotlight on her. Googling her brought up her lovely visage, but also a picture of The Dude. (Really internet? Jeff Bridges and Amber E. Scott look nothing alike!) Anyway….

Amber seems to have writing credits out the wazoo; Pathfinder, D & D, Dragon Magazine. So she knows games. And she had some great stories to share at Mini-Spec! I could prattle on about her extensive resume, but that’s not nearly as much fun as hearing her stories about what it’s like to write for RPGs.

I highly recommend catching one of her panels at the festival. Guaranteed interesting!

We’re really glad that she’s a guest at Pure Spec!

Spotlight on: Dan Riskin!

Dan Riskin!

One of our own! He may hail from Toronto now, but he started in Edmonton! You may or may not have heard of a lttle show called Daily Planet? Yeah… he’s kinda the host.

So in order to do this spotlight, I read up on Dan. My first thought was, “Wow! He knows everything about everything!” Which turns out is a bit of an overstatement.

He just knows everything about bats. Seriously! He’s been all over the world studying bats! Cool, huh? He also appeared on Monsters Inside Me, a show on Animal Planet about parasites. For that he got to be on The Tonight Show. Just keeps getting cooler and cooler, huh?

Earlier this year, Dan had his first book published. It has one of the best titles I’ve ever heard. Ready? It’s called Mother Nature is Trying to Kill You: A Lively Tour Through the Dark Side of the Natural World. Brilliant, right?

Anyway, Pure Spec is excited to have him as a Guest of Honour this year!

Pure Spec 2014 Entertainment: MAKE OUT CITY!


Make Out City are the red lipstick of indie rock: loud, flashy, and unforgettable.

A broken heart and a personal ad sealed with a kiss brought them together in September 2012. After playing in Edmonton for three years Electric Love Song (Patrick Chorley – bass, Amir Reshef – guitar, and Jon Schofield – drums) had run out of love but not out of songs. Meanwhile, vocal powerhouse, Gaia Willis, was looking for new projects after saying goodbye to Splitsville and moving to themake out capital. They met and combined to form Make Out City: a valentine to hard rock and indie music.

Their list of influences is a long one and while Make Out City won’t kiss and tell, it’s safe to say that past and present crushes include: Led Zeppelin, Heart, Death From Above 1979, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

After two EP releases, Make Out Monday in 2013 and Handsome Tuesday in 2014, the group are still smitten. They hook up every week in the heart of the city to strut their stuff in their sweltering practice space. Whether playing live with bands like Five Alarm Funk, Death By Robot, Small Town Knife Fight, or I Am Machi, they continue to bring you the hot and heavy music you need to make out to.

Make Out City

Tickets to Pure Spec and the Uniformal Ball where Make Out City will be performing are available here!



Volunteering with Pure Spec!

Want to help out at Pure Spec? Sure you do! Pure Speculation needs enthusiastic volunteers/minions to help with Pure Speculation 2014. Specifically, we need assistance with registration desk, silent auction, and merchandise table.

At the registration desk, this is the team that people meet first, so attitude is everything. You need to work well under pressure, even with 20 people lined up in front of you. You will report to our capable Treasurer, and follow instructions carefully. Good penmanship is a must.

The merchandise table is associated with registration and will handle books and items for sale by our guests. Clear and accurate record-keeping is essential.

Silent auction volunteers will watch the merchandise tables, and answer any questions bidders might have about the items.

For detailed info and more volunteer positions, visit  http://www.purespec.org/volunteer/

Pure Spec 2014 Welcomes David Gerrold

Photoigraph of Dave GerroldPure Speculation is pleased to welcome David Gerrold as one of its Guests of Honour. Best known for writing the famous “The Trouble with Tribbles” episode of the original Star Trek series, Gerrold has an extensive history of involvement with the Star Trek franchise, including writing episodes of Star Trek: The Animated Series, and several books such as Worlds of Star Trek, The Trouble with Tribbles, and The Galactic Whirlpool.

Outside of the Trek franchise, Gerrold also wrote scripts for the original Land of the Lost TV series (which he also helped develop), as well as Sliders, Babylon 5, and the 1980s revival of The Twilight Zone. His original fiction includes The Man Who Folded Himself, When HARLIE was One, and the semi-autobiographical novelette The Martian Child, which was made into a film in 2007.

Today, Gerrold can be found at http://www.gerrold.com, which includes a blog and bibliography. Come and see David Gerrold at Pure Speculation 2014, November 14-16 at the Ramada Conference Centre, Edmonton.


Hotel info

Check out our shiny new hotel page for all the details about staying at the hotel. Plus, reasons to consider getting a room even if you’re not travelling from outside Edmonton. Only one of the reasons involves snow!

Join the Pure Spec Organizing Committee

Pure Spec is looking for help with our organizing committee, and we want YOU.

As we approach Pure Speculation, the duties pile up, and we could use any extra pair of hands (or three) to help. You don’t need important contacts or reams of free time: just a good attitude and being ready to help (and bring pie!). Make suggestions, help get the word out, and keep on top of what we’re planning. Members who aren’t able to volunteer at Pure Spec events still get discounts on tickets.

We generally meet at one of our members’ house on Sundays: the frequency of meetings depends on how close we are to a major event. Please email pure.speculation@gmail.com for the address. Our next meetings will be Sunday, September 21, with an Events Committee meeting at 5:30, and an Organizing Committee meeting at 6:00 pm. The length of meetings depends on how much we have to do, but everyone is free to come and go as they like.