NOTE: No submissions will be accepted until the current anthology is published.
Science fiction stories. Fantasy stories. Horror stories. All for adults, but of the family-friendly persuasion.
T. Gene Davis’s Speculative Blog posts free science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories–mostly by guest authors. Subscribe (on the left) for the free sci-fi, horror and fantasy stories newsletter delivered when new stories post. The stories accepted are for adults (sometimes with mature themes), but safe to leave open on a tablet at the kitchen table where kids can get ahold of it. I currently pay $100 (US) for the right to publish your story on the blog and in the anthology. Check out the submission guidelines for more information.
Here are a few stories chosen at random to read, or check out the archives for more.
- The Lake Offering“What do you think is in it?” There had been a solid five minutes of silence between the two boys before Alex finally asked the question. Another minute passed before Andrew gave him an answer. “My first guess would be a dead body,” he replied as they continued to stare at the coffin sitting in front of them.
- LEGO ManOlivia looked up from grinding corn. A telltale puff of dust huffed up over the ridge, where Route 65 still ran. A traveler. No matter how hard the times, a traveler was always welcome. He'd be here in a couple of hours. She could finish the corn and heat up the soup, toast last week's bread in time for his arrival. "Corngirl, come here and set the table!" she yelled. The girl gave her a death stare but slouched over after a proper amount of letting her mother know it was an imposition. Every now and then Olivia looked up to watch for the traveler. It couldn't be the merchant who walked back and forth between Kansas City and Springfield, he'd already been by a couple of weeks ago. Who else could this be?
- Wherefore Art Thou, WerewolfI have a recurring nightmare where I think I’m suffocating—you might too if you had electrodes protruding from both sides of your neck. I wake up gasping, then realize it was only a dream. Except this time, it wasn’t. A hairy, long-nailed claw clasped my throat. I kicked up my right leg, producing a growling grunt and more importantly, freeing my windpipe. I then delivered a head butt, an effective maneuver as my flat skull has a large area of contact. A heavy weight crashed to the floor. I rolled off the other side of my bed.
- Not a SpadeGusting face-freezing wind displaced Sister Wendy Riley's bonnet, pushing it nearly off her dirty brown hair. No matter how many steps Wendy made toward Zion in the Great Salt Lake Valley, the wind seemed determine to blow her back to Liverpool. The annoying and ill timed gust that finally dislodged her bonnet came as she pulled her handcart up a rise. Releasing one hand from the crossbar to fix the errant bonnet meant losing the cart and her few belongings to the hill. With hair whipping her face, she prayed the tie string kept the bonnet around her neck until she reached flat ground ahead. Wendy stood to one side while pulling the handcart, as though her husband still might join her on his side of the cart. She turned down offers, even from the Wilson boys, to help her pull the handcart. She did not want anyone in his spot. It was silly, but a week was still too soon.
- Sidewalk Sorcery“Stop it, TJ, you’re doin’ it wrong!” “Shut up, Alex, I am not.” Chalk staining his fingers, TJ drew a double inverted arrow, piercing the center of the circle. “Are, too!” Alex crouched beside his brother, careful not to smudge the lines. “That’s not the way Mom showed us—”
- In the Alley"They found the body in the alley at the bottom of the fire escape." "The one outside my bedroom?" Henry rolled his wide eyes at his cousin. "You're full of it." "All the witnesses said he jumped for the ladder three times before they caught him. He died still reaching up grabbing at anything that came in reach." A couch pillow hit Laveral hard enough to snap his head back and stop his story. Henry smiled at his mother. She didn't notice. She glared at Laveral. He had all her attention.
- Flutter“Mommy?” “Yes, my child?” Her back bristled with chitinous spines, gathering microscopic dew in the rapidly cooling eventide. “I can’t sleep.” “But you must sleep. A child grows faster when they rest. Besides, breakfast is being made.” The mother was bundling a parcel, spinning it into the loom of her abdomen as the toxins turned the victim to stone. “But I can’t sleep,” the cotton orb stirred, a fluttering inside the pliable strands, woven tight. “Are you hungry, child?”
- Closing StatementLadies and gentleman of the jury, I don't expect you to understand. The mountain of evidence that seems to support the prosecution's case is daunting to say the least, but all of it is based on an adolescent understanding of the forces that move the universe. I must stress to you once again that Ambassador Gupta is alive and well.
- Anchor and Key"Can I help you?" the ghost whispered. It drifted behind the dust-covered reference desk, an insubstantial wisp with a hint of long hair wrapped in an untidy bun and the barest glimpse of wire-rimmed spectacles. I tried not to stare. It had been decades since anyone had required corrective lenses. And, well, she was dead. She wasn't supposed to exist at all. I cleared my throat. The sound echoed in the library's cavernous skeleton. "I'm, uh, looking for a book."
- Grove of the Stone Trees“Wow. Well, never say you can’t trust a copper salt merchant,” Connor said. Ayumi gave him an inquiring glance. “Is that a common saying?” “But what did they put it way out here for?” he continued, gesturing the screen where their ship’s camera focused in on the alien structure. “Two jumps in dead space, not so much as an asteroid within a parsec of it.” “That might be a bit of an exaggeration,” Ayumi said, smiling, as she watched the telemetry unfold. “But, yes. You’re right. We never would’ve found it without the trail of rumors that began with a wine-sodden copper salt merchant.” “Was he? I didn’t know there was a market for wine-sodden copper salts.”