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.
- Ability"Stop it." "Why?" "Because you can't set fire to water." "No, you can't set fire to water." "Why would I want to set fire to water?" "You wouldn't, 'cause then I'd be right."
- Dwarves, Elves, and ConsultantsKalm looked at his two-headed axe lying in front of him on the boardroom table and wished that he hadn't left his shield at his desk. Armor was out of the question, his helm and chainmail sat uselessly in the trunk of his car in the darkest depths of parking level thirty-three, section D. "-but who is saying that we need to hire consultants?" The vice-queen's voice cut through him like a shard of ice killing any further thoughts of his forgotten armaments. You could always hear it in her voice first. The practiced fake charm slithered away to reveal the more suitable growl that lurked underneath.
- Skeleton in the Closet"Dad, I'm feeding the skeleton in the closet." My seven-year-old daughter stated this. She wasn't asking permission.I had to sit up in my arm chair and set down my Kindle. "Really?" "Yes. He likes donuts."
- The Beast of Broken RockSeveral cycles ago my wife Carpathia went to the market to gather supplies for the long, incumbent winter, but by nightfall she had not returned. By daybreak her side of the bed was still cold, and I feared the worst. For many moons thereafter I searched the plains until my feet bled, and called her name until my throat hurt, but I neither saw her nor heard from her again. The villagers were quick to blame the Beast for my misfortune as they did for every other disappearance in the land, but I did not share their conviction. My wife was gone, but I could not seriously lay her fate at the door of a ghost. I would rather admit she had abandoned me than accept I had lost her to a myth. Even so, sometimes, despite my better judgement, I too cursed the Creature. The worst had come to pass—
- ReadersDwight hated walking into the living room and facing his wife’s completely non-virtual collection of books, displayed unfashionably in the first space in the house their guests would see. Even as newlyweds, he had barely tolerated her need for the physical nature of the books, and after a few years quit making excuses to guests for the queer habit and instead insisted that all visitors come around to the side of the house.
- Fish on FridayI looked on Vera, my beloved wife. She was scaly and green—but still beautiful. A fine specimen of alligator, I saw that as soon as I lumbered out of the Florida Exotic Creatures Vacation clinic. I joined her by the edge of the warm olive waters and peered in expectantly, my slit pupil eyes enchanted by the balmy Everglade pools. I didn’t feel that different despite my change of skin. Perhaps the swamp felt a little less oppressive and the waters more inviting but that was all. I was the same old Archibald Trent, MD of Nettle Enterprises, Littlehampton, UK, maker extraordinaire of plastic food packagings of all kinds. I was on holiday with Vera, two weeks in the sun, same as last year. At the end of that time I would return to my old life, my old habitat.
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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?
- Jack Twice-Caught and the PushermanNo one in Bridge could remember exactly when the legend of the Pusherman began. As folk began to go missing, the stories just appeared, fully formed, as if they had fallen from the sky. Some in Bridge whispered that the Pusherman was an old graybeard who hunted children playing along the Edge because he was envious of their youth. Others said he was a jealous husband who pushed his cheating wife over the Edge and came to enjoy the taste of murder.