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.
- 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.
- Annie’s PlanetsNico noticed the little girl as she pressed herself against the glass window of his antique store. She stared with intent but when he smiled, she didn't smile back. He returned to his work but looked up over the wire-rim of his glasses as the bell above the door tinkled. The little girl strode in, black braid swishing behind her, followed by a frazzled woman. "Annie, wait," the woman said, but the girl ignored her. Instead she stopped at the end of the counter to focus on the project in front of Nico.
- Dead AgainKnowing what would happen before it did was nothing but torture—a torture that made me cry before everyone did or made me laugh before everyone else.
- 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."
- Zombie-In-LawsPatrick parked near his in-law's graves. The sunset was nearly finished, and the graveyard was appropriately dark. He flashed Lilly a glittering rockstar grin—clearly visible despite the coming gloom. "About my allowance," he began an old discussion, keeping the grin while talking. He somehow avoided looking like he was gritting his teeth. "Not now," Lilly interrupted opening her car door. "No," Patrick grabbed Lilly's wrist. "I need more for my research." "No." Lilly pulled away but he held her wrist, bruising her again. She struggled, finally getting out of the door, pulling him half way out her car door in the process. She stomped off into the grass and granite, listening for him behind her, but not looking back. She stopped in sight of her parents' graves. The soil was piled to one side and the fresh sod pushed to the other side. One of Patrick's devices stood at the head of each grave. Lilly pivoted on one foot, looking back at Patrick and the car, both hidden in the dark.
- The Artist, Perfect in His CraftArtatra stormed down the five hundred black marble steps to his laboratories and warrens. It was utterly intolerable, the restrictions under which he worked. That a mind such as his should be yoked to an unimaginative, plodding, stupid . . . well, not stupid, exactly. That was the problem! If the Presence in the Throne was stupid, it could be worked around. The mind behind that mask was sly, it was well-ordered, and it knew far more than it rightly ought. It was unimaginably worse than stupid—it was a functioning mind that lacked vision.
- The Elephant on the MoonAt precisely 11:32 AM on October 24th 1893 an elephant appeared on the moon. Her name was Flossy. No explanation has ever been offered for this wholly unexpected phenomenon, largely because it occurred so completely outside human observation that no explanation was ever requested. Flossy was exactly six years, nine months, and twenty-eight days old, when she made moonfall. She weighed 6,943 pounds, and was, all things considered, in excellent health. She was also, it must be said, remarkably perplexed. In fact, at that moment Flossy may have been the single most perplexed elephant in all of history. More perplexed than the first elephant to encounter peanuts. More baffled than the young elephant who was first expected to tap dance. More confused even than the middle-aged elephant who had inexplicably found herself leading an army across the Alps. Elephants are, generally speaking, quite intelligent creatures, and Flossy was a reasonably clever example of her species. Her present circumstances were, however, quite outside the realm of normal elephantine experience. Flossy’s memory, which, as one would expect, was prodigious, encompassed an early childhood in the wild, the heartbreak of being captured and separated from her mother, a long, uncomfortable sea voyage, and a subsequent life spent being taken from place to place and gawked at by strange bipedal creatures. Nowhere in that store of experience was there anything that might begin to compare with the sensation of having been inside a tent on the outskirts of Carlisle, IN one moment and on …
- Two by Two"Marcus?" his caseworker said, her hands folded on Mama's kitchen table. "Did something happen to your sneaker?" Marcus looked down at his size thirteen feet—two shoes, one old, one new. "No ma'am." "Why don't they match?" She didn't understand that matches weren't the same as pairs. Daddy never told her about arks. "They're opposites," he said. Daddy explained it better because he had more words. That was okay. Marcus was better at pairing. "Like your socks?" One foot, two foot, red foot, blue foot. Marcus smiled and nodded. "You and me, we're opposites, too." "I guess we are. Is your father still spending all his time at the hospital?"
- Hello, Is Anybody There?Major Pax's bony hand rested next to Sam's eliminated white pieces. A light bulb illuminated the chessboard they battled on to pass the years. A bomb from a previous conflict had started the war, a mindless mechanical device that exploded at an unfortunate time. They—the Blancs—took less than an hour to launch the missiles from the safety of their cubicles. The Noirs did the same, and the thriving world was gone. Sam had to contact each Blanc citizen to determine his or her status. He had compiled a list of numbers to call long ago, but had forgotten the original source or if it was in a particular order. Sam started calling once the radiation levels allowed.
- Not Of This WorldIt was a Saturday afternoon in the autumn of the year. The sky was cloudy. A cold wind had just started to blow. A figure, male by appearance, possibly between age thirty and forty, walked along a lonely sidewalk. He had black hair, frizzled, reaching down to the collar of his green windbreaker. He sported blue jeans and decrepit running shoes. The zipper of his jacket was broken, requiring him to hold the two halves shut with his left hand in an attempt to guard against the wind. He had a twitch, his right eye lid opening and closing; making it appear that he was constantly winking. He ground his jaw from side to side, a habit of decades that was slowly wearing down his teeth. He mumbled to himself, low and inconspicuous sounds that could have been words, easily lost in the noise of the neighborhood. The locals pegged him quickly as peculiar. People who saw him ignored him or made distance, establishing a comfort zone that could be as far as a city block.