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.
- On the Wings of DovesFather first awoke the topiaries the morning after Mother died. Shrubs wriggled loose from their dirt when he passed, dormant bushes burst free and scampered across the countryside. Thus it went for eighteen years. I lived my life knowing that Father could awaken plants, but I did not realize what I, his daughter, could awaken.
- Final MissionThe emissary of destruction awoke as his ship decelerated upon entry into the Grinaldi system. Though the calendar would say a dozen generations had passed since the Grinaldi had methodically, torturously, wiped out his homeworld those memories were fresh in his mind. For him, it had happened only days before. His consciousness, the only part of him which had been able to make the journey, went immediately to work. He confirmed the computer's accounting of the ship's location and checked to ensure that the transmissions originating from the system's large fourth planet were indeed Grinaldi. His makers had argued whether a conscious mind was necessary for this mission. There had been some who felt computerized systems were all that the ship required, but others said such a device would be irresponsible, capable of accidentally wiping out other inhabitants if they had overrun Grinald in the centuries between the launch of this ship and its arrival.
- By the Light of a Shopgirl’s StarThe ting-a-ting-clank announcing a customer caught me off guard. No one came in Moore's Gas & More in July. We didn't have air conditioning. Even the taffy got squishy. I popped up from the candy row and gave my jeans a yank. "Can I help you?" I squinted at the customer standing by the corn chips, backlit by the window. I guessed woman because she was short. I figured she wanted the john. "Back there." I pointed past the air filters. "Only got one. Uni-sex and all." She stared out the window like a little kid, her fingers hooked over the magazine racks. "I'm Cinny if you need anything," I said. I resumed my candy shelving, singing Gloria Estefan under my breath. I had a good set of pipes. Mama said my voice was sweet enough to soothe baby birds out of the nest, whatever that meant, only I was too awkward to sing in front of folks. The customer scuff-scuffed into the candy row like she didn't know to pick her feet up. I turned and I figured out she was a he, and the strangest little he I'd ever seen.
- Tail"You won't burn my wedding pictures." I extended my hand, demanding the memory stick back. "Naiomi, you plugged this into your work computer?" Carter ground his teeth while taking a deep breath, following it with a sigh. "I'll have to run a full scan to see what kind of virus you've given it. You know the security policies. Your memory stick is now company property. You signed the same NDA we all signed. I'm throwing this memory stick into the incinerator." "They're the only copy of my wedding pictures, and I need to get them off that stick." I tossed my single, long, blond braid over my shoulder for effect. I doubted tossing my braid looked terrifying. Perhaps if I swung my head around and whipped him across the face with it.
- Unlikely Things"Help me get convicted." "No." "You don't feel I need to go to jail?" Ruby groaned. "Being a defense attorney shouldn't be this complex." "I will die if they put me back on that ship. How would that make you feel?" Ishmael's plump face projected patience and interest, rather than fear and hope. "I know you are innocent, and if I prove you are in court I'll never forgive myself." "I agree. You can't tell them what I've told you. You have to get me convicted." She threw her pile of legal documents across the room, spreading papers and breaking tablets. "I hate you! I'll be disbarred for this! I hate you!" She glanced up to see the prison guard looking through the observation window inquisitively. Ruby discreetly wiped her eye, careful not to smear any makeup. Satisfied that he did not need to intervene, the guard disappeared from the small window. Ishmael leaned back in his aluminum chair, crossing his arms with a broad smile. "Thank you."
- Druy’s Space Junk“Druy, where did you find that pitiful looking piece of space junk?” Capitan Saga asked as he slid off the ramp onto the lower deck of his ship. “In the emptiness,” Druy said and continued circling the disk shaped object. “And why wasn’t I informed?” he asked.
- Jackson’s Cat VideosJackson looked up from a cat video at the sound of flopping sandals on the floor he'd just cleaned. His expressionless middle-aged face bore the slightest frown. Was she management? She looked more like a tongue depressor escaped from a gardening expo than a supervisor. However, he didn't know all the ship's managers, so he placed his device in his pocket discretely. He picked up his mop from the floor and examined her progress. She left a trail of echoing "THOP" sounds across the hall's tiled expanse.
- The UnseenThomas sat in his truck, glad to be out of the cold rain blowing in sheets against his windshield. He drummed his fingers on the steering wheel, and as he glanced over to the right at the trees and brush, thought he saw a flash of movement. Sitting up now on full alert, he watched carefully through the rivulets of rain pouring down the window. A woman burst out into the clearing and started lurching forward, her arms extended towards him, her expression one of terror. He threw his truck door open, and as he got out, just for an instant, looked down to where he was stepping. By the time he raised his eyes again to the approaching figure, she was gone. He thought she must have collapsed into the long grass, until he reached the empty spot where he last saw her.
- M-STEMMad science 101 was the only class where you had to worry about your homework eating the dog. Poor Barnaby. The only thing left of the cocker spaniel was a chewed-up collar the angle-wolf had spit out before booking it out of the lab Jodie had built in her grandma’s basement. She could hear the beast overhead, knocking over granny’s fine china and Hummel figures. Jodie typed up an e-mail to her Mad-Sci 101 prof. Dear Professor Smogmire, I know the deadline for the anglefish-wolf hybrid is tomorrow, but could I please have an extension? My grandmother has passed away.
- InterventionMost parents impose on their grown children by asking them to run to the store and buy green beans at a quarter past midnight. The dutiful adult child having just begun a restful doze is awakened by the cell they did not dare turn off, and the request is made among reminders of how much labor the parent suffered on the child's behalf. My father puts all these parental units to shame. You see, he's been a widower for years, and feels the need to make up for the missing parent's requests. So, when he makes a request it isn't by vocalization but by outrageous, though terse, 140 character commands. "Matt joined the crew of a space liner. Go get your brother back." My father's text implied the unwritten, "Or, don't come back, either." So here I stood, facing this close-to-light ship floating in the bay along side normal sea freighters wondering how I'd find Matt on a ship that size.