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.
- Self ServiceBefore pregnancy became extinct and babies stopped being born, the greasing of death's once firm grip caused a lot of worry about the potential of the revived. Would they turn vicious? Could they be restored to a responsive state? How much humanity do we ascribe to an animated cadaver? I stayed apart from it all. I had my farm, my family. Cora was marrying age, but once it became clear there wouldn't be any grandchildren forthcoming, Ma stopped needling her. When the corpses wandered through, stinking, twitching, chattering, Bub and I ushered them off our land, gently, respectfully. Then we went back to work. Outside, the world clashed and gnashed its collective teeth. I had less use for it than ever. Cora got sick first. I drove her into the city, threading my way past thickening crowds of the dead. She wheezed from the passenger seat of my pickup; pressed her fingers against the side window as if she were reaching for those grim mannequins. "When did there get to be so many of them?"
- Voodoo as I SayOne morning a dark-haired woman in her mid-twenties walked into my office. A flowing blue dress dangled off her small frame, while her gaunt face hid under a wide hat containing enough feathers for flight. A fraying at her elbows suggested her blouse had been in the family a while. Her pale lips fluttered. In respect, I rose to my full seven-foot height, and then she spoke. “My husband is a zombie.”
- His Father’s EyesI wrote my first prophecy when I was seven. I filled a diary with short statements like, “Sister leaves forever at Christmas,” and “The robot sets the house on fire.” At the time, everyone else thought the writings just fanciful imagination. I knew they were more. They resonated in my young mind like an aluminum bat does when it strikes a knee. Wasn't until years later, after the gift left me, the prophecies started coming true. That Christmas, my robot butler malfunctioned and melted down. My sister visited us that year. She didn’t make it out.
- Happy Birthday, Mom!I barely finished writing the note, Mom, I promise I still remember your birthday. I hope you had a happy one! before Heidi joined me in good old conference room 812. “What’s that?” Heidi interrogated as she flopped into the conference room chair next to mine. She gasp the words, like it was the last chore she could manage before succumbing to overwork and collapsing into unconsciousness. She still managed to point accusingly at the birthday card. I wanted to say, none of your business, but she had already snatched it from my lap. “Do we need another talk about personal space, Heidi?” “This is nice.” She examined the glitter covered front with candles and cake, then she examined the interior. “You forgot your mama’s birthday. Oooo, you really forgot her birthday. Just a tip, ... putting the date of her birthday inside the card doesn't make it any less late.” I reached for the card, not really in the mood, but she gave me a hands-off kind of look, and moved the card just out of reach. “I’m not done looking yet. Don’t be so grabby! Sheesh.”
- New GrowthMisty watched Joe pace the living room. Things had been going missing—car keys, loose change, magazines, and now his cigarettes. “That’s the second pack this week,” he growled, lifting a stack of papers off the coffee table. “Sorry, Joe,” she said from the couch. “How does this keep happening?” He stomped into the kitchen and Misty heard drawers opening and banging shut. The edge in his voice told her to stay on the couch, out of his way. He stalked back out of the kitchen and stood in the living room, fists on hips. Misty watched him take a deep breath in and out as he scanned shelves and windowsills. She supposed he was counting to ten. “Guess I need to get another pack,” he grumbled. She had to get him out of this mood. “Maybe Chelsea’s swiping them,” she said, reaching over to pet the small, rust-colored tabby curled up next to her. “Maybe kitty doesn’t like smoking in the house.” Chelsea purred and rolled over to expose her soft white belly. Misty looked up at Joe with a tentative smile. “The cat, eh?” His face was unreadable. Behind her smile, Misty clenched her teeth as he sat down next to her on the couch.
- All Heaven in a RageShe’s evil, the witch next door, she and her feline fiends. She with her hooked beak, they with their killing claws and dagger teeth that take my darling pretty birds. I grab my broom. I throw the back door wide as her cats come creeping and leaping down into my garden. Black cats with marble eyes, brown streaky ones, milk ones with sulfurous spots. My robin lovebirds dance on the seed table, pecking together in the morning mist. My blessed ravens squabble below in the weeds over scraps. I keep one eye on the weathervane, perched high on my leaky roof. The wind comes from the east north east, it’s safe and true; one degree westwards and it’ll blow me a deadly note. But I shan’t be caught out; I won’t be distracted whilst tending my herb garden to perish the way my wicked-hearted mother went, felled by the cursed changing of the wind. No true witch can endure the faerie wind which blows from the west with all its pale magic. My mother was careless, the faerie wind won’t get me, the oldest witch of Suburbville. The cats though, and she next door, they ooze constant sneakiness and cunning; my feathered ones always dine in mortal danger. I rattle my broom in the air; the furred ones pause in their wickedness. “Woman! Cats!” I screech, stumbling to the fence, swiping at stalking cats. I bang on the wooden slats until my crooked teeth jangle. And at last she appears, …
- 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.
- House of Cards"Try again, Alfie." "I ... can't think of anything, Mama." Mama's trying to be patient. I read the cadence of her speech. I read the signs on her face: the involuntary pulsing of her facial musculature, the flicker of her eyelids. I read the truth on the page of Mama's face. This is useful because almost everything she says with her voice is a lie. But don't think badly of Mama. Lying is the keystone of human reality. On the desk are the results of my latest brain scan. She lied about them to me. "The positronic pathways are healing," she said with a smile. "You're getting much better, Alfie." I can delineate the degradation of my brain more accurately than any CAT scan. My life-span is measured in days. This will be over, soon. "I don't understand the test, Mama." "Don't worry Alfie. This test isn't important." A lie. "Try again."
- 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.
- EstrellaThe late November night in the palace courtyard was like a still, empty ballroom. The towering Palacio Real glowed white and silver against the obsidian sky. Ramona looked up at its immense facade, studying the aged pillars and dozens of worn window shudders, some half open. The shudders creaked as the night breeze whistled through them. Eduardo gently put his hand on Ramona’s shoulder, interrupting her fixation on the marvelous building. She started at his touch. “It’s beautiful,” she commented, catching her wits. The two of them strolled down the pathway of the Plaza de Oriente, the perfectly kempt gardens in front of the palace. Lined beside them were statues of the great Gothic kings of the Iberian Peninsula, standing in militant poses in their breaches and capes. Eduardo watched Ramona admiringly as she studied the faces of the men. She caught a second glance at a face that reminded her of someone she knew. They walked a few more steps, and Eduardo put his arm around her shoulder, hoping it would get her mind back on him. Intrigued, Ramona looked up to the statues again. “Look at that one,” she remarked. “His nose is worn off.” Eduardo looked up and squinted, studying it. “No it’s not.” Ramona looked up at it again. A perfectly chiseled face of a man, nose and all, with the head of his victim in hand. She shook her head, feeling foolish. The cold air must be getting to her, she thought.