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.
- Layover"The layover was only two years." Hazel let out a breath and crinkled her already wrinkled forehead. "He told me about it." Keira bounced her newborn child, more to calm herself than to calm the baby. "We're newlyweds. How could he die? Was there a malfunction in stasis?"
- A Healing Song’s Curse"You never sing for me. Why is that?" Rob's voice was casual, but I froze. It was a breezy evening in March and a tired sun handed out the last lights for the day. "I have an awful voice. I fear you'll stop loving me once you hear me sing." I tried to keep my voice playful, but fear in me didn't make it easy. He sighed and put a finger under my chin, turning my face so that my eyes met his. Chocolate brown and inviting—that was what his eyes were. "Don't lie, Nupur." His casual tone had gone, and hurt framed his voice. "You sing for the young, the old, the sick and I always hear that you have a lovely voice. Some say your voice has magic." With a great effort, I kept my face expressionless. The last word hit too close to home. "So why not for me, love? What have I done wrong?"
- 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.
- 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?
- SpudTwo days later, I wake. I over slept, again. My first instinct is to roll over. The straps hold me back. I’m salaried. If no one’s complaining, I get paid. I consider unstrapping myself, just to roll over. Then that little voice warns me, where does it end? I unstrap myself from the hammock, and sit up. The Spud’s gravity is too weak to keep me in bed all night without straps. (“All nights,” I verbally correct my singular thought.) I hate the straps. I can’t roll over with the straps. Sometimes I sleep in the dust just to avoid the straps.
- The There-It-Is StoreThe bell over the door jingled and Claire hastily tucked her book under the counter. It was one of her favorites and she’d just gotten to the best part. She didn’t want a customer to come in and claim it. An older man, probably twice Claire’s age, entered the store. Actually, he really more danced his way in. The man turned this way and that, his eyes trained on the ground, all the while patting his pants, alternating front pockets and then back. Claire suppressed a giggle at the sight of his search dance - as it was fittingly known in the trade. The man gave up the floor and scanned the shelves by the door, muttering to himself while patting his breast pockets. "I swear I just had 'em. I was walking out the door..." He passed over boxes of buttons, jars full of jewelry, several large sacks stuffed with socks, and a pail packed with pocket watches before stopping in front of a particularly large crate nearly overflowing with keys. He gave a low whistle, eyeing the huge box with trepidation.
- Heart Patent"Owen! You've got snail mail!" "What's that?" Owen asked, taking the envelope from his father. "Don't they teach you kids anything at college?" Owen opened the envelope, and read the single sheet of paper. His father whistled from over his shoulder. "That looks official. Is it a scam?" You are hereby ordered by the court to appear in civil hearing of copyright infringement, patent infringement, smuggling, and bootlegging of a human organ.
- 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.
- 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?"
- 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.