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.
- 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.
- Tiny Dolls"Wasn't your Aunt Elda just a little touched in the head?" Mrs. Casey asked, tapping her forehead. Mary Beth Quincy's eyebrows shot up. "A little? Oh no. A lot, I'd say! Always talking about curses and such." The two women snickered. Mary Beth's husband, Andy, joined in the laughter. Their daughter, Kimmie, looked around Great-Aunt Elda's living room. So many grown-ups but no one cared now if her brother, Jack, put his wet glass directly on the table. No one cared if someone sat in her great-aunt's favorite chair or spilled coffee on the rug. Kimmie remembered: Great-Aunt Elda had told her that everyone considered her to be a strange old lady. She even said that they couldn't wait 'til she, Elda Warren, died. "Then they'll see," she said. "They will see." Well, now she did die and Kimmie thought that maybe her great aunt truly was off her rocker; she had never let anyone--not even her, her only great niece (who really was very careful), go near the dollhouse that stood by itself at the top of the attic stairs. Kimmie pulled on her mother's sleeve. "The dollhouse," she said. "The one in the attic. Can I have it?"
- 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.
- 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?"
- 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?
- Nobody for ChristmasI didn't want her to hear me. I didn't want to disturb her. Jayleen was kneeling with her back to me. This was the wrong setting for her. I'd tried to make the house look cheerful for Christmas. Tinsel braided the mantle. The few cards I'd received were displayed—robin and holly bright. But Jayleen should've be kneeling on a rush mat, she should have been screened by paper doors as she worked on her shodō. I'd met Jayleen just a few months after Mother's death. In that grey hopeless fog she'd reached out to me. She was so different from any woman I'd ever known. I could spend hours just watching her. "I can sense you, Dave," she said.
- 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.
- Not a SpadeGusting face-freezing wind displaced Sister Wendy Riley's bonnet, pushing it nearly off her dirty brown hair. No matter how many steps Wendy made toward Zion in the Great Salt Lake Valley, the wind seemed determine to blow her back to Liverpool. The annoying and ill timed gust that finally dislodged her bonnet came as she pulled her handcart up a rise. Releasing one hand from the crossbar to fix the errant bonnet meant losing the cart and her few belongings to the hill. With hair whipping her face, she prayed the tie string kept the bonnet around her neck until she reached flat ground ahead. Wendy stood to one side while pulling the handcart, as though her husband still might join her on his side of the cart. She turned down offers, even from the Wilson boys, to help her pull the handcart. She did not want anyone in his spot. It was silly, but a week was still too soon.
- Life’s Rollercoaster RideThe roads of my city aren’t roads, but tracks, tracks that sit like birds on high-wires. The citizens of High Life have to travel by rollercoaster. Platforms that lead to town hall or to the school or to the store are in collected masses on what we call earth level, although we are still quite a ways from earth – only the clouds are higher. We can see the tips of the kings of trees and the gods of summits, and more commonly, the sky’s reflection as it shimmers and shines up at us in seemingly endless liquid sapphire, but we can never return to ground where our ancestors thrived. About the only new thing we have is our technology, given to us who-knows-when by who-knows-who, our brain chips that allow us to sync with the rollercoaster cars so that we can summon them, accelerate them, stop them at will. Still, there is no lack of essential equipment like building material . . . or the guns that my enemies fire at me.
- When Helpful Turns UglyCarrie fingered her reprimand collar at the library table. Her legal guardian, the house AI, kept one on her and her sister for discipline purposes. The shogi game in front of her awaited her move. She ran her fingers between her collar and the flesh of her neck, avoiding the sharp pointed electrodes that held it in place. She tried imagining not wearing it. "Any month now." Keith's voice jolted her. He whisked her away to the library for a game of shogi any time the house AI became too annoying. "I know. I'm excited to get it off." "The game. It's your turn. You know I'll have your king. No shame in resigning." "It's just not in me." "Even John the waiter couldn't save you now." "'John the waiter'?"