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.
- 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.
- Just Up the BeachDonnie's window muffled the clank of swords and the pop of rifles as if they were being played from an old radio. He hopped from his bed, walked over his array of toy soldiers on the floor, and watched the bright display along the shore. When he woke the next morning his neck ached from sleeping with his head on the sill. The beach was calm and quiet in the dawning light. "Just a dream, Donnie," his dad said at breakfast, when Donnie told him of the battle on the beach. "This summer home is old and creaky. You're just not used to it yet." "Eat up," said his mom, pushing a plate of pancakes in front of his doubtful face. When his parents settled into their Adirondack chairs on the porch with their coffee and their books, Donnie went down to the beach. An unusual rusty odor haunted the salty air as he walked along the edge of the water, letting the waves wash over his feet. Something brushed against his ankle. Bending over, he plucked a small bullet casing from the water and rolled it his fingers, then he walked toward the fort.
- MesmeristHe leaned in, intruding on her personal space in a familiar way she only allowed her mentor. Lucy felt his words as heated breath on one ear more than she heard them. "Be evasive." His lips and breath withdrew, leaving her questioning his intensions. They stood on an empty tube platform. No cars. Above, concrete and countless feet of dirt. Below, rails in a six-foot deep pit. She put a hand on her stomach to settle it.
- The Beast of Broken RockSeveral cycles ago my wife Carpathia went to the market to gather supplies for the long, incumbent winter, but by nightfall she had not returned. By daybreak her side of the bed was still cold, and I feared the worst. For many moons thereafter I searched the plains until my feet bled, and called her name until my throat hurt, but I neither saw her nor heard from her again. The villagers were quick to blame the Beast for my misfortune as they did for every other disappearance in the land, but I did not share their conviction. My wife was gone, but I could not seriously lay her fate at the door of a ghost. I would rather admit she had abandoned me than accept I had lost her to a myth. Even so, sometimes, despite my better judgement, I too cursed the Creature. The worst had come to pass—
- A Murder of CrowsThe wind’s desperate grasp strips the frail leaves from the silver maple but the giant looks as if it still wears its finery, a borrowed dress perhaps, with the murder of crows gathered within its branches. The girl listens to the soft flutter of wings, stretches out her hand to catch a single black feather as it drifts down in a slow spiral. When the stiff plume makes contact with her skin the birds alight and she gasps, even though she has already seen their departure. The girl watches the murder grow smaller. She watches the empty leaden skies for a long time, until the shadows of the night form and Morgan comes for her. “They’re gone.” Morgan follows her gaze into nothing. “Just like you said.” The girl tucks the feather into the breast pocket of her heavy flannel work shirt. “Is Sirin okay?” Morgan looks down at the girl. “I haven’t seen her since breakfast.”
- 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."
- Speak English"No. No. No," Van Richter whined. He slapped a hand against the steering wheel. The hover car, its battery reading empty, puttered to a halt on the scenic roadside. Without adequate thrust, it sank down into the grass. The twenty-forty hover model would never have done this. Goes to show, Van thought, newer isn't always better. "I knew we should've recharged back at the last station," said Ula, his wife. Arms crossed, she stared at the road ahead, unable to see Van's irritated glare. "What are we going to do now?" Van took a deep breath. When the ire subsided, he said, "Relax. Emergency roadside will send someone." He pressed a button on the dash. "In the meantime, enjoy all the trees. You don't get much of those in the city." Surrounded by tall, green conifers, Ula glanced their way and then back at her husband. "If I wanted to see trees, I would've chosen to live out here like some cyber-social recluse."
- Closing StatementLadies and gentleman of the jury, I don't expect you to understand. The mountain of evidence that seems to support the prosecution's case is daunting to say the least, but all of it is based on an adolescent understanding of the forces that move the universe. I must stress to you once again that Ambassador Gupta is alive and well.
- Don’t Open That BoxI've known Kimball since I was a kid. He lived in the abandoned space between my building and the red brick one on the left. Kimball slept under a mattress that he propped up against the alley's old chain link fence that kept us kids from getting to school on time. Kimball was harmless enough. He didn't talk or scream at ghosts or people on fake cell phones. His arms were clean—no needle tracks. No one ever saw him even drink coffee. But, he was still a bum, and mom hated us talking to him.
- 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?"