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.
- Sidewalk Sorcery“Stop it, TJ, you’re doin’ it wrong!” “Shut up, Alex, I am not.” Chalk staining his fingers, TJ drew a double inverted arrow, piercing the center of the circle. “Are, too!” Alex crouched beside his brother, careful not to smudge the lines. “That’s not the way Mom showed us—”
- Stepping Out of StreamI leave home without my simulator, not because I don’t like them or because it is broken; I misplaced it. News programs and neighbors tell us to keep our simulator handy, even if it isn’t playing, for the security features, but Sharon expects me at noon and I am never late. I am only going a short distance, across town to the museum. That is not to say I am not afraid. Alone and exposed to the world, I walk to the subway.
- Hot WaterThere was no hot water when I went to take a shower this morning. Oh great, I thought. It’s always something. I went down to the basement to see if I could figure out what was wrong with the water heater and right away I saw what was causing the problem: the dragon was dead.
- Long NowJulie knocked, balancing a warm crock pot on one knee. Lance answered, holding a textbook in one hand. Julie smiled. That was his idea of light reading, but she planned to marry him anyway. "Come on in." "Whoa!" Julie stopped mid-step, nearly dropping her pot. "I thought it was just me." Lance escorted her gently through the door so that he could close it. "It's just the two of us."
- 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.
- Annie’s PlanetsNico noticed the little girl as she pressed herself against the glass window of his antique store. She stared with intent but when he smiled, she didn't smile back. He returned to his work but looked up over the wire-rim of his glasses as the bell above the door tinkled. The little girl strode in, black braid swishing behind her, followed by a frazzled woman. "Annie, wait," the woman said, but the girl ignored her. Instead she stopped at the end of the counter to focus on the project in front of Nico.
- 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.
- 2015 … Another Great YearRiver Song stories in her chronological order.
- 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—
- Zombie-In-LawsPatrick parked near his in-law's graves. The sunset was nearly finished, and the graveyard was appropriately dark. He flashed Lilly a glittering rockstar grin—clearly visible despite the coming gloom. "About my allowance," he began an old discussion, keeping the grin while talking. He somehow avoided looking like he was gritting his teeth. "Not now," Lilly interrupted opening her car door. "No," Patrick grabbed Lilly's wrist. "I need more for my research." "No." Lilly pulled away but he held her wrist, bruising her again. She struggled, finally getting out of the door, pulling him half way out her car door in the process. She stomped off into the grass and granite, listening for him behind her, but not looking back. She stopped in sight of her parents' graves. The soil was piled to one side and the fresh sod pushed to the other side. One of Patrick's devices stood at the head of each grave. Lilly pivoted on one foot, looking back at Patrick and the car, both hidden in the dark.