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.
- 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."
- New Speculative Fiction WebsiteI have just finished moving my Speculative Fiction Blog to it’s new home at freesciencefiction.com. I will start phasing out the old site at tgenedavis.com, that address should start forwarding to the new one any time. If you have links to stories on the old site, you’ll want to update those links for the new site. The weekly reminder for new stories will have an updated look, and links to classic stories as well as the new story of the week. I’m sure there will be a few kinks to work out. Feel free to give constructive feedback @TGeneDavis on Twitter. Also, please let me know if you find any typos or bugs on the new site, so I can fix them. Best regards, T. Gene Davis
- The Wren and the Clockwork ManWhen the wren first heard the clockwork man's symphony of pipes in the blooming days of springtime, she was hesitant—his constant whirring and clanking set her feathers on edge—but the music emanating from his metal chest proved too strong a lure. She settled on his window-ledge and joined in the chorus. He smiled from his workbench, silver eyes gleaming. They spent hours together, his full-bodied tones a perfect counterpoint to her own coloratura. Over time, he took to leaving her daily offerings of string, twigs, or tasty seeds. Now, months later, autumn glazed the city with frost. The wren had already delayed her departure far longer than she should. Today would have to be her last visit. She would miss their duets, but she took solace in knowing he'd be waiting when she returned with the spring rains.
- Grove of the Stone Trees“Wow. Well, never say you can’t trust a copper salt merchant,” Connor said. Ayumi gave him an inquiring glance. “Is that a common saying?” “But what did they put it way out here for?” he continued, gesturing the screen where their ship’s camera focused in on the alien structure. “Two jumps in dead space, not so much as an asteroid within a parsec of it.” “That might be a bit of an exaggeration,” Ayumi said, smiling, as she watched the telemetry unfold. “But, yes. You’re right. We never would’ve found it without the trail of rumors that began with a wine-sodden copper salt merchant.” “Was he? I didn’t know there was a market for wine-sodden copper salts.”
- Anchor and Key"Can I help you?" the ghost whispered. It drifted behind the dust-covered reference desk, an insubstantial wisp with a hint of long hair wrapped in an untidy bun and the barest glimpse of wire-rimmed spectacles. I tried not to stare. It had been decades since anyone had required corrective lenses. And, well, she was dead. She wasn't supposed to exist at all. I cleared my throat. The sound echoed in the library's cavernous skeleton. "I'm, uh, looking for a book."
- 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?"
- 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.
- 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.
- The Artist, Perfect in His CraftArtatra stormed down the five hundred black marble steps to his laboratories and warrens. It was utterly intolerable, the restrictions under which he worked. That a mind such as his should be yoked to an unimaginative, plodding, stupid . . . well, not stupid, exactly. That was the problem! If the Presence in the Throne was stupid, it could be worked around. The mind behind that mask was sly, it was well-ordered, and it knew far more than it rightly ought. It was unimaginably worse than stupid—it was a functioning mind that lacked vision.
- Flightless Rats"They used to be bats, you know. That was before they lost their wings." "I beg your pardon?" It was going to be one of those kinds of conversations. "The story goes," the man persisted, "that when Noah built the ark, he sent invitations to the bats, but that they refused. 'Why should we ride on your smelly old boat?' they said. 'Even if there is a flood, we can just fly over it.'"