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.
- 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.
- M-STEMMad science 101 was the only class where you had to worry about your homework eating the dog. Poor Barnaby. The only thing left of the cocker spaniel was a chewed-up collar the angle-wolf had spit out before booking it out of the lab Jodie had built in her grandma’s basement. She could hear the beast overhead, knocking over granny’s fine china and Hummel figures. Jodie typed up an e-mail to her Mad-Sci 101 prof. Dear Professor Smogmire, I know the deadline for the anglefish-wolf hybrid is tomorrow, but could I please have an extension? My grandmother has passed away.
- 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.
- A Perfect Time of Life“I want to be young forever,” Deirdre announced to the Decider, when her turn to enter the room finally came. He looked up from his terminal but finished tapping a few more keys before giving her his full attention. “Yes, that’s what we usually hear,” he said in a flat voice. She thought she detected some sarcasm, but it didn’t matter. She wasn’t there to enjoy his personality.
- Tom CrowThe young people living in Rose County had never seen Tom Crow on account of him living as a hermit somewhere up in the wooded hills. Everyone knew of him though; he was a legend in my growing-up time. The rumors were that he lived somewhere northeast of Culver’s Pass. When I was 12, Robby Lee and I decided to go hiking up that way and try to find his cabin, maybe get a glimpse of him, maybe steal something as a souvenir. That would sure enough give us bragging rights, that is, if anyone would believe we really did it.
- 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.
- Hello, Is Anybody There?Major Pax's bony hand rested next to Sam's eliminated white pieces. A light bulb illuminated the chessboard they battled on to pass the years. A bomb from a previous conflict had started the war, a mindless mechanical device that exploded at an unfortunate time. They—the Blancs—took less than an hour to launch the missiles from the safety of their cubicles. The Noirs did the same, and the thriving world was gone. Sam had to contact each Blanc citizen to determine his or her status. He had compiled a list of numbers to call long ago, but had forgotten the original source or if it was in a particular order. Sam started calling once the radiation levels allowed.
- Pest ControlSETI Report March 23rd, 2049 Broadband transmission received at 09h38 Estimated distance of origin: 58,416 Light Years Host: ...does your solar system have a pest problem? Are your lush, verdant planets overrun by a bipedal scourge? Not to worry, because HumaneX is guaranteed to get rid of your Homo sapien infestation.
- The Old Man on the GreenIf it is true that the Devil makes work for idle hands, then the Devil never met Old Joe. For as long as anyone could remember, Old Joe had been well past working age; indeed no-one in Micklethwaite could really recall his former trade. Mavis Claythorpe, who knew everyone's business and could not bear to admit to ignorance of anything, claimed her grandfather had worked with Joe as a thatcher, but Janet Armstrong, the blacksmith's widow, who had comfortably exceeded her biblical span, was prepared to swear Old Joe had already been 'Old Joe' when she was a little girl. To the best of her recollection, the fallen tree beside the duck pond on the green, into which a seat had been roughly hewn by the removal of a quarter-round section, had always been the vantage point for the graybeard's observation of the slow rhythms of village life.
- 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."