Posts Tagged ‘free fiction’

Still Alive – Online SF for January


It appears that reports of science fiction’s death have been greatly exaggerated. There is a great deal of quality science fiction available online, even more than we can reasonably list. These new stories listed below are those that have appeared during January (so far) in ‘SFWA Qualifying’ online magazines.  Plenty of outstanding science fiction to read. Enjoy!

Apex
So Glad We Had This Time Together by Cat Rambo
Sweetheart Showdown by Sarah Dalton

Beneath Ceaseless Skies
Calibrated Allies by Marissa Lingen
The Lady of the Lake by E. Catherine Tobler

Clarkesworld
Scattered Along the River of Heaven by Aliette de Bodard
What Everyone Remembers by Rahul Kanakia
All the Painted Stars by Gwendolyn Clare

Cosmos
Your Minute Starts Now by Jacob A. Boyd
Genocide Blonde by Dirk Flinthart

Daily Science Fiction
Sixty-one by Seventy by K.G. Jewell
And many other stories

Lightspeed
On the Acquisition of Phoenix Eggs (Variant) by Marissa Lingen
How Many Miles to Babylon? by Megan Arkenberg
Blue Lace Agate by Sarah Monette

Nature
A Game of Self-Deceit by Clayton Locke
The Driver by Rahul Kanakia
1-9-4-blue-3-7-2-6-gamma-tetrahedron by Ian Randal Strock

Redstone Science Fiction
Ice in Our Veins by Rhiannon Held
Motherhood by Christopher Miller

Strange Horizons
Recognizing Gabe: un cuento de hadas, by Alberto Yáñez
In the Cold, by Kelly Jennings
MonitorBot and the King of Pop, by Jessica Barber

Subterranean
Water Can’t Be Nervous by Jonathan Carroll
The Least of the Deathly Arts by Kat Howard
Treasure Island: A Lucifer Jones Story by Mike Resnick

Tor.com
Swift, Brutal Retaliation by Meghan McCarron

Spring Reading


Visit these web magazines. Read these stories. It is a moral imperative.

Otherwise you’ll miss out on something really good. A big percentage of the various “Year’s Best” anthologized stories this year came from online magazines like these. Don’t fall behind the curve.

Abyss & Apex
Bots D’Amor by Cat Rambo
Hail to the Victors by Philip Edward Kaldon
and several other stories in their Second Quarter Issue

Apex
Biba Jibun by Eugie Foster
The Eater by Michael J. DeLuca
The Speaking Bone by Kat Howard
The Dust and the Red by Darin Bradley

Clarkesworld
The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees by E. Lily Yu
Matchmaker by Erin M. Hartshorn
The Book of Phoenix (Excerpted from The Great Book) by Nnedi Okorafor
Perfect Lies by Gwendolyn Clare

Daily Science Fiction
Wings for Icarus by P. Djeli Clark
The Blue Room by Jason Sanford
and numerous other stories.

Lightspeed
Maneki Neko by Bruce Sterling
All That Touches the Air by An Owomoyela
Woman Leaves Room by Robert Reed
Saying the Names by Maggie Clark
and yet more stories

Redstone Science Fiction
The Hubbard Continuum by Lavie Tidhar
Perfection by Jay Garmon
Brittlestar by Mike Barretta
First Light by Patrick Lundrigan
Time’s Arrow by J. Chant

Strange Horizons
Pataki by Nisi Shawl (Part 1 and Part 2)
Rising Lion — The Lion Bows by Zen Cho
Trouble by David M. deLeon
The Last Sophia by C.S.E. Cooney

Subterranean Magazine
Show Trial by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
The Crane Method by Ian R MacLeod
The Crawling Sky by Joe R. Lansdale
The Fall of Alacan by Tobias S. Buckell
Water to Wine by Mary Robinette Kowal

Tor.com
Ragnarok by Paul Park
Shtetl Days by Harry Turtledove
The Lunatics by Kim Stanley Robinson
Chicken Little by Cory Doctorow
Many more stories, excerpts, and reprints at Tor.com/stories.

You can find Escape Pod’s fiction gathered together here.

There are many other stories and magazines out there. Give them all a chance. It would be great to see links to other stories in the comments.

Snow Day Reading


Quality science fiction short stories continued to accumulate online during the non-stop snow storms of the first few weeks of 2011. Even if you can’t make it out to a bookstore, as long as the power and net connections stay up, there are plenty of good stories to read. We’ve compiled a list of what some of the pro markets have published so far in 2011:

Abyss and Apex
Of Ambergris, Blood, and Brandy by J. Kathleen Cheney
A New Bridge Across the Lethe by Howard V. Hendrix
Mind-Diver by Vylar Kaftan
and more stories in their 1st Quarter Issue.

Apex
Close Your Eyes by Cat Rambo
Langknech and Tzi-Tzi in the Land of the Mad by Forrest Aguirre
The Itaewon Eschatology by Douglas F. Warrick
The Tolling of Pavlov’s Bells by Seanan McGuire

Clarkesworld
Diving After the Moon by Rachel Swirsky
Three Oranges by D. Elizabeth Wasden
Ghostweight by Yoon Ha Lee
Tying Knots by Ken Liu

Daily Science Fiction
On Paper Wings by Victoria Sonata
And several other stories added weekly

Lightspeed
Long Enough and Just So Long by Cat Rambo
The Elephants of Poznan by Orson Scott Card
Black Fire by Tanith Lee
Cucumber Gravy by Susan Palwick

Redstone Science Fiction
Like a Hawk in its Gyre by Philip Brewer
Fatherhood by Kristen Lee Knapp
Bloodtech by Rhiannon Held
Who’s Afraid of Wolf 359? by Ken MacLeod

Strange Horizons
The Third Wish by Joan Aiken
Pinion by Stellan Thorne
The Space Between Stars by Cassandra Clarke
Source Decay by Charlie Jane Anders

Subterranean
A Long Walk Home by Jay Lake
The Boy Who Followed Lovecraft by Marc Laidlaw
And other stories in their Winter Issue.

Tor.com
Beauty Belongs to the Flowers by Matthew Sanborn Smith
Making My Entrance Again With My Usual Flair by Ken Scholes

And, of course, you can find EscapePod’s fiction gathered together here.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of science fiction stories that are freely available online. Support these sites, their editors, and most importantly these writers by visiting these sites, donating support to them, and checking out their advertisers. Access to quality new science fiction online is a relatively recent development, and we want to see more of it. All these stories are out there, right now, waiting for us. Enjoy.

Online Science Fiction Whip-Round from November


Every month more and more quality fiction is available online.  This month I limited my search to science fiction and I still found more than twenty stories from markets that are paying their authors.  If you know of any quality science fiction short stories that were published online in November that I have not listed here, please add them in the comments.

We also had two new online publications provided us with fiction in November:

The online fiction community has always been active and it is great to see authors being remunerated for their efforts at an increasing number of online venues.  We can help support this trend by dropping by these online magazines and reading their excellent stories.  These stories are free, like the heat from the distant stars that warm all those habitable planets that are out there, waiting for us.

October Fiction Roundup


Some of the best speculative short fiction published every month is available online. The quality of the fiction is impressive, and there are more than enough stories to fill an excellent anthology, each month.  We’ve collected story links from several of the top sites for you here.  Give them a look.

The number of stories is amazing, and these links are largely to sites paying a professional rate for fiction.  There is even more work out there, waiting for us, quietly.

From the darkest corners, the voices can be heard


Y’know, Halloween has always felt like the perfect time for storytelling. Whether it is ghost stories by the campfire, or Hammer horror from the comfort of your own living room (my personal preference), its just the perfectly obvious season for the supernatural and scarifying. While it has ever been thus for people like you and me, it seems to be catching on in the mainstream too. AMC’s zombie TV series The Walking Dead, based on the Eisner award-winning comic book series from Image, premiered to their biggest debut audience ever at 5.3 million viewers. Seasonal television is an American staple (perhaps less so here in the UK), with even series like the surreal college sitcom Community playing quite brilliantly with the zombie genre just a couple of days before.

Halloween also saw the launch of a new, free online podcast magazine and website, showcasing the best in genre short fiction. Dark Fiction Magazine is the brainchild of Sharon Ring and Del Lakin-Smith, two names familiar to the UK genre scene. Their stated aim is to produce a monthly short fiction podcast magazine, featuring at least four short stories in each issue focussed around a distinct theme.

In the spirit of ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’ (thanks for that, Mur!), we spoke to Sharon and Del about their new project and what people can expect.

Escape Pod: Thanks for joining us! Let’s start with yourselves – what are your respective backgrounds, and what gave you the idea of starting Dark Fiction Magazine?

Del: I have been working in IT for over 15 years in one form or another and have either run or helped out on numerous websites, so I have my feet firmly in the cloud, so to speak. I’m also obsessed with music, audio engineering and genre.

I launched a podcast in February of last year called WordPunk which covers all sorts of geeky stuff like tech, genre, movies, etc. I had been looking for ways to expand it or cross pollinate with other non-audio based blogs. Sharon ran the idea of Dark Fiction Magazine by me and I was hooked.

Sharon: I got into book blogging a couple of years ago with Dark Fiction Review. From there I moved into working as a freelance editor, mostly on horror novels and short stories. Dark Fiction Magazine was an idea I’d had rattling around my head all summer. Turned out, talking to Del, he’d been thinking along the same lines. And that was it: the coolest partnership in podcasting history was born.

What made you want to make Dark Fiction Magazine a podcast instead of a regular, text-based website?

Podcasts have been around since late 1998, but it was not until 2005 that Apple included native support in iTunes, increasing their popularity massively. These days most people will listen to a podcast in some form, be that a BBC iPlayer Listen Again, an audio book or an internet radio station. So to us, this is the perfect growth medium to launch a short fiction site on. There are many text based short story magazines, and a few audio based ones too, but we saw an opportunity in the market to bring a curated monthly magazine offering high quality genre audio fiction to the masses.

How do you see Dark Fiction Magazine fitting into current landscape of podcasts and free audio fiction? Hugo-winners aside, the UK seems to be lagging a little in the area, with podcasting still dominated by US shows. In particular, free audio fiction in podcast form has been produced Stateside for a long while now – Escape Pod being just one example!

This is a very good question. Both in fandom and publishing, it is a very close knit community. And there are many passionate, selfless people all working together (and apart) to strengthen the community and industry.

When we looked at the current market, we felt that we could add value to the guys and gals already bringing fantastic audio fiction to us. We are UK-centric, certainly, more from circumstance than deliberation, which lets us offer something different and focus more on our audience. We still see ourselves as a global service bringing out stories from authors all over the world.

The liberating thing about being a free service is that the rules of competition and engagement are different. We are not stealing customers from others, as there are more than enough to go round and our service is similar enough to others that any new listener we get is also a potential listener for them. So we are trying to strike that difficult balance of differentiation enough to be intriguing, but not too much where we have nothing to compare ourselves to and align with.

What are your mid- and long-term goals for Dark Fiction Magazine?

To be honest we have been blown away by the positive responses we have had since launch and we are really pleased with how it is going. As for plans going forward, we aim to keep growing our range of stories, authors, narrators and artists while creating a valuable medium for new talent to launch themselves from.

We are also keen to partner with disability charities to ensure their customers get the best access to our free audio stories as possible and we are playing with the idea of expanding the platform into more cutting edge digital experiments. We are all about accessibility, so if there is a way to get great fiction out there, we hope to embrace it.

So, who exactly is Dark Fiction Magazine aimed at? As well as current fiction, will there be readings of old classics? And are you open to submissions or contributions?

Dark Fiction Magazine is for absolutely everyone who loves genre fiction. We’re not tied to one genre or sub-genre, so we’re able to podcast lots of content with broad appeal. Our target audience is anyone and everyone. We hope to get sci-fi readers tuning in to horror episodes; fantasy readers listening in to sci-fi. Too often people stick within their own little reading and listening niches. We’re after a wider audience than that. Good genre fiction knows no boundaries, and neither does Dark Fiction Magazine.

We’re interested in submissions from new and established writers but we would ask people to check out our submissions policy first to see whether their material is eligible for submission.

There may be some classic stories read in time. You’ll have to keep an ear out for future episodes to see which of your own favourites make an appearance!

Del and Sharon, thank-you very much!

Issue 1 of Dark Fiction Magazine is available now, and features stories by Gary McMahon, Sarah Pinborough, Joseph D’Lacey, and Conrad Williams. Authors lined up for future issues include Pat Cadigan, Cory Doctorow, Jon Courtenay, Grimwood, Ramsey Campbell, Rob Shearman, Kim Lakin-Smith, Ian Whates, Lauren Beukes, Mark Morris, Adam Nevill, Gareth L Powell, Jeremy C Shipp, and Jennifer Williams, among others

Dark Fiction Magazine can also be subscribed to on iTunes. Dark Fiction Magazine and its founders are all on Twitter as @darkficmagazine, @dfreview (Sharon), and @dellakin_smith (Del).

Happy listening!

I hear you folks like free fiction…


Some free fiction coming down from Escape Pod favorites:

Jury Service: By Cory Doctorow and Charlie Stross (audio only) – (from Cory’s blog) Jury Service is the first of two novellas Charlie Stross and I wrote about Huw, a technophobe stuck on Earth after the Singularity (the other one being Appeals Court). They are both being published, along with a third, yet-to-be-written novella Parole Board by Tor Books as Rapture of the Nerds. We’re starting work on Parole Board in January, and to refamiliarize myself with the earlier novellas, I’m going to podcast both now (with the gracious permission of Charlie and our editor, Patrick Nielsen Hayden). Hope you enjoy ’em – they’re as gonzo as I’ve ever gotten, I think!

The Nex: by Tim Pratt (text and ebook) – (from Tim’s blog) Unlike my other serials, this one isn’t an urban fantasy, and doesn’t take place in an existing series (though it does share a setting with a story, as I mentioned). It’s a novel narrated by a precocious 13-year-old who finds herself a long way from home with some disreputable people in a dangerous world. The book has shapeshifters, giant robots, aliens, kleptomaniacal monsters, heroism, shoplifting, terror, lecherous cyborgs, personable tyrants, steampunk submarines, subterranean tunnels, rustic French cuisine, a cult of teenage girls in fairy wings and leotards, teleportation, and people who get punched so hard they disappear. I hope you all like it. [Ed- this is a free online book, so please support the author with a donation or a purchase of the Kindle ebook]

[UPDATE– apologies, WordPress put the Doctorow file into our feed without me realizing, sorry for those of you who downloaded unwanted content. I’ve removed it, now you must right-click to download or go directly to Doctorow’s page.]