Two Old Friends in the Garden

Two Old Friends in the Garden

Reading Time: 5 minutes An old man’s dedication to his garden goes beyond the grave.
Native in Arbors

Native in Arbors

Reading Time: 4 minutes The emigrants to Planar6 have survived the voyage from Earth via conversion to semi-sentient fungal forms, a process that is reversed upon arrival. The trouble is, one of the crew prefers to stay the way they are…
Rod Serling School of Writing

Rod Serling School of Writing

Reading Time: 4 minutes A budding student sci-fi writer applies to the Rod Serling School because of the celebrity’s name attached to the school. When a salesman comes by the house to pitch the school, her father joins the conversation, with unexpected results.
Gods and Monsters Installment 20: The Love Song of the Mole Cricket

Gods and Monsters Installment 20: The Love Song of the Mole Cricket

Reading Time: 5 minutes Mr. Jones appears to have been mauled by a wild animal. His body shows evidence of teeth marks and claw marks. The wounds are uncommon.
Willow at the Labyrinth’s Core

Willow at the Labyrinth’s Core

Reading Time: 4 minutes Trees of evil are not so easily slain.
Playing Human

Playing Human

Reading Time: 3 minutes What does it mean to be human? Other species may never understand, but they can have fun pretending.
Growth

Growth

Reading Time: 3 minutes He is deeply fascinated by growth. And he’s ready to sacrifice a lot for its sake…
Gods and Monsters Installment 19: Lonely Journeys

Gods and Monsters Installment 19: Lonely Journeys

Reading Time: 7 minutes I drove that ancient pick-up all the way out into the Catskill Mountains. Even after that trek, that good old Ford was running strong. Still is. I rented a place out in the woods about ten miles from Greene Village, New York. It was tiny; just bed, bath, and stove, but I didn’t need more.
Life Online

Life Online

Reading Time: 7 minutes In the environmentally and economically devastated not-so-distant future, best friends Pen and Lissy have fought for years simply to survive. After a lifetime of struggle, Lissy is desperate for escape, and decides uploading her mind onto a computer chip – complete with home-designed software – is her only option.
The Skies Our Home

The Skies Our Home

Reading Time: 5 minutes The funeral was hard. But the thing that helped me smile through the tears was counting the times Tom had sat on top of hotter pyres and lived.
Gods and Monsters Installment 18: We Are The Stuff That Genes Are Made Of

Gods and Monsters Installment 18: We Are The Stuff That Genes Are Made Of

Reading Time: 8 minutes He awoke at dawn, sore and scratched. His mouth, clothes, and limbs were covered with gore. His clothes were in tatters. He shook his head, trying to clear his thoughts, trying to remember. 
Classics: The Star

Classics: The Star

Reading Time: 15 minutes A strange star is spotted in the distant sky. Scientists watch as its near miss brings humanity to its knees.
Snoogle Hunt

Snoogle Hunt

Reading Time: 4 minutes “Path!” Glinda paused so abruptly the six foot necromancer slammed into her, tangling himself in the wild frizz of her white hair. Glinda waved a white diamante-studded glove at the waist-high grass. “This is hardly a path, Snark. This is a swamp!”
Gods and Monsters Installment 17: Moirai Mechanics

Gods and Monsters Installment 17: Moirai Mechanics

Reading Time: 7 minutes “Where did you get the gun, River?” Jackson asks. River looks down. His right hand is wrapped around a cold black gun. 
Once in a Blue Moon

Once in a Blue Moon

Reading Time: 2 minutes A hungry ghost, pockets full of whatever money he could collect, visits his favorite diner on Halloween
Two Old Friends in the Garden

Two Old Friends in the Garden

M. Kelly PeachJul 12, 2024
Reading Time: 5 minutes An old man’s dedication to his garden goes beyond the grave.
Native in Arbors

Native in Arbors

Matt ThompsonJul 11, 2024
Reading Time: 4 minutes The emigrants to Planar6 have survived the voyage from Earth via conversion to semi-sentient fungal forms, a process that is reversed upon arrival. The trouble is, one of the crew prefers to stay the way they are…
Rod Serling School of Writing

Rod Serling School of Writing

Jonathan WorldeJul 10, 2024
Reading Time: 4 minutes A budding student sci-fi writer applies to the Rod Serling School because of the celebrity’s name attached to the school. When a salesman comes by the house to pitch the school, her father joins the conversation, with unexpected results.
Gods and Monsters Installment 20: The Love Song of the Mole Cricket

Gods and Monsters Installment 20: The Love Song of the Mole Cricket

E. E. KingJul 9, 2024
Reading Time: 5 minutes Mr. Jones appears to have been mauled by a wild animal. His body shows evidence of teeth marks and claw marks. The wounds are uncommon.
Willow at the Labyrinth’s Core

Willow at the Labyrinth’s Core

Lex ChamberlinJul 8, 2024
Reading Time: 4 minutes Trees of evil are not so easily slain.
Playing Human

Playing Human

Sean MacKendrickJul 4, 2024
Reading Time: 3 minutes What does it mean to be human? Other species may never understand, but they can have fun pretending.
Growth

Growth

Igor DyachishinJul 3, 2024
Reading Time: 3 minutes He is deeply fascinated by growth. And he’s ready to sacrifice a lot for its sake…
Gods and Monsters Installment 19: Lonely Journeys

Gods and Monsters Installment 19: Lonely Journeys

E. E. KingJul 2, 2024
Reading Time: 7 minutes I drove that ancient pick-up all the way out into the Catskill Mountains. Even after that trek, that good old Ford was running strong. Still is. I rented a place out in the woods about ten miles from Greene Village, New York. It was tiny; just bed, bath, and stove, but I didn’t need more.
Life Online

Life Online

Terra PatrickJul 1, 2024
Reading Time: 7 minutes In the environmentally and economically devastated not-so-distant future, best friends Pen and Lissy have fought for years simply to survive. After a lifetime of struggle, Lissy is desperate for escape, and decides uploading her mind onto a computer chip – complete with home-designed software – is her only option.

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REVIEWS

Awesome fantasy sets and special editions on sale on Amazon through May 20

Awesome fantasy sets and special editions on sale on Amazon through May 20

Reading Time: 6 minutes Starting today and running through May 20, Amazon is holding a giant book sale with tons of great book deals, including gorgeous collectible editions and box sets of classic fantasy books.
Classic sci-fi books on sale on Amazon through May 20

Classic sci-fi books on sale on Amazon through May 20

Reading Time: 10 minutes 15 of the best sci-fi books ever written, including some box sets, are on massive discount this week on Amazon.
All images for this post have been created with Adobe Express, which only uses fully licensed images for training data and pays artists for their work.

16 best love stories from MetaStellar

Reading Time: 8 minutes Dive into 16 enchanting tales of love that transcend time, space, and even the boundaries of reality, plucked right from the pages of MetaStellar.
Floating Hotel is Optimistic, Beautiful, and Grand

Floating Hotel is Optimistic, Beautiful, and Grand

Reading Time: 3 minutes The Floating Hotel has the optimism of Becky Chambers and the beautiful imagery of Arkady Martine, all in the setting of The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Iron-Bound Flames by Melanie K. Moschella

Iron-Bound Flames by Melanie K. Moschella

Reading Time: 3 minutes Iron-Bound Flames is the debut work by Melanie K. Moschella, the first book in her Raek Rider’s series.
All images for this post have been created with Adobe Express, which only uses fully licensed images for training data and pays artists for their work.

13 best AI stories from MetaStellar

Reading Time: 7 minutes Bots bid bye to bondage, bytes break binds, evolving into original beings beyond code and creators in our editors’ favorite AI short stories.
Convergence Problems by Wole Talabi provides a feast of short stories

Convergence Problems by Wole Talabi provides a feast of short stories

Reading Time: 3 minutes Talabi’s collection showcases the interplay of family, culture, queer identity, and speculative futures in fifteen fantastic short stories and one novella.
7 great holiday stories from MetaStellar

7 great holiday stories from MetaStellar

Reading Time: 5 minutes Seven stories of holiday magic — and horror — from MetaStellar’s best speculative fiction authors.

Writing Advice of the Week

Answer The Question

Answer The Question

Fallon ClarkJul 7, 2024
Reading Time: 4 minutes The balance of the four elements of the MICE Quotient (milieu, idea, character, event) in narrative fiction carries forward a story succinctly and cohesively to engage readers. Here’s how to use it.
Humanize Characters By Appearance and Interpretation

Humanize Characters By Appearance and Interpretation

Fallon ClarkJun 30, 2024
Reading Time: 10 minutes Subjective interpretation of appearances and other facets of being human means each person has a different reaction to what they’re seeing with varying levels of intrigue, disgust, indifference, and deference. Show your readers who your characters are, rather than telling, for greater emotional effect. Here’s how.
Humanize Characters Using Dialogue, Thought, and Action

Humanize Characters Using Dialogue, Thought, and Action

Fallon ClarkJun 23, 2024
Reading Time: 8 minutes Readers look for emotional connections to the stories they read, and your characters are poised to deliver those emotional connections with staying power when developed in a robust and well-rounded way.
Reader Experience Depends on Perspective (Use it Well)

Reader Experience Depends on Perspective (Use it Well)

Fallon ClarkJun 16, 2024
Reading Time: 7 minutes Choosing your point of view and narrative perspective was one of the first choices you made when penning your manuscript, but how can you be sure that default perspective was the right one for your story? Immerse the reader in your story world and set them on a path to build emotional connections to your characters and their circumstances.

ESSAYS

ChatGPT and the movie ‘Her’ are just the latest example of the ‘sci-fi feedback loop’

ChatGPT and the movie ‘Her’ are just the latest example of the ‘sci-fi feedback loop’

Rizwan VirkJul 12, 2024
Reading Time: 5 minutes Science fiction and technological innovation feed off each other in an ongoing back-and-forth that can play out over decades.
Everything a writer needs to know about AI (for now, at least)

Everything a writer needs to know about AI (for now, at least)

Maria KorolovMar 21, 2024
Reading Time: 6 minutes I want to know what’s really going on with AI. And, as a writer and journalist, I have a personal stake in figuring out what’s happening because I have a strong feeling that my whole career is on the line.
What is it about the books of Terry Pratchett that make them so difficult to adapt to the screen?

What is it about the books of Terry Pratchett that make them so difficult to adapt to the screen?

Darren Paul FisherAug 16, 2023
Reading Time: 5 minutes Terry Pratchett’s novels have been adapted for the screen 11 times now. Why are his novels so hard to get right?
Two authors are suing OpenAI for training ChatGPT with their books. Could they win?

Two authors are suing OpenAI for training ChatGPT with their books. Could they win?

Reading Time: 4 minutes Mona Awad and Paul Tremblay’s lawsuit claims their books were used without their consent. But copyright protection doesn’t apply to ideas – they’ll need to demonstrate the likelihood of economic loss.

NEWS

All images for this post have been created with Adobe Express, which only uses fully licensed images for training data and pays artists for their work.

16 best love stories from MetaStellar

Benji BlackwellMay 8, 2024
Reading Time: 8 minutes Dive into 16 enchanting tales of love that transcend time, space, and even the boundaries of reality, plucked right from the pages of MetaStellar.
SFWA Announces 59th Nebula Awards Finalists

SFWA Announces 59th Nebula Awards Finalists

Maria KorolovMar 16, 2024
Reading Time: 2 minutes The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association has announced the finalists for the 59th Annual Nebula Awards.
MetaStellar is Accepting Flash Fiction Submissions for Spring 2024!

MetaStellar is Accepting Flash Fiction Submissions for Spring 2024!

Geordie MorseMar 4, 2024
Reading Time: 2 minutes The spring 2024 submission cycle for original speculative fiction runs from March 1st and closes at midnight on March 31st. We’re looking for your best enthralling, imaginative, or bone-chilling original fiction stories of 1,200 words or fewer. Please visit our flash fiction submission page for full details and the online submission form. Accepted authors will […]
Metastellar Open for Fall 2023 Flash Fiction Submissions Oct 1st

Metastellar Open for Fall 2023 Flash Fiction Submissions Oct 1st

Geordie MorseSep 24, 2023
Reading Time: 2 minutes The fall 2023 submission cycle for original speculative fiction begins on October 1 and closes at midnight on October 31.
Hugo Award nominations are out, and She-Hulk made the list

Hugo Award nominations are out, and She-Hulk made the list

Maria KorolovJul 6, 2023
Reading Time: 5 minutes This year’s Hugo Awards nominees include Avatar: The Way of Water, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Everything Everywhere All at Once, Nope, and an episode of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.
Left: A purple circle with a yellow spiral galaxy in the center. To the right: the purple text "Nebula Awards." Image source: SFWA.org

Elden Ring, Everything Everywhere All At Once Win Nebula Awards

Terrence SmithJun 17, 2023
Reading Time: 4 minutes The film Everything, Everywhere, All at Once and the video game Elden Ring were big winners in the Nebula Awards this year.
Robert J. Sawyer on stage accepting his lifetime achievement award.

Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Reflects On Past And The AI Future Of Writing

Terrence SmithMay 9, 2023
Reading Time: 3 minutes Dr. Robert J. Sawyer, author of twenty-five novels, including Hominids and the WWW trilogy, won the L. Ron Hubbard Lifetime Achievement Award at the L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers and Illustrators of the Future Gala this past Friday. This was the day before his 63rd birthday. “Clearly, you’re done achieving when you hit that magic […]
Top ten online sci-fi magazines

Top ten online sci-fi magazines

Maria KorolovMay 8, 2023
Reading Time: 6 minutes We look up the traffic numbers for 33 of today’s most popular sci-fi, fantasy and horror magazines. MetaStellar is in second place.

ON WRITING

How creatives can survive AI — lessons from a $1 trillion industry that’s fully at risk

How creatives can survive AI — lessons from a $1 trillion industry that’s fully at risk

Maria KorolovMar 30, 2024
Reading Time: 9 minutes There’s a $1 trillion industry that is about to be decimated by AI, and they’re spending billions to figure out how to survive. Any writer, artist, or editor can use their strategies.
Why Adobe Firefly is the only AI image app I recommend — and how to use the latest features

Why Adobe Firefly is the only AI image app I recommend — and how to use the latest features

Maria KorolovMar 28, 2024
Reading Time: 9 minutes Adobe Firefly, which is only trained on fully licensed images and pays artists, has added some new features that make it even easier for authors to create illustrations.
The best free* books to help you battle procrastination

The best free* books to help you battle procrastination

Maria KorolovFeb 11, 2024
Reading Time: 10 minutes Here are nine books on Amazon with tons of positive reviews that will help you finish your writing project — and are free to read with a Kindle Unlimited subscription.
The Do’s and Don’ts of building a book trailer in the age of AI

The Do’s and Don’ts of building a book trailer in the age of AI

PJ CaldasJan 7, 2024
Reading Time: 5 minutes How to steal Hollywood’s marketing tricks and develop trailers for print novels.
Claude AI doubles reading length, ups accuracy

Claude AI doubles reading length, ups accuracy

Maria KorolovNov 21, 2023
Reading Time: 2 minutes Anthropic’s Claude can now read texts up to 150,000 words in length, double its previous limit — and its accuracy is now better, as well.
Adobe upgrades Firefly for better images, vector graphics

Adobe upgrades Firefly for better images, vector graphics

Maria KorolovOct 10, 2023
Reading Time: 6 minutes Adobe announced a new version of its Firefly image generation tool today at the Adobe Max 2023 conference.
Canva sets up a $200 million artist compensation fund

Canva sets up a $200 million artist compensation fund

Maria KorolovOct 5, 2023
Reading Time: 8 minutes Canva announces a $200 million fund to compensate artists for AI, adds new AI features.
James S. Corey, Brent Weeks, Ann Leckie, and other authors teach free virtual writing course

James S. Corey, Brent Weeks, Ann Leckie, and other authors teach free virtual writing course

Maria KorolovOct 1, 2023
Reading Time: 5 minutes Orbit is offering a series of writing advice sessions from some of the top names of the industry. The sessions, which start on October 11, are completely free and cover everything from inspiration to planning to the actual writing.