A Late Appearance by Death

A Late Appearance by Death

Reading Time: 5 minutes I decided to go find Death myself. It was 2023, and a lady could do that. I didn’t need to wait around for someone to fetch me. I could do the fetching.
Making Time for the Kids

Making Time for the Kids

Reading Time: 2 minutes In this life, tragedy can help you create miracles.
Um

Um

Reading Time: 4 minutes She wondered if she should even say it. She didn’t even want to think it. But Wyx definitely had to know, had a right to know probably. “There’s someone else on board.”
Counterfeit

Counterfeit

Reading Time: 4 minutes A quick collision of rich space junk collectors, and an expert counterfeiter.
Thumbing to Sugar Daddy Oberon

Thumbing to Sugar Daddy Oberon

Reading Time: 10 minutes In spite of interfering adults, a spoiled child is determined to claim her birthright in the court of Oberon and Titania.
Hungry for Love

Hungry for Love

Reading Time: 3 minutes He used to have choices; now, he has a hunger. He needs to find his fiancée.
Midnight Pickup

Midnight Pickup

Reading Time: 4 minutes Android duty versus human excess
The Visitation

The Visitation

Reading Time: 8 minutes A secret government organization is fighting an unknown, but strange enemy.
Swimming in the Late Hereafter

Swimming in the Late Hereafter

Reading Time: 4 minutes Ken’ichi’s white hazmat suit shines like a beacon as he breaks over the ridge, even through all the rain. His gait is slow and uneven. I never expected to see him again.
What You Will Find at a Memory Auction

What You Will Find at a Memory Auction

Reading Time: 4 minutes A young man can no longer afford to keep all his memories. How will he decide which ones to keep? And he’s running out of time.
Searching for God

Searching for God

Reading Time: 4 minutes What kind of God hides from us?
Mudpot

Mudpot

Reading Time: 4 minutes No magic in it. She didn’t need any. She just turned around looking some kind of way, and bung he went. Sometimes, a person sees their future in stark clarity and chooses to roll off the coil while the going’s good, and that’s the best thing that could be said about Amajane’s father.
Viral

Viral

Reading Time: 3 minutes An expectant mother makes good use of her time on bed rest.
Dream Planet

Dream Planet

Reading Time: 5 minutes Idyllic was the only word Brody could think to describe it. How had he missed this bit of paradise so close to camp? “—ody?!” The static hiss of Control cut sharply through his helmet, killing the serenity settling upon him. Brody sighed. His last check-in couldn’t have been, what? Fifteen minutes ago? 
Robin’s Last Song

Robin’s Last Song

Reading Time: 21 minutes After her technological tool failed to warn the world of the sudden loss of birds on the planet, a self-exiled blind elder who has Aspergers and suffers from dysphonia, finds new hope in the field of soundscape ecology.
A Late Appearance by Death

A Late Appearance by Death

Victoria BrunFeb 22, 2024
Reading Time: 5 minutes I decided to go find Death myself. It was 2023, and a lady could do that. I didn’t need to wait around for someone to fetch me. I could do the fetching.
Making Time for the Kids

Making Time for the Kids

Julion SotoFeb 16, 2024
Reading Time: 2 minutes In this life, tragedy can help you create miracles.
Um

Um

Patrick McEvoyFeb 15, 2024
Reading Time: 4 minutes She wondered if she should even say it. She didn’t even want to think it. But Wyx definitely had to know, had a right to know probably. “There’s someone else on board.”
Counterfeit

Counterfeit

Andrew DunnFeb 14, 2024
Reading Time: 4 minutes A quick collision of rich space junk collectors, and an expert counterfeiter.
Thumbing to Sugar Daddy Oberon

Thumbing to Sugar Daddy Oberon

Shantell PowellFeb 9, 2024
Reading Time: 10 minutes In spite of interfering adults, a spoiled child is determined to claim her birthright in the court of Oberon and Titania.
Hungry for Love

Hungry for Love

Gordon GriceFeb 8, 2024
Reading Time: 3 minutes He used to have choices; now, he has a hunger. He needs to find his fiancée.
Midnight Pickup

Midnight Pickup

Michael SchulmanFeb 7, 2024
Reading Time: 4 minutes Android duty versus human excess
The Visitation

The Visitation

Gary BeckFeb 2, 2024
Reading Time: 8 minutes A secret government organization is fighting an unknown, but strange enemy.
Swimming in the Late Hereafter

Swimming in the Late Hereafter

Kevin SandefurFeb 1, 2024
Reading Time: 4 minutes Ken’ichi’s white hazmat suit shines like a beacon as he breaks over the ridge, even through all the rain. His gait is slow and uneven. I never expected to see him again.

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REVIEWS

Free Friday: Today’s top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books for Feb. 23, 2024

Free Friday: Today’s top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books for Feb. 23, 2024

Reading Time: 10 minutes We read the first few chapters of each of the top five free fantasy and sci-fi books on Amazon. Today’s list includes a paranormal police department, mermaids and dragons, Greek mythology, and a space opera in which humans are fighting against an invading alien force — from within.
Free Friday: Today’s top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books for Feb. 16, 2024

Free Friday: Today’s top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books for Feb. 16, 2024

Reading Time: 10 minutes We read the first few chapters of each of the top five free fantasy and sci-fi books on Amazon. Today’s list includes a sexy fae king and his mate, a seductive fae king, forbidden romance between a princess and a barbarian, a trip back in time to ancient Alexandria, and a group of outcast marines who must save humanity and the galaxy.
Free Friday: Today’s top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books for Feb. 9, 2024

Free Friday: Today’s top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books for Feb. 9, 2024

Reading Time: 9 minutes We read the first few chapters of each of the top five free fantasy and sci-fi books on Amazon. Today’s list includes a sexy hairy beast, a sexy werewolf, a sexy vampire, a sexy dragon, and a sci-fi adventure on an alien planet.
Free Friday: Today’s top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books for Feb. 2, 2024

Free Friday: Today’s top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books for Feb. 2, 2024

Reading Time: 10 minutes We read the first few chapters of each of the top five free fantasy and sci-fi books on Amazon. Today’s list includes an alien romance, a paranormal romance, a box set from one of our favorite romantic fantasy series, and a sci-fi book about tourists traveling to alternate Earths.
Free Friday: Today’s top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books for Jan. 26, 2024

Free Friday: Today’s top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books for Jan. 26, 2024

Reading Time: 10 minutes We read the first few chapters of each of the top five free fantasy and sci-fi books on Amazon. Today’s list includes four magical mysteries, and a shifter romance box set.
Free Friday: Today’s top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books for Jan. 19, 2024

Free Friday: Today’s top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books for Jan. 19, 2024

Reading Time: 9 minutes We read the first few chapters of each of the top five free fantasy and sci-fi books on Amazon. Today’s list includes magic, time travel, EMP apocalypses, and mysterious ancient artifacts.
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.
Free Friday: Today’s top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books for Jan. 12, 2024

Free Friday: Today’s top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books for Jan. 12, 2024

Reading Time: 9 minutes We read the first few chapters of each of the top five free fantasy and sci-fi books on Amazon. Today’s list includes four books of epic and romantic fantasy — and one of EMP survival.

ESSAYS

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.
Publishers aren’t going to replace writers with AI. Startups are already doing it.

Publishers aren’t going to replace writers with AI. Startups are already doing it.

Maria KorolovApr 13, 2023
Reading Time: 5 minutes Startups are popping up that use new AI tools to bypass traditional publishing and distribution systems entirely.
Life: modern physics can’t explain it – but our new theory, which says time is fundamental, might

Life: modern physics can’t explain it – but our new theory, which says time is fundamental, might

Sara Imari WalkerApr 11, 2023
Reading Time: 5 minutes Over the short span of just 300 years, since the invention of modern physics, we have gained a deeper understanding of how our universe works on both small and large scales. Yet, physics is still very young and when it comes to using it to explain life, physicists struggle.

NEWS

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

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.
Leonardo AI best new alternative to Midjourney — and free

Leonardo AI best new alternative to Midjourney — and free

Maria KorolovMay 2, 2023
Reading Time: 8 minutes Leonardo AI offers 150 free images a day. They’re not quite as good-looking at Midjourney, but within throwing distance.
Adobe’s Firefly will be a Midjourney killer for book cover art

Adobe’s Firefly will be a Midjourney killer for book cover art

Maria KorolovMar 24, 2023
Reading Time: 4 minutes Adobe Firefly’s images are almost as good as Midjourney, the interface is infinitely better, and artists will get paid for their training data. The beta is open now, and it’s looking extremely promising.
WGA backtracks on anti-AI stance, as long as writers get credit

WGA backtracks on anti-AI stance, as long as writers get credit

Maria KorolovMar 23, 2023
Reading Time: 2 minutes The Writers Guild of America, which represents screenwriters, is backing off on its anti-AI stance, Variety reported today.

ON WRITING

A whimsical house made of books, paper, pens, and ink in a clearing surrounded by water

Writing Advice of the Week: The Craft is in Drafts

Fallon ClarkFeb 25, 2024
Reading Time: 11 minutes When you write your first draft, you’re telling yourself the story, as you need to hear it, to make the best sense of it. That first draft is typically when you learn about your main character’s goals and motivations, the barriers or villains that hinder their success, and what the ultimate stakes are if they don’t succeed. You also meet the rest of the cast and get to know them, understand them, see them moving about in your story world. But when you tell your story to your reader, you begin to uncover what the reader needs.
A mythological creature holds a map to a treasure trove of books

Writing Advice of the Week: Write Your Way Out of the Slump

Fallon ClarkFeb 18, 2024
Reading Time: 9 minutes During February, making time to write can feel extra difficult. Prioritizing your writing, getting the right pieces in the right places, and speaking to your readers are the goals.
A white rabbit climbs a rickety ladder in a mystical forest

Writing Advice of the Week: Climb Your Success Ladder

Fallon ClarkFeb 11, 2024
Reading Time: 10 minutes Regardless of industry metrics and analytics, regardless whether you’re established or debuting, through thick and thin, writers write. And in this bizarre, yet hopeful, publishing landscape, writers create their own success.
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.
A black car drives down a road made of book pages

Writing Advice of the Week: Rejection is a Beginning

Fallon ClarkFeb 4, 2024
Reading Time: 9 minutes Writing and storytelling are skills anyone can learn with a little practice, the right mindset, and a bit of help. And rejection isn’t the end of your literary road as long as you keep driving ahead. That’s because rejection is a powerful tool for growth — if you let it be one.
Writing Advice of the Week: What Distraction Tells You

Writing Advice of the Week: What Distraction Tells You

Fallon ClarkJan 28, 2024
Reading Time: 11 minutes So, you’re sitting down at your computer or you’ve grabbed your notebook, and you’re determined to write. I’ll just check socials for a minute, you think. It won’t take long. Then a minute goes by. Five minutes. Ten. An hour. And that quick socials check turns into a rabbit hole of unproductivity such that you […]
Writing Advice of the Week: Give Your Characters Character

Writing Advice of the Week: Give Your Characters Character

Fallon ClarkJan 21, 2024
Reading Time: 11 minutes In the digital age where authenticity reigns supreme, character transformation is a major tool for bridging the gap and creating an immersive, emotionally intelligent connection between character and reader. And at the heart of your character’s transformation is their character.
A dinosaur is dressed in knight's armor

Writing Advice of the Week: Writing is an Act of Bravery

Fallon ClarkJan 14, 2024
Reading Time: 11 minutes When writing your book, it’s easy to get bogged down by craft and stylistic advice, storytelling methods, and research on genre conventions, structural maps, reader trends, and more. But if you’re writing a book, especially if this is your first book, it may be best to put away the advice while you’re getting that first draft down on paper.