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Strange Water

Stella Maris

Tik Tok Man

Unarmed

Fiction

Strange Water

There’s something strange about the lake near Lester Tarbell’s vacation cabin. Whatever is in it makes Lester just as strange.

Stella Maris

In Venice of dreams, a woman struggles through a nightmare and saves the city by damning herself.

The Mad’s Scientist’s Brother

Bodgen, a genius scientist (just ask him) from Romania, has received a fantastical letter from America, a most assuredly made-up place, that claims he has a long, lost brother who is coming for a visit. Bodgen doesn’t believe a word of it, of course.

The Unfinished Novels of Mandrake Fluke

In 1958, a young editor corresponds with a veteran science-fiction writer.

Tik Tok Man

The five second burst of sound cycled over and over, breaking against his thoughts like waves against a levy, overwhelming him, washing him away.

Test Amongst the Shadows

The hardest working mage who ever lived will do anything to pass his English exam.

Unarmed

The amputation was the easy part.

The Falls of Imoletta

One can spend an entire lifetime searching for something, only to find it lies just beyond your grasp – and your lifetime has vanished in the blink of an eye.

Gluttony

What happens below decks, stays below decks in this horror/humor mashup of the biblical account of Noah’s ark and the doomed voyage of the Demeter in Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

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Gwen E. Kirby talks about her debut book, Sh*t Cassandra Saw.

Free Friday: The top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books of Dec. 31.

Integrating Science Into Fiction with Larry Niven.

Long Long Friends talks Musicals! with Charlton Pettus.

Reviews

Free Friday: Today’s top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books for Jan. 14

We read the first chapters of the top ten free spec fic books on Amazon. Today’s list has dystopian futures, sexy shapeshifters, a zombie apocalypse, a cozy magical mystery, and two epic fantasies.

Free Friday: Today’s top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books for Jan. 7

We read the first chapters of the top ten free spec fic books on Amazon. Today’s list has space battles, mermaids, sexy alien warriors, sexy shapeshifting dragons, and several stories of dystopian futures.

Free Friday: Today’s top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books for Dec. 31

We read the first chapters of the top ten free spec fic books on Amazon. Today’s list is all about romance — romance with dragons, romance with werewolves, romance with aliens, and romance with vampires.

Free Friday: Today’s top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books for Dec. 24

We read the first chapters of the top ten free spec fic books on Amazon. Today’s list has evil space aliens, kick-ass monster hunters, witches galore, and hot Christmas elf action.

Wheel of Time series has awkward start

The debut episode of The Wheel of Time has some strong characters and thrilling imagery, though clumsy storytelling and some awkward tonal choices overall results in this series stumbling out of the gate. Reliance, perhaps overly so, on aging fantasy-genre tropes in order to appeal to a mass-audience leaves the series still searching for its own identity.

Free Friday: Today’s top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books for Dec. 17

We read the first chapters of the top ten free spec fic books on Amazon. Today’s list has space battles, sexy aliens, dragons, magic, werewolves, and a demon hunter.

Brand New Cherry Flavor is the spellbinding thriller we need right meow.

If you’re looking for a delicious jolt of freakiness to get you through the holiday season, you can do a lot worse than Netflix’s Brand New Cherry Flavor

Free Friday: Today’s top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books for Dec. 10

We read the first chapters of the top ten free spec fic books on Amazon. Today’s list has vampires, dwarves, magic, dragons, mermaids, fae, space battles, and post-apocalyptic survival.

Essays

From pygmies to puppets: what to do with Roald Dahl’s enslaved Oompa-Loompas in modern adaptations?

There is a troubling aspect to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In the first edition, the Oompa-Loompas are black pygmies who Wonka imports from “the deepest and darkest part of the African jungle” and enslaves in his factory.

Of Vice and Theremin

It is hard to judge the effect that last year’s unequivocal confirmation of real UFO footage— captured by real navy pilots—has had on the common man or woman. But this new bill surely proves that the topic of UFOs has moved beyond the eye-rolling phase of the alien debate. Or does it?

Dune: how high could giant sand dunes actually grow on Arrakis?

The large and inhospitable sand dunes of the desert planet Arrakis are, of course, very prominent in both the books and film. But just how high would sand dunes be on a realistic version of this world?

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News

The Robots in Our Lives: The subtle side of Artificial Intelligence

When’s the last time you asked a robot to do something for you? I can tell you I do it almost constantly. My most consulted robot lives in a mainframe somewhere in the great Google warehouse in the sky. At least, I like to think so. Artificial intelligence has been

Writing Dynamic Descriptions with Gwen E. Kirby

To celebrate her forthcoming collection, Shit Cassandra Saw — available January 11 from Penguin Books — MetaStellar’s Long Lost Friends YouTube segment hosts sat down with writer Gwen E. Kirby for an interview.

Our best stories of 2021

Here’s a list of your favorites and mine from 2021.

Hugo Awards 2021: Winners Announced

The winners for the Hugo Awards, the Astounding Award for Best New Writer, and the Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book were announced at DisCon III, the 79th World Science Fiction Convention, on December 18th, 2021, in Washington, D.C.

This week’s top writing advice from around the web for Dec. 12

I subscribe to dozens of writing advice sites and YouTube channels and lovingly pick the best posts from this previous week for your edification.

Black Friday deal: Kindle Unlimited now $4 a month

You can now get four months of Kindle Unlimited for $4 a month — it’s normally $10 a month. Amazon also has great deals right now on Kindle devices.

Halo series’ trailer shows focus on character

The Halo video game series is all about protecting Earth from alien invaders in the 26th century. A teaser trailer has just dropped for the Paramount+ TV series, expected to hit the streaming service sometime next year, and it seems to indicate that the show will focus on characters.

NASA to push asteroid off-course with new DART mission launching next week

In a plan straight out of a sci-fi asteroid disaster movie, NASA will try to push an asteroid off-course by crashing a spaceship into it.

On Writing

This week’s top writing advice from around the web for Jan. 16

I subscribe to more than a hundred writing advice sites and YouTube channels and lovingly pick the best posts from this previous week for your edification.

This week’s top writing advice from around the web for Jan. 9

I subscribe to more than a hundred writing advice sites and YouTube channels and lovingly pick the best posts from this previous week for your edification.

This week’s top writing advice from around the web for Jan. 2

I subscribe to more than a hundred writing advice sites and YouTube channels and lovingly pick the best posts from this previous week for your edification.

This week’s top writing advice from around the web for Dec. 26

I subscribe to more than a hundred writing advice sites and YouTube channels and lovingly pick the best posts from this previous week for your edification.

Writing Prompt for the Week – Dec 20

What if aliens gassed a bunch of passengers on a plane?

This week’s top writing advice from around the web for Dec. 19

I subscribe to more than a hundred writing advice sites and YouTube channels and lovingly pick the best posts from this previous week for your edification.

Writing Prompt for the Week – Dec 13

What if an ancient god had a dire warning for you?

Writing Prompt for the Week – Dec 6

What if a horror author’s notebook had magical powers?

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