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Fiction

Amelia’s Appliances

As William ambles into the kitchen to retrieve his morning coffee, he slips on a patch of melted ice. When he falls on his back, the dishwasher swings its door open and smacks him on the head.  “Keepin’ it cool!” the fridge announces and pelts his crotch with a torrent

Christmas At Grandma Minerva’s

When Grandma Minerva is bitten trying to buy a special Christmas present for her grandchildren, she is determined to still have a wonderful holiday before she turns.

Love Nwatta-Nwatta-Nwatta Style

Can love blossom between an man and a low-gravity spider in the most dangerous parking lot in the Galaxy?

The Old Red Schoolhouse in the Forest

We live in an old red schoolhouse in the forest. The forest is thick and woolly, and at night you can hear the wolves sing. It is safe here.

The Letters

The old metalworks where Seth’s father was a Robotics technician before the war drafted him; is now a graveyard. He sneaks back inside, never expecting to find Robots, a T-Rex and a communication bot. It is perfect until the police discover them; they are immediately sent for destruction.

Please Hold

Brother Gregor bent close to his work, his hands trembling as he lifted the taper. Candlelight flickered in the gloom; incense sticks pierced the fetid air. A drab grey light trickled through the tiny windows, illuminating the chalk circle drawn across the floorboards.

A Butterfly in Peking

In a war-torn world of brutal fighting between greens and technocrats, three orphaned children collide with destiny. A single decision will define their lives.

Fangs

Anca is lonely and she knows it’s because she is different, but when she had a bad accident she encounters somebody that could be a friend.

The Box

I found it in the usual place, where I always find them. Under the rock. “Hello,” I said.  “What’s your name, little feller?” No answer. But I expected that. 

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Long-Long Friends interview with Steven Barnes: “6 Steps to Becoming a Successful Writer.”

Terrence Smith on how video game “Tell Me Why” plays with story and gender identity.

How to tell a six-minute story, with storyteller Mariana Williams.

MetaStellar founder Maria Korolov on how she went from war reporting to sci-fi writing.

Reviews

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

We read the first chapters of the top ten free spec fic books on Amazon. Today’s list has werewolves, magic, space exploration, epic fantasy, and several box sets.

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

We read the first chapters of the top ten free spec fic books on Amazon. Today’s list has everything — werewolves, dragons, elves, a time-traveling private eye, post-apocalyptic survival, and — dinosaurs!

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

We read the first chapters of the top ten free spec fic books on Amazon. Today’s list has everything — zombies, werewolves, angels, demons, sword fighting, Martian mining, and a Christmas miracle.

Free Friday: Today’s top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books for Nov. 5

We read the first chapters of the top ten free spec fic books on Amazon. Today’s list includes witches, dragons, more witches, a space opera, giants, and a deal with the devil. Oh, and also an EMP survival book.

Five Fairy Tale Re-Imaginings With Stand-Out Female Protagonists

Five fairy tale retellings with kickass female protagonists.

Free Friday: Today’s top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books for Oct. 29

We read the first chapters of the top ten free spec fic books on Amazon. Today’s list includes witches, dragons, more witches, a Martian mining operation, and more witches.

Free Friday: Today’s top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books for Oct. 22

We read the first chapters of the top ten free spec fic books on Amazon. Today’s list includes time travel, EMP survival, and six books in Will Wight’s best-selling Cradle series.

Oh, My Gods! 4 Novels about Greek Gods that will make you glad you are not an Olympian

These books will make you realize that immortality is really not so great for some people.

Essays

Smells like witch spirit: How the ancient world’s scented sorceresses influence ideas about magic today

You, too, can smell like a witch. Magic and scent were linked in ancient Greece and Rome, and today, you can buy scents that can make you smell like Hermione, Hecate, and other famous witches of literature and history.

Seven Visions of the Metaverse, Including Facebook’s

Seven visions for the metaverse we’ve been hearing about.

Dune: we simulated the desert planet of Arrakis to see if humans could survive there

Three scientists set out to determine if it were possible for humans to survive on a planet like Dune. They say yes — but not where you’d expect from reading the book.

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News

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.

Help NASA explore Mars

JPL and NASA need your help to identify objects on Mars so that the future Mars land rovers will have an easier time getting around.

Fall 2021 submission period closes with more than 400 submissions

MetaStellar’s open submission period for fall 2021 has officially ended. This was our best cycle for submissions yet, receiving over 400 stories in 31 days.

Facebook changes name to Meta, embraces metaverse

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook changing its name to Meta in order to focus on the metaverse. Facebook itself will remain, but will now be just one brand in the Meta portfolio, alongside Instagram and WhatsApp. 

Blue Origin promises commercial space station by 2030, called Orbital Reef

Blue Origin, Boeing and Sierra Space join forces on new commercial space station, Orbital Reef, to be operational the second half of this decade.

New Kurt Vonnegut documentary asks big questions about death, art, and friendship

The trailer for the documentary Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck In Time, has just been released. The documentary, follows the science fiction writer from 1982 until his death in 2007, and is based on the 25-year friendship between the author and filmmaker Robert Weide.

On Writing

Website basics: How to set up a featured panel

How to make a panel on a Wordpress website to promote a new book release using Gutenberg blocks.

Writing Prompt for the Week – Nov 29

What if everyone gets a magic tattoo and yours is most dangerous of all?

This week’s top writing advice from around the web for Nov. 28

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

Writing Prompt for the Week – Nov 22

What if a man had to enter an alternate reality to be with his wife?

This week’s top writing advice from around the web for Nov. 21

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

Marketing hardest part of being an indie writer, survey shows

This year’s survey of more than 1,000 indie authors from Written Word Media shows that 79 percent think that marketing is the toughest part of being an indie author — compared to just 14 percent who said writing was.

Writing Prompt for the Week – Nov 15

What if you were caught doing illegal magic?

This week’s top writing advice from around the web for Nov. 14

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

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