I Will Paint the Night

I Will Paint the Night

Reading Time: 26 minutes Can Allii come to grips with the pain her family has inflicted on a nation and heal a land wounded by centuries of injustice, hate, and fear. (And find the killer of her beloved stepmother).
Gods and Monsters Installment 10: Bucket Orchid

Gods and Monsters Installment 10: Bucket Orchid

Reading Time: 6 minutes “It sounds,” River says, “like the orchid is smarter than the bee.” He considers. “I’d still rather be a bee though; I’d like to be able to fly.”
Death and the Doctor

Death and the Doctor

Reading Time: 5 minutes I cut into the girl on the table before me, exposing her living viscera to air as biology never intended. I am committing a trespass of integument in order to heal, a perversion of the natural order in order to preserve what is natural. An apparition stands in the corner, watching with interest. Death says: “Your work continues to fascinate, Doctor.”
Gods and Monsters Installment 9: Jo-Jo’s

Gods and Monsters Installment 9: Jo-Jo’s

Reading Time: 9 minutes From his booth inside the club, Gabriel sees her spinning on the dance floor, beautiful as a fallen star, deadly as the arsenic hidden inside the seed of a perfect apple.
The Faster They Eat Her

The Faster They Eat Her

Reading Time: 26 minutes Young Daisy must evade the clutches of forest-dwelling witch Madame Sosostris and Malcolm, the town brute, as she tries to solve the mystery of her friend Violet’s disappearance.
The Imaginary Librarian

The Imaginary Librarian

Reading Time: 2 minutes In a sparse, orderly imaginary office, a librarian awaits unseen directives, tending to imaginary tomes with quiet diligence. As dawn approaches, she fulfills a final task, providing closure for a life departing.
Nexav Workplace Harassment Training Module (Required)

Nexav Workplace Harassment Training Module (Required)

Reading Time: 4 minutes Discriminatory actions aren’t the only thing to look out for when considering workplace harassment. Promoting harmful material or ideas amongst coworkers can also be considered harassment, even in cases where they are promoted outside of work. 
Gods and Monsters Installment 8: Sweet Dreams are Made of These

Gods and Monsters Installment 8: Sweet Dreams are Made of These

Reading Time: 6 minutes He has found a gift. The kitchen, which at home smelled of disappointment and lost hope, is now a place of amelioration. But when the full moon rises, he hears the night call his name. It sounds like fear. It smells like nightmare. It tastes like death. He departs with the sun.
A Darker World

A Darker World

Reading Time: 6 minutes Technology allows us to revisit the most cherished moments of our lives. But is that a good thing?
The Fool’s Fiddle

The Fool’s Fiddle

Reading Time: 18 minutes Dragons can’t lie, right? That’s what the legends say. So, when Guy finds himself at the wrong end of a failed heist, he puts that knowledge to the test. Compatriots dead. Hope gone. And his last chance at life is convincing a dragon to let him go.
Souls

Souls

Reading Time: 4 minutes We went to the funeral. It was a little awkward, since we hadn’t been around for a while. His parents were grateful to see us, though. In their grief, they seemed to take our presence as some sort of affirmation of their son’s life. We didn’t do anything to disillusion them.
Willow Prentiss

Willow Prentiss

Reading Time: 5 minutes Guilt, melancholy, and the lost soul of a love form the basis of this twist on the paranormal/magical romance.
Gods and Monsters Installment 7: Heaven Can Wait

Gods and Monsters Installment 7: Heaven Can Wait

Reading Time: 8 minutes Chip, Tom, and Brian are never found, or at least not most of them. There are only remnants: a stray finger, a discarded shoe with a foot still inside… Only one entire body is discovered amidst the carnage. It is that of an unknown man, naked and unmarked, save for a hole through his heart.
The Wreck of the Lorelei

The Wreck of the Lorelei

Reading Time: 21 minutes Trapped in an experiment in faster-than-light space travel, the captain of the ship searches for what went wrong.
Best Friends Forever

Best Friends Forever

Reading Time: 4 minutes Branch by flexing branch, Mike climbed higher. Powdery bark stained his fingers green. At the top, he laughed and drank in the view, from his family’s tiered concrete blockhouse to the river’s patrol boats. “Come on up here, Sim—” Mike almost fell when a freckled face appeared beside him. “This is dangerous,” Simon said. “We should go home.”
Nightraven, Highway 9

Nightraven, Highway 9

Wendy NikelMay 9, 2024
Reading Time: 3 minutes When I get the call for a Code 43, I have to pull my truck over and consult my Codex of Supernatural Beasts and Cryptids to make sure I’m not mistaken. “Forty-three?” I ask over the walkie. Maybe Dispatch meant 42 (Mothman) or 44 (Batsquatch). “A Nightraven? You sure?”
Not Alone in the Universe

Not Alone in the Universe

Igor DyachishinMay 8, 2024
Reading Time: 3 minutes Some expected the aliens to solve the problems of humanity, while others were afraid of genocide or enslavement. But it all turned out differently.
Gods and Monsters Installment 11: Cool Grey City of Love

Gods and Monsters Installment 11: Cool Grey City of Love

E. E. KingMay 7, 2024
Reading Time: 6 minutes San Francisco has a wealth of vampires. The city calls to them. Perhaps it is the early morning fog that keeps the sun from their flesh a bit longer than most places. Perhaps it is the nightlife. Perhaps it is the dearth of werewolves, who tend toward more rural haunts. Or maybe they just feel at home in the cool, grey city of love. 
Terra Forma

Terra Forma

Marie LeClaireMay 6, 2024
Reading Time: 11 minutes Mirabyi has been tapped to join the moon colony to explore the possibility of converting the dusty surface to life sustaining soil. Her experiments have unexpected results and maybe not the good kind.
Demonology

Demonology

Reading Time: 3 minutes With his life spiraling out of control, and a desire for revenge taking over his mind, a man takes drastic actions.
A Witch By Any Other Name

A Witch By Any Other Name

Margery BayneMay 2, 2024
Reading Time: 4 minutes They whisper it like rumors between old wives: in confidence, in shock, in need. They complain over it, bawdy and slurred, between men and their beers—the secret that everyone knows. All of it doing my work for me, letting everyone from cottage to castle-side know I’m here, and what I can do.
I Will Paint the Night

I Will Paint the Night

Sam MullerMay 1, 2024
Reading Time: 26 minutes Can Allii come to grips with the pain her family has inflicted on a nation and heal a land wounded by centuries of injustice, hate, and fear. (And find the killer of her beloved stepmother).
Gods and Monsters Installment 10: Bucket Orchid

Gods and Monsters Installment 10: Bucket Orchid

E. E. KingApr 30, 2024
Reading Time: 6 minutes “It sounds,” River says, “like the orchid is smarter than the bee.” He considers. “I’d still rather be a bee though; I’d like to be able to fly.”
Death and the Doctor

Death and the Doctor

J. PeriApr 25, 2024
Reading Time: 5 minutes I cut into the girl on the table before me, exposing her living viscera to air as biology never intended. I am committing a trespass of integument in order to heal, a perversion of the natural order in order to preserve what is natural. An apparition stands in the corner, watching with interest. Death says: “Your work continues to fascinate, Doctor.”

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REVIEWS

Wishes are Like Curses in The Quelling by C. L. Lauder

Wishes are Like Curses in The Quelling by C. L. Lauder

Reading Time: 3 minutes A great read involving factionalized parasitic aliens, a morally grey protagonist, and a harrowing rescue mission.
Shadow Speaker by Nnedi Okorafor

Shadow Speaker by Nnedi Okorafor

Reading Time: 3 minutes powers, with strong themes of coming-of-age and striving against a world whose structure seems predisposed to injustice and violence.
13 scariest stories from the first three years of MetaStellar

13 scariest stories from the first three years of MetaStellar

Reading Time: 8 minutes 13 scary short stories to put you in the Halloween spirit. Get it? Spirit?
‘Dragonfall’ is an inclusive fantasy where the dragons have feathers

‘Dragonfall’ is an inclusive fantasy where the dragons have feathers

Reading Time: 3 minutes Come for the dragons, stay for the queerness.
Uranians by Theodore McCombs

Uranians by Theodore McCombs

Reading Time: 2 minutes Uranians — an anthology including four short stories and one novella — is the perfect marriage of sci-fi and queerness.
Juniper and Thorn by Ava Reid

Juniper and Thorn by Ava Reid

Reading Time: 2 minutes Troubled young lovers, an awesome-but-miserable wizard father, a setting based on a Ukrainian city amid industrialization, and a door-mat protagonist who gradually finds her strength…
The Bridge to Magic by Alex Thornbury

The Bridge to Magic by Alex Thornbury

Reading Time: 3 minutes The Bridge to Magic is a dark YA fantasy with a feisty female lead.
Where the Lighting Goes by Jackery Salem

Where the Lighting Goes by Jackery Salem

Reading Time: 3 minutes Salem builds something truly unique out of many familiar fantasy tropes — dwarves, dragons, amnesia, all kinds of magic — and ties it up with compelling characters and a deeply satisfying conclusion.

Writing Advice of the Week

Writing Advice of the Week: Experience is Storytelling’s Companion

Writing Advice of the Week: Experience is Storytelling’s Companion

Fallon ClarkApr 21, 2024
Reading Time: 13 minutes Sure we have innate storytelling skills, but if we’re not using those skills regularly, they get rusty. And rusty storytelling skills make for a clunker of a story. So, how can we pull those dormant storytelling skills to the surfaces of our overstimulated brains and make good use of them?
Writing Advice of the Week: Finish the Story You Start

Writing Advice of the Week: Finish the Story You Start

Fallon ClarkApr 14, 2024
Reading Time: 12 minutes If the story is important enough to start writing, it’s likely to be important enough to finish writing… and more than 100 brand-new writing advice links from around the web.
Writing Advice of the Week: Write While Nobody is Watching

Writing Advice of the Week: Write While Nobody is Watching

Fallon ClarkApr 7, 2024
Reading Time: 12 minutes Committing yourself to your writing, no matter what form that commitment takes, is a big part of successful writing. Plus: Over 100 all-new links to writing advice articles, videos, and podcasts!
Writing Advice of the Week: Done? Start the Next One

Writing Advice of the Week: Done? Start the Next One

Fallon ClarkMar 31, 2024
Reading Time: 9 minutes Working hard is part of any success journey and continuing to push forward is key. Plus: 100 brand-new links to the best writing advice from around the Web.

ESSAYS

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.
3 AI tools I use regularly that aren’t ChatGPT or Midjourney

3 AI tools I use regularly that aren’t ChatGPT or Midjourney

Maria KorolovApr 6, 2023
Reading Time: 4 minutes I use Otter AI, Canva, and Notion nearly every day, and here is why other writers should, too.
The multiverse: how we’re tackling the challenges facing the theory

The multiverse: how we’re tackling the challenges facing the theory

Eugene LimApr 1, 2023
Reading Time: 5 minutes The idea of a multiverse consisting of “parallel universes” is a popular science fiction trope, recently explored in the Oscar-winning movie Everything Everywhere All At Once. However, it is within the realm of scientific possibility.
AIs ‘learn’ by creating mini-AIs and it’s super weird but also very cool

AIs ‘learn’ by creating mini-AIs and it’s super weird but also very cool

Maria KorolovMar 23, 2023
Reading Time: 3 minutes According to a paper released last fall by researchers from Google, Stanford, and MIT, large language models learn new information and concepts by creating new, miniature machine learning systems on the fly. 

NEWS

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.
Google falling farther behind in AI race

Google falling farther behind in AI race

Maria KorolovMar 23, 2023
Reading Time: 5 minutes Edge, Opera and Brave all now have AI built in. Google’s Chrome is not even in the race yet.
Adobe, Nvidia announce ethical AI image generation

Adobe, Nvidia announce ethical AI image generation

Maria KorolovMar 21, 2023
Reading Time: 4 minutes Adobe and Nvidia both announced AI image generators today — Firefly and Picasso, respectively — that do not use artists’ work for training data without their permission. Both companies also promise to pay artists for work generated in their signature styles, as does Getty Images.
Study: Writing occupation will be most affected by AI

Study: Writing occupation will be most affected by AI

Maria KorolovMar 21, 2023
Reading Time: 3 minutes According to research released today, the more high-level and creative your job, the more likely it will be to be disrupted by AI. Top of the list? Writers and authors — with up to 100 percent of their jobs likely to be affected.
GPT 4, Claude, and Alpaca all went live this week and yes, we need to worry

GPT 4, Claude, and Alpaca all went live this week and yes, we need to worry

Maria KorolovMar 17, 2023
Reading Time: 8 minutes It was a big week for AI news these past few days. GPT 4 was released on Tuesday, Midjourney 5 was released on Wednesday, and Alpaca — a $600 clone of ChatGPT — was released on Monday. Yes, you can now have your own large language model for less than the cost of new phone […]
Midjourney 5 released with more aspect ratios, photorealism

Midjourney 5 released with more aspect ratios, photorealism

Maria KorolovMar 17, 2023
Reading Time: 4 minutes The fifth generation of the super popular Midjourney app is out, and it’s more photorealistic and better at hands and faces.

ON WRITING

Dall-E 3 looks great, but lacks respect for artist rights

Dall-E 3 looks great, but lacks respect for artist rights

Maria KorolovSep 22, 2023
Reading Time: 3 minutes OpenAI announced its newest AI image generation tool yesterday, Dall-E 3. The images look fantastic, and it can do things that no other AI image generator can do. But it lacks a little bit in terms of respect for creator rights.
Claude Pro is here — and writers should sign up

Claude Pro is here — and writers should sign up

Maria KorolovSep 7, 2023
Reading Time: 2 minutes This morning, Anthropic announced the paid version of Claude, the best alternative to ChatGPT currently on the market. Writers need to sign up.
Adobe Express offers free AI art and is out of beta

Adobe Express offers free AI art and is out of beta

Maria KorolovAug 24, 2023
Reading Time: 3 minutes Adobe Express is now publicly available, with free AI image generation. Plus, since it’s Adobe, the AI is trained only on fully-licensed art, and artists and compensated.
Scalzi, other spec fic authors head for the X-it

Scalzi, other spec fic authors head for the X-it

Maria KorolovJul 24, 2023
Reading Time: 3 minutes Authors are leaving Twitter — rebranded today as just “X” — for other platforms. Many are landing on Threads.
Sci-fi author uses AI to promote new book about AI

Sci-fi author uses AI to promote new book about AI

Maria KorolovJul 21, 2023
Reading Time: 2 minutes Best-selling Brazilian author PJ Caldas used AI technology to release a book trailer for his first novel in English.
How to create a good author profile photo

How to create a good author profile photo

Maria KorolovJul 18, 2023
Reading Time: 6 minutes Some free and easy ways to create good-looking author headshots and profile pics.
Can Claude AI fix your grammar mistakes? No, it can’t, but there’s an AI that will.

Can Claude AI fix your grammar mistakes? No, it can’t, but there’s an AI that will.

Maria KorolovJul 13, 2023
Reading Time: 11 minutes Claude AI, the hot new chatbot for book authors, works well as a grammar tutor, but is bad at fixing mistakes in your text. However, I did find one AI-powered tool that caught every error I threw at it.
10 ways Claude AI can help you self-edit your book — for free

10 ways Claude AI can help you self-edit your book — for free

Maria KorolovJul 12, 2023
Reading Time: 16 minutes Claude AI is the single best editor I’ve tried so far. And it can do a whole book at a time. For free.