Gods and Monsters Installment 12: The Mystic Eye

Gods and Monsters Installment 12: The Mystic Eye

Reading Time: 8 minutes When he leaves Bert’s in the wee hours before first light, River feels extremely foolish, but warmer and happier than he can remember. Huck lands on his shoulder, squawking loudly. He complains noisily the entire walk home.
Here Comes the Sun

Here Comes the Sun

Reading Time: 4 minutes June joined the Memory Keeper team to help her family forge a path to abundance. When it became harder to meet quota, June learned that she was trapped in a business that viewed her as another commodity. And sometimes, the consequences of faith in an idea are greater than we can imagine.
It Shambles Closer in the Dark

It Shambles Closer in the Dark

Reading Time: 2 minutes In the dark, something shambles toward you, its squelch squelch squelch sound getting louder, and louder. Is it here for you?
Nightraven, Highway 9

Nightraven, Highway 9

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

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

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

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

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

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.
Hell in a Handbag

Hell in a Handbag

Katie YenJun 6, 2024
Reading Time: 4 minutes The earliest account is from our foremother, Rhoda. You know her better as Red Riding Hood. That’s right, she was a real person. Back then, the handbag was still a handbasket, but more on that later.
Gods and Monsters Installment 15: The Dog Star

Gods and Monsters Installment 15: The Dog Star

E. E. KingJun 4, 2024
Reading Time: 9 minutes Sometimes, from my prison cell, when the time of year was right and the night was clear, I could see Sirius, the brightest star in the sky. Many ancient cultures thought of it as a dog, or a wolf. For me, it was a beacon of hope between the bars. Just one light in the night sky, so bright it looked like a searchlight. 
The Last Day

The Last Day

Valeri StanoevichMay 31, 2024
Reading Time: 3 minutes A story about a society in which a mechanism was invented to increase pleasant dreams. Old men prefer to sleep unawakened rather than live. One man tries to resist.
Her Own Bones

Her Own Bones

Devan BarlowMay 30, 2024
Reading Time: 3 minutes Gwen examined the table so she didn’t have to meet the impatient eyes of the family members. Had one of these cups of tea held the poison responsible for the corpse lying beside an overturned chair at the head of the table?
In Him, We Know Freedom

In Him, We Know Freedom

Reading Time: 5 minutes While burning barrels light the state capital’s torn paint and hunger pains ravage his stomach, a man looks into a mirror, seeing what he could become and reliving what he had to do to survive.
Gods and Monsters Installment 14: Queer Beer

Gods and Monsters Installment 14: Queer Beer

E. E. KingMay 28, 2024
Reading Time: 9 minutes Suddenly, something hard and strong strikes his back, knocking the wind from him, propelling him onto the ground. He thrashes wildly. Two needle sharp spikes pierce his neck. A warm, sensuous peace floods over him. He smiles and despite the beard, looks momentarily like a small happy child.
Seed Hunters

Seed Hunters

Faith AllingtonMay 23, 2024
Reading Time: 4 minutes “I’ve heard it’s still contaminated,” Ollie says, a hint of a question in her voice. Her eyes shimmer, opalescent with reflected fog as she looks at me. A definite challenge. “I heard people were getting sick, some kind of virus.” I grit my teeth, realizing that Ollie is definitely more than she seems. But then, so am I.
Gods and Monsters Installment 13: Consequences

Gods and Monsters Installment 13: Consequences

E. E. KingMay 21, 2024
Reading Time: 8 minutes At 2:00 am, there are no children about. The police still on duty are sleeping in their cars or hunching over coffee in all-night dives. Even the homeless are asleep, huddled in doorways under blankets of cardboard and crumbled newspaper. But as River walks past, the scent of the sweets weaves into their dreams and makes them smile. Some dream of a time they’d been full of hope. Others live for a while inside illusions, as knights on horseback, or sprouting vast shimmering wings to rise above the city and soar. 
The Thief of Pendír: Book 3 of The Book of Dreams series

The Thief of Pendír: Book 3 of The Book of Dreams series

Cynthia C. ScottMay 20, 2024
Reading Time: 10 minutes Ro No Na, the thief, breaks into a gangster’s pleasure palace in Pendír, Bijoon, and ends up being chased by gangsters, revolutionaries, clones, and Agent Wood and the Z’Dhia, in the third volume of The Book of Dreams series.

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REVIEWS

Riona, Lucas, and Officer Jorji by the Seattle Sky Needle in Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus and Butterfly.

Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus and Butterfly by Toge Productions

Reading Time: 2 minutes Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus and Butterfly is the sequel to the critically acclaimed Coffee Talk by Toge Productions. In this game, you serve drinks to magical patrons which impact the outcomes of the stories they tell you.
5 Upcoming Fantasy Books Inspired by Wuxia, Xianxia, and East Asian Mythologies

5 Upcoming Fantasy Books Inspired by Wuxia, Xianxia, and East Asian Mythologies

Reading Time: 6 minutes Check out Melissa Ren’s most anticipated fantasy books inspired by wuxia, xianxia, and east asian mythologies!
NightBirds by Kate J. Armstrong

NightBirds by Kate J. Armstrong

Reading Time: 3 minutes I’d say that anyone who enjoys well-written feminist fantasy should jump on this series now. 
Threadneedle by Cari Thomas

Threadneedle by Cari Thomas

Reading Time: 2 minutes Mix the dark academia of Victoria Lee’s A Lesson in Vengeance with some anti-witchcraft hysteria and a little dose of secret curses and magical communities, and you begin to have a grasp of Cari Thomas’ debut YA contemporary fantasy novel, Threadneedle.
Learn the story of the founding of Valdemar in Lackey’s new series

Learn the story of the founding of Valdemar in Lackey’s new series

Reading Time: 4 minutes Two new Valdemar books have just been released — perfect timing for holiday gift-giving for the fantasy fan on your list.
Tiger and Del Return in Jennifer Roberson’s Sword-Bearer

Tiger and Del Return in Jennifer Roberson’s Sword-Bearer

Reading Time: 3 minutes The adventures of Tiger and Del continue!
Into The Broken Lands: Where Magical Radioactivity Forges Leaders and Liars

Into The Broken Lands: Where Magical Radioactivity Forges Leaders and Liars

Reading Time: 4 minutes Family pride and power draw Ryan and his great-uncle Garrett into the Broken Lands — a land ravaged by magic that lingers like radioactive waste.
BookTok’s Top Fantasy Romance Books for 2022

BookTok’s Top Fantasy Romance Books for 2022

Reading Time: 8 minutes Get the skinny on Booktok’s most highly recommended Fantasy Romance books from 2022!

Writing Advice of the Week

Writing Advice of the Week: Break a Rule (for Voice’s Sake)

Writing Advice of the Week: Break a Rule (for Voice’s Sake)

Fallon ClarkMay 12, 2024
Reading Time: 11 minutes Humans are rule-breakers. What writing rule will you break? Plus: links to 100+ articles, podcasts, and writing advice videos from all around the Web!
Writing Advice of the Week: Rhythm Reaches Readers

Writing Advice of the Week: Rhythm Reaches Readers

Fallon ClarkMay 5, 2024
Reading Time: 11 minutes Readers naturally gravitate to a cadence, or style, done well. Plus: links to 100 articles, podcasts, and writing advice videos from all around the Web!
Writing Advice of the Week: Skip the Hacks, Find the Grit

Writing Advice of the Week: Skip the Hacks, Find the Grit

Fallon ClarkApr 28, 2024
Reading Time: 13 minutes Three big things you don’t need to start writing? Motivation, purpose, or vision for the future. The one big thing you do need to start writing? Grit.
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?

ESSAYS

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. 
Distant star TOI-700 has two potentially habitable planets orbiting it – making it an excellent candidate in the search for life

Distant star TOI-700 has two potentially habitable planets orbiting it – making it an excellent candidate in the search for life

Reading Time: 5 minutes NASA recently announced the discovery of a new, Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a nearby star called TOI-700.
ChatGPT is great – you’re just using it wrong

ChatGPT is great – you’re just using it wrong

Jonathan MayFeb 28, 2023
Reading Time: 5 minutes So it doesn’t have facts, per se. It just knows what word should come next. Put another way, ChatGPT doesn’t try to write sentences that are true. But it does try to write sentences that are plausible.
13 free AI detectors tested, why they don’t work, and what to do instead

13 free AI detectors tested, why they don’t work, and what to do instead

Maria KorolovFeb 22, 2023
Reading Time: 9 minutes In the battle against AI-generated spam, some people are turning to AI detectors to weed out AI-generated content. Unfortunately, they don’t work.

NEWS

AI work can be copyrighted, if human creativity was involved

AI work can be copyrighted, if human creativity was involved

Maria KorolovMar 16, 2023
Reading Time: 3 minutes The US Copyright Office issued a ruling today that AI-generated content can, in fact, be copyrighted — as long as a human being has contributed work to the end product.
Authors Guild proposes new AI training use clause

Authors Guild proposes new AI training use clause

Maria KorolovMar 7, 2023
Reading Time: 2 minutes Authors Guild proposes contract clause to block AI training use without permission.
Flash Fiction Submissions Open March 1

Flash Fiction Submissions Open March 1

Geordie MorseMar 1, 2023
Reading Time: 2 minutes The spring 2023 submission cycle for original speculative fiction begins on March 1 and closes at midnight on March 31.
5 best free alternatives to Midjourney for writers who need marketing or cover images

5 best free alternatives to Midjourney for writers who need marketing or cover images

Maria KorolovFeb 26, 2023
Reading Time: 12 minutes The top five free, easy-to-use alternatives to Midjourney: Lexica, Canva, Playground AI, Mage Space, and Dreamlike.
Sci-fi magazine editors wary of AI spam, reluctant to charge for submissions

Sci-fi magazine editors wary of AI spam, reluctant to charge for submissions

Maria KorolovFeb 22, 2023
Reading Time: 7 minutes Sci-fi and fantasy magazine editors are discussing charging submission fees, changing submission schedules, limiting submissions to known authors, using AI-detection tools, and other means to combat AI spam.
Clarkesworld swamped by AI spam, temporarily stops accepting submissions

Clarkesworld swamped by AI spam, temporarily stops accepting submissions

Maria KorolovFeb 21, 2023
Reading Time: 2 minutes Clarkesworld has temporary stopped accepting new short story submissions because of a flood of AI-generated spam.
Apex Magazine launches Kickstarter for robot anthology

Apex Magazine launches Kickstarter for robot anthology

Maria KorolovFeb 21, 2023
Reading Time: 2 minutes Apex Magazine launched a Kickstarter today for a new anthology of fiction about robots, called Robotic Ambitions. The anthology, to be clear, is about robots, not written by robots. It’s written by humans.
P.E.A.N.U.T.: 6 steps to staying ahead of AI as a fiction author

P.E.A.N.U.T.: 6 steps to staying ahead of AI as a fiction author

Maria KorolovFeb 12, 2023
Reading Time: 11 minutes If you want to be successful as a human author in an age of AI-generated content, you will need to make your writing Personal, Emotional, Authoritative, New, Unique, and Trustworthy — PEANUT, for short.

ON WRITING

Book editing with AI: Code Interpreter vs. Claude — there’s no contest

Book editing with AI: Code Interpreter vs. Claude — there’s no contest

Maria KorolovJul 11, 2023
Reading Time: 8 minutes Anthropic’s Claude beats ChatGPT hands-down when it comes to analyzing full-length books.
Best free Canva fonts for sci-fi, fantasy, and horror

Best free Canva fonts for sci-fi, fantasy, and horror

Maria KorolovJun 28, 2023
Reading Time: 6 minutes More than 70 great free fonts for Canva ebook covers for sci-fi, fantasy, and horror genres.
Midjourney’s new zoom out feature great for book covers

Midjourney’s new zoom out feature great for book covers

Maria KorolovJun 24, 2023
Reading Time: 7 minutes Midjourney adds zoom out feature, which is great for creating art for book covers.
Adobe will indemnify customers against lawsuits

Adobe will indemnify customers against lawsuits

Maria KorolovJun 9, 2023
Reading Time: 2 minutes Adobe promises to cover any legal costs that companies might incur as a result of using their AI-powered image generation tools. 
Claude AI can read and analyze an entire book at once — here’s how to use it

Claude AI can read and analyze an entire book at once — here’s how to use it

Maria KorolovJun 3, 2023
Reading Time: 19 minutes Claude can read a 75,000-word book and identify structural and style problems. It can also create outlines and character sheets.
Authors can now use WordPress to create newsletters — and get paid for them

Authors can now use WordPress to create newsletters — and get paid for them

Maria KorolovJun 2, 2023
Reading Time: 3 minutes WordPress.com now lets authors get paid for their newsletters.
Adobe adds Firefly’s AI image generation to Photoshop

Adobe adds Firefly’s AI image generation to Photoshop

Maria KorolovMay 25, 2023
Reading Time: 7 minutes Adobe has added Firefly’s AI image generation to Photoshop so that you, or your cover designer, can create book covers using commercially-safe AI image generation.
How to use the new Midjourney ‘describe’ function to create great book covers

How to use the new Midjourney ‘describe’ function to create great book covers

Maria KorolovApr 13, 2023
Reading Time: 6 minutes A week ago, Midjourney, which is the best AI generator on the market today, added the “describe” function, which lets you upload any image and get some suggestions for prompts that could have created it. It’s a great shortcut for creating images for book covers — or anything else you need graphics for.

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