The Pitch is a monthly discussion thread of the best science fiction and fantasy on Substack, as recommended by the authors themselves. Here’s how it works:
Are you an author? Head to the comments and add a link to a speculative fiction short story, serial chapter or anthology post from your Substack. Beneath the link add a one sentence summary pitch for the post. This is your chance to creatively promote your work and talent.
Are you a reader? If there’s a story you enjoy, be sure to add a like and comment on the author’s Substack, but feel free to come back here and do the same.
Are you a Notes user? Spread the word by restacking the thread in a Note.
Let’s get reading!
THE THREAD IS NOW CLOSED. SEE YOU NEXT MONTH!
When a mysterious device begins overwriting his wife's memories of him, the talented Dream Architect Orion Caldwell embarks on a perilous journey to dismantle the device, save their marriage, and uncover the dark truths that permeate the dream worlds they inhabit.
An overconfident bookworm finds himself in a parallel world where words are weapons and ideas form fortresses, but intelligence without integrity may just cost you everything.
I write a lot of short stories, not all of which are speculative, but here's a fun fantasy tale from a while back:
An old-timer tells a fantastical tale around the campfire. https://clairesshortstories.substack.com/p/magics-gateway
Hello! My story, "The Daughter of Blood and Stars" is a bitter sweet meditation of fathers and their daughters, set in a not-so-kind future.
As a reader, I enjoyed this story by Matt Waterhouse. Very short and very sweet.
A group of warriors get hammered in their final resting place, as all warriors will. How did they come to be there?
Chapter One of Secular Exorcism, where a female exorcist in a post-apocalyptic USA is invited to Cornwall on a quirky mission: to raise - not exorcise - a ghost. https://fantasticalfiction.substack.com/p/secular-exorcism
On their trip around the world, Hannah and Anna arrive in Krakow to check off bucket list entry no. 47 where they will among other things, take a selfie with the Wawel dragon in its den and withstand the Tatar invasion. https://timelessfelixpurat.substack.com/p/bucket-list-entry-no-47
When an anonymous letter denounces a woman for keeping her memories secret, Caius Silius must both verify the claim and identify the letter's author. A challenging task in a world where no one remembers the past and everyone yearns for an ending that never comes.
A second installment is due out later today (though each can be read independently).
A bowling ball is cursed.
On a human colony on a distant world, a rescue worker is tasked with deactivating the same kind of discarded proximity mine that left her scarred as a child.
In a slightly Vonnegut-y, semi-autobiographical way, my talking car and I pick up an urban hitchhiker.
A ronin on his way to honour his parents grave finds himself sucked into the spirit world and forced to fight an oni, again and again and again, all in an effort to prove himself worthy to save the mortal realm from the impending demon invasion.
Troubled siblings looking to escape from their rotten home life get a little more than they bargain for when they trigger a portal to a world of nomads, magic and strange beasts. (Note: this story is quite adult!)
First chapter: https://open.substack.com/pub/mechanicalpulp/p/pull-me-under-bonded-by-blood-one?r=2as5ww&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web
I also have an Introduction post pinned on my Substack, a bit of background and table of contents, pronunciation notes etc. For fans of classic heavy metal and sword and sorcery.
Thanks for the invite and opportunity, Brian!
Hard to know where to suggest people jump on, but I'm going to go with my story 'The Koth', which is the first proper instalment of my ongoing anthology. It introduces us to detectives John Callihan and Yannick Clarke of the Specialist Dimensional Command - a division of the Met police established to handle portal-related crimes - as they attend an emergency call. https://simonkjones.substack.com/p/the-koth-part-1
The entire series has an overview here: https://simonkjones.substack.com/p/how-to-read-tales-from-the-triverse
The opening chapter of my novella, Brae's Meteorite.
Join Renn as he recounts his strange and heartfelt journey with Brae and the events that followed witnessing a meteorite in the sky.
When exiled heir Gabriel Martiniere returns to a leadership position in the Martiniere Family's privately held corporation, he discovers that not only has the Martiniere mind control technology been co-opted by a rival that seeks to destroy the Martinieres, but that he, his beloved wife Ruby, and others he cares about face a threat from beyond their section of the multiverse.
Paradise is guaranteed only for those who work and submit themselves to the testaments, or is it?
Find out for yourselves in “You Cannot Spell Paradise Without Lies”
What if the quests from Dungeons & Dragons were real and taking place in New York City?
In the far far future, a new life form thrives within the trash of extinct humans. Unfortunately, they are not alone.
What a difference a century makes between 1984 and 2084.
Oh wow. This is a great thread. I will be starting something myself this coming fall (and I'll save it until an appropriate month), but check out Daniel Baldwin's Vigilance substack. He's got several FINISHED and on-going serial (all cataloged and linked) under the welcome post. It's action, action, action, mystery and action. If you love a good pulp yarn, Daniel is *chef's kiss*.
"Vigilance is an ongoing fiction series set in a dieselpunk sci-fi world created by Daniel Baldwin."
The Finngarrin Cycle is a D&D campaign run by a 40-yr-old for a 6-yr-old and a 4-yr-old—this is the dramatised record of their wild and mischievous adventures in the fantasy Province of Finngarrin. Subscribe for weekly episodes: http://thefinngarrincycle.substack.com
Great thread, lots on new content I'm looking forward to checking out here!
Can I assume there will be more of these? I estimate I have about two draft left on my current novel and am planning on publishing chapters in serialized format to my Substack (Prolouge/First Chapter for free) and I’m curious if I will be able to do one of these pitches down the road.
A serialized fantasy story styled like a fighting game, where differing political and personal goals collide at an international tournament in the world of Hybridis, the protagonist is whoever you pick.
When Stephen Hawking arranged his party for time travellers in 2009, he did not expect that a sex-starved tardigrade called Clementine, would be fired at his right eyebrow from some point in the distant future, desperate for a mate and rigged with as-of-yet uninvented time-spy tech.
Audio version also available through this link!
The generation ship Penelope lives on is powered by the exploitation of a divine being, but when Penelope is tasked with maintaining the "drive", she can't help but feel a connection with the goddess.
While exploring the yacht, Hank stumbles upon a device that he assumes is an interactive manual, but to his surprise, it performs an extensive health analysis and identity verification, leading to a humorous conversation with an AI named Ava; however, as he delves deeper into the mysteries of the voyage, he realizes that there is much more to uncover.
Stranded on a harsh world, seeking shelter until help arrives, three castaways wrestle with mysteries that may be critical to their survival.
Initial Human Offerings (IHOs), are the latest economic innovation from Wall Street! Need money? Instead of taking out a loan at criminal interest rates or selling a kidney you just put yourself on the stock market, and investors will give YOU money!
Author here! Maya and Robert butt heads over what justice means in a serial urban fantasy where magic users can possess the bodies of others.
If you were a Supreme Court justice, how would you rule on the humanity of a genetically engineered hybrid baby?
https://gibberish.substack.com/p/sandbox-earth-index (this is a serial, all parts are linked from this index page)
An interview series with the people who had the best view of events when not one but TWO alien races appeared in our orbit--and saw the ways humanity could climb over each other for a piece of alien tech!
I post some short stories on my site along with random thoughts. Below is one of my short stories.
My serials aren't yet on Substack (they're on a different platform), but I'm developing one specific to this platform. As they say, "I'll be back." (In the meantime, what a cool way to find other writers). Thank you!
Your Time Machine is Stuck in Reverse
In this interactive fiction adventure, you realize your stolen time machine is busted and sending your hurdling backwards through history! The longer it takes you to fix the machine, the further back you’ll go...
Maybe of Belfry is the story of a world like ours, ruined by evil, rebuilt by good. Expect great scripts and hopefully dramatic surprises.
In the 74th century, Inquisitor Aeneas Aquilanus must travel across the lands of Christendom to save the Holy League from the ancient threat of the Grey Globe while juggling a politically-charged love triangle.
In this first installment of The Chronicles of Cyron, an ongoing series of short stories, two lifelong friends must confront the mistakes of their past when their journey to a decrepit village takes an unexpected turn.
Jamaican families don’t improve in 2100.
A band of storm chasers travel to a shattered bit of land known affectionately as ‘the rifts,’ to hunt some of Amashik’s rarest inhabitants.