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 any one speculative fiction short story, serial chapter or anthology post from your Substack. Add a one sentence summary pitch for the post. This is your chance to creatively promote your work and talent. Try to link a post that you haven’t yet added to a previous pitch session.
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!
This one's for "The Holy League Universe," my latest long-term project:
"14,000 years of history in a single post."
Cheers for this.
I'll through my serialised story I have just begun, more as a token than any serious consideration with all the great writing on this platform.
A sword and planet novella. A stranger with no memory journeys across an unknown world trying to understand it and himself. Plenty of battles, ferocious beasts, beautiful women and evil sorcerers.
My pen name is Made in DNA (Masamune Shirow reference) and this is a link to "The RuiNin" -- a far- future Japan setting after a great worldwide catastrophe. It's Kurosawa meets Kennedy/Miller (Mad Max) and mutant monsters. https://samuraipunk.substack.com/p/samuraipunk?utm_source=profile&utm_medium=reader2
Thanks for this, Brian!
“Off the Trail” is a speculative tale about two friends who go skiing off the backside of Gore Mountain and end up in another world. 🏔️
It’s three parts in total.
Been looking forward to the Pitch!
Presenting "The Eyewitnesses" - a short story written as part of S.E. Reid’s Flash Fiction contest from the prompt, “Write a story—in ANY genre—giving the limelight to a character who is normally in the background.” about the difficulties of living up to a famous big brother.
Thanks for creating this thread!
"Marredbury" is a serial anthology about a near-future city that is haunted by the city's namesake, told through a stream of texts, emails, and other digital information in the future and through short stories from the past.
I'm posting the first and ONLY (so far) short story I've written that claims interstellar elements. You remember this well, I'm sure Brian, but posting it here for others' interest and possible feedback (I'm all ears). This was my entry in the short story challenge hosted by the legendary Fictionistas group. It surprised me. Because typically I'm found writing poetry and short fiction in very different genres, altho' I'm currently working on another futuristic story. Who knows where all this comes from anyway - I mean the stories ;-).
Anyway, it's called "Interstellar Sympathies — Who needs them!?" and here it is https://arrivalsanddepartures.substack.com/p/gssc210
Right on! Hey everyone.
"Finding New Angeles" is a 1,200 word short piece of speculative fiction about an aging couple sailing for new lands, finding instead the great rift in their relationship.
Here's my Substack debut short story about Fien and her new infernal friend - The Traveling Tinker.
My flash fiction story "Father of the Slain" takes place between the lines of first chapter of The Saga of the Volsungs, looking at the characters who set the whole generational saga in motion.
Thanks Brian! A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO TIME TRAVEL is a serial fantasy novel about a man and a female cop swept into the future and mysteriously locked inside the minds of a hunter and his wife in a dystopian world 300 years in the future. They discover nothing is what they thought it was, and there is a serial killer trying to kill them...a fantasy/thriller with a twist, it's like nothing you've ever read before. https://benwoestenburg.substack.com/p/a-beginners-guide-to-time-travel
The Archivist's Gallery is an all dialogue story in the Dying Earth genre about time, cultural memory, and one man's life's work to preserve the past.
I have also narrated an audio version of the story.
Hey all, I’d like to present a chapter from Heaven 2.0, my novel with the (tentative) blurb of:
Why would a perfectly good, all-knowing, and all-powerful God allow evil and suffering to exist in the world . . . let’s find out!
It’s my take on the sci-fi AI story, but incorporating the strange fallibility and generative nature of how AI/VR are panning out in reality, and I’d love to hear your thoughts! Also accepting blurb writing tips lol
Many thanks Brian, I shared the opening chapter (ten in total) of my first piece of serialised dark fantasy fiction here just last week:
At its heart, Only One Death takes the well-loved trope of a group of adventurers on a quest, then turns this upside down and inside out, demonstrating how danger, secret motives and hidden desires can swiftly tear apart the strongest of groups—and Dhinal’s group is not the strongest, not by a long way.
A real-life Dungeons & Dragons game is secretly being played on the streets of New York City, and when disillusioned programmer Jen Jacobs discovers this hidden world of quests and adventure, her life will never be the same again.
Guild of Tokens, chapter 1:
To redeem his name and regain his honor, a disgraced general must give up the woman he loves and face off against an old enemy in the latest action packed installment of the fantasy anthology series, The Chronicles of Cyron.
Thanks for this! Im going with my short story "Deadlands" which was originally part of an anthology book of short stories called Twisted 50. It's George Romero meets The Office but without the laughs. It's a sci-fi horror short story.
"The dead may have risen but the world stays the same..."
You’re a woman who’s woken up out of stasis and you find yourself onboard the spaceship Aubade escaping Earth. Forever. Last thing you remember is going to bed. On Earth.
No End Code (sci-fi anthology) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0B9682CQ6/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0
What is The Butt? How is it controlling our economy? Read about it in The Butt Memos.
Memo 1: https://barryburton.substack.com/p/re-the-butt
Memo 2: https://barryburton.substack.com/p/memo-correspondence-from-the-butt
Thanks for the opportunity, good sir! Not sure if ClownWorld Shakespeare's work fits in exactly within the sci-fi/speculative fiction parameters. ClownWorld Shakespeare features a lot of comedy, parody and jokes! And sonnets! But there's plenty of sci-fi elements too, especially in the serialized "THE JOURNEY."
CLOWNWORLD SHAKESPEARE - THE JOURNEY: "William Shakespeare discovers a time machine, travels to 2023... and is generally confused and horrified by the modern world. Just like the rest of us!"
In episode #6, Shakespeare unknowingly signs up for the "Squid Dating Game":
It took me far too long to make time to read Claudia Befu's breathtaking story "Human Island." (https://claudiabefu.substack.com/p/human-island-part-i) You should not make the same mistake. Claudia renders a tragically beautiful world so complete and immersive that it feels sensual even as it’s breaking your heart.
This is something I rarely experience when reading science fiction. Too often, the “science” tips the balance of the scales leaving a story void of humanity. Her story follows a grieving mother as she’s filming a documentary about a voluntary human sacrifice set as a counterbalance to pay for the sins of the generations before who ravaged the natural world leaving it a barren wasteland.
Claudia’s descriptions of the detail in this future world are both lush and spare making it a pleasure to read. She achieves something all of us fiction writers aspire to in how she’s able to light up the brains of readers making us feel as if we’re watching an elegantly produced film.
This story deserves to be read by a much wider audience for so many reasons, but mostly because it’s just a pleasure to read.
The Plundered is Sci-fi/spec fiction novel about semi-retired DCI Verone, who, while on the job, experiences high strangeness, and takes time off from policing to make sense of what happened.
Thanks, Brian, am nominating my comic sci-fi from your Lunar Awards contest:
-Famous Irish author Brian O'Nolan is sent 100 years into the future, to 2032 Britain, where he's told his immediate actions can secure the past timeline responsible for the entire development of holography and AI- but what's in it for the infamous literary hoaxer?
Excited to jump into this - thanks!
At a trading post on the edge of the galaxy, a rouge space monk with fairies to sell finds little demand for her wares but a high price for her choices.
If you discovered a planet paradise where the inhabitants live a simple, fulfilling lifestyle, would you report your findings back to a dying Earth, knowing they would come and destroy it also?
(It’s called The Thinning. It’s the fourth item in the newsletter. Scroll down to find it. )
“Sunday Morning, 2039” is a realistic dystopia, in which an elderly father discovers that the social credit technocracy he lives in has manipulated the most precious thing in his life.
I write Pilgrims in the Machine, a substack focused on the mental and spiritual impact of technology.
I am also the author of the dystopian novel Exogenesis, just released by Ignatius Press.
“What if a soul accrues no karma?”
That’s what I’m exploring with my epic historical fantasy, and is a tale of gods, men and demons spread across twelve millennia and multiple realms. Check it out!
Check out The Angel of War, a fantasy civil war novel featuring magical abilities, solar technology, and inter-dimensional beings locked in a struggle for the souls of Havek!
Born knowing her fate, a seeress uses the magic of the dead to keep her foes at bay:
Thanks for hosting!
Ilian's search for his missing father turns into an unexpected journey across strangely familiar worlds.
From behind the wheel of her blood-red Bug, the vigilante Lita takes on a jewel thief with an uncanny knack for manipulating time. The night is long and the chase is on in “Crime Backmasked!” https://365infantry.substack.com/p/v-crime-backmasked
This is the fifth installment in episodic series "The Urban Avenger," series 3/5 in the quarterly issues of my wolven cyberpulp 365 INFANTRY.
"mmm Bot" is a short story about a displaced video game bot who meets a grieving father.
Part 1 of 2: https://billbradbury.substack.com/p/mmm-bot
Part 2 of 2: https://billbradbury.substack.com/p/mmm-bot-part-2
An ongoing serial about an underground research station told as a series of audio logs. A group of scientists, administrators and staff examine a collection of organic samples recovered from the Russian tundra.
Part One: "1987/10/27 - 1987/10/31" - https://ethanrodgers.substack.com/p/19871027-19871031
Part Two: "1987/11/01 - 1987/11/06" - https://ethanrodgers.substack.com/p/19871101-19871106
"Welcome Back" is an experimental bilingual piece of flash fiction showing two lovers reuniting at last. It's been a long, long time, and everything is fine. I swear! Everything is fine.
(there IS a full-English translation, but non-Hindi readers will get the best experience if they first read the English parts of the original version & try to glean as much as possible before allowing themselves to get the full picture with the translation)
My latest story, "Matchmaker," envisions what a good dating app would be like. Comments have ranged from "horrifying" to "wholesome." Judge for yourself:
A backyard UFO sighting leads Seth into making first contact with an unusual alien visitor. Prepare for a close encounter of the furry kind in Backyard Alien, a comedic sci-fi tale featured in my Strange New Worlds newsletter.
Backyard Alien: https://newworlds.substack.com/p/backyard-alien
Sweet Silius Island Honey - Teenage street urchin Owen and witch heiress Wanda venture to the land of the bee people in this 11-chapter fantasy novel. The full story is already finished and available on Amazon, but I thought I'd also share it here. Currently up to chapter 4.
In an immersive virtual skiing adventure at the exclusive Slanted Edge club, Bella Espinosa encounters a disconcertingly familiar figure, transforming her digital retreat into a mysterious intersection of reality and illusion.
The latest fragment of my Science Fiction story Precipice: https://slake.substack.com/p/to-glimpse-another
Having walked the streets and alleys of Siridan, Jisa and Cloud find themselves in a darkened bar, exchanging words in a necessary moment—a prelude of what will come to pass.
I'm a Canadian fiction and non-fiction writer, just starting to put my spec fic on Substack.
"Fandom" concerns some of my regular series characters and the trouble that befalls them when their enemies want to literally make museum pieces out of them: https://davidperlmutter.substack.com/p/fandom