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!
In a distant future of decay and ruin, an ambitious robot struggles to meet the demands of his directive set by The Maker.
Bael has been hired to assassinate Emperor Maedicius but he was expected and Bael is never expected...
Hey 👋 I'm Cameron and I write Speculative Fiction on my substack, Verse. I've had a bit of a break recently but my serial fiction, Thorne the Withering Shore continues this week!
It follows detective Rose Thorne as she uncovers dangerous occult activity. I like to think of it as Jessica Jones meets Constantine because it's set in our world but some people have special abilities.
Check out the first chapter here:
Athenasios is tired of dream ads, so he blocks them, but when he does, his nightmare begins.
Find out if he wakes up from it here: https://open.substack.com/pub/zacharyroush/p/dreamium
Once again here to plug my ongoing serial [REDACTED]. Five scientists (and one exec) in a research lab deep beneath the earth investigate some weird organic matter found frozen in the Russian Tundra. Well two of them do, Jimmy's most here for the banter.
Ep 1: https://open.substack.com/pub/ethanrodgers/p/19871101-19871106?utm_source=share&utm_medium=android&r=b9r5q
The most recent episode (they're kinda written so you can start anywhere hopefully): https://open.substack.com/pub/ethanrodgers/p/19871110-19871111?utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web.
Here's one for you:
Bounty Hunt: A Smuggler and his droid must fence their ill-gotten goods and hide from a relentless bounty hunter who stalks them across the stars.
A young and inexperienced knight battles an ancient terror from a land corrupted by evil in this fantasy short story inspired by the classical piece, In the Hall of the Mountain King.
My name is Cole! I’m writing a short story collection called Stasis, where each tale shares the common theme of “time.”
In my first installment, “The Goldfish Threshold,” A group of college students start feeling like the night out they’ve planned is way too familiar. I’d love for you to check it out here!
When zombie sharks start attacking the shoreline it's up to Kayla, the sheriff's daughter and local bad boy, Justin, to save the town. A YA speculative horror comedy, posting new chapters every week!
Thanks for hosting this Brian!
We have received a message, proof of extraterrestrial life, but it was not what was expected...
I'm Michael, I write speculative fiction, fantasy, sci-fi, and an ongoing superhero serial. This is a flash fiction story about an elf who escapes from long imprisonment by dark forces, only to encounter beings he hadn't anticipated at all.
Hi all! My name is S.E. Reid, and I write speculative fiction over at Talebones.
"A Thing Must Be Loved" (action/thriller) is the story of a parking garage attendant who finds himself faced with a terrifying danger and has to step into an unlikely role.
Hi y'all! I'm in the process of writing an urban fantasy serialised story about Harold, a woodsman and the fairy, Sallie, he frees from a tree. Long term goal is to publish as a book. These two characters have been so much fun to write about.
"The Deal" pitch: A man on the hunt for power meets a dark stranger on the crossroads to the throne.
Hello! My name is Maya and I'm writing an anthology for an upcoming novel, "Shades of Night", a dark fantasy. The anthology follows short stories that build up the world for the novel. Please enjoy!
Hey everyone 👋🏾 happy to see you at the Pitch! My name is Stephen and I am the author of “Underland and the Forehidden Kingdom”, a fantasy novel I’ve been serialising on Substack since Dec 2021.
It’s about an overconfident bookworm who finds himself in a parallel world where words are weapons, ideologies form fortresses, and intelligence without integrity may just cost you everything.
What you think . . . What you believe . . . How you feel . . . It all matters in Underland—it all has consequences.
One of my favourite chapters is the one below because it marks our main character’s transition into Underland. It’s a place you could jump in without reading the previous chapters to get a taste of what’s to come, and not have too much to catch up on if you want to read from the beginning.
Happy trails and happy reading!
Kathoc Bose wakes up somewhere else. Interspecies romance ensues.
A 'documentary'-style short story about an emerging educational technology that disrupts everything.
...we call her Jane.
A man tasked with assassination must navigate an alien temple—occupied by human cultists who worship the sculptures left behind by the ancient occupants—without knowing exactly who, or what, he's expected to kill.
Still in progress, here's part 1:
Toran yearns for a world where his people no longer bring fire, fear and death to the islands around them -- and the time has now come to say a prayer and make his move.
Late to the party as usual, but here goes... I'm Javier and this is chapter 1 of my first sci-fi novel on Substack...
In the heart of Nova York, deep inside the Blade complex, the Sentients, chosen by the Elect, wait to be uplifted to a luxurious space station where they will live forever, but the Freemechs, the Voice, and one other are not happy with the way they are being used...
Hello! I am serializing the chapters of my retro grimdark fantasy novel out later this month.
The prophecy that has governed Vierrelyne's entire life is about to be proven true; her family's legacy in ruins save for the one weapon which could destroy them all...
The first chapter is here!
Hello all. I’m very new here. I’ve been reading Giovanni Boccaccio lately and his stories have inspired my two-parter, The Footman’s Tale, set in the fictional world of Villemont. Here’s the pitch:
An ancient law demands a cruel punishment, and a sovereign’s compassion.
Read Part One here:
After AI becomes so powerful that it becomes illegal, one takes shelter under the protection and friendship of a young girl. Is it human enough to be trusted?
'Random acts of violence' is a six-part story about radicalisation, propaganda, fake news and false flags. All the things!
Set in my wider 'Triverse' series, but this storyline works well as a standalone piece and entry point.
After submitting my short story Dúil to the Lunar Awards and receiving such positive feedback from readers, I was tempted back into that world and those characters to write more.
Part Two of this short story is now here to read:
Hi! This is my first time pitching anything here. I don’t write much fiction nowadays, but here’s a flash story I published which I really like.
A sick boy gets a shocking visit to his hospital room: his favourite superhero has come to see him.
When superheroes get put under glass:
In a steampunk St. Lous, Kate and Maximus Gold must stop a madman from creating a train that runs on ghosts! Read the nine part serial, "The Black Banshee - https://buckw.substack.com/p/the-black-banshee-part-one
An orbiting power laser has safety measure to keep it from being used for harm--but what if you need to bypass those safeties to do something good?
BADDASSSS BEULAH....BADDEST BITCH IN THE OLD WEST
ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY: A Black Pulp Fiction Sci-Fi Western Blaxploitation Joint (serialized on The Stack)
Hi Everyone, my first time here, I'm Edward, my 'Stack is called From The Future, with an installment from a novel in progress, "RETRIEVE":
66 million years ago, a probe crashed into the rocky mantle of a world, putting to sleep what was onboard for a long time, and then a few thousand years ago some of the reawakened "went native"...
"Visitor from the Void", a Sword and Planet Serialised Novella.
“Take Ash from Evil Dead, put him into an Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Mars series, only the planet is more like Gene Wolfe’s The Book of The New Sun. And you get a hint of what to expect from the Visitor from the Void.”
In a post-apocalyptic world, exorcist Alexandra Hills accepts a strange mission: not to exorcise a ghost, but to raise one. https://fantasticalfiction.substack.com/p/secular-exorcism
A magic gnome has lost track of time...or was that tomorrow?
An automaton fixes something that’s been broken, and realizes humanity may have rubbed off on him a little. (Not much to say, it’s just a flash fiction.)
In the remote mountains, a lone sage's encounter with an otherworldly visitor sparks a candid exploration of humanity's quirks.
After escaping from an unnamed institute, haunted by a the loss of her only friend, a young girl comes across something unexpected.
A mystery revolves around a dangerous crime organization known as the Syndicate Web, and the only one facing them is out for vengeance!
Jun never knew adventure until she took her first step out of her village at age 60 and then found a young man, which only led her to more adventures and stories, some of which point to home.
I've already covered my full substack selection, so I'll plug the serial again.
Fates collide at the Grand Festival, a tournament that brings people together from all across the world of Hybridis for the first time. This story is told in the style of a fighting game walkthrough, where the main character is whoever you pick.
While making a documentary about a sacrificial ritual, a grieving mother comes to terms with the untimely loss of her daughter.
Ricky couldn’t keep his mind on his work. It was on Jennifer.
A time traveler is tasked with convincing a Portuguese farmer to put down his stud bull for the sake of the future. The problem is, he doesn't speak the local language.
Greetings Friends, your friendly neighborhood purveyor of wolven-themed pulp entertainment Jacob Calta here! Bringing to you a special story from one of my most popular series.
From my on-going heavy metal lawman series "The Speedfreak Files" comes "Rivals Ride Shotgun," the story of protagonist Nic Ridgefield as he teams up with a rival band's frontman to take down a carjacker after both rockers discover the other is a member of the Wastelands' de-facto police organization, Hell Patrol.
A whimsical tale about time travel, moving on, and the magical effects of caffeine.