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 1-2 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.
Be sure to share outside of Substack on Reddit, Hacker News, X, Instagram, Facebook and in any other relevant forum interested in science fiction and fantasy. This exposes everyone’s stories to a wider audience of readers. The best link to use for sharing is as follows:
Let’s get reading!
THE THREAD IS NOW CLOSED. SEE YOU NEXT MONTH!
When eight sharks wash up on the highway leading into the isolated coastal town of Point Chester, seventeen-year-old Kayla starts to worry that there's something in the water.
But it's not what's IN the water Kayla needs to be worried about now...
What Kayla needs to worry about is...
As the men neared, they slowed down, as if unsure of their welcome. And now closer, Harvey saw - Are they wearing masks?
A few more steps revealed the men as The Lone Ranger and Tonto.
Got one fresh off of yesterday's presses!
Notorious gunslinger Keziah Hood gets more than he bargained for when he joins in the hunt for a vicious animal that's been terrorizing the town of Banshee's Ford.
Battles Beneath the Stars is an ongoing fantasy serial written as a script and guide for a fighting game, each 'playable' character has their own story to follow as they fight in an international tournament for their own reasons. The stories are serialized one at a time and exist within their own continuity, branching off after the prologue.
Aeneas was given his mother's bracelet, a priceless family heirloom, after her funeral. But the boy wanted nothing to do with that.
An AI will stop at nothing to improve you. https://open.substack.com/pub/christopherfreeland/p/14-feedback-loop?r=2xiwo&utm_medium=ios&utm_campaign=post
Portals to parallel Earths, automata, and the mad king of the 8th floor all await Hector and Vartan as they address the fix-it tickets in The Sunset Apartments!
Moving from a planet where a heavy date is the extent of marriage, to one where everyone is married, and your entire married life is strictly regulated by a contract you sign... from cog in the machine to Trade Master... moving from Ephemera to Libertas...
A mismatched group of six people from around the world first meet at a terrible party in a Tokyo skyscraper’s rotating restaurant. Together, they’ll struggle with the consequence of high-tech magic under capitalism through cutting-edge research, borrowed identities, eating shaved ice out of season, and other criminal hijinks.
The superheroes I write about are flawed beings, as they should be: https://davidperlmutter.substack.com/p/gabbin-with-the-girls
“GretchAgain” -- a personal digital assistant gets a body, and it changes everything :)
For my own writing, In the Giant's Shadow. This dark fantasy pulp novella follows Gaiur the Valdunite and her greatwolf companion as they come across a town called Jötungatt, a strange farming community built around an ancient monolith. However, Gaiur quickly discovers this seemingly sleepy town hides some very dark secrets as she's pulled into a web of dark rituals and living nightmares.
For recommended reading, my highest recommendation goes to both the ongoing fantasy novellas The Reve's Tale by Joseph Weiss and Her Verse by TSBOL. Links to the first chapter of each are below.
"An Ordinary Edison City Morning."
The first chapter of my new superhero story serial, in which ordinary Department of Engagement with Risk-identified Persons employee Hawkins is taking the train into work when the Owl Bandit shows up.
✨An extraordinary girl longing for an ordinary life. An offer of fame and success in a magical circus. A choice between the dark past and the uncertain future. ✨
Join the dazzling performance of this urban circus fantasy CIRQUE DU MACABRE! The first chapter (and the next 3) are here ⬇️
I'll throw my hat into the ring; The tale of Bear & Cub (a serial novel with but one chapter out at the moment), is about a father who loses two of his children in an act of wanton violence and has but one son left. Being a fantasy version of a Saxon he swears an oath of vengeance, against the clan to which his children's murderers belong to. https://canadianculturecorner.substack.com/p/bear-and-cub
Prince of Flames is about a Prince exiled across a desert, by his people for his intemperate behaviour who falls in love with a water-nymph, who has caught the eye of some of the local outlaws, which is the start of a new conflict for him. https://canadianculturecorner.substack.com/p/the-prince-of-flames
Thank you for this Brian!
Metanoia is a science fiction fantasy novel about the journey of a soul, where the reader is taken through nine lifetimes on different worlds and civilizations. Here is a link to the second lifetime, where the main character takes her first real steps down a trajectory of transformation that she will not be able come back from:
A world on the brink of a technological breakthrough. But at what cost...
Donna was visiting Rome to see the sights. Her new technology meant that she could experience the Eternal City in far greater depth than ever before. But the depths held more than a few surprises....
Prepare for a thrilling adventure in Marredbury, a town scarred by horror. Experience a gripping blend of chilling short stories from the past and digital found fiction from the future tying all the stories together.
This is episode 1. If you enjoy this first episode, you can go back to the prologue and check out the next episodes
The Power of Clasped Hands is the two-part fairytale about a young orphan trying to save his big sister from the clutches of the devious witch she tried to make a bargain for survival with. All he has to aide him are his prayers, and the mysterious noble woman who answers them.
Megan Ward, known as "Mega-War," briefed the team on a mission. Hank knew his life was about to change forever as they prepared to confront the bad guys, but the weapon he carried was stamped "less-than-lethal." https://open.substack.com/pub/finlaybeach/p/34-tactical-deceptions?r=1rl79p&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web
I'm going to give a shout out this time to Alejandro Piad Morffis and his flash fiction story The Sky is Alive. It hooked me from start to finish. https://transcendentchronicles.substack.com/p/the-sky-is-alive
When it comes time to pay for the crimes committed in the name of his art, the composer Ivor Tremblay undergoes a peculiar metamorphosis before the eyes of the pursuant police.
Bogo must save his rare, little friend from those that wish to use him for selfish means. Doing so may just avoid an all-out war between dwarf clans.
THE ROOM - (a 5-minute read)
She lies on top of him, her body soft and yielding. His hand rests loosely on her back. Their intimacy allows them to forget, for a brief time, how many hours, days, weeks they have been imprisoned in this darkness. Who captured them? What do they want?
In a dystopian world where emotions are banned, an enigmatic artist's forbidden creations spark a love story that bends the boundaries of reality.
Invasion Day: Short stories from August 11th, 2000, about the day the Vor came to Earth. The event triggered the Colonial Explosion into Space and changed humanity for the next 1000 years. But before that could happen, some Aliens had to get off our lawn.
Stories of Superheros, Villains, Giant Robots, Angry Utahraptors. Zeppelins, Death Cultists and some normal people faced with an alien invasion. Really the Aliens never had a chance.
The trials of Astra is an anthology in it's early stages about a sci-fi fantasy world in turmoil as an apocalyptic event comes nearer and nearer. This first story (released 9/20/23) tells of the ancient myth of the sun, the god who made it, and the people who stood to close to its divine weaving.
(I hope anyone who reads enjoys it!)
Follow the comedic chaos of the "Kovaxian Deep Mining Company," where a 9-foot-tall, nonchalant troll named Gran’t wreaks havoc in the deep mines, driving his diminutive Far Darrig supervisor, Copelin, to the edge. As they drill through rock and unexpected mysteries, the only thing deeper than the caverns is the chasm of mutual loathing between these two mismatched "contracted employees."
Bottled Embers s a Sci-Fantasy story, about Misty who is a mere child with the skills of a weapon. When Luke, an ambitious telepath, and his adopted Manorian sons find her on the run, their lives are turned upside down.
A bit of flash fiction from the world of the School of Science, Math, & Local Languages (SM&LL), probably partly inspired by The Mad Scientists' Club, though I'm not always conscious of that kind of thing.
"Rhea's Dream." A High Council of AIs who rule the moons of Saturn debate the future of the human race.
Does the chapter have to be on Substack? Could I post a link to medium.com?