Read this intense, pre-apocalyptic hacker story by Tobias Buckell

We've got an incredible short story for you to read, called "System Reset," written by Arctic Rising author Tobias Buckell. It's taken from the pre-apocalypse anthology The End is Nigh, edited by John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey. It's a smart thriller about hacker bounty hunters on a world-ending job. » 3/13/14 7:00pm 3/13/14 7:00pm

Why is it so hard to write a decent ending?

Endings define stories. A great ending can make everything that's come before seem retroactively great. A weak ending can ruin everything. But why do they have to be so impossible to write? And is there any trick for crafting a strong ending that doesn't involve endless misery? » 1/22/14 1:05pm 1/22/14 1:05pm

The Only Kind of Sentence You Should Use in Your Fiction

People will advise you to write all sorts of sentences. Snappy sentences, lyrical sentences, Hemingway-esque short sentences, long Faulknerian sentences. But there's really only one kind of sentence that actually works: a sentence that carries the reader forward from the previous sentence. This is harder than it… » 8/20/13 3:19pm 8/20/13 3:19pm

The Best Free, Online Short Stories from February and March

Those of suffering through unseasonably cold weather in the Northern hemisphere have one consolation (just one!): staying inside wrapped up in a warm blanket is the best way to get some reading done. And if your tastes run to bite-sized fiction, then I have some tasty treats for you. » 4/08/13 11:14am 4/08/13 11:14am

Catch Up With Some of the Best Short Stories of 2012

Nebula-winning short story writer Rachel Swirsky has put together her annual list of most recommended short stories in science fiction and fantasy. She's picked what she liked best out of nearly 540 stories she read last year, and a lot of them are available online. Definitely check out her list — you'll find some… » 2/12/13 11:32am 2/12/13 11:32am

The weird life of pioneering female pulp fiction writer CL Moore

CL Moore was one of the only women who ever wrote for famous pulp fiction magazines Weird Tales and Astounding Science Fiction during the 1930s. Now Andrew Liptak has a great article about her life over at Kirkus, including links to never-before-seen short stories by the woman who was both a fantasy and SF pioneer. I… » 2/07/13 11:42am 2/07/13 11:42am

Don't you wish that every writing teacher was like Kurt Vonnegut?

Over at Slate, there's a hilarious excerpt from the new book of Kurt Vonnegut's letters: a term paper assignment he gave to his creative writing students at the Iowa Writers Workshop in 1965. Basically, he wanted them to read a book of allegedly classic short fiction as if slightly tipsy, and then give each story a… » 12/03/12 3:00pm 12/03/12 3:00pm

A Book That Puts Most Fantasy Writers to Shame

Most fantasy stories contain only a small ration of magic or amazement. A flash of the uncanny, or a glimpse of supernatural wonders, no matter how many cheesy fantasy trappings they're clothed in. So it's really refreshing to read Patricia A. McKillip's beautifully spare book of stories, Wonders of the Invisible World » 11/22/12 2:40pm 11/22/12 2:40pm