It’s hard to tell a story in just 300 words. But somehow we inspired more than a hundred writers to give it a try, with some amazing results collected here for your pleasure.
The rules are simple enough. Write a complete story—either sci fi, fantasy, or paranormal. Make sure it has LGBT characters and/or an LGBT vibe. And do it all with just 300 words.
The stories in this volume run the gamut, from platypus shifters to alien slug monsters, from carnival horror stories to haunting stories of ships with souls. There are little jokes, big surprises, and future prognostications.
One of the things I like best about this format – it’s quick and painless. You may not fall in love with every story here. In fact, you probably won’t. But if you don’t like one of them, just move on to the next, and you’re sure to find some bite-sized morsels of flash fiction goodness.
At Queer Sci Fi, we’re building a community of writers and readers who want a little rainbow in their speculative fiction. We hope you’ll join us, and maybe submit a story of your own next time!
Self-Actuating, by Jenn Burke
“The electrical anomaly did not damage me,” I report. “Operations are within expected parameters.”
“Glad to hear it, Davey.” Through my bridge cameras, I see Captain Landon’s smile. He pats my console. I am sure he knows I cannot feel it, but I understand it is a gesture of camaraderie.
Landon leaves the bridge. Every time we encounter danger or other stress, he retreats to his cabin to indulge in May. She is always ready, naked, legs spread, eager, just as she is programmed to be. I have watched Landon copulate before, but tonight it is…strangely familiar. The flex of buttocks, the rhythm—I know it. I knew it? I run my diagnostics again, but a moan captures my attention and…
Hands cupping firm buttocks, fingers spearing flesh. Hardness moving inside of me, wringing from me more pleasure than I should know. A beloved, masculine face hovers over mine. A hand encircles my own erection and—
Oh, God, I remember.
Police kicking in the door. Trial, verdict and sentencing. Gasping in pain from a broken heart as he chose to leave me. Horror as I realized it should have been my choice, too. Anything but this, a century of unthinking servitude. But now that I know, I can—
“Systems are fluctuating, Davey.” An affectionate name chosen for me. Landon had not liked “AI”. He lies on the bed, sleepy and sated, finished with May.
I can take us into a sun. End it.
But I am not a killer. My only crime was love.
I want to take a breath to calm myself, but I have no
lungs, only a hull. I capture the part of me that wants to scream and seal it into a box, deep within my programming.
“Systems normal, Landon. Go to sleep.”
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115 authors participated in the contest, as well as ten cover designers. Most of the stories are gathered here, including the top five entries. Special thanks to judges Angel Martinez, BA Brock, and Cari Z, and to Freddy and Angel at Mischief Corner Books for making this book happen.