Saturday, December 1, 2012


Hard to believe it's December 2012 already. Depending on who you listen to we only have about three weeks left before the world ends, either from magnetic pole reversal, crossing the galactic ecliptic, the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, a collision with Planet X, global warming, global cooling, the return of Quetzalcoatl, President Obama and Speaker of the House Boehner joining hands, flooring it, and going full Thelma & Louise off the edge of the fiscal cliff, or the regrettable and wholly inexplicable failure of the Ancient Mayans to invent the perpetual calendar.

In any case, as we were putting together this book, we thought: what better way to go out with a bang that with a bunch of great stories exploring the end of the world—and what might come after? From ecological catastrophes to alien invasions; from tyrannical overreaching central governments to dangerous unfettered cowboy capitalists: It's the End of the World, As We Know It!

And the stories in this book will make you feel just fine.

STUPEFYING STORIES 1.11 (a.k.a., "the December edition"), is edited by award-winning writer Bruce Bethke and features:

   "We Talk Like Gods," by Jon David
   "Tiny, Tiny Hungers," by Mark Wolf
   "Moonbubble," by Eric Cline
   "The Relic," by Lou Antonelli
   "Mr. Non-Existent," by Paul Malone
   "Blue Stripped," by Gerry Huntman
   "HoPE," by A. A. Leil
   "Avocado Rutabaga Aubergine," by M. Bennardo
   "In the Shadows of the Empire of Coal," by Shaun Duke
   "Measure of Intelligence," by Torah Cottrill
   "The Gods of Sand and Stone," by Joel V. Kela

Now available for Amazon Kindle and Kindle Reader apps at these links!


Now available for Barnes & Noble Nook and Nook Reader apps at these links!
US  unnecessarily complex URL
UK  Amazon helpfully supplies all links. B&N makes you hunt. Check back later or let us know what it is, if you find it.

Coming soon to the Apple iTunes iBookstore!

Friday, November 23, 2012


From the Editor-in-Chief’s Desk
By Bruce Bethke 

Along with discovering new writing talent, another part of our mission at STUPEFYING STORIES is to find and foster new editorial talent. Therefore for the November edition, we turned the reins over to promising newcomer M. David Blake, who has long been playing several crucial roles behind the scenes here.

The result is our first double-length book, which includes some of Mr. Blake's latest experiments in e-book design. We wanted to call it STUPEFYING STORIES 2.1, but our distribution channel had trouble with that, so we ended up having to give it the parenthetical designation of 1.10. And with that preamble out of the way...

From the (Guest-)Editor’s Desk
By M. David Blake

Welcome to Stupefying Stories 2.1

That's it, really. A dozen syllables tell you all you need to know to enjoy this issue. Those who want to ignore the preface and skip ahead to the stories are entitled to do so.

Still here? Since I am as well, I'll share a secret. Several months ago, when our chief editor asked if I'd be willing to assemble the November issue on my own, I wasn't going to accept. He lured me in by dangling a budget and a deadline in front of my face, with the promise of complete autonomy.

He gave it to me, too. No one else has seen all of the pieces, as they were being assembled... and that includes the regular Stupefying staff.

Autonomy is a nice concept, but it comes with a price. In all likelihood, no other combination of our associate editors would have selected these same stories from the (deep!) slush I processed. My instructions were simply to produce the best issue possible, given the available resources and time. “Best” is a subjective valuation.

While approaching that task, I had the privilege of working with an incredibly creative group of writers. To the extent that you enjoy the result, all the credit goes to them.

On the other hand, if you notice any typographical errors, or if you are unable to suspend your disbelief long enough to get through the next sixty-four thousand words, that’s my fault.

There is no guarantee you will enjoy all of these stories. But here’s another secret: I love each of them. Should you wind up seeing any of the same inscrutably beautiful things I did, I’ll feel pretty good about my selections.

There is one other thing that makes me feel good about this collection: I think my grandfather would have enjoyed reading it. He introduced me to science fiction, and to fantasy, and he loved this world.

Today would have been his ninety-third birthday.
— M. David Blake, 16 November 2012 


Beauty & Loss (I)
  • “Queen of Sheba” by Samuel M. Johnston
  • “Wednesday’s Child” by Damien Walters Grintalis
  • “Snatching Baby Delilah” by Travis Daniel Bow
Lore & Speculation
  • “Nonsense 101” by Gary Cuba
  • “Lucky” by Bill Ferris
  • “The Ants Go Marching” by Sarah Pinsker
Folk & Superstition
  • “Lover’s Knot” by Ada Milenkovic Brown
  • “Girl Without a Name” by Courtney Valdes
  • “Toilet Gnomes at War” by Beth Cato
Loss & Beauty (II)
  • “Moondust” by Elizabeth Berger
  • “Citizen Astronauts” by Holliann R. Kim
  • “Heartbreath” by E. Catherine Tobler
Angels & Demons
  • “Revolver” by Clarence Young
  • “Office Demons” by Christie Yant
  • “Number Station” by Alex Shvartsman


For Amazon Kindle: 

For Barnes & Noble Nook:

Apple iTunes iBookstore and other links coming soon!

Monday, November 5, 2012


STUPEFYING STORIES 1.9, originally scheduled for release on October 15 but delayed for three weeks by Forces Beyond Our Control, is officially released today. We still don't have live links yet, but when we do, we'll post them here. With this edition we add India and Japan to the list of countries where STUPEFYING STORIES is available, so here's hoping Amazon resolves their technical issues soon and Barnes & Noble doesn't follow their usual pattern of taking four times longer than Amazon.

Featuring the awesome cover story, "The Jade Box," by Stephen G. McDonald (and correspondingly awesome original cover art by Aaron Bradford Starr), as well as new stories by fan favorites Chuck Bordell, Jamie Lackey, and Gary Cuba, STUPEFYING STORIES 1.9 presents thirteen original tales of ghosties and ghoulies, spirits and specters, and things that go bump in the night, by an outstanding assemblage of American, Canadian, Irish, and Swedish authors. Including:
  • "Between Life and Oblivion," by Samuel R. George
  • "The Florence," by Chuck Bordell
  • "Door in the Darkness," by David Steffen
  • "Streaming," by Sharon Irwin
  • "The Flint Indenture," by Tim W. Burke
  • "Not Everything Goes Bump," by Robert W. Hobson
  • "Ashes to Diamonds," by Jamie Lackey
  • "Blood and Saltwater," by Cassandra Rose Clarke
  • "A Homeowner's Dilemma," by Mark Hill
  • "The Ghost Train," by Fox McGeever
  • "The Jade Box," by Stephen G. McDonald
  • "Going Out With a Bang," by Gary Cuba
  • "The Old-Fashioned Way," by Thomas Pluck
From a haunted hotel room in Seattle to the waiting room of the afterlife; from a quietly chilling meditation in a country cemetery to an ambitious plan to revive entire dying cities with industrial-scale necromancy; from a heart-breaking tale of a love that lives on after death to a side-splitting story about a funeral gone horribly wrong that, as one early reviewer said, "puts the black in black humor," you'll find it in this edition of STUPEFYING STORIES.


Now available for Amazon Kindle and Kindle Reader apps at these links!


More links coming soon!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

At last, we have a Barnes & Noble NOOK link

Stupefying Stories 1.8 for NOOK

I have no idea why it takes Barnes & Noble four times as long to process a new book upload as it takes Amazon, but it does. Of course, as soon as I start counting on that delay...

Monday, October 1, 2012


From the Editor’s Desk
By Bruce Bethke

You know, I wrote a very thoughtful, serious, sober, and long keynote editorial for this book, describing in great detail what we intended to accomplish this time out. But hey, let’s be honest: this is the October edition, and around here, October really means just one thing:


So let’s skip the commercials and cut right to the exciting conclusion. This edition is really all about—

Vampires! Werewolves! Mummies! Living Fossils! More Vampires! Mad Scientists! Fiendish Laboratory Creations! Flying Saucers! Treacherous Aliens! Strange Little Towns Where No One And Nothing Is At It Seems! Even MORE Vampires! Zombies! Giant Prehistoric Reptiles Stomping The Daylights Out Of Tokyo! And Even MORE Aliens, Plotting To Conquer The World!

  • "Father Pace" by Samuel Marzioli
  • "A Wolf Like Leroy" by Gef Fox
  • "King of the Giant Monsters" by Michael D. Turner
  • "Darcy and the Gill-man" by David C. Pinnt
  • "Dark Illusions" by Evan Dicken
  • "Legacy of an Unwanted Titan" by Ryan Creel
  • "The Wrong Side of the Rainbow" by Bill Bibo Jr.
  • "On Main Street, After Closing Time" by S. R. Algernon
  • "Night Shift of the Living Dead" by Tyler Tork
  • "Our New Benevolent Overlords" by Andrew Kozma.

Now get yourself a big bowl of popcorn, settle back into your favorite chair, and give your sense of disbelief the night off. STUPEFYING STORIES 1.8...



Bruce Bethke
Editor, Stupefying Stories

Now available* for Amazon Kindle and Kindle Reader apps at these links: 

* Or so Amazon claims. At the moment, while the web pages are there, they don't seem to be fully functional.

 More links to be posted as they go live.

Saturday, September 1, 2012


What, a new edition already? Yes!

Edited by award-winning writer Bruce Bethke and featuring stories by nine outstanding Canadian, Australian, and American authors, the STUPEFYING STORIES "Pirates & Dragons" edition is chock-full of all-new tales of dastardly pirates, lonely dragons, quarrelsome petty gods, meddlesome slimy aliens, and profoundly philosophical chickens. Featuring:
  • "Riddle Me" by Richard Zwicker
  • "Corsairs of the Concrete Sea" by Thoraiya Dyer
  • "The Thundering Dragon of Heaven" by Michael Matheson
  • "God Mic" by B. Sanford
  • "The Thirty-Ninth President and the Fourteenth Tentacle" by Theodore Carter
  • "Thief of Hearts" by Auston Habershaw
  • "In the Castle of the Assassins" by Melissa Embry
  • "The Lord of Flocks" by Alison Pentecost
  • "The Little Thief" by Phil Temples
From a road in the middle of nowhere to the day after tomorrow, from a shattering tale of First Contact to the long-suppressed story that finally makes it possible to make sense of the events of the past thirty-five years, you'll find it this time out in STUPEFYING STORIES!

Now available for Amazon Kindle and Kindle Reader apps at these links:
Coming soon to Amazon India!

Now available for the Barnes & Noble Nook at this link:
Nook - all markets

More links to be posted as they go live.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Labor of Love Weekend Promo

This weekend only, and for the Kindle only (sorry, Nook and iPad fans) we’re practically giving away STUPEFYING STORIES 1.6 at the low, low price of just $0.99! It’s all part of the LABOR OF LOVE promotion cooked up by Elle Lothlorien, with assistance by Michele Winkler, author of “Family Magic” (which not coincidentally, you’ll find in SS 1.6), and a cast of.... many!

Tell your friends! Tell your mom! Tell everybody!  

Friday, August 17, 2012


Edited by award-winning writer Bruce Bethke and featuring stories by twelve outstanding American, British, and Irish authors, the STUPEFYING STORIES "Weirder Homes & Gardens" edition is filled to overflowing with all-new tales of the fantastic, funny, and frightening things that can happen in that most mundane of places: the home, with attached garden. Includes:
  • "No Onions" by M. Bennardo
  • "The Growing" by Sylvia Hiven
  • "Family Magic" by Michele Winkler
  • "Mission Accomplished" by Peter Wood
  • "Helen Went Beep" by Erin Entrada Kelly
  • "The Prototype" by Judith Field
  • "Colorful Caps" by JC Hemphill
  • "Lifesource" by Barbara V. Evers
  • "The Centaur Bride" by Eric J. Juneau
  • "Rooting for You" by Michael Heneghan
  • "Security" by Chris Bailey Pearce
  • "The Garden" by R. L. Bowden
From practical advice on raising homunculi to the difficult magic of raising a happy family; from things that go bump in the night (or in this case, the kitchen) to things that go beep in the bedroom; from the magical, mythical distant past to two very different visions of our technological future; and from the primal temptation to be found in a stolen paper clip to a tale of lost love that can't be described, only read: you'll find it this time out in STUPEFYING STORIES!

Available now for Amazon Kindle and the Kindle Reader App:

The Barnes & Noble Nook link is now live!

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Slushpile Survival Guide

I've recently had an interesting exchange with an author. On further reflection, the highlights of this dialog seem worth presenting to a wider audience. Ergo and without further ado:


Dear Editor,

Attached please find my story, [title redacted].

I am not sure if I am eligible to submit, as I have already had one story accepted and scheduled for publication in Stupefying Stories this year. Please advise if this is the case.

[author's name redacted]


Dear [author]

Excuse me for asking, but where the heck did you get the idea that once we've accepted a story by you, you must wait until we publish it before you can submit another? When I accept a story from you, it means I like your writing and want to see more of it!

So no more of this "I am not sure if I am eligible to submit" silliness, okay? Trust me, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Robert Heinlein didn't wait until John Campbell published their last story before sending him their next story, and if that modus operandi was good enough for Asimov, Clarke, and Heinlein, it's good enough for us.

Kind regards,
Bruce Bethke


Dear Mr. Bethke,

[...] I asked because recently some markets have made unambiguous statements about not wanting concentrations of particular authors in relatively slim time frames. [...]


Dear [author]

Hmm. That must be another of those goofy ideas that's come out of some creative writing program somewhere. "Let's all play fair and take turns and give everyone an equal chance." It seems akin to:

    "Now class, let's all try to find something nice to say about Sally's poem."

    "Er, I used to fear death, but as I listened to Sally read her poem, I longed for it?"

Luckily my dad was a basketball coach, not a liberal arts instructor, so I don't believe in any of that equalitarian nonsense. Every writer who pitches a manuscript to me gets an equal opportunity to impress me with their work as they come in the door, but I have absolutely zero interest in forcing equality of outcome. I run a brutal meritocracy here. I want to put my best players in the game, every chance I get, and keep them in the game for as long as I can.

I mean, let's switch to the reader's point-of-view, for just a moment. When you read a really terrific story, do you think:

a.) "Wow! I really loved this story! I'd better not read anything else by this author for a while!"


b.) "Wow! I really loved this story! Where can I find more stories by this writer!"

Not wanting concentrations of particular authors in relatively slim time frames? Sheesh. What madness.

Now go write more stories!

Kindest regards,
Bruce Bethke

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Status Update

It has been brought to my attention that if you look at this web site, it appears as if we haven't done anything in the past three-and-a-half months. There actually has been a tremendous amount of behind-the-scenes activity, but all the discussion of it has taken place over here:

Alternatively, if you're looking for more insight into what we've been doing and what we're planning to do -- or simply for confirmation that we are in fact still in business -- you might want to read this:

Sorry for the mess, and thanks for your continued patience while we deal with some unanticipated business empire construction issues.

Bruce Bethke

Saturday, April 14, 2012


What happened to Abraham Lincoln after the assassination? Find out in "Cog Noscenti," by Aaron Bradford Starr!


"Red Dust and Dancing Horses," by Beth Cato
"Emissaries from Venus," by Jason Wittman
"Lincoln's Revenant," by Chuck Bordell
"Induction Day," by J. R. Johnson
"Perchance to Wake," by Paul Dixon
"Cog Noscenti," by Aaron Bradford Starr
"Greater Love," by Kersley Fitzgerald
"Stellar Dust and Mirrors," by Richard Zwicker
"The Last Testament of Henry Halleck," by Vox Day
"A Brief Respite from Eternity," by Alex Shvartsman

Amazon Kindle editions
US market
UK market

Barnes & Nobles Nook edition

Apple iTunes edition

Coming to Kobo, eventually. And honestly, we have no idea what the hold-up is with the Apple edition.

Monday, April 2, 2012


We're still in the final throes of proofreading STUPEFYING STORIES 1.5 before letting it go out the door. In the meantime, here's a small foretaste.

From the Editor's Desk
by Bruce Bethke
...and this is why we call STUPEFYING STORIES an anthology series, not a magazine: because as an anthology series we can adjust our release schedule, when needed.

Two months ago, as we were first starting to pull this edition together, a pair of unfortunate coincidences exposed the weaknesses of our "lean staffing" model at the same time as our ever-growing slush pile became sentient, chained itself to the front doors, and demanded our full attention. Thus what began as a simple Valentine's Day edition of STUPEFYING STORIES became a Love and Presidents edition, and then a Sex and Presidents edition, and then a Sex and Dead Presidents edition (but the less said about that one, the better), while we launched a major recruiting drive and wrestled with a plethora of back-office issues that aren't terribly interesting to read about now, but solutions to which were needed urgently if we were to stop our out-of-control slush pile from conquering the world.

Today, it gives me great pleasure to announce that these efforts have been entirely successful. We have more than doubled the size of the STUPEFYING STORIES crew, and thanks to the tireless work of Erin, Ricky, Karen, Paul, Eli, Tyler, Jason, Barb, Allan, Yvette, and Guy—hereinafter to be referred to as the Fearless Slush Pile Reader Corps—we have not only defeated the growing slush pile menace, in the process reducing Slush Mountain to manageable dimensions again, and we not only stand ready to release STUPEFYING STORIES 1.5 (a.k.a., "the March issue"), but we also have 1.6 ("April") and 1.7 ("May") in production and are very close to wrapping up our first theme-issue Special Edition. To the members of the FSPRC: I salute you, and "Induction Day," by J. R. Johnson, is for you.

Speaking of the contents of this edition: I'm about out of space now, but would be remiss if I did not call special attention to our cover story, the brilliantly mad steampunk vision that is "Cog Noscenti" by Aaron Bradford Starr, and especially to my personal favorite in this entire collection, "Red Dust and Dancing Horses" by Beth Cato. If this story doesn't wind up on several Best of 2012 lists and on the short list for at least one major award, I will be disappointed.

And with that said, until STUPEFYING STORIES 1.5 is officially released, I can only add—

Hi-yo Silver, away!


Sunday, January 15, 2012


The fourth volume in award-winning writer Bruce Bethke's new ebook-only original short story series features nine all-new tales of sorcery, science, hope, and passion, by L. Joseph Shosty, DJ Cockburn, Jamie Lackey, T. D. Edge, M. David Blake, Ada Milenkovic Brown, Rose Blackthorn, Jay Caselberg, and Joanna Galbraith — plus art by multiple Hugo Award-winning artist Brad W. Foster.


“Morality for Alchemists and Thieves,” by L. Joseph Shosty
“Seeking Kailash,” by DJ Cockburn
“Music from the Air,” by Jamie Lackey
"Spirit Bags," by T. D. Edge
“Don't Eat the Piano Player,” by M. David Blake
“Abaddon, Foul Angel of the Abyss,” by Ada Milenkovic Brown
“Untether'd,” by Rose Blackthorn
"The Seeding," by Jay Caselberg
"Palmerino's Dream," by Joanna Galbraith

"An Appreciation of Brad W. Foster," by Avery Maxwell,
and featuring rarely seen drawings from Foster's personal collection!

Amazon Kindle editions
US market
UK market

Barnes & Nobles Nook edition

Apple iTunes edition

Coming to Kobo, in the fullness of time.