Why I created this guide
I publish a lot of my own web fiction on this site. It occurred to me, though, that if you’ve found your way to Edward Trimnell Books, then you might be interested in some of the other offerings of the literary web.
That is what Ed’s Web Fiction Guide is all about: links to free online fiction not written by me.
Organization and format
I’ve broken this directory down by genre category: mystery, science fiction, horror, etc. I read across many genres, but I understand that not everyone does.
Criteria for inclusion
I make no claims for this being the largest, or most extensive online web fiction guide. What I can say is this: Everything on this list is curated, in the sense that I’ve personally checked it out.
So in that regard, Ed’s Web Fiction Guide is Yahoo!, not Google.
Likewise, while tastes may vary, everything on this list is of reasonably good quality.
It’s all about free web fiction
Every site on this list contains stories, novels, etc. that you can read for free–though many of these sites have premium (paid) content, and various other revenue models, like advertising.
This list is new as of June 2019. I expect it to grow in the weeks and months ahead. So bookmark this guide!
Science Fiction and Fantasy
Agent to the Stars, by John Scalzi: The first completed novel of SF author John Scalzi. Published on the author’s site.
Lightspeed Magazine: A monthly ezine of professionally produced science fiction. Free online edition, Kindle and various book editions also available.
Strange Horizons: A monthly online publication of short speculative fiction, poetry, and reviews.
Clarkesworld Magazine: A monthly online science fiction magazine, with various ebook opinions available.
The Baen Free Library: Free online fiction of top SF authors, published by one of the largest science fiction publishers.
John C. Wright: John C. Wright is a published science fiction author, who releases a lot of free fiction on his website.
Nightmare Magazine: Monthly online horror magazine, with multiple options for ebook purchase.
H.P. Lovecraft short stories: Free online editions of some of H.P. Lovecraft’s best short stories, from the University of Adelaide.
H.P. Lovecraft.com: A very thorough collection of online texts of H.P. Lovecraft’s fiction.
Edgar Allan Poe: Free online texts of the author’s various dark tales, from the University of Adelaide.
CreepsMcPasta (YouTube): Audio/video “creepy pasta” tales. All free, of course.
The Lovecraft eZine: Free online articles and fiction inspired by H.P. Lovecraft.
John Hartness: This Southern writer serializes much of his work online, in advance of publication.
Mr. Nightmare (YouTube): A lot of urban legends. But urban legends can be fun!
“The Demon of Detroit”: I don’t know if this one is an urban legend, or purely the product of the author’s imagination. I read it myself in 1977, when I was nine years old…and it scared the bejesus out of me. Now a middle-aged adult, I still find the story quite creepy. This is a very short and economically written tale that packs a punch.
Crime and mystery
Crimespree Magazine: This site contains mostly reviews and articles from the world of crime fiction, but it also includes serialized crime fiction. Worth checking out if you’re a fan of the genre.
Shots: A British crime and thriller e-zine. Independently published.
Worlds-Best-Crime-and-Murder-Mystery-Books.com: Online texts of public domain works in the mystery genre.
Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine: Much of the content is behind a paywall; but you can read extensive excerpts.
Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine: Like Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, this is not a completely free to read site, but at least some of the content is free.
Mystery Scene Magazine: Mostly criticism, but there are some links to online texts peppered throughout the articles.
Literary, Poetry, and Criticism
Southwest Review: Poems, essays, and short fiction
Literary Hub: A hodgepodge of short fiction, criticism, and poetry
American short fiction: Literary criticism and online fiction
Classic Short Stories: An online directory of mostly public domain short fiction
AmericanLiterature.com: This is a well-organized collection of free, mostly public domain literary texts. It seems to be target to teachers, but anyone interest in classic fiction should enjoy it.
Book Riot: Up-to-date news about the world of books
The poetry of Richard Wilbur: I actually met Richard Wilbur (1921-2017) in 1987, when he gave a reading at Northern Kentucky University. He was always the only modern poet whose work I could stomach. But I like Richard Wilbur’s poems a great deal.
Starchild, by Leo Petracci: An online text of Leo Petracci’s highly rated, independently published novel.
Worm, by Wildbow: A popular and long-running web serial for teens and young adults.
Ward, by Wildbow: Another popular web serial by the same author.
Not All Heroes: A futuristic superhero tale.
The Wandering Inn: A tale of a girl, an inn, and a world full of levels.
The Metaworld Chronicles: Hosted on the site Royal Road.