The 2019 July Short Story Challenge – Day by Day

For starters, Smashwords is currently having its annual summer sale, where you can get plenty of e-books at reduced prices, including several of mine.

In other news, blogging will be light for the next month, because I’m currently doing the July Short Story Challenge again.

What is the July Short Story Challenge, you ask? Well, in July 2015, Dean Wesley Smith announced that he was planning to write a brand new short story every day during the month of July. The original post seems to be gone now, but the Wayback Machine has a copy here. At the time, several people announced that they would play along, so I decided to give it a try as well. And then I did it again the following year. And the next. And the next. If you want to read my post-mortems of the previous July short story challenges, here are the posts for 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Because I’ve already done the July short story challenge four years in a row now and always found the experience very rewarding, I’m aiming for a repeat this year. At first, I’m only committing to doing this for a week (which is almost half over) and if things are going well, I’ll keep going.

In previous years, I’ve always done a post-mortem post about the July Short Story Challenge in August. I’ll probably be doing one this year as well, but in order to hold myself accountable, I’ll also be doing something else. I will keep a running tally of all stories written to date and update this post accordingly. This tally will be very basic, listing just the date, title, word count, genre, series, if any, and maybe a one or two sentence summary/comment.

If you want to follow along with the challenge, bookmark this post. And if you want to cheer me on, feel free to do so in the comments.

And now, let’s take a look at the stories:

July 1, 2019:  Coffee Shop AU, fantasy, 3576 words

The characters of a cop show suddenly find themselves whisked into a universe, where all those coffee shops from a certain kind of fanfiction are coexisting in the same neighbourhood.

July 2, 2019:  Terminal 2G (The Culinary Assassin), crime fiction, 1515 words

The Culinary Assassin will eventually be a collection of short crime stories about an assassin who only kills people restaurants – after first sampling the food. In this one, the culinary assassin finds himself in an airport and has to deal with overpriced airport food as well as the target, all without shooting.

July 3, 2019:  Poffertjes (The Culinary Assassin), crime fiction, 1440 words

Another Culinary Assassin tale, wherein the world’s only gourmet hitperson eats Dutch pancakes and kills a real estate developer.

July 4, 2019: Unwanted Rescue, epic fantasy, 1055 words

Sir Clarenbald the Bold comes to slay a dragon and rescue a princess. But the princess doesn’t want to be rescued…

July 5, 2019: Green Thumb (Helen Shepherd Mysteries), crime fiction, 4419 words

Detective Constable Kevin Walker and his girlfriend, Scene of the Crime Officer Charlotte Wong, have a solo adventure and hunt down a flower thief in South London.

July 6, 2019: Patient X-5, science fiction, 1357 words

A robot consults a psychologist.

July 7, 2019: The Day the Mechas Came to Eureka Creek, post-apocalyptic, 2168 words

In an America besieged by giant robots, three kids find an inert mecha in a wheat field. This is one of those post-apocalyptic slice-of-life stories that this challenge frequently seems to yield for me.

July 8, 2019: Stalked, post-apocalyptic, 1428 words

A scavenger is stalked by a giant killer robot through a ruined city. Yup, it’s another robocalypse story and also the third robot story in a row. Hmm, I’m sensing a theme here.

July 9, 2019: The Cryptozoological Invasion, post-apocalyptic, 1080 words

The Loch Ness monster, the Yeti, the Sasquatch, dinosaurs surviving in inaccessible parts of the Amazon and the Congo basin, the Thing from another world and the unspeakable Lovecraftian monsters in the Antarctic – they’re all real and climate change is driving them from their ancient habitats and into contact with humans.

July 10, 2019: The Secret Nightlife of the Lawn Flamingos, horror, 705 words

They’re alive and they’re evil. The title says it all basically.

July 11, 2019: Prison Moon (Raygun Romances), space opera, 6260 words

Ray Cassidy was an officer of the Space Patrol, until he turned against them, when ordered to brutally squash a miners’ strike. Now Ray has been sentenced to life imprisonment on the prison moon of Paradine, from where there is no escape but death. But Juanita Deveron, a young rebel fighter whose life Ray saved, is not willing to let him languish in prison for a crime he did not commit.
Raygun Romances is the proposed title for a series of retro style science fiction adventures – think Planet Stories or Startling Stories in the 1940s and 1950s.

July 12, 2019: The Great Dinosaur Derby, science fiction, 1177 words

Humans manage to clone dinosaurs and decide to hold t-rex races. What could go wrong? The title says it all, really.

July 13, 2019: The Tentacled Terror (Thurvok), sword and sorcery, 3148 words

Thurvok, Meldom, Sharenna and Lysha set sail for the lost city of Nhom’zonac, looking for treasure. But they have to get past the Lovecraftian horror guarding the city first.

July 14, 2019: Harlequin (The Culinary Assassin), crime fiction, 1181 words

The world’s only gourmet hitperson eats an ice cream sundae and shoots a mob boss.

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