There are vast amounts of freely available online fiction, and numerous websites cataloguing those worth reading (one of the best being Web Fiction Guide), but here’s a run-down (or run-up?) of my top eight:
8. The Wolf’s Will
The writing is raw, unpolished, more of a first draft than a completed novel, but the premise is original, the chapters light and funny. The supernatural aspect is more of a plot device than a developed focal point, but you’ll be too caught up in Greg’s strange adventures to really mind.
7. Winter Rain
Currently (annoyingly) on hiatus, this is a story of violence, revenge, and other family values, detailing life at the bottom of the pack. Chapters are bite-sized, full of action, and full of werewolves. What more do you need?
6. The Peacock King
Medieval times and fantasy melded together into a fascinating tale of a tyrant king and an order of men who uphold the Law and are trying to bring the king to justice. Colourful and magical. My sole complaint is that the rapid switches between POV, and the fact that each character seems to have multiple (unpronounceable) names, makes it quite difficult to keep track of all the characters.
5. Tales of MU
High Fantasy, Higher Education. The story follows Mack (mildly annoying submissive girl) and her day-to-day college life, although there are many side-stories interwoven with the plot. It’s a very character-driven piece, often dominated by erotic elements, but what I find most fascinating is the depiction of various races and cultures. Updated regularly.
4. An Intimate History of the Greater Kingdom
History, diplomacy, treachery, sensuality: a story about the latest royal family, interwoven with tales of their ancestors, tales which are often scandalous and have been erased from the history books. While the beginning of the story is a little slow, the level of attention put into creating a believable setting is impressive. This is the kind of story that sucks you in slowly, but once you’re trapped, there’s no going back. Updated thrice weekly.
3. Exile’s Burn
Unlike most others on the list, this is a complete novel, available for download in multiple formats. This is dystopian space fiction, the main characters being a bunch of misfits whose only home is a battered ship. The story follows their battle against the tyranny of the Zatvians. Perhaps a little technology-focused, but the technical jargon is kept to a minimum and–unlike a lot of space fiction–you can pronounce all of the names. Most notably, the story had me in tears at one point! And if you want more, there’s a sequel!
2. Children of the Apocalypse
A serialized novel about the end of the world and those destined to stop it. Skyla has refreshingly sarcastic, witty, strong, female characters, and enough drama to keep you coming back for more. Updates the first of every month, and, of course, you can always fill up on Skyla’s other ongoing fiction, Curio Killed the Cat, while you’re waiting.
A recent discovery of mine, this is the high school type story with sex, violence and magic mixed in. This is young adult fiction for adults. The changing POVs and unpronounceable names are initially annoying, but the premise is unique and surprising enough to suck you in. Updates every Monday, with bonus stories posted on Saturdays.
Any I’ve missed, or any others you’d like to recommend?