For this week’s update from the editors of Shadow Conspiracy , an original steampunk anthology of BVC authors, I’m pleased to report that the thumbnail sketches are all in. We have 14 original and exciting stories in the line up.
Some stories stay in England addressing problems of having automaton servants, or Promethean constructs (think poor imitations of Frankenstein). We have two stories that go to Africa. Another deals in the Chinese embassy to the Great Exhibition in the Crystal Palace. One delves into the mystical world of the ballet Giselle. We even go to the circus. We have dirigibles and a mechanical Pegasus used for express mail deliveries. Some are funny others near horror, all thought provoking.
And we have steam machines. Gears chug, machines whir and hiss, brass levers with teak handles, golden keys, lots of golden keya, dials and oh so much more.
I’m really pleased with the imagination and creativity of my authors. I’ve compiled a table of contents, trying to spread out the themes or moods and when the authors have characters overlap I’ve put those back to back. This is all subject to change when our Editor In Chief Laura Anne Gilman gets hold of that document.
She’s in Montreal for World Con, so I’m blogging for us this week.
Next step is to start reading the stories. Just to tantalize you a bit, here’s a snippet form my own story “Shadow Dancer.”
I inserted the key into its special hole, turned it all the way around once, listening as it flipped tiny pins setting gears into motion. Then I pushed it deeper into the hole, turned it again. More pins slid aside. A third time around and the chug of interconnections became audible to the entire room. I put all of my weight and strength into pulling down the long brass and wood lever. Steam rose up and spilled from cracks between bookcases and floor boards.
Click, grind, snick. The machine engaged. Bookshelves rotated in opposite directions. They shifted top to bottom, bottom to middle, rotated again, shifted again.
We all watched the majestic dance of books around the room.
A dance less graceful than the one I’d seen in my vision.
Detailed requests of obscure information could take hours. Giselle produced three books of Germanic folklore in a matter of ten minutes.
Phyllis Irene Radford blogs on the BVC on alternating Thursdays with updates from the editors of the exclusive anthology. When other topics occur she blogs when she feels like it. More often she can be found on Live Journal as rambling_phyl.
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