Hey Huys and Girls, got some more info and news for you straight from Irene Gallo. 🙂 Let’s launch into it, shall we?
First up, Steampunk Fortnight is still happening, and by now there’s plenty to catch up on if you’ve missed anything. Check out the link for the low-down!
Here’s the cover for you to enjoy (the work of the excellent Jon Foster):
Last week saw the release of Cat Rambo‘s story, Clockwork Fairies, and here’s a taste of the story for you:
Mary the Irish girl let me in when I knocked at the door in my Sunday best, smelling of incense and evening fog. Gaslight flickered over the narrow hall. The mahogany banister’s curve gleamed with beeswax polish, and a rosewood hat rack and umbrella stand squatted to my left.
I nodded to Mary, taking off my top hat. Snuff and baking butter mingled with my own pomade to battle the smell of steel and sulfur from below.
“Don’t be startled, Mr. Claude, sir.”
Before I could speak further, a whir of creatures surrounded me.
At first I thought them hummingbirds or large dragonflies. One hung poised before my eyes in a flutter of metallic skin and isinglass wings. Delicate gears spun in the wrist of a pinioned hand holding a needle-sharp sword. Desiree had created another marvel. Clockwork fairies, bee-winged, glittering like tinsel. Who would have dreamed such things, let alone made them real? Only Desiree.
Mary chattered, “They’re hers. They won’t harm ye. Only burglars and the like.”
She swatted at one hovering too close, its hair floating like candy floss in the air. Mary had been with the Southland household for three years now and was inured to scientific marvels. “I’ll tell her ladyship yer here.”
She left. I eyed the fairies that hung in the air around me. Despite Mary’s assurance, I did not know what they would do if I stepped forward. I had never witnessed clockwork creations so capable of independent movement.
Footsteps sounded downstairs, coming closer. Desiree appeared in the doorway that led to her basement workshop. A pair of protective lenses dangled around her neck and she wore gloves. Not the dainty kidskin gloves of fashionable women, but thick pig leather, to shield her clever brown fingers from sparks. One hand clutched a brass oval studded with tiny buttons.
Desiree’s skin color made her almost as much an oddity in upper London society as the fairies. My intended. I smiled at her.
“Claude,” she said with evident pleasure.
She clicked the device in her hand and the fairies swirled away, disappearing to God knows where. “I’m almost done. I’ll meet you in the parlor in a few minutes. Go ahead and ring for tea.”
Eileen Gunn’s got a ‘ quartet of steampunk pastiches’ coming up soon, so keep an eye out for that: A Different Engine, Day After the Cooters, The Perdito Project, and Internal Devices.
What else is happening on Tor? Plenty, as always!
Jo Walton is covering the Hugo Nominations, starting from 1953 and going up to 2000; you can find the introduction here, and the first post here. Definitely a series I’ll be following – it’ll be interesting to see how the Hugo’s have changed over the years and decades.
Also, set your reminders for November 3rd: Tor will be posting a story by Fantasy author Peter Orullian (check out this link to get the low-down on him and what he’ll be bringing us), and here’s the cover for you:
Awesome artwork by Kekai Kotaki.