This one has stories and poetry from jsridler, Shannon Connor Winward, Bruce Boston, and more! Note, how I've included myself in the wildly popular "and more" pseudonym. :)
My piece? "Autumn Jitters" is a slice of steampunk inspired by a rant catvalente had about why she hates hates HATES steampunk. I agreed with many of her observations, and best of all: her rant got my noodle turning. As is often the case, I wondered: If I wrote the steampunk story I really, really wanted to write, what would it be like? Well, I started thinking about the Jitterbug and Prize Walks/Cakewalks and . . . Well, it got bizarre from there. And it stayed relatively short.
Here's a moody excerpt from what I ended up with:
When the season turns cold but not its coldest, the aristos descend from their masques and mansions, throwing sweets around our boroughs in the hope that enough treats will keep us placid for one more year, will keep us from taking hammers to their delicate clockworks and difference engines, will keep tricking us into believing we are not slaves. We know different.
My boy Drayton takes the candy for his son Will. My daughters flatten the gold foil as mementos from another prosperous year. New York City lumbers onward, belching steam into the sky and blowing soot into our faces.
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