Fiction River: Alchemy & Steam
Kerie L. Hughes (editor)
WMG Publishing, May 12 2015, $15.99
“The Rites Of Zosimos” by Angela Penrose. In the 1840s, Ionian Catherine, assisted by Newtonian Peter, investigates a boiled corpse.
“Heart” by Leslie Claire Walker. The tweener kills James; leaving it to Sebastian to free the deceased.
“Pennies for Portent” by Diana Benedict. A spirit possesses the siblings’ Gypsy Woman” automaton.
“The Order of the Golden Grapefruit” by Sharon Joss. In 1871 Bruxelles Madame Lavender hires Father the re-animator to help her win the best animated chocolate award.
“The Perfect Perfume” by Anthea Sharp. Wanting to become Queen Victoria’s perfumer, Charlotte seeks a special ingredient at Dante’s Diabolical Diversions.
“The Grand Dangoolie” by Ron Collins. In 1923, Houdini tries to prove Dangoolie is a fraud.
“The Whirring Dreams of Aberrant Blood” by Cindie Geddes. The Aberrant waits the ascension connecting her to Helena the automata.
“St. Jean & The Dragon” by Brenda Carre. In the 1890s Jane and her Jinni investigate abductions.
“Weight In Gold” by Dory Crowe. Teenager McKenzie heads to Boston on the Trans-Atlantic Paddle with books to give to Congressman John Q. Adams
“Heaven’s Flight” by Leigh Sanders. Gizmos inventor Paige learns of a nefarious plot.
“Blood Moon Carnival” by Kim May. The Ringmaster uses alchemy to control his performers.
“Makes The World Go ‘Round” by Kelly Cairo. Ten millennia ago, an appointment error led to the present final three days to the end of the world unless Petra finds love.
“Myrtle’s Box” by Louisa Swann. In Old San Francisco, Myrtle needs to release the souls that are driving him crazy.
These terrific thirteen short stories deploy alchemy in a steampunk world. My personal favorites are the ones that use real persona and Kelly Cairo’s imaginative love story.