Sometimes, you get a chance to be part of something special. I have been lucky enough to have it happen many times. I don’t know if I have ever worked as hard for it though. 🙂
The Steampunk anthology Terra Mechanica coming at the end of the month from Xchyler Publishing is a work of art from beginning to end. Each story is a gem, polished and multi-faceted. My own story, “The Seven Year Itch” is honored to be among them.
“The Seven Year Itch” is a re-envisioning of the Grimm’s Fairy Tale “Bearskin.” In the original, a soldier makes an unusual deal with the Devil. For my part, I took the basic story, updated it to the Civil War, and ended it a bit before the Grimms did.
When I turned in the original story, it was 6,334 words long. By the time I had gone through the extensive editing process it was 12,955. I must admit, I was stubborn the entire time. My poor editors did not have it easy–but when we were finished, it was a much stronger, and more cohesive tale.
There are nine tales in the book:
*DOTS, DASHES, AND DECEIT* by Jay Barnson: A telegraph operator finds herself displaced by advancing technology but discovers a genius inventor and a young savant with secrets too dangerous to ignore.
*THE PROMISE* by Michael Cross: In a world ravaged by the unspeakable horrors of war, one soldier moves heaven and earth to keep a promise to his son, and alters the lives of every stranger who helps him along the way
*THE VOYAGE OF VALERIE MCGRATH* by Pete Ford: Sent on a desperate mission only she can fulfill, a dedicated researcher discovers the war her government wages against its own people, and the planet they rely upon for survival..
*RIPPER BOUND* by TC Phillips: With nothing but a brain implant and the force of his will, a talented bounty hunter returns far-flung criminals to justice, but what price will the technology ultimately demand of him?
*DR. PAX’S GREAT UNSINKABLE BIRD* by J.R. Potter: When a brilliant scientist falls prey to sky pirates who are after his flying machine, he must rely on his greatest achievement: a teenage girl whom he rescued from certain death.
*SEVEN-YEAR ITCH* by Rie Sheridan Rose: Toby Kincaid knew his clothes would grow filthy when he made a deal with the Devil, but he didn’t count on the wear to his spirit. He may win the wager but still lose his soul.
*THE JOURNEY OF INSPECTOR ROUX* by C. R. Simper: A legendary investigator goes down in flames and believes his life is over, until an eager young recruit drags him around the world in pursuit of a kidnapper.
*PRIORITY PASSAGE* by S. D. Simper: Marina will not allow the death of her father stand in the way of their dreams, but when her airship is boarded by sky pirates, she must decide what she values most: Nikita’s inventions or his daughter.
*GANESH* by Scott E. Tarbet: A farm boy abducted by a traveling-show huckster finds his calling as an airship pilot, never suspecting the transformative adventure awaiting him halfway around the world. An A Midsummer Night’s Steampunk expansion.
I will be adding links as pages go up, so check back often!