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15 November 2012 @ 05:58 pm
"Liasons Galantes: A Scientific Romance" out today  
My story "Liasons Galantes: A Scientific Romance" is out today in Beneath Ceaseless Skies #108 (in HTML, PDF, PRC, EPUB, and Kindle formats).

In conjunction with the story, they're giving away a signed copy of Ann VanderMeer's new steampunk anthology Steampunk Revolution. Enter to win!

I'm intrigued that they describe this story as steampunk. When I was writing it I thought of it primarily as a romantic fantasy, set in a fantasy world reminiscent of Belle Epoque Paris in which relationships are visible as living things. The electrical gizmos in the story, I thought, were just props. But of course all of these elements do add up to something steampunkish, especially given that I subtitled it "a scientific romance."

This isn't the first time I had no idea what kind of story I had written until it was published. I thought my story "Nucleon" was hard SF, an alternate-universe story about an atomic car. I even sent it to Analog. But it turns out it's actually a fantasy, a variation on the well-known "mystery shop" trope, as David Hartwell pointed out when he bought it for Year's Best Fantasy.

threeoutsidethreeoutside on November 16th, 2012 02:11 am (UTC)
Could you explain what the well-known mystery shop trope is? I've never heard of it - I guess I don't play in the right sand-boxes. lol
David D. Levinedavidlevine on November 16th, 2012 02:47 am (UTC)
It's a type of story in which someone visits a shop that has exactly what they need, or perhaps exactly the wrong thing. Typically they go back the next day and the shop is gone. It's a very Twilight Zone sort of thing.
threeoutsidethreeoutside on November 16th, 2012 02:52 am (UTC)
Ah! Oddly, I just finished my umpteenth re-read of Edmund Crispin's "The Moving Toyshop" last night. That's exactly what it's about.
Allanallanh on November 16th, 2012 07:52 am (UTC)

Thank you!
melissimamelissima on November 16th, 2012 08:42 am (UTC)
Also loved it
Can't get enough of this sort of steampunk. Bravo!
scarlettina: Writingscarlettina on November 16th, 2012 03:43 pm (UTC)
Love that story. :-)
et in Arcadia egoboo: Chicago (from Adler)apostle_of_eris on November 17th, 2012 03:22 am (UTC)
A hundred and eight issues before I ever heard of it . . .
That's not good.
Queen of the Surface Streetsironymaiden on November 17th, 2012 04:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, that was very sweet! Curious: are there ghosts in this world that the ghost light keeps at bay?
David D. Levinedavidlevine on November 17th, 2012 05:11 pm (UTC)
No, it's just a theatrical superstition.