Need something to read this weekend? Want that something to have dirigibles, clockwork, and lady inventors? Would you prefer if it was FREE? Then you’re in the right place. Here are four awesome steampunk short stories you can read right now.
by Cat Rambo
This is one of the greatest examples of an unsympathetic narrator that I’ve ever come across. Really, though, the story isn’t about him but his fiancé. I would gladly read an entire series starring her, but this story is complete and lovely. Try it if you like a little magic in your steampunk, or if you enjoy stories about brilliant ladies dumping dudes who aren’t good enough for them.
Read it at Tor.com
On the Transmontane Run with the Aerial Mail Express
by B. Gordon
A cadet making her first mail run flies straight into danger in this short story. It’s a great read for adventure fans. It’s got dirigibles, sky pirates, and adorable animal sidekicks. (I didn’t know I needed chimpanzees in my steampunk before reading this.) The main character has a great voice, and the ending put a smile on my face.
Read it at Beneath Ceaseless Skies
The Effluent Engine
By N.K. Jemisin
This one has just a hint of steampunk, but don’t let that stop you from reading it. It’s a tense tale of espionage with a nice love story woven into the plot. Set in New Orleans and dealing with the effects of the Haitian Revolution, it focuses on historical issues not often explored in steampunk. And the spy protagonist is a total badass.
Read it in Lightspeed Magazine
The First Step
By Katina French
The author calls this “a steampunk subversion of the usual ‘let’s sacrifice a virgin to the dragons!’ trope,” which I think is a perfect description. It’s set in a flying clockwork city with some cool world-building concepts, and it’s the shortest story on the list, so it won’t take long to finish.
Read it at KatinaFrench.com
If you like these, check out my first list of steampunk short stories here.