Edward Lane’s Argosy Chapter One: The Blind Lady Of Tudley House

by Ian Ironwood
Chapter One: The Blind Lady Of Tudley House

Edward did not like the looks of the old country manor, no matter which angle he saw it. It was dark and dreary, and it had been years—decades!—since anyone had maintained the place. A Tudor style, two-story affair, the decrepit pile of bricks was covered in vines and dirt. The lawn had not been tended, the windows were caked with coal soot from the Bloomfeld plant a mile away, and the once-stately slate roof looked like the hide of a dragon after a particularly rowdy fight with a vengeful knight. There was an air of misfortune and misery that hung over the place, as if great misdeeds and missed opportunities had accumulated over the years in layers as thick as the dust.

     Edward should have had a home like this himself, he thought with a sigh. Only not so dreary. His college friends, the cream of the realm’s aristocracy, had such places to spare: the accumulated inheritance of generations. This home could have been magnificent under his care, he knew, a worthy estate for a country gentleman or industrious peer. It was precisely the sort of thing he aspired to—had aspired to for years, actually. Only Edward Lane was without inheritance of any significance.

Got A Screwdriver?

by Elizabeth McKay
“Alright, Mags, it looks like the last of them have left. I think it’s time, hmm?” Cora’s petticoats whispered as she moved across the room to Maggie’s desk. It was the first night of summer recess, and the halls of Cape June Ladies’ Academy still echoed with the bustle of students moving out, and giving emotional farewells to their classmates. The only light in the whole building was in the workshop, where the two had hidden themselves.
     Maggie sat up and blinked a few times, setting her pen down. She yawned and arched her body into a luxurious stretch, leaning back onto Cora. “I didn’t think it would ever end. I finished the last of the adjustments to the device a week ago and I’ve been dying to try it out!” Cora ran her hands over Maggie’s hips and rubbed her cheek on her black curls, breathing in her lavender perfume.

A Cold Night In New Barcelona

by Maya Deerbone
It was raining outside, pouring down in cold sheets, the kind of rain that keeps even children indoors. It was raining inside, too. Just a soft drizzle from the few dozen leaks that peppered the soda-can-shingle roof, and a soft spray as the wind blew in through the holes in the walls.
     James stood in front of his favorite of those holes in the wall. Floor to twelve-foot ceiling, it was a jagged scar of exposed brick and torn wiring. It looked out over the rest of the city splayed out below. Candles were lit in windows nearby, like starlight. Electric lights glared in the skyscrapers downtown, high-powered beams shot out from the police airships tethered to the tallest buildings. An abandoned warzone lay between the two.
     A figure on a bicycle crossed through the no-mans-land, slowing to dodge potholes.

SteamyPunk now in zine form!

Anyone who has caught up with Strangers In A Tangled Wilderness at a bookfair or other tabling event has probably seen our little steamypunk zines. Well, we’ve finally taken the step to print out a whole bunch (with offset-printed covers done by one of our collective members!) and have offered them for sale at the tangledwilderness.org Mail-Order Page. You can buy the set of two Margaret Killjoy stories and three Dimitri Markotin stories, five zines for five bucks! Unfortunately, we’re not really sure if we’re allowed to send this stuff overseas, so at the moment this is for steamypunks in the USA only.

House Of Glass & Pearl

by Robert Monroe
Warning: Contains no explicit sex scenes! This is a work of romance.
The brick house at 1723 Reed Avenue does not normally draw the attention of any passerby. The house stands silently, quiet ordinarily, like the house to its left and the house to its right. Curtains of thick white lace obscure the view inside and not a sound can be heard slipping from within the house. It is a house of completely unremarkable normalcy, with the exception of its eerie silence.
     But there are those who know what to look for, those who see the streets of London with very different eyes, eyes that drift to the shadows and the alleyways. Eyes that know what is there, waiting. It is with those eyes that the visitors of 1723 Reed Avenue spy the peculiar tabby sunning on the house’s walkway steps.

Emerson & Adalia Rob A House

by Dimitri Markotin
Of course, it caught Emerson by surprise when the young gentleman stepped into his office and up to his desk, slipped a hand behind his neck, and kissed him full on the mouth.
      Emerson stood with a start, knocking papers to the floor before regaining his composure and studying the interloper’s face more carefully. “Adalia?” he asked. He looked the guest over. Her breasts must have been bound, her hair swept up into her bowler, but he was certain it was her. His Robin Hood, the burglar he had met amorously weeks prior and not seen since.

Chaos Theory

by Dimitri Markotin
It certainly wasn’t what I planned, I must confess. What sort of person would I be if I were to attend such a lecture—the nature of chaos in contemporary mathematical philosophy—with the intention of entering into such a liaison? This I can tell you in truth: I had no idea how the weekend would turn out.

Homecoming, Part One

by Victor Chablon
She’s my tinkerer.
     I’ve called Lill that for the ten years I’ve known her. Oh, it’s a presumptuous thing to call her, particularly because she is most certainly not a tinkerer—she’s a master clocktocker and steamer.
     But it’s an especially presumptuous thing to call her, because she’s never been mine. Lill’s always been her own master, a tenacious controller of her destiny. Even after we married and our fiery wooing slid into a few well-worn patterns of domesticity, she was never anyone’s but her own. I loved her for that, for that untamable side of her. Lill, my wild woman with the goggles and the gloves. My tinkerer.

Emerson and Adalia

by Dimitri Markotin
It was obvious to Emerson—and likely most every guest of the garden party—that the raven-haired beauty bore no invitation. Certainly, she was well corseted, bustled, and dressed; her gown swept the stone pathways, its neckline revealed gorgeous collarbones. But her hair was not done up and came only to her bare shoulders. She wore no hat and her skin was tanned to olive. She was not society.

A Pirate of Both Day & Night

by Margaret Killjoy
I can’t sleep with you, you know that.” Ulian ran a few fingers up Neh-te’s collarbones as he spoke. Her striped sailor’s shirt, already wide-collared, was stretched open to expose her deeply tanned shoulders.
     “I know,” Neh-te whispered mournfully, “I remember.”
     The bamboo dock beneath them creaked slowly as the waves of low tide splashed against its posts. Behind them, on the mainland, a bamboo windmill beat the time slowly, churning in the ocean-side winds.