Today I found out that my short story "The Firebird" will appear in the forthcoming anthology Steampunk World, edited by Sarah Hans. The philosophy behind this anthology is that steampunk should be more inclusive and not simply focus on Victorian England. And while anyone who knows me knows I have some serious Victorian England love, I also completely agree that steampunk--and every genre, for that matter--should branch out and focus on other cultures and settings. So I was very excited to hear about this anthology, and I am even more excited to learn that my story is going to be a part of it.
This news was especially exciting for me because "The Firebird" is my first published story that takes place in Russia. I've been fascinated by Russia since I was a child, and my first trip overseas was on a three-week Russian exchange program in high school. This story takes place in the city where I stayed on that exchange program. Veliky Novgorod is one of the oldest cities in Russia, situated on the road between St. Petersburg and Moscow. It's ringed in by a kremlin, presided over by the gold domes of St. Sophia Cathedral. The image to the right is a postcard I purchased when I first visited eight years ago, showing St. Sophia's. The image above the postcard is a word cloud I made of "The Firebird" (by "I," I mean Wordle). The story takes place in the later years of the Russian Revolution, and involves revenge, romance, a Russian countess with a jewel-encrusted brass bird tail, a revolver-cuff, and lots of snow. To write it, I read the book Former People, by Douglas Smith, an account of what happened to various members of the Russian nobility during and after the Revolution. I gathered plenty of fascinating details from that book for this story, and I would encourage anyone who's interested in this period to read it.
At any rate, I'm very excited for this story to appear in Steampunk World. The anthology is being funded by a Kickstarter campaign; more details on that to follow.