Remember (or maybe you don’t) when I said that so far this year, nine of my short stories have been accepted for publication, but I can only talk about eight? Well, I just got permission to talk about the ninth. It’s a very differently themed anthology put out by Immortal Works, a small publishing outfit in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The anthology is called “A Mighty Fortress: Mormon Steampunk Volume IV” and stories submitted had two main thematic requirements. First, that it had to be Steampunk. Second, that it had to involve the Mormon Church. Yup, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Normally, I don’t think of those two topics going together, but I managed to make it work.
Here are the specifics at the “Immortal Works” Facebook page. You should be able to read them even if you don’t have Facebook, but I’ll post the info here just in case:
A Mighty Fortress: Mormon Steampunk Volume IV Call for submissions
Immortal Works (editor Holli Anderson) hereby calls for submissions for an anthology of MORMON STEAMPUNK to be called A MIGHTY FORTRESS.
Here is the deal:
1. The writer’s religious affiliation is completely irrelevant. We don’t care; we don’t even want to know.
2. The story does not have to be set in any particular world. The story must be in some sense “Mormon” and in some sense “Steampunk.” We’ll try to interpret those categories both broadly.
3. If your story is faith-promoting (Mormonism is “true” in the story), we’ll stop reading it. If it is mean-spirited (Mormons are all idiots), we’ll also stop reading it.
4. Stories should be at least 2,000 words long and generally no more than 8,000 words.
This year’s Volume III was titled “Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel” (pictured above) and has been available since February. It can be found at Amazon and should give you an idea of what they were looking for.
My story is called “The Deseret War” and is set in Utah in the mid 1850s. It’s based very loosely on several historic events in the early Mormon church, but obviously, the addition of Steampunk changed things radically. Here’s a small blurb I just made up:
Once Stephen Isaac Eddington converted to Mormonism in his native London and realized the severe persecution the Church was enduring, he knew he had to use his unique skills to help defend the faith. But to do that, he would have to steal an incredible invention devised by his scientist mentor who had recently perished, and the greedy and corrupt tycoon who had financed the venture. Eddington and his ill-gotten technology arrived in Utah well ahead of the United States Army troops who the President commissioned to remove Brigham Young from power and establish a new Governor over the Utah territory. Now, instead of the Church being a mere pawn at the hands of the government, he provided them with mighty weapons that would not only protect the Church, but establish a brand new nation. However, even Eddington couldn’t anticipate the heavy cost of his actions.
I’ve written and submitted a number of stories set in this universe, but this is the first one accepted for publication. I’ve finished the second round of edits, and hopefully there won’t need to be a third. I just traded a series of emails with the Chief Editor and she said I could market the anthology at any time. I don’t have any direct links yet, but will provide them when they are available.
“A Mighty Fortress: Mormon Steampunk” should reach the literal and figurative bookshelves sometime in February 2020. Watch for it.