After attending ConTEXT 23, I was a bit miffed that I had written steampunk back in 1994 and then never published it.  It will end up in “The Complete Walrus” compilation, because it was a Punk walrus story, but I decided I wanted to give steampunk a go because it’s really getting to be big among my circles and I’d like to contribute.

The story is about Heather January, a girl living in a different time who is dealing with a crisis of identity as a mechanically inclined young girl in a man’s world.  When she finds out her only protection from being forced to be lady-like, her professor, is going on a long trip, she takes matters into her own hands and tries to prove once and for all her gender will not be restricted by society’s boundaries.  But the struggle is hard, and her maturing sense of social themes threatens to drag her down with bitterness and rage.  And there is something else going on that no one wants to see; something wrong with the entire fabric of society that is beyond sexist struggles.  Something worse.  Far worse.

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