“Three Men In A Blimp, To Say Nothing Of The Automaton” is the story I submitted to the Three Fates Press cyber/steampunk anthology. Now you might suppose that I would be certain to be accepted, since I’m one of the publishers, but you would be wrong. Being one of the Fates cuts no ice, when it comes to submissions. Alas, that it should be so, but so it is.
THEREFORE, I was delighted to have the story accepted.
Jordan Bell has created an AWESOMESAUCE cover for the anthology, CIRCUITS AND STEAM, and the book should be out fairly soon. You may be certain I’ll let you know.
Three Men In A Blimp, To Say Nothing Of The Automaton — excerpt
by Marian Allen
Conkers looked at the two of us as if we were idiots. “Old Bill can drive a steamcar without putting it into the ditch above twice in ten miles. If he can do that, it should be child’s play for him to drive something that doesn’t need a road.”
Minor and I were much struck by the simple good sense of Conkers’ logic.
I clapped my hands together and rubbed them in anticipatory glee. “Well, then,” I said. “All we need now is a dog.”
Minor tapped out his pipe tobacco in the fire (he knows I hate that), and said, “Must it be a terrier?”
The three men in a boat had a terrier, you see.
“I could borrow my Aunt Amelie’s terrier,” I said.
Minor recovered his habitual scorn. “A terrier in an airship? As mad as terriers are for jumping about?”
“My Aunt Amelie’s terrier is an irritating dog,” I said, thoughtfully. “Not to put too fine a point upon it –”
“Murder your aunt’s dog on your own time,” said Minor, rather ungenerously, I thought. “If we were to murder every irritating terrier we came across, we’d never do anything else. We won’t take a terrier.”
“What, then? Do you have a dog in mind?”
That was when Conkers had his second flash of brilliance in one evening. “We could buy a clockwork one. I saw one at the second-hand shop, the last time I pawned my watch.”
“Did you, by Jove,” said I.
“It isn’t in the best shape, but I tried it, and it does work, after a fashion.”
Minor had to quibble over trifles: “What sort of a dog is it made to be?”
“The chap claimed it was meant to be a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.”
“Oh,” said Minor, pacified. “Cheerful little dogs. Right-o!”
So we were agreed. We would rent a small airship and we would take a clockwork dog.
~ * ~
The story is, of course, a takeoff on or tribute to Jerome K. Jerome’s wonderful Three Men In A Boat, To Say Nothing Of The Dog, which I adore.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: What kind of dog would you take?