Flash Fiction Online #86, November 2020

Flash Fiction Online #86, November 2020

“Indispensable” by Wendy Nikel (reprint, not reviewed)

“Invisible Ones” by A. C. Spahn (nongenre, not reviewed)

“Feet like Wheels” by Samuel Barnhart (nongenre, not reviewed)

“Poise and Grace” by Kyle Richardson

Reviewed by Victoria Silverwolf

Labeled by the editor as science fiction, “Poise and Grace” by Kyle Richardson is a steampunk tale about a clockwork woman constructing an airship as directed by the man, now absent, whom she thinks of as her father. To her surprise, the task takes one day less than her programming calculated. During that extra time, she explores the world in ways previously unknown to her. A final, recorded message from her father reveals her fate, and offers her a chance to change it.

Although the tropes of steampunk are now very familiar to most readers of imaginative fiction, rendering this work less than completely original, the author succeeds in creating an appealing character. Her action at the end of the story may be predictable, but makes for a pleasant reading experience.

Victoria Silverwolf thinks steampunk is a branch of fantasy.