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Business As Usual by David Barnett
Edited by Claire Eddy
Cover Artist: Nekro
Review by Sam Tomaino
Tor.com Online Fiction  
Date: 28 September 2013

Links: Author's Blog / Business As Usual / Show Official Info /

Every month, Tor posts stories on their website as well as excerpts from novels, comics, and articles. They are free, so I recommend you check them out. Each new story will be reviewed separately. This was posted on September 04, 2013.

"Business As Usual" by David Barnett -+- This is meant to be a standalone novelette "that takes place some months before the events of Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl.

It is the end-of-year report by a Mr. Walsingham (not his real name, but a title) to Queen Victoria, written on the thirty-first day of March, 1899, the end of the fiscal year. This is a world in which the British had defeated "the nascent American Rebellion of 1775". Dirigibles are a primary means of transport. He talks about the crimes he has committed for the good of the Empire. He talks of Captain Lucian Trigger, the dashing and vital Hero of the Empire, ably assisted by his good friend and constant companion, Dr John Reed. They have been thrilling the inhabitants of the Empire for years now, through the pages of the penny magazine World Marvels & Wonders. He talks of the possible need for a new hero.

Fun little minor piece that is called a novelette even though it's less than (by my count) 4300 words long.

You can read this story at Tor.com (see link at the top of this review).

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