The Steampunk Club – a short story

Steampunk Short Story

For some time after watching the BBC adaptation of North & South I wanted to date an industrialist. Faced with the dearth of hard-working, well-dressed, 21st century cotton mill owners, I wrote this steampunk short story. I hope you enjoy it!

The Steampunk Club is a short story (≈ 18,000 words) about a secret steampunk society that meets in an old mill in London. Vicky Hale is urged to take on the job of typesetting the Club’s magazine, even though she thinks that dressing up in bits of machinery is a silly way to spend an evening. While she struggles with the printing deadline, and the Club is faced with a sinister blackmailer bent on exposing their secrets, Sir Aubrey – mechanic, inventor, gentleman – seems to be on a quest to change Vicky’s mind.


  • When Vicky picks up the top hat, she alludes to the Sherlock Holmes story, The Blue Carbuncle.
  • Cicely Fairfield was the real name of author, Rebecca West.
  • Henry Mayhew wrote a newspaper column which was later published in four impressive volumes as London Labour and London Poor. His prose is rather beautiful, in my opinion.
  • “Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes,” is, of course, a quote from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, and continues, “and not rather a new wearer of clothes.”
  • The film that the couple see is Waterloo Bridge, starring Vivien Leigh & Robert Taylor.
  • The scene in which Sir Aubrey tells Vicky his real name, I imagined rather like the Doctor Who episode, ‘The Wedding of River Song’, though of course, he really does tell her. Spoilers! ;)
  • I snuck in a tiny allusion to Ada or Ardor in Chapter 3.
  • Vicky shares her surname  with North and South’s heroine, Margaret Hale. This was my subconscious at work!
RELATED:  Poetry After the Steam Engine

Steampunk & Tea


The Steampunk Club


A few readers have expressed interest in a sequel. Nothing would delight me more than to write one, but I have to prioritise stories, so I’ve set up a mailing list for those of you who wish to read a second Steampunk Club story. You can sign up here, and I will start working on it when I reach 100 subscribers! :)

You can also find The Steampunk Club on Amazon US & Amazon UK.
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I write about literature, language, love, and living off your pen. Also, fortifying fiction, personal amelioration, and tea.

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