I, Automaton: A Steampunk Anthology

The story is told of an automaton constructed in such a way that it could play a winning game of chess, answering each move of an opponent with a countermove. A puppet in Turkish attire and with a hookah in its mouth sat before a chessboard placed on a large table. A system of mirrors created the illusion that this table was transparent from all sides. Actually, a little hunchback who was an expert chess player sat inside and guided the puppet’s hand by means of strings.

Walter Benjamin

But what if it wasn’t? Imagine a world where the Robotic Age came early, riding a wave of steam power and Babbage analytical machines. This is the world we want you to explore. The brave new world of steam powered Artificial Intelligence. What are the implications of this in the alternative Victorian Worlds? Robotic servants displacing an entire class of people? The effects the rise of robotic blood sports would have on the Victorian ethos and decorum. Or even how warfare would change with the birth of robotic warriors fighting mighty battles for their human overlords? How would the lives of famous people affect or be affected by these new automatons?

Mysteries, war stories, high adventure, and everything in-between is welcome. Be creative. Be edgy. Explore the themes of steampunk then strain them through the potato masher of the classic robot works (given our title, one should be very obvious).

Submission Deadline: July 15, 2013

Please direct all submissions to:


The email title should read Baird Submissions – Title of Work (<— actually put your title; smartasses will be deleted).

The body of the email should have your full name, title of work, genre, previous publishing credits, and any other relevant information you would like to provide. Attach your work as a Microsoft Word/.TXT document. It’ll make our job a lot easier if you send everything in Proper Manuscript Format. We can’t accept anything over 7,000 words and under 1,000 words.

Payment: We will be working on a token payment system using a tier system. There will be one cover story purchased for $60 and the author will have cover art provided for it at no expense to the author. The remaining stories will be bought in tiers. Tier 1 stories will be purchased for $35. Tier 2 stories will be bought for $20. Tier 3 stories will be bought for $10. For the sake of transparency (and so you know we’re not trying to screw the authors) periodic announcements will be made about who is chosen for each tier. Full tier lists will be published on our website.

Only stories previously unpublished may be submitted. You agree that Baird Speculative Fiction holds exclusive publishing rights for 6 months from the date of publication. After that date has passed, all intellectual property rights revert to the author with the proviso that Baird Speculative Fiction retains distribution rights in the format of the anthology, both print and electronic.

Questions or individual queries can be sent to BairdPresents@gmail.com.

Thank you in advance,

The staff of Baird Speculative Fiction


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s