Bill has stories in There Will Be Liberty No. 1 and No. 2, anthologies of original work edited by George Donnelly.

"Yellowsea Yank," in There Will Be Liberty No. 1, Defiant, She Advanced, is Bill's first foray into the world of Asian steampunk. A novelette, the story features a Chinese American going to China for the first time to fulfill a family obligation — but he finds ongoing surprises, including a giant submarine in the shape of a Chinese dragon, a mysterious woman in a British shipping family, and deadly automatons, as he fights all the while just to survive!

(See excerpt, below)

For Kindle and

paperback editions:

Defiant, She Advanced:

Valiant, He Endured:

For more about

George Donnelly:

There Will Be Liberty No. 1,

Defiant, She Advanced:

"From the Imperium-controlled aetherlanes to a tech noir restitution agency in the Free Zone and from a steampunk, 1894 China with clockwork automatons to a post-1984 Orwellian dystopia with mandatory goodpharm, here are ten science fiction stories of defiance and daring."

There Will Be Liberty No. 2,

Valiant, He Endured:

"These heroes battle conspiracies of usurpers, the unearned consequences of others’ willful lunacy, seek out buried truths at unbearable personal expense and endure the inhuman demands of digital rebellion in worlds innately hostile to truth and freedom."

How does a surgeon fight against mind control?

"Chip Doc" is the title of Bill's flash fiction story of rebellion and deep sacrifice—and folk music!—in

There Will Be Liberty No 2, Valiant, He Endured.

An excerpt from "Yellowsea Yank":

 

As Kanlee fumbled the Enfield-Maxim into position, he looked down into the floor opening. Jointed steel humanoid figures were riding up a conveyor belt. Their molded shapes included shaved foreheads, braided queues, and sightless eyes. “What the hell are those things?” Kanlee demanded, mystified.

“The Vaucansons!” Amanda called out. “Vaucanson automatons! They guard the opium tins in the cellar!”

 

Kanlee had heard of such automatons, developed from the creations of inventor Jacques Vaucanson in the previous century, but he had never seen one. With a grimace, Kanlee cranked the Enfield-Maxim and, struggling to control the rumbling recoil, he shot the first Vaucanson. The bullets clanged off. Then Kanlee whirled to grab Meiping and run for the front door, but a second trap door crashed open, blocking the way. Another Vaucanson rose into view.

 

“This way!” Amanda angled the gaslamp sconce on the wall and opened a hidden door. She pulled Meiping after her.

 

In the wing chair, Lyman had drifted back to dreamland.

Kanlee backed up, cranking the Enfield-Maxim. Two lines of steel Vaucansons were marching toward him, stiff and expressionless. The bullets sang off the Vaucansons in a metallic melody.

When Kanlee stepped into the secret passage, Amanda pulled a lever and they rode another conveyor belt upward, powered by whirring wheels at the top and bottom.

           

“What does your brother want those things for, anyhow?”

           

“Clockwork automatons don't use opium, you see? They don't steal it and they can't be bribed. The Gurkha knows how to wind them up.”

           

The clanking, unseeing steel coolies came through the doorway below them and stepped onto the same belt they were riding.

           

“Where the hell are we going?” Kanlee demanded.

           

“Well, really!” Amanda shouted. “Does it matter?”

           

The Vaucansons with their molded eyes of solid steel rose after them, as the human trio moved up through the second story, to the ceiling where a trapdoor above them opened with a thump.

    

Kanlee, Amanda, and Meiping stepped out onto a flat roof where the cool river breeze reached them. Kanlee aimed the Enfield-Maxim at the bolts holding the conveyor belt roller and cranked hard. The bullets blasted away the fittings. The belt dropped, taking the Vaucansons down into a huge crash of metal.

           

“Now where do we go?” Kanlee asked.

           

“I have no idea,” said Amanda.

    

“No idea,” Kanlee muttered. He eyed the ammunition belt, which had only about five feet of rounds left.

    

Meiping looked around helplessly, tossing her looped braids.

           

A trap door banged open across the roof. Another Vaucanson rose into view, staring with dull metal eyes as insincere as Kanlee’s own.

    

Kanlee glanced around the edges of the roof. No tree branches were close enough for them to reach. When he looked straight down, he saw that the wall was sheer, with no window casings or exterior pipes that could be used to climb down.

    

The first shining, expressionless Vaucanson from the rooftop trapdoor came marching toward them, followed by others. The roof quivered under the tramp of their steel feet.

    

Kanlee fired the Enfield-Maxim again, but as before, the bullets glanced off the oncoming Vaucansons.

    

Kanlee directed Meiping and Amanda behind him to a corner, where they watched the Vaucansons advance.

(End of excerpt)

Defiant, She Advanced.png

 

Copyright 2020 by William F. Wu. All rights reserved.