Eight Miles single work   short story   science fiction  
Issue Details: First known date: 2011... 2011 Eight Miles
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

A balloonist in 1840s' London finds himself approaches by a baron with a strange secret, a secret that can only be revealed at high altitudes.


  • Steampunk note: the protagonist, a balloonist, is induced to ascend to greater and greater heights, at the whim of his patron. To assist his endeavours, he tinkers with steam-based technologies and other anachronisms: for example,

    I had once had visions of becoming the George Stephenson of the skies by inventing the airborne train, and I spent all my money installing a purpose-built Cornish steam engine with small windmill blades beneath a hot air balloon. Alas, although it did drive the balloon in any direction on a calm day, in wind it was useless. As I found out, a balloon is effectively a huge sail, and the wind was more than a match for any steam engine small enough to be carried aloft.

    The story also includes the building of a atmospheric pressure chamber and a 'voidship', to travel in space.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Link: Full text document (author's website) Sighted: 11/01/2017
  • Appears in:
    y Year's Best SF 16 David G Hartwell (editor), Kathryn Cramer (editor), New York (City) : Voyager , 2011 6382341 2011 anthology short story science fiction New York (City) : Voyager , 2011 pg. 400-429
  • Appears in:
    y Ghosts of Engines Past Sean McMullen , United States of America (USA) : ReAnimus Press , 2013 7506599 2013 selected work short story science fiction fantasy

    A collection of Sean McMullen's previously published stories.

    United States of America (USA) : ReAnimus Press , 2013
    pg. 5-30
Last amended 11 Jan 2017 16:24:34
  • London,
    United Kingdom (UK),
    Western Europe, Europe,
  • 1840
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