Continuing my series of postmortems. I’m skipping a few stories so I can talk about a story that was just published today.
The Lady Electric
Originally published in Daily Science Fiction (April 25, 2013)
I woke up one morning, as I often do, with a song stuck in my head. It kept replaying in my mind over and over again.
The lyrics and music felt dark to me, but the song seemed to take on a lighter, happier quality. My thoughts took the song in a different direction and by the time I had finished my shower, a story had formed. I jotted down a few notes and went about my day.
A week later I had the opportunity to sit down and write the story at my usual coffee shop haunt. About an hour and a half later the first draft was done and I knew it would be perfect for Daily Science Fiction. (And I was right!)
Surprisingly, Thomas Edison didn’t come into the story right away. It wasn’t until writing it that I realized it had to be him. (I could have used Tesla but I needed someone a bit more heartless for the story and Edison is a straight-up elephant killer.)
As you may have guessed, the German Expressionist film Metropolis was a big inspiration whenever I thought about the girl.
One thing I love about Daily Science Fiction is that there are always at least a few comments on their Facebook page for each story. It’s nice to get that feedback, both positive and critical. (And in my case, someone pointed out a plot hole that could have been fixed in a few sentences.) I really do appreciate the feedback.
A snippet from one of the comments that made me smile:
As driven as Edison was during the “War of the Currents”, I can only imagine what an adversary he would be in this timeline with the added klout and wealth. To take him on, is a great testament to the courage provided by love!
I like to think that Edison’s own obsession and “love” for the girl would have stayed with him for his entire career and life. Once she’s gone, what happened to him? (I have an idea, but I’d rather let people have their own theories.)
I don’t write a lot of science fiction, and I would probably consider this “alternate history science fantasy” more than anything, but I’m happy to have another piece of sci-fi under my belt.
Now, can anyone guess what song served as the impetus for the story?