This one is a quick read, telling the story of a girl who has purchased lights for her orphanage’s Christmas tree. A series of chance encounters lead her to more than she bargained for, including an encounter with some rather shady characters who are mixed up in the holiday business.
The story is very short, and as a result, there isn’t as much world-building as one typically expects from a steampunk story. Aside from a few touches here and there, it was most a standard Victorian-esque setting.
I did like the hints of a totalitarian government assigning people to jobs, as this carried just enough hints of dystopia to make it interesting, without overwhelming the rest of the story.
All told, this is more of a quick sketch than a fully-fleshed out tale. But still, it’s a tantalizing glimpse of what could be. Perhaps, we may dare to hope, it presages the dawn of a whole genre of Christmas steampunk conspiracy stories. Imagine bookshelves stocked with seasonal tales of this type. Imagine a whole channel, like the Hallmark channel, but dedicated to films in this genre. I could go on, but you get the idea.