Rated PG: Contains dirigibles, printing presses, and Edgar Allan Poe
On Bookstores, Burners, and Origami
by Jason D. Wittman
Hitomi waited on the sidewalk, uncomfortably aware of the police dirigibles hovering overhead. Their hulking mass was made even more ominous by the glare of their searchlights, fueled by kerosene, panning back and forth along the streets. A constant hiss of steam emanated from their engines, softer now that they were idling, but all the more menacing for that.
It was a chill autumn morning, and Hitomi’s breath misted in the air, colored orange by the sun peeking over the Minneapolis cityscape to the east. Likewise colored orange were the smoke and steam rising from the bookstore across the street — the bookstore where Hitomi worked. The store had been broken into last night and set afire. As far as anyone could tell, no money or merchandise had been stolen. This was all in accordance with the modus operandi of the Burners.
About the Author
Jason D. Wittman lives and works in Minnesota, USA. His story “Femme Fatale” is published in the hardcover anthology The Best of Baen’s Universe, and his story “A Game of Knight Court” got an Honorable Mention in the nineteenth Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror. Jason would like to thank S.N. Arly (who read “The Train” when it took place in Germany and Olga was two characters), Corey Kellgren, Douglas Texter, Marc Drummond (who tolerated much from the author during this story’s gestation), and the Twin Cities Speculative Fiction Writers Network for their contributions to this story’s success.
About the Narrator
Brian Rollins was born in California and grew up in and around the Western US. He currently resides in Highlands Ranch, CO where he works as a voice artist, primarily focused on audiobooks. He is probably best known for being the voice of the Glen and Tyler series of audiobooks, written by JB Sanders.
Brian can also be heard on the various District of Wonders Podcasts.