"Dr. Olsen's Loquacious Automaton" is a lesbian steampunk piece, a tale of vaudeville, feminism, and technology:
Even in two pieces, thought Sal, Nora was absurdly fetching. Before Danny closed his case again, she stole a fond glance at the exquisitely curled woolen head of black hair; the glimmering marbles painted to resemble cerulean eyes; and the rubber lips that had been dyed the brightest scarlet, to ensure they’d show up pert and pretty as far away as the balcony seats.
"Sweater Sparks" is a story of camaraderie, serendipity, and sparking moments set at a summer festival in Ottawa:
While he wandered the festival, he replayed their history in his mind. And he laughed at himself for thinking of it as a “history”: technically speaking, they had no history together—or at least no History. Had they ever even interacted outside of business hours? Calvin couldn’t remember a single time when he and Louise had headed in the same direction after locking up the store, or when they’d deliberately or even serendipitously intersected at a party or club. As discussed, she was always heading east when he was heading west; going home when he was going out; seeing a play when he was hearing a band; walking toward the quays when he was biking toward the park.
Thank you, TEW and O&C!!