What can I say about this story?
For one, writing it was a kind of therapy.
A year or so ago, I completed and defended my Master’s Essay: an exploration of how Rousseau’s theories of education and personhood manifest in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. This is not to speak negatively of that experience–it was overwhelmingly positive–but I definitely needed some time to process my feelings about how gender plays out in Rousseau’s treatise, Emile (grrr), and subsequently in Shelley’s novel (I argued, as a kind of commentary and/or satire).
What better way to purge said feelings by rolling out a time travel story for Jersey Devil Press‘s Victorian Mash-Up special issue?
In addition to giving some neglected women characters just a little bit of justice, I’m always delighted to turn Victorian queer subtext into actual text. Frankenstein is one of the subtextiest of them all, so this is as gay and bi and gender fluid as I could make it in 3700 words.
Also Nikola Tesla. How do you write a mad-as-all-hell Victorian adventure without Nikola Tesla?
(And, yes, if you’re wondering, I did dare myself to include references to as many Victorian or Victorian-adjacent works as I could. I won’t provide a list–where’s the fun in that? But do tweet me how many you found.)
Ultimately, though, sometimes we just write things for fun and out of affection for other things. Because I do, and have always, loved these stories, whatever their flaws and my frustrations.
Rousseau on the other hand…
“In Which Liz Frankenstein Lives,” appeared in the Victorian Mash-Up special issue of Jersey Devil Press. Support their unique flavor of weird fiction by donating or by purchasing one of their anthologies.