Microcosms 84

Edit 1: Sorry for the delay due to technical difficulties. You have an extra hour – please ignore the countdown timer! Also, until the spinner is fixed, I have included the genres in a list format for you to choose from. I know it’s not as fun, but it’s the best I can do for now. ūüôĀ Hopefully, it will be fixed by next week.

Edit 2: Whelp, it seems to be working for NO REASON WHATSOEVER. lol Okay, deleting the list. *sigh*


Hi all! And welcome to Microcosms 84! Wow, I really can’t believe that… Anyways, today is apparently “Presidential Joke Day”, and while I was truly tempted, I don’t really want to start a political debate on here. Luckily, Ell Meadow stepped up to the plate and gave us another very cool prompt this week. Enjoy!


Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fantasy that incorporates technology and designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery. Steampunk works are often set in an alternative history of the 19th century’s British Victorian era or American “Wild West”, in a post-apocalyptic future during which steam power has maintained mainstream usage, or in a fantasy world that similarly employs steam power. Some works focus on a magical fantasy world in which steam and magic are intertwined.

Associated authors: Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Mary Shelley, Mervyn Peake, Tim Powers, Michael Moorcock

Key Words – Time machine, airship, difference engine (Charles Babbage’s steam powered computer), steam coach, steam train

Key genres: gaslight romance, wild west, Victorian, gaslight fantasy, post-apocalyptic, historical, alternative reality

Ell Meadow


I actually really enjoy steampunk, so I hope you have fun with this one. I’m super excited to read what you come up with! I’ve used a lot of the items Ell mentioned for inspiration, as well as a few of my own.

If you need some audio inspiration, check out “The Watchmaker’s Apprentice” and “The Doctor’s Wife”, by The Clockwork Quartet, both of which I’ve embedded below. Love!





(If YOU have an idea for a future contest and would like to be guest host, please contact us.)


Our contest this week begins with THREE things: character, setting and genre.

We spun, and our three elements are Рcharacter: Doctor, setting: Steam Coach, and genre: Steampunk.

Write a story using those OR feel free to¬†click on the “Spin!” button,¬†and the slot machine will come up with a new set – character, setting and genre. You can keep clicking until you have a set of elements that inspires you.

*** HEY! Remember¬†to include which THREE elements you’re using AND a title for your entry ***


  • Scientist
  • Creature
  • Detective
  • Space Traveller
  • Watchmaker
  • Politician
  • Doctor
  • Journalist
  • Time Machine
  • Spaceship
  • Underwater City
  • Steam Coach
  • Steam Train
  • Science Lab
  • Victorian England
  • Horror
  • Memoir
  • Sci-Fi
  • Crime
  • Steampunk
  • Comedy
  • Poetry
  • Gaslight Romance
  • Wild West
  • Victorian
  • Gaslight Fantasy
  • Post-Apocalyptic
  • Historical
  • Alternate Reality


This week’s judge TBA.

All submissions should be a maximum of 300 words in length. You have until midnight, New York time (EDT) to submit.

*** If you are new to Microcosms, remember to check out the full submission guidelines. ***

All being well, results will be posted on Monday.

Microcosms 85
Technical Difficulties - Short Delay

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