Fantasy Historical steampunk alternate history World War I WWI

Kite Dancer

By Laurie Tom
Oct 14, 2019 · 6,036 words · 22 minutes

Kite dancer curious fictions cover

Story art by British propaganda postcard.  

From the author: In an alternate World War I, the German Empire lures China to its side of the war with the promise of returning the land taken from them by the Japanese. For Germany, the largest benefit is gaining the considerable talent of China's kite dancers and their ability to command the wind. For Ke-fung, she wants the freedom of her hometown, and a way to prove her worth in the wake of the injury that has taken her sight.

They called her Ke-feng Yu when they accepted her contract with the Imperial German Navy, basing their pronunciation off the letters other westerners had used to approximate her name. Signing was to choose the lesser of evils, the same way her country had decided to enter the Great War on the side of the Central Powers.

It was foolish. Neither the Entente nor the Central Powers truly cared for China. The Germans had forced her country at swordpoint to lease Kiautschou Bay to them. Then at the...

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