Author: Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Published: Clarkesworld ISSUE 101, February 2015
Description, by Lois Tilton [Locus]: "A fantasy alternate history, set perhaps in some version of our late 1919, after the Civil War, which, as in our timeline, the South lost, despite their magically-engineered Gondola fleet, womanned by female engineers with a strong, specific bond to their own craft, so that they were called Gondola Wives. Many people here have some type of magical gift; Lou’s is mental coercion, which she puts to good effect as a Pinkerton agent [to the extent that Pinkerton agents in this timeline are up to good]. It seems that some time after the war, the South had assembled a new Gondola fleet and sent it to attack Chicago; the consequences were catastrophic, both to the fleet and the city, when fire-magic set the Gondolas aflame. Most of their engineers died in the fires; some escaped. Lou’s dedicated task has been their capture......"