In the Spring of 2018, I participated in a short story competition in the Steam Punk genre for the science fiction/fantasy/horror convention Fantasticon, which is an annual event held in Copenhagen, Denmark.
My story was chosen, among other entries, to be published in an anthology which represents a variety of Nordic authors and languages, as we were encouraged to write in both Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and English. The latter being the language which links the Nordic countries, seeing as Finnish and Icelandic are not as closely connected as the Scandinavian ones.
I’ve never written Steam Punk before, but I knew enough of the genre to give it a go and since my education and work experience has made me highly knowledgeable of military life, I chose the 1864 Second Schleswig War as my setting.
“The Mechanical Regiment” is a story told in a series of letters from an unnamed Danish officer, who finds himself a prisoner of war and an unwilling patient to a Prussian experimental surgeon, who is trying to build perfect soldiers with modern, mechanical science.
With most of the story taking place in the 1864 prison camp, a twist leads to the modern military myth of “Luck of the Danes”, where many Danish soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003, have come out of danger and near misses without a scratch.
This short story is a testament, to those who Serve & Protect.