Fire, Phantoms, and Other Details that Didn’t Make it into The Only Harmless Great Thing

This post is by Brooke Bolander from Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content

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The Only Harmless Great Thing is a heart-wrenching alternative history by Brooke Bolander that imagines an intersection between the Radium Girls and noble, sentient elephants. We’re excited to share deleted scenes from the Nebula Award-nominated novelette below, along with notes from the author!


March, 1904:

It’s midnight on Coney Island, and that’s fair eerie enough to make any man say jump.

Places that are bustling during the day take on a strange kind of desolation when all the lights are out and the crowds have scattered homeward. Luna Park, Coney Island’s crown jewel, is no exception. The Electric Tower is dark, its twenty thousand incandescent bulbs snuffed for the evening. The flexible metal floors of the Witching Wave are becalmed, the Canals of Venice emptied of canoodling lovers. Further down Surf Avenue, at Steeplechase and the newly opened Dreamland, Hell’s Gates are closed for the night and the Fall ...