Let's see.... "Spellcheck" came back from Neo-Opsis, with a note about the beginning being slow, but the part in the repair room holding interest. So I've trimmed the beginning a bit, and will try On Spec, another Canadian zine, where I may have an unfair advantage by being Canadian.
"Foretold" will go off to Cemetery Dance, though I suspect it's not quite dark enough for them. I haven't tried it on Strange Horizons yet, so that will probably be my next shot.
"Climbing Boys" has been revised, after helpful crits on OWW, particularly one from Eric Lowe, who suggested changing the setting from Neo-Dickensian with sf touches to straight Dickensian. The central conceit of the story is (I believe) sfnal, but he may be right that the other sf details are more distracting than enhancing. Dammit. I now have two versions of the story, one sf, one, um, alt-hist, I guess. Is that sf or not? There are no airships.
Anyway, I'll probably send the sf version to F&SF for the quick turnaround, and the alt-hist version to RoF after that.
I don't know what to do with "Fluke". It's too long for most online markets. Kelly Link really liked the first half (Editor's Choice on OWW), and compared the voice to Connie Willis and Jennifer Crusie, but that doesn't get me a sale, does it? Torgo suggested it was two sf ideas fighting it out in one story, and I think he has a point, but I'm not at all sure what to do about that, if so.
I'm a bit further on with the Boxer Rebellion story, still undecided about the title. The working title is "Elementary Magic" which is both misleading and blah. I've found the books on the Boxers that I had before, and may have a chance to get back into it before leaving for Pennsic. And I need to read up on the Chinese theory of elements, so probably I should poke through the Joseph Needham history, Science & Civilisation in China.
Research: Reading more on the German Small States, for Willow Knot, and messing about with maps. I need to name at least two 'kingdoms' (Palatine states?), with cities and some towns.
Mark, in his helpful way, suggested that I only need one name, and that everything else will be Nord-name, Ost-name, Ober-name, Unter-name, Hinter-name, etc.
For which there is something to be said, though I might have to anglicise or latinise the system, because the story-setting isn't exactly Germany. Hm, Name-parva, Name-magna.
At the moment I'm happily reading through a list of the German States and Families in the Imperial Assembly, 1792. While it isn't always possible to tell from the list which are states and which are families, here's a selection of names (some of which I've seen in other contexts, some of which are quite new to me):
Thurn und Taxis
Taxis for Eglingen
Traum for Eglof
Leiningen-Heidesheim and Leiningen-Guntersblum
Wild- und Rheingraf zu Grumbach
Wild- und Rheingraf zu Rheingrafenstein
von Colloredo of his own person (probably not a state)
Westerburg Christophsche Linie
Westerburg Georgische Linie
King of England for Hoya
I see much google-time ahead of me, as I make sure that my made-up names aren't in use for something else, or meaning something awkward. Joy.
Side note: I have learned the meaning of palatine and of allodial, just today. Okay, I did know vaguely what Palatine meant, despite my early impression that it was a geo-political association like the Hansa. But only vaguely. I'm good at vague. For many years I thought an isotope was something like a cyclotron, and that bespoke was a type of weave, like twill or tweed. This is what happens when you guess meaning by context. I should be more tolerant of M--'s conviction that cloying means 'sticky'.
Secondary side note for those who are not already more knowledgeable than me, this public service announcement:
palatine adj. possessing royal privileges, having jurisdiction (within the territory) such as elsewhere belongs to the sovereign alone; of or belonging to a count or earl palatine.
allodial adj. from allodium n. (hist.) Estate held absolutely, without acknowledgement to an overlord.
bespoke adj. Ordered (now only in bespoke tailoring, boots, etc. as opp. to 'ready-made').