History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

“Parcel Post” in Frostfire Worlds

Uniformed postal employee with a child in a mail sackThe August 2018 issue of Frostfire Worlds includes my story, “Parcel Post.” Frostfire Worlds is a magazine of stories for kids, and in my case, my story is also about kids.

The idea for “Parcel Post” started with the fun fact that in the early twentieth century (roughly around 1913), you could mail small children. Sort of. Snopes says that it’s a mixture of true and false. There were children who were labeled as “mail” when they traveled short distances on railways without having to have tickets purchased for them. Otherwise, it was mostly a publicity stunt, which is also the likely source of this photo. But for my story, I decided to run with it as being a fact of this world.

To get a little bit more of a spec fic element involved, I found a fantasy novel that had been published at around the same time, and made the world of that public domain novel the destination of the mailed child. It shouldn’t have worked, in the real world. In this spec fic world, it did, and the plucky young protagonist has to figure out how to get herself transported to this fantasy world as well.

All in all, it was a delight to write, and I hope it will be a delight to read as well!

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