I’m issuing an art challenge to any and all illustrators fan and pro. Delightful Steampunk Multi-Ethnic Fairy Seamstresses with Rocket Packs. Draw them, paint them, sculpt them. All the results are yours to do with as you wish. The below text is from my notes on my work-in-progress “Shrödinger’s Lincolns” or “The Notorious Case of the Four Missing Presidencies” in which Abraham Lincoln is both dead as of 1865 and dead as of 1883, and this is creating all manner of multiversal chaos.



 Our heroes are preparing to travel backward in time to fix things, but they need period costumes first. So they’ve hired in a team of professional tailors from another dimension.

All of the delightful steampunk fairy seamstresses wear variations of Victorian outfits, except for Dahlia who wears a traditional Chinese dress, and Delphinium who is very classically Greek. They’re each six-inches tall. All wear goggles, although not typically down over their eyes in social settings. The tiny rocket packs are fueled by near pure hydrogen peroxide for the most part and have extremely short burn times. Exceptions are Thomasina’s turbo-supercharged Ferrari rocket, which uses an unknown fuel/oxidizer mix, and Clarissa's atomic rocket, the workings of which are a complete mystery. Fairies are remarkably resilient and nigh-immune to flame. The jets of superheated steam from their rocket packs can be hazardous, and they exercise caution when in crowds. Fairies under full rocket power go into an aero-tuck and fold in their wings with hands in at the collarbones. Items of clothing must allow for free movement of the wings, and for aerobatic maneuvers. For their frequent refuelings, they travel with a flying mini-zeppelin tanker carrying a supply of H2O2, and various other fuels and oxidizers, along with all of their sewing supplies.

Individual descriptions:

Ariabella is the ringleader of this group. As with all fairies, she’s high-spirited and somewhat flighty. She has fair skin, delicate blue eyes, and lavender hair. Her diaphanous wings are inlaid with brass, and have intermeshed gears at their base, suggesting that she’s not entirely organic in origin. She wears a twin-engine rocket pack and brass goggles with pink lenses.

Eugenia is clearly Ariabella’s right-hand girl. As fairies go, she’s more stable and reliable than her leader. She has dark skin, brown eyes, and curly-kinky hair with she wears in cornrows. Her wings are inlaid with gold and also have gears at the base. She wears a powerful single-engine rocket pack and gold-plated goggles with polarized anti-glare lenses

Thomasina has medium fair skin and medium brown hair in open broad curls. She’s passionate and fiery. She had brown eyes which tend towards golden near the pupils. Her wings are translucent golden imperial topaz with amber accents. Yes, gears at the base of her wings. She has a three-engine rocket pack with a turbo-supercharger. If you look closely it has a Ferrari logo. She’s extra fast. Vroom!

Dahlia: Olive-brown skin. Dark brown eyes. Black hair very straight -- pulled up into a bun in the back. Slender red dress with Asian floral brocade. Diaphanous wine-colored wings with golden wing roots, minuscule gears almost unnoticeable. She has a single-engine rocket pack best described as a machine of oriental splendor. Black lacquer with gold dragon inlay. It carries a second charge.

Delphinium: Blonde hair, blue eyes, light brown skin. She wears a white chiton and himation, with an elegant floral pin at the left shoulder holding it all together. Her wings are silvery with pewter accents. Her rocket pack suggests a fluted Greek Corinthian column with Acanthus leaves at the top. A clever set of baffles makes it completely silent. She wears classic lace-up flat-heel sandals. Of all the fairies, she has the most classically fey look, belied only by the delicate gears at her wing’s base.

Clarissa: Red hair, green eyes,  MacDougall Tartan bustier. Wings picking up some colors of the tartan in lighter shades. Deceptively small rocket pack (not powered by steam). Clarissa is the world’s first Atomic Rocket Fairy. How that actually works is anyone’s guess. The exhaust isn’t radioactive. Not even slightly. Occasionally seen with a space helmet, she has extremely long range.

Bonus Character:

Francine LeGreen Zzraazixphön (say “phay-on” rapidly, and you’ll almost nail the ö). is a multiverse-famous socialite and fashion designer goblin. She’s as greedy and money-grubbing as any goblin, but knows that her clientele would dump her in a heartbeat were she anything less than perfectly amiable and discrete in her business dealings. Other goblins wonder how she does it. “I borrow heavily from the gnome playbook, dahlinks! Being polite and helpful, uniformly and without exception. Don’t even try to fake it, and folks just hand you their money.” Green skin, large nose, very big and flexible triangular ears which stick out to the sides. Long blond hair done up in any of a multitude of high-fashion styles. Wears expensive jewelry and always shows off her own clothing designs by wearing them. One meter tall.

Feel free to take this and run with it.

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