Book #24

Steampunk! An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories edited by Kelly Link & Gavin J. Grant

It took me a little while to warm up to this anthology. To me, steampunk is a very specific thing: science fiction of the Victorian era. That is, what kinds of technologies could you extrapolate based on steam power? The stories in this anthology stretch the definition of steampunk in a lot of different directions, not many of them sticking to the steaminess of steampunk.

For example, Libba Bray’s “The Last Ride of the Glory Girls”  revolves around one very high tech gadget being used in a traditional Old West setting. “The Summer People” by Kelly Link is contemporarily set and fae centric. These fae have a tenancy to create clockworks. Once I stopped saying “Well, *that’s* not steampunk,” I enjoyed myself a whole lot more.

My two favorite stories are both homages to other, er, sub-genres.  Ysabeau Wilce’s “Hand in Glove” reads very much like a slightly skewed sequel to Poe’s “Murders in the Rue Morgue.” With a little Frankenstein thrown in for good measure. I would love to spend at least a novel-worth of time with Detective Wilkins in dreary Califa. “Steam Girl” by Dylan Horrocks is a love letter to cinema cliffhangers with the brilliant and beautiful Steam Girl as our perpetrator of derring-do. Or maybe Steam Girl is just the alter ego of a young girl trying to make the best of her ugly situation… Either way, Dylan Horrocks (better known as a comic writer and artist) presents a great debut story.

Format: Kindle Cloud Reader
Procurement: Greater Phoenix Digital Library

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