Published: 11 October 2011 by Walker
Length: 432 pages
Summary : Imagine an alternate universe where romance and technology reign. Where tinkerers and dreamers craft and re-craft a world of automatons, clockworks, calculating machines, and other marvels that never were. Here, fourteen masters of speculative fiction, including two graphic storytellers, embrace the steampunk genre's established themes and refashion them in surprising ways and settings as diverse as Appalachia, Ancient Rome, future Australia, and alternate California. The result is an anthology that defies its genre even as it defines it.
Review: As always with anthologies, I’ll give each story its own rating, and the book’s rating will be the average.
When I first heard about this, I knew I wanted to read this. Steampunk is a rising genre that I can’t get enough of. Seeing familiar and new authors tackle it should be good. And then we’re told that the authors weren’t allowed to set it in Victorian London. Very nice idea.
Some Future Day by Cassandra Clare. This follows Rose, her dolls, and wounded soldier Jonah. It’s a nice little love story with a bit of timetravel included. It#s pretty, but short andnot enough happens to make me care. 3
The Last Ride of the Glory Girls by Libba Bray. Focuses arond a gang and a big religious system. Like all of Libba’s stuff, I just coldn’t get into it. But the religion was nicely fleshed out and it’s a good read for fans. 2
Clockwork Fagin by Cory Doctrow. Canadian steampunk! Win! Crippled children murder their evil overseer and build themselves a clockwork replacement. I love Monty and Sian. Great idea, good writing and characterisation for such a short story. 5
Seven Days Beset by Demons by Shawn Cheng. A week in the life of an inventor where he is visited by all seven deadly sins. I really nice graphic novel that puts across all the emotion of this inventor. 4.
Hand in Glove by Ysabeau S Wilce. A girl leads a murder investigation in which the murders are seemingly commited by the dead... I enjoyed this one. It’s a good story but the names were really awkward and annoying. 4
The Ghost of Chimlech Manor by Delia Sherman. What it says on the tin. It’s a nice story, but really long winded. 3.
Gethsemane by Elizabeth Knox. Another longwinded story centred around a witch. Good characterisation but I got a bit bored. 3
The Summer People by Kelly Link. Fairy tale meets modern day America. Slow start but not much happened. And who names their child Fran in this day and age? 2
Peace in our Time by Garth Nix. This was really confusing, but I liked the characters. There was something about a war but I don’t really know where it was all going. 3
Nowhere Fast by Christopher Rowe. Future! I’m not sure what was meant to be happening. I liked Luz and Fizz and the really cool horses at the end, but aside from that it wasn’t one for me. 3
Finishing School by Kathleen Jennings. The other graphic short. Gwen and Cecile, both outcasts, make friends and build things. a really cute story with clear friendship and a good conclusion. 5
Steam Girl by Dylan Horrocks. Boy meets weird girl at school who tells him stories of adventures as Steam Girl, travlling round planets. I really liked our two main characters, who have a lot of background to them. The plot is slow and steady. 5
Everything Amiable and Obliging by Holly Black. Automatons! Yay! Sofie has been asked to talk to Amelie about her love. Because said love is not human. Very nice story with good characters and steampunky feelings prevalent. 4
The Oracle Engine by M T Anderson- Ancient Roman Steampunk- all the awards! The tale of Crassus with a really original twist. Great setting and device, with happily gory end. 5
Overall: I’d like to hunt down more from M T Anderson. Dylan Horrocks and Cory Doctrow. Strength 3.6 tea rounded up to 4.