As a lot of you know by now, I’m fascinated by the steampunk sub-genre, so you know I couldn’t resist when I got the opportunity to read an advance reader’s copy of Steampunk: An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories, edited by Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant. Although Steampunk is classified as young adult fiction, it’s definitely going to appeal to adults too. There’s really something for everyone in this anthology!
The line-up of authors who contributed to this anthology read like a who’s who list:
M.T. Anderson – “The Oracle Engine” – One of my favorites: Steampunk in ancient Rome. A steampunk oracle is used as a new twist for classic revenge. And it works, believe it or not!
Holly Black – “Everything Amiable and Obliging” – My least favorite just because I’m not really that into Regency fiction, other than Jane Austen, even if the story does contain a mechanical dancing master.
Libba Bray – “The Last Ride of the Glory Girls” – Another of my favorites: A Pinkerton agent, who’s gifted at clockworks, goes undercover to ride with the infamous Glory Girls as they rob trains. This could have the makings for an interesting series.
Shawn Chen – “Seven Days Beset by Demons” (a graphic novel style short story) Because I read this on my Kindle, I couldn’t really decipher this story unfortunately.
Cassandra Clare – “Some Fortunate Future Day” – An injured military man stumbles into an inventor’s garden, where the orphaned inventor’s daughter falls for him.
Cory Doctorow – “Clockwork Fagin” – Another of my favorites: Children maimed while working in clockwork factories are placed in a Dickens-like group home. After their evil supervisor is murdered, they build a mechanical version of him so they can stay together
Dylan Horrocks – “Steam Girl” – Loved Steam Girl! I believe this story about a lonely boy who’s entertained by Steam Girl’s stories of her adventures could become a very interesting series.
Kathleen Jennings – “Finishing School” (a graphic novel style short story) Because I read this on my Kindle, I couldn’t really decipher this story unfortunately.
Elizabeth Knox – “Gethsemane” This is sort of a riff on Gethsemane from the Bible but when you add in a witch and zombies, you can see that it’s not really biblical in nature. It also stretches the boundaries of what could be considered steampunk.
Kelly Link – “The Summer People” – This story was more about fairies and fantasy than steampunk in my opinion; however, I liked that it was set in the Appalachian Mountains and it did involve some mechanical elements.
Garth Nix – “Peace in Our Time” – This story tells of the last technocratic ruler standing trial for his crimes in a post-apocalyptic world.
Christopher Rowe – “Nowhere Fast” – Another post-apocalyptic steampunk story. In this one, America has regressed in the future to the point that seeing an inventor drive a mechanical vehicle is entertaining.
Delia Sherman – “The Ghost of Cwmlech Manor” – I believe this is the first Welsh ghost story with steampunk elements that I’ve ever read.
Ysabeau S. Wilce – “Hand in Glove” – This story has elements of CSI in it, which makes for an interesting combination with steampunk. A constable uses new techniques to try to catch a serial killer so she can free an innocent man accused of the crimes.
As you can tell from the brief synopses above, the range in this Steampunk anthology is very far reaching and widespread across continents, time, worlds, and genres. There literally is something to appeal to everyone in this book. It’s a great way to see if you like steampunk while reading your favorite genre, whether you like westerns, sci-fi, regency, fantasy, historical fiction or mysteries.
Steampunk: An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories was released on October 11, 2011 so it should be available from your favorite bookseller below.
I’d love to get your comments on this steampunk anthology, Kelly Link, Gavin Grant, any of the authors, and/or this review!
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