The Mammoth Book of Steampunk
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The Mammoth Book of Steampunk

3.35 of 5 stars 3.35  ·  rating details  ·  283 ratings  ·  58 reviews
An anthology that looks to the future through the lens of the past, these 30 mash-ups of past and future push the boundaries of steampunk.

This is steampunk with a modern, post-colonial sensibility. Contributors include: Jeff VanderMeer, Caitlin Kiernan, Mary Robinette Kowal, Jay Lake, Cherie Priest, Cat Rambo, Catherynne M. Valente, Genevieve Valentine, and many more.
ebook, 337 pages
Published April 1st 2012 by Robinson Publishing (first published January 1st 2012)
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Iain Coggins
Essentially these are fun stories to read on my phone when I am not reading something more important or engaging. This anthology contains many stories that provide engaging examples of the Steam Punk worlds, but with weak or incomplete plots. It is a grab-bag really: one story is complete and fully satisfying, but the next is a let-down. All of them are well-written prose-wise, and very original, but the storytelling aspect tends to be hit or miss. I am glad I did not pay for a hard copy. All th...more
Travis Knight

Note: this is my first time reading steampunk anything. I've always been put off by the top hats and goggles, but my wife suggested and we took a dive.

I've read five of the thirty shorts in this book so far, and while I appreciate the milieus and world building, the plots themselves seen to be thin membranes doing little more than supporting the steam punk atmospheres. More of a review when I've gotten to more of the shorts.
Patrick DiJusto
You know a book is good when you dream about the stories, and I've been having steampunk dreams all week.
An excellent collect of steampunk short stories with actual punk.

I love the short story format for this genre since it allows authors to explore ideas which would be hard to sustain in a whole novel. In some cases the stories are closer to parables, others do leave you wanting more. I actually sat on the last 2 stories because I did not want it to be over.

I did prefer some writers style but I will need to re-read it soon because I neglected to note their names.
Some of the stories are pretty nice but majority of them makes me say, "Why did I even bother?!" I even caught myself skipping a few lines or so. A lot of the stories are flat and doesn't even have that steampunk edge to it. Just because there's gears and steam engines doesn't make it steampunk already. And that's just exactly what they did to this book. It's really disappointing. Steampunk is a genre I really enjoy, just not in this book.
Mark K.Astley
Finished!! It was a slog.. Plenty of fantastical descriptions of a future world viewed through the lens of the past. Except for 3 entries, this compendium is seriously lacking in storytelling. A frustrating read, that gives some insight into the fascinating world of Steam Punk, but really little else.. I recommend one story by Margo Lanagan.
This is a really good book, I love pretty much all the stories in here. I did find some were a bit hit and miss for me though, but that is pretty much what every book with a selection of authors stories does, you prefer other stories which is a good thing.

On the whole I love this book and will be re-reading it in the future.
It's a rare thing that an anthology is anything but hit and miss. This, unfortunately, fails to buck the trend. There are a few gems but they're largely in the minority with the bulk by no means bad, but forgettable.
Unfortunately the majority of these stories were horrendously dull and disappointing, the complete opposite of what steampunk is supposed to represent.
Way too many stories, uneven quality, and an awkward theme tying them together. Not a great introduction to steampunk.
Dave Versace
As the name implies, this is a massive volume showcasing the broad possibilities encompassed by the term 'steampunk'. There are dirigibles as far as the eye can see, certainly, as well as mad inventors, clockwork animals and steam-powered limbs, as you might expect. There are also supernatural horrors, gear-filled monsters, spring-driven thieves and a couple of surprise castrations. There's derring-do, whimsy, and drama; there's alternate history, historical fantasy, provocative science fiction...more
Midu Hadi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Easily the worst anthology I have ever read! :( Up until now I thought I loved anthologies, and loved steampunk, but this book was terrible. There were about two or three good stories, but most were bad, and not a single gem.

One problem with at least half the stories is that they were built around an obvious agenda (feminism, racism, classism, multi-culturalism, same-sex relationships, religious tolerance, or often several of these things!) and the author just glued some gears on it and called i...more

Introduction: Steampunk: Looking to the Future through the Lens of the Past by Ekaterina Sedia
“Fixing Hanover” by Jeff VanderMeer
“The Steam Dancer (1896)” by Caitlin R. Kiernan
“Icebreaker” by Elise Tobler (original)
“Tom Edison and His Amazing Telegraphic Harpoon” by Jay Lake
“The Zeppelin Conductors’ Society Annual Gentlemen’s Ball” by Genevieve Valentine
“Clockwork Fairies” by Cat Rambo
“The Mechanical Aviary of Emperor Jala-ud-din Muhammed Akbar” by Shweta Narayan
“Prayers of Forges and F...more
Feb 13, 2013 D rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Someone willing to pay for the whole book for a handful of lesbian steampunk stories?
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
There's some excellent interesting stories here (Valentine, Valente Dally MacFarlane etc...) that are worth a lot. Unfortunately they are surrounded by mostly incredibly average shite.

The dregs of that shite including self-indulgent, dull man-pain bullshit like Vanderneer and Lake's awful stories.

It's a shame really. Though at least it explains why it took me over six months to read this anthology.
Todd Smutz
Oct 29, 2012 Todd Smutz is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Reading. Love the prose and writing styles of the various authors, but I see what other reviewers mean: how the stories, despite their engaging quality, leave you hanging at the end. There's little or no sense of closure in what I've seen so far.

Additionally, others have cried unable to see the "steampunk" in this steampunk collection. It's there, but by its own admission, this book pushes the boundaries. There are pros and cons for doing so or not doing so (steampunk, after all), but it's enter...more
There were some slow places in this collection, but many amazing short stories throughout.

The story I enjoyed the most in this collection was "Reluctance". I will be looking up more work by this author. Great suspense and character development in such a small amount of words!

The best language in the book was in "To Seek Her Fortune". Amazing imagery. I also love the change of voice that built the relationship between the mother and son.

"Fixing Hanover" also contained some amazing word building...more
Chris Behrsin
Stories I enjoyed:

Fixing Hanover by Jeff Vandermeer
Clockwork Fairies by Cat Rambo
The Mechanical Aviary of Jala-ud-din Muhammad Akbar by Shweta Narayan
Prayes of Forges and Furnaces by Aliette de Bodard
The Effluent Engine by N K Jemisin
The Anachronist's Cookbook by Catherynne M. Valente
The Hands That Feed by Matthew Kressel
Machine Maid by Margo Lanagan
To Follow the Waves by Amal El-Mohtar
Lady Witherspoon's Solution by James Morrow
The Celebrated Carousel of Margravine of Blois by Megan Arkenberg
An anthology that looks to the future through the lens of the past, these 30 mash-ups of past and future push the boundaries of steampunk.

This is steampunk with a modern, post-colonial sensibility. Contributors include: Jeff VanderMeer, Caitlin Kiernan, Mary Robinette Kowal, Jay Lake, Cherie Priest, Cat Rambo, Catherynne M. Valente, Genevieve Valentine, and many more.

i...really wanted to love this book, but although the stories were fun there werent any that really grabbed me. however it was goo...more
I hadn't heard of 'steampunk' so this was (for me) a good intro.
Don't see why some say it's not 'good' steam punk as Wiki defines it as 'a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery,especially in a setting inspired by [19thC] industrialized Western civilization' which pretty much describes these stories.
(Although feisty lesbians weren't overly visible in the 19thC.....)

I'm a fan of shorts - easy to dip into as a break from the must do's.

Mind you I only paid 50p...more
Catherine Redner George
It was a hard read. Did not keep my attention.
Some real clunkers in here, but quite a few real gems as well. Definitely have a couple ideas of new authors to look for now.
Kat Orphanides
While not every story in this collection is outstanding, there are some brilliant gems and a number of pieces that are gripping despite feeling more like an introduction to their narrative universe than stand-alone works. Also worth noting for a speculative fiction collection is the unusually large number of protagonists who are people of colour, gay or members of other groups which are often treated as invisible by the mainstream of SF.
Jan 18, 2014 Thegunman007 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
has anyone red this?

i haven't but is it 13+ age?

date bellow ======
A very entertaining book, tho' a mixed bag. Some of the stories were so well thought out and presented such a well described reality that I'm hoping the author expands them to a full novel. I'm looking at you "Biographical Notes..."! I'm sure Steampunk fans will find a lot to complain about. But don't. Read the stories for what they are and you'll have an enjoyable time!
Interesting overview of the current genre state, but hit-or-miss to me. I think of steampunk as a story which is set in an alternate version of our known past, and exploring concepts within that framework. A number of stories in this collection are set in completely different worlds, but incorporate clockwork, steam, diesel, etc. tropes--I found these less relatable.
Annette Blackal
I am trying to read new genres so I thought this would easy me in but I found most of the stories boring.
One could easily teach a class with this as the textbook. Between cultural, literary, and technological symbolism, this collection has more buried beneath the surface than your average deserted island in the Caribbean. Some stories are better than others, but all have a handful of essays in them.
Ashlea (
Mammoth it certainly is -tons of short stories, so should be something for everyone. Very uneven, though. I'd say I really liked 1 out of 3. Others have great ideas but mediocre writing. I feel lie this genre is still evolving and the writing skills aren't universally there yet.
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Sean A. Wallace (born January 1, 1976) is an award-winning American science fiction and fantasy anthologist, editor, and publisher best known for his work on Prime Books and for co-editing two magazines, Clarkesworld Magazine, and Fantasy Magazine. He has been nominated a number of times by both the Hugo Awards and the World Fantasy Awards, won two Hugo Awards and one World Fantasy Award, and has...more
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