Steampunk (Steampunk, #1)
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Steampunk (Steampunk #1)

3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  1,492 ratings  ·  171 reviews
Replete with whimsical mechanical wonders and charmingly anachronistic settings, this pioneering anthology gathers a brilliant blend offantastical stories.Steampunk originates in the romantic elegance of the Victorian era and blends in modern scientific advances—synthesizing imaginative technologies such as steam-driven robots, analog supercomputers, and ultramodern dirigi...more
Paperback, 373 pages
Published May 1st 2008 by Tachyon Publications
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Soulless by Gail CarrigerLeviathan by Scott WesterfeldBoneshaker by Cherie PriestPerdido Street Station by China MiévilleThe Time Machine by H.G. Wells
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Benjamin Thomas
I like Steampunk. Unfortunately, if I didn't know that already, and had to base my judgement on this collection of short stories, then I would probably conclude that I really don't like Steampunk. I mean, I like the concepts of most of these stories, at least those I could figure out after getting past all of the "look how smart I am as a writer" entries. But the execution of those concepts was lacking in fine story-telling technique. This is something I'm finding with way too many of these scie...more
Bryan Alexander
The VanderMeers have assembled a fine anthology. It surveys the steampunk world through multiple approaches, genres, and voices. Short stories work through alternate history, American tall tale, mad science satire, Victorian labor politics, detective story, and New Weird, ranging tonally from whimsy to melancholy and horror.

Let me note a few standouts.

Mary Gentle's "A Sun in the Attic" offers splendidly economical world-building without sacrificing characterization and story arc. It sets up an i...more
Stefan
Steampunk is an anthology of, well, steampunk stories, edited by Ann and Jeff Vandermeer. If you hurry, you can still get to this first anthology before the second one, Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded, appears in mid November. Based on the quality of the stories in this collection, I heartily recommend checking it out, especially if you’ve been a bit bemused (or possibly amused) by all the people wearing odd Victorian costumes at SFF conventions nowadays, or if you have at best a vague idea of...more
Seizure Romero
This is my first foray into the genre, and after the first three stories I can call it a moderate success. I've entertained a somewhat romanticized idea of what Steampunk should be since first becoming aware of it, and while quite different from each other, these stories haven't strayed too far afield from that idea.

Update/retraction: The above has to be one of the most fluffy, pointless and banal sentences I've written since high school. It takes up space, yet says nothing. I apologize to any w...more
Carol
This anthology was just what I wanted for summer reading!

Now I probably should preface this by saying I have never read any Verne or Wells, so perhaps there were references to past stories and characters of which I was/am unaware.

I found "The Selene Gardening Society" by Molly Brown delightful. "The Giving Mouth" by Ian R. MacLeod was riveting but the end was a thrown-together disapppointment. "Victoria" by Paul Di Filippo was probably my favourite. "Reflected Light" (Rachel E Pollack) was intr...more
Travis
A fun look at this sub-genre of science fiction. Like any anthology it was uneven, some great reads, some okay a couple clunkers.
Very disappointed to discover that Joe Lansdale's story was one of the clunkers.
Victoria was fun and walked a fine line between amusing adventure and satire, the 'Selene Gardening society' was a great mini-sequel to the Jules Verne novel, the first story had a decent adventerous feel to it and the one featuring the woman with two husbands created an interesting alterna...more
Cactuar_tamer
I don't want to discourage others from reading this book. It was hit and miss, but that's just how anthologies are. In my case there was a little too much miss, and I've lost all enthusiasm for finishing the thing.

Some of the stories, like Ted Chiang's 'Seventy-Two Letters,' I loved, and some, like "The Martian Agent" and "Sun in the Attic," I liked quite a bit, but others were boring and one the worst was painful to finish. The latter being "The Steam Man of the Prairie and the Dark Rider," wh...more
Ellen
I picked this book up out of curiousity. I've seen some steampunk costumes and paraphenalia and was really intrigued. I'd also been told that Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series was part of this genre. Unfortunately, I was not as impressed with the stories in this collection as I was with the costumes or the Pullman series. The book started off with an adventure story or two but the later stories got bogged down in their own pretentiousness.
Paul Genesse
Review of the World Fantasy Award Nominated Anthology, Steampunk (Tachyon Publications, 2008) edited by Ann & Jeff Vandermeer

What is steampunk? Well, it’s a sub-genre of science-fiction and fantasy that is totally awesome. Imagine Victorian era elegance and modern technology with a dash of rebellion, mashed together into crazy tales about steam-driven robots, dirigibles, insane inventors, and lots of well-mannered chaps in waistcoats living in an alternate history Earth—or maybe not Earth ....more
Artur Coelho
Excerto de Warlord of the Air: um texto clássico de Michael Moorcock, que antecede o surgimento do steampunk enquanto estilo literário assumido. Parte de um romance maior, deslumbra pela visão retro-tecnológica onde a estética mecanicista da primeira revolução industrial se alia ao utopismo tecnológico numa narrativa que, como muitas neste género, vive do conflito militar enquanto fio condutor.

Lord Kelvin's Machine: é dada a palavra a James Blaylock, um dos fundadores assumidos do género (ou, pe...more
Chris
If it wasn't obvious from the outset, this is a collection of short stories and excerpts (and, in my humble opinion, a few vignettes) from the "steampunk" genre of fiction, across several variations. Some of the stories fit neatly into the clockwork-machines-with-Victorian-manners archetype, but many stray from that, expanding what "steampunk" defines itself as. In any case, it's good stuff.

Warlord Of The Air - forgettable. I hear that the full novel is pretty good?

Lord Kelvin's Machine - The co...more
Joyce
Jan 03, 2010 Joyce rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: sci fi fans
Recommended to Joyce by: my son & a couple of fb friends
Shelves: sci-fi
Unbeknownst to myself, I am a longtime steampunk fan. The Wild, Wild West and The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. were favorite TV shows of mine and my son Peter introduced me to anime and Miyazaki's Castle in the Sky and Spirited Away which, according to an essay by Rick Klaw in Steampunk a short story anthology edited by Ann & Jeff Vandermeer, are all variations of the steampunk genre.

If readers have never heard the term "steampunk," as I hadn't until recently, steampunk is a sub-genre...more
Michael Haydel
This was my first foray into both steampunk and anthologies.

I've always loved the idea and execution of steampunk, and wanted a good gateway drug into the literary form of it, and this anthology seemed like the way to go. Turns out I was more or less right.

Like any collection of works, there were some that were better than others, but overall, this was a great introduction into the world of dirigibles, steam powered technology, greatcoats, and general Victorian-era goodness.

One of the highlights...more
Fantasy Literature
Steampunk is an anthology of, well, steampunk stories, edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer. If you hurry, you can still get to this first anthology before the second one, Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded, appears in mid November. Based on the quality of the stories in this collection, I heartily recommend checking it out, especially if you’ve been a bit bemused (or possibly amused) by all the people wearing odd Victorian costumes at SFF conventions nowadays, or if you have at best a vague idea of...more
Brittany
You know, I really thought I liked steampunk. And maybe I still do, but I didn't care much for most of the stories in this book. I also didn't really care for the essay explaining why pretty much everything we think is steampunk isn't at all, but maybe I'm just bitter and don't really care for that type of literary criticism.

Anyway, if you liked "Diamond Age" and "Leviathan" (knowing the latter was pretty fluffy) that's no guarantee at all that you'll like this book. I found it very dark and ac...more
Alan
Aug 07, 2014 Alan rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Monocle-wearing, leather-clad adventurers
Recommended to Alan by: A boiling-hot topic
Back in 2008, the editing team of Ann and Jeff VanderMeer put together an anthology which, if not the definitive collection (that, I believe, has yet to be compiled), is certainly a helpful introduction to the many facets of steampunk. I picked Steampunk up for a song at a local resale shop (well, no, I didn't actually have to sing), and it was well worth the price of admission.

The VanderMeers had obviously been paying attention to developments both in and out of this burgeoning subgenre. Their...more
Craig Leimkuehler
Despite being around for more the twenty years its easy to see why its largely ignored after reading the drivel in this collection of Steampunk stories. As often is the case, there are some mediocre stories, some tolerable tales and a couple that are strong vote for illiteracy. I have not the time or the inclanation to berate each author but rest assured I will not be seeking out their work. You would be better off scrubbing floors than reading this book.
Seth
Ok, I just checked this out of the library, mostly so I could say I'm reading something with Moorcock in it. But if you see me wearing a trenchcoat, goggles, and an iPhone covered in brass gears and typewriter keys, please shoot me in the face. Preferably with a derringer shaped like a ray gun.

And it was about as good as I expected, a couple of good stories, some nonstarters, and some unreadable pap. I liked the one about Russia.
PJ Trenton
An interesting and eclectic mix of short stories from a who's who of the Steampunk genre. I have actually read almost nothing in this realm so this was an great way to learn a little more about a literary genre that I am becoming more and more familiar with while working on Primgraph magazine and hanging with friends.
Eli
Awesome, awesome, awesome. A good introduction for people who don't really know what steampunk's all about, a tasty buffet for those who do. The "further reading" lists at the end is a goldmine.
Jonathan Jacobs
For some reason - a lot of people don't like this book, but for me this is has become the defacto genre setting anthology. Short stories by the masters - a must read in my opinion.
Leigh
I got somewhat bored with it and started skipping around. Read a paragraph depicting torture that made me physically ill. I think I'll find something else to read.
Alexandro
For every real fan of the genre: It's not even worth to be named "Steampunk". Google will do much better
Tom
Complete drivel. The worst of a bunch of really great authors and the best of some really bad ones.
Soozy
Another mixed bag. The story that sticks out most in my mind was my least favorite.
Eon Beaumont
This was an informative read. Most of the stories were just ok. The introduction was fascinating. The excerpt from Warlord of the Air was short but well done and will encourage me to check out the book. Lord Kelvin's Machine was fair. The Giving Mouth was completely bizarre with beautiful imagery but ultimately no explanation and left me a little disappointed. A Sun in the Attic, eh. The God-Clown is Near was another bizarre story that was enjoyable as well. The Steam Man of the Prairie and the...more
Mike Riley
May 02, 2010 Mike Riley rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone
"Steampunk," edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, is a collection of short stories. There are 14 selections, plus a preface, an introduction, a benediction, and a sort of bibliography/reading list.

Contributors include some big names, such Michael Chabon, Neal Stephenson, Rachel E. Pollock, and Michael Moorcock. Some of the stories are actually excerpts from longer works, including the excerpt from the " Third and Last Volume of Tribes of the Pacific Coast ," by Stephenson, and the excerpt from " Th...more
Mouldy Squid
Apr 04, 2012 Mouldy Squid rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who is interested in steampunk.
The VanderMeers have done excellent work with Weird Tales over the past several years. Jeff, himself, has written some excellent, and weird, steampunk-like fiction. Who better to put together an anthology of one of the hot new trends, Steampunk? While I can appreciate the editorial decisions Anne has made I cannot but seem disappointed in some vague way with the quality of the work as a whole.

There is nothing really new here; bog standard steampunk from the usual suspects and some new names. No...more
Althea Ann
Average of 2.68 stars for all the items rounds up to 3, I suppose.
Overall, rather disappointing. There are two truly excellent stories; I'd read them both before.

*** Introduction - The 19th-Century Roots of Steampunk - Jess Nevins. Makes an interesting and informative connection between steampunk and 'Edisonades' - 19th-century boys' pulp fiction focusing on new technology.

** Benediction - Michael Moorcock. A quite random and inconclusive excerpt from the novel 'The Warlord of the Air.' Read th...more
Bingsy Bings
I like to read an anthology of short stories around a theme, just every now and again. It has it's ups and downs. Of course one such downer is that you get just a taste of a set of characters or a place and time before you have to leave and carry on with a new story, a new set of characters, and a place and time. That's always a drawback for short stories to me. It's also just kind of a fact to accept that there will be at least one or two unsuccessful, less enjoyable stories, another drawback....more
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Jeff VanderMeer's most recent fiction is the NYT-bestselling Southern Reach trilogy (Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance), all released in 2014. The series has been acquired by publishers in 15 other countries and Paramount Pictures/Scott Rudin Productions have acquired the movie rights. His Wonderbook (Abrams Image), the world's first fully illustrated, full-color creative writing guide, won...more
More about Jeff VanderMeer...
Annihilation (Southern Reach Trilogy, #1) City of Saints and Madmen (Ambergris, #1) Authority (Southern Reach Trilogy, #2) Finch (Ambergris, #3) The Steampunk Bible: An Illustrated Guide to the World of Imaginary Airships, Corsets and Goggles, Mad Scientists, and Strange Literature

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