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Steampunk (Steampunk #1)

3.53  ·  Rating Details ·  1,975 Ratings  ·  204 Reviews
Replete with whimsical mechanical wonders and charmingly anachronistic settings, this pioneering anthology gathers a brilliant blend of fantastical 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 diri ...more
Paperback, 373 pages
Published May 1st 2008 by Tachyon Publications
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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
Nov 02, 2008 Bryan Alexander rated it really liked it
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
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
Sep 20, 2011 Derek rated it really liked it
Shelves: steampunk
Jess Nevin's introduction clarifies Steampunk's development as a "-punk" reaction to the science-forward, lone inventor stories littering dime novels and later influences, and the original use of the Victorian era as a one-step-removed stand-in for the modern day, for the purposes of social commentary. Like with the Cyberpunk movement, Nevin asserts that his social commentary has been consumed by the trappings, in this case the Victoriana of brass goggles and, for some reason, impractical airshi ...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
Aug 01, 2008 Carol rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
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
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
Jul 19, 2009 Travis rated it liked it
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
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.
Jul 27, 2009 Ellen rated it did not like it
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.
Artur Coelho
Mar 24, 2013 Artur Coelho rated it really liked it
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
Paul Genesse
Jan 17, 2010 Paul Genesse rated it it was amazing
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 .
Jan 13, 2010 Chris rated it really liked it
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
Jan 03, 2010 Joyce rated it really liked it
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
Dec 21, 2009 Elise rated it liked it
Not bad for a collection of Steampunk short stories and other excerpts and a couple of surveys. It's only fitting that the latter came at the end, more as recommendations of further reading than anything else.

I think I've come to realize Steampunk is a genre that is much more broad than I once thought. A couple of these stories seem to fall more along the lines of the New Weird territory, which probably has everything to do with Jeff Vandermeer being co-editor. His picks for Steampunk show that,
Oct 20, 2014 Bogdan rated it really liked it
Mai rar mi se intampla (cel putin in ultmii ani) sa cumpar o carte in engleza fara sa o probez electronic inainte.

Recunosc ca nu sunt un fan neparat al genului, insa numele lui VanderMeer m-a convins sa o cumpar fara o testare prealabila.

Si am constat ca nu am facut o alegere rea.

Desi nu m-au incantat prea tare numele grele restul au compensat cu varf si indesat.

M-au lasat cam "rece" lucrarile urmatorilor scriitori:

Moorcock (desi e doar un fragment), Blaylock (nu imi place de nicio culoare ce s
Michael Haydel
Apr 01, 2009 Michael Haydel rated it really liked it
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
Fantasy Literature
Jun 02, 2013 Fantasy Literature rated it really liked it
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
Aug 14, 2009 Brittany rated it it was ok
Shelves: sciencefiction
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
Sep 02, 2008 Seth rated it liked it
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
Dec 19, 2009 PJ Trenton rated it really liked it
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.
Sep 02, 2015 Marushka rated it it was ok
Personally, I found that this book was actually quite hard for me so I often lost interest in the story or usually found myself not understanding something. I think the ideas are pretty good however, but overall, not the book for me.
T. Kent
Mar 07, 2015 T. Kent rated it it was amazing
Read this a while ago. Loved it. Recently read II & III as well and they were great. The VanderMeers' anthologies are always great.
Steve Visel
Oct 22, 2016 Steve Visel rated it really liked it
An excellent collection and a great introduction to the genre. The introduction itself was thoughtful and enlightening. Excellent job by the editors!
Sep 25, 2011 Alexandr rated it did not like it
For every real fan of the genre: It's not even worth to be named "Steampunk". Google will do much better
May 05, 2010 Leigh rated it did not like it
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.
May 11, 2010 Soozy rated it liked it
Another mixed bag. The story that sticks out most in my mind was my least favorite.
Nov 17, 2008 Eli rated it really liked it
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
Oct 25, 2009 Jonathan Jacobs rated it it was amazing
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.
Aug 25, 2010 Tom rated it did not like it
Complete drivel. The worst of a bunch of really great authors and the best of some really bad ones.
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Jeff VanderMeer's new novel is Borne, set for publication in late April of 2017. His most recent fiction is the NYT-bestselling Southern Reach trilogy (Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance), all released in 2014. The series won the Shirley Jackson Award and the Nebula Award, was shortlisted for several others, and has been acquired by publishers in 32 other countries. Paramount Pictures/Scott R ...more
More about Jeff VanderMeer...

Other Books in the Series

Steampunk (3 books)
  • Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded (Steampunk, #2)
  • Steampunk III: Steampunk Revolution

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