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Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded (Steampunk #2)

3.68  ·  Rating Details  ·  576 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
Blending the romantic elegance of the Victorian era with modern scientific advances, the popular Steampunk genre spotlighted in this collection is innovative andstimulates the imagination. This artfully assembled anthology of original fiction, nonfiction, and art can serve as an introduction to the Steampunk cultureor provide dedicated fans with more fuel. Stories of outla ...more
Paperback, 426 pages
Published November 15th 2010 by Tachyon Publications (first published January 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

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Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded is the second steampunk anthology edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, following 2008’s first installment. It contains about twice as many stories as its predecessor, but unlike the first collection the quality is more uneven here, resulting in a less impressive but still fascinating anthology that should please fans of the genre.

While the first anthology only contained one story I was less than happy with, there are at least four or five in Steampunk II: Steampunk
Grady McCallie
Oct 12, 2014 Grady McCallie rated it liked it
Somehow, this took me a long time to work my way through. None of the stories were terrible, and some were great. My favorites included: Shweat Narayan, The Mechanical Aviary of Emperor Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar; Stephen Baxter, The Unblinking Eye (which ends inconclusively within the world of the story, but with a great reveal for the reader); and Margaret Ronald, A Serpent in the Gears. At least the first two of these, strictly speaking, reach well beyond steampunk into fantasy, or alternate ...more
Feb 28, 2011 Debra rated it it was amazing
Solid steampunk fiction--even better than the first one, in my opinion! My faves are: "Machine Maid" by Margo Lanagan; "The mechanical aviary of Emperor Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar" by Shweta Narayan; "A serpent in the gears" by Margaret Ronald; and "The strange case of Mr. Salad Monday" by G. D. Falksen. But it's all solid! A MUST read for any steampunk fan.
Some I loved, some I could have done without. A collection worth reading, if steampunk interests you. I quite enjoyed the two nonfiction essays at the end, as well.
Mar 04, 2011 Amanda rated it really liked it
Shelves: steampunk
Better by far than the first anthology in the set, in spite of doubling up on a story also featured in the Extraordinary Engines anthology edited by Nick Gevers.
Jul 15, 2014 April rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, steampunk
I did not read all of these, I've discovered that short stories just don't do it for me anymore. When I like them, I want the full story. When I don't like them, they feel like a waste of time.

I mainly got this one to read the Daniel Abraham short about Balfour and Meriweather which was good, but way too short.

I also read Cherie Priest's short and this one was much more of a mini middle-grade horror story than anything else and it was too creepy for me.

I had planned on reading a couple more but
Stutley Constable
Feb 22, 2014 Stutley Constable rated it it was ok
Shelves: steampunk
I admit, I am fairly new to Steampunk, but I was under the impression that it was a genre of adventure, science, romance and mystery. What I got from this book was a mix of those elements, but generally in a very boring package.

The ideas behind the stories were imaginative enough, but the execution of most of them was dull and lifeless. Some of the stories had no clear link to Steampunk at all. They were more in line with fantasy, and not particularly interesting fantasy.

I was also under the i
Suzanne Lazear
I don't give stars or ratings, that's just the way my reviews are, but that doesn't mean the book isn't great.

The award-winning editorial team Ann & Jeff Vandermeer does it again with their sequel to their original Steampunk anthology. “Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded” brings together a triumvirate of Steampunk spectacularness — original fiction, reprinted short stories, and non-fiction.

The twenty-seven stories and articles represent a broad cross-section of Steampunk by some of the best in
Andrea Blythe
May 04, 2011 Andrea Blythe rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Steampunk Reloaded is a rather good collection of steampunk tales. It has it's ups and downs, but overall the stories are enjoyable. Along with the stories, there are a couple of interesting non-fiction pieces and a round-table interview about the future of steampunk.

Here are a few of the stories that I especially enjoyed:
-- In "The Unblinking Eye" by Stephen Baxter, Europe has advanced steam technology, but has never ventured toward the new world. Rather it is the Incas, who have developed thei
Dec 08, 2015 Ty rated it it was ok
This collection was superior to the first, insofar as there were more stories I enjoyed at least a bit. Though there were still some doozies I didn't like, or that few totally flat. Enough of the latter for me to not feel bad skipping a few altogether.

Still not the best introduction to the genre...or if it truly is indicative, this, and its predecessor have gone a long way in showing me that it is not the genre for me.
Cynthianna /Celine Chatillon
Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded is a good anthology as far as anthologies go, but not all its stories are equal. The inequalities are evident both in entertainment value and even in meeting the very definition of being an actual steampunk story. A rather surprising inclusion is a recently translated piece written in 1870 by Danish author Vilhelm Bergsoe. "The Flying Fish Prometheus" is by far the best of the group. It truly has every element in it that a steampunk story should have--including t ...more
Jan 03, 2011 Jennifer rated it really liked it
I'm torn between 3 & 4 stars. It's a solid 3.5 stars. What do you expect with a collection of stories though? Some are excellent, some bored me to tears and others were just your typical middle of the road stories.

Overall, it's a good book - nice that you aren't tied into an overarching storyline and you can read it in smaller snippets... but somehow missing the overarching storyline (if you know what I mean).

I did enjoy the shorts by authors that I've read recently - they tied in with the v
Jun 04, 2015 Karen rated it liked it
Shelves: b-good
A mixed bag, as anthologies often are. They picked the wrong (fiction) story to wrap it up, so my last impression was not favorable, but there were some good stories in here (mostly by the female authors, I noted, so thanks for making sure there was a distribution!).

For my reference, here are my favorites (in approximate declining order):
The Mechanical Aviary...
Serpent in the Gears
Lovelace & Babbage...
The Anachronist's Cookbook
As Recorded on Brass Cylinders...
Balfour & Merriweather...
Jan 13, 2013 Susan rated it liked it
Shelves: 60-in-2013
I requested this Steampunk II at the library in order to read one story within it, "The Strange Case of Mr. Salad Monday" by G. D. Falksen, and ended up reading beyond Mr. Falksen. Steampunk is a difficult genre to define (is it even a "genre"?) and this book only confirmed how difficult it really is. Science fiction meets Victoriana, with Egyptology, alternate history, and many other odd bits stirred in here and there. The writing that captured me the most included whimsy or a touch of The Twil ...more
Bruce Hesselbach
Mar 30, 2013 Bruce Hesselbach rated it it was amazing
This is the best steampunk collection that I have read. Time portals, a persecution machine, a mechanical mummy, a robotic romance, a steampunk flying fish: it has it all! I especially liked Ramsey Shehadeh (fantastic stylized time maelstrom with an ending that will move you); Shweta Narayan (whose mechanical birds are vividly real); G.D. Falksen (who combines weird with hilarious); Tanith Lee (whose hero gets to ride a steamroller to the rescue, something I've always wanted to do); and I could ...more
May 29, 2013 Thomas rated it it was amazing
Shelves: steam-punk
Just finished it. As with any anthology, there are stories you like or dislike. I found the following especially noteworthy.
Andrew Knighton's "Cast Iron Kid" steampunk gunfighter. Old west with steam powered appliances, fun.
Margo Lanagan's "Machine Maid" What wickedness you can do with an automaton.
Cherie Priest's "Tanglefoot" evil spirits and steam power. spooky and fun.
Daniel Abraham's "Balfour & Meriwether in the Adventure of the Emperor's Vengence" was just prain fun along the lines of S
Fred Hughes
Jan 29, 2014 Fred Hughes rated it liked it
This anthology contains 22 stories plus the unofficial history of Steampunk. While I recognize some of the authors – Gibson – Priest – Baxter – Kiernan, I was not familiar with them all.

As you would expect there is a cross genre mix of fantasy and science fiction authors.

Each story is preceded by an introduction of the Author and some of their other work. Some stories stick closely to the Steampunk genre while others stretch it into horror and other genres.

It was a pleasant read, and I am always
Feb 13, 2011 Theresa rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
Collection of stories in a sub-genre of science fiction/fantasy. I really liked Catherynne M. Valente's story "The anachronist's cookbook" as it was really the only story with a strong dose of feminism. Cherie Priest's "Tanglefoot," about a young boy who creates his own automaton who then basically begins sabotaging things around him, was simply creepy. Samantha Henderson's "Wild Copper," with Titania and Oberon making an appearance, had a more traditionally touch of fantasy that I liked, and Wi ...more
Jen Sylvia
Jul 06, 2012 Jen Sylvia rated it it was amazing
I have a shelf of books that I've finally completed, but I was inclined to remember to do this book because I was just thinking about it today. I enjoyed the short stories, but moreso, the author's take on steampunk and its 'movement' and longevity. If you like anything Victoriana/Steampunk, and especially creative storytelling, I highly recommend this book. There are three tales that stood out from the rest: Serpent in the Gears, Balfour and Meriwether in the Adventure of the Emperor’s Vengeanc ...more
Frederick Gault
Oct 02, 2014 Frederick Gault rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Land your dirigable, tear yourself away from your personal difference engine and enjoy some stories about a Victorian Universe that never was.
Sep 26, 2013 Ben rated it liked it
The quality in this collection was quite inconsistent, and the mess of stuff at the back posing as some kind of veritas steampunk was a big miss for me. Steampunk is a small, narrow genre; it's hard to do justice in an anthology like these. And the big names that jumped out at me on the cover (William Gibson, Stephen Baxter) did not have the best stories. I suspect that they were included just because they were recognizable big-time authors, not because their contributions were actually particul ...more
Stephen Reen II
May 05, 2016 Stephen Reen II rated it really liked it
Shelves: steampunk
Very good collection! The quality of this steampunk is excellent, giving me hope. No "gears-on-a-stick" here.
Jan 19, 2011 Meg rated it it was amazing
A fantastic collection of stories and essays ranging from a newly translated short story from a contemporary of Jules Verne ("Flying Fish Prometheus" by Vilhelm Bergsoe) to stories that really push the bounds of Steampunk. (especially "The Gernsback Continuum" by William Gibson and "Wild Copper" by Samantha Henderson). There is a little something for everyone in this collection whether you want a look at the gritty reality and politics of Victorian life, a Steamy Wild West showdown, or a frank t ...more
May 03, 2013 Sherilyn rated it liked it
This collection had numerous good stories. My personal favorite was "Professor Incognito Apologizes" by Austin Grossman. There were, however, two problems with the book: 1) The bad stories, inevitable in a large collection, were really bad; and 2) The collection itself was so large that the reader just wants to finish it or give it up or hand it to someone with no life well before the end. Still Gail Carriger's commentary on parasols and pens was definitely worth reading. I suppose I do recommen ...more
May 17, 2014 Michelle rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, sci-fi
Pretty good collection. lots of variety represented in the steampunk genre. some were a little overblown for my taste, but overall a very enjoyable collection.
Jan 05, 2015 Ladiibbug rated it really liked it
Steampunk Anthology

Steampunk fans, this is definitely for you! Happily, I found every story in this 425 page book to be entertaining and unique from most of the others.

My experience with anthologies is that even some of my favorite authors' stories lack the spark and interest of their books, so I steer clear. I finally read this one (a gift from years ago) and am very glad I did!

Lots of interesting steampunk art and new material. I recommend it, and will seek out Steampunk (Steampunk #1), edited
Chuck Ledger
Oct 18, 2015 Chuck Ledger rated it really liked it
Very nice collection!
T. Kent
Mar 07, 2015 T. Kent rated it it was amazing
Great collection!
Scott Schiffmacher
Sep 20, 2014 Scott Schiffmacher rated it really liked it
It's a pretty good collection, and I enjoyed everything until I got to the disjointed and confused Mecha-ostrich materials at the end. My advice, when you get there, fast forward to the nonfiction at the end.
Jeremy Preacher
Jun 10, 2011 Jeremy Preacher rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi, short-stories
This was a pretty stellar collection. Not only were the individual stories consistently interesting (and varied, which, given that they were all collected under the "steampunk" banner, I did not dare to hope for) but there were authors from all over the world, which is a lovely treat.

I didn't care as much for the long absurdist piece at the end or the non-fiction essays (which seemed rather slight) but all the traditional-format short stories were lovely.
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Other Books in the Series

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  • Steampunk (Steampunk, #1)
  • Steampunk III: Steampunk Revolution

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