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Corsets & Clockwork: 13 Steampunk Romances (13 Tales)

3.47  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,339 Ratings  ·  275 Reviews
Dark, urban fantasies come to life in the newest collection of Steampunk stories, Corsets & Clockwork. Young heroes and heroines battle evils with the help of supernatural or super-technological powers, each individual story perfectly balancing historical and fantastical elements. Throw in epic romances that transcend time, and this trendy, engrossing anthology is sure ...more
Paperback, 430 pages
Published April 26th 2011 by Running Press Kids
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City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra ClareClockwork Prince by Cassandra ClareForever by Maggie StiefvaterSilence by Becca FitzpatrickPassion by Lauren Kate
YA Novels of 2011
239th out of 1,167 books — 6,994 voters
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Best Steampunk Books
103rd out of 835 books — 3,882 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Crystal ♥ RBtWBC
Overall there were only four stories out of the thirteen that I really loved in this anthology, I like to see happy endings and many of these shorts did not have this. They were also pretty dark and depressing to me. But those four stories were amazing which is why I give this anthology a three instead of a two. You can see my thoughts on each story below.

Rude Mechanicals by Lesley Livingston:
A story about a young man who grew up in the theatre and now directs. The theatre business is failing un
April Sadowski
Dec 18, 2012 April Sadowski rated it it was amazing
I would call this a must-read. There might have only been one or two stories in the entire collection I wasn't entirely fond of (and even those weren't "bad", just hard to follow or somewhat cheesy), but the rest I couldn't stop reading. Ones that will stick with me are the last ones after "Code of Blood". The Airship Gemini was probably up there as one of my all-time favorites and was a bit like a steampunk The Night Circus but without the night. The Clockwork Corset was so riveting I had to te ...more
Jun 08, 2012 Kate rated it liked it
Shelves: steampunk
Let’s get one thing out of the way: I like novels, not short stories. Short stories frustrate me, because one of two things always occurs while I read. 1) As I read I think, “What on earth is going on?” and then it’s over. 2) As I read I think, “Wow this is getting really good – ” and then it’s over. Either there’s not enough time for proper worldbuilding and character development and nothing makes sense, or the story really captures me and then ends too soon.

The problem is that every two years
Jun 02, 2011 Cecelia rated it liked it
How can you tell that a genre has ‘arrived?’ Specifically, how do you know that steampunk has arrived? I got a clue when I heard that a young adult steampunk anthology was on its way, and that several bestselling authors contributed stories to it. Way to go, steampunk! You’re all grown up and fabulous.

“Rude Mechanicals” by Lesley Livingston
This first in the collection is a little tale with many references to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, much like Livingston’s other Bard-influenced fairy adven
Maggie Desmond-O'Brien
Geek that I am, you have probably assumed all this time that I love steampunk. In this assumption you would be 100%. The problem? I am sadly undereducated. Beyond the already-classics like Philip Pullman's His Dark Material trilogy and Joss Whedon's TV show Firefly, I have yet to venture far into the steampunk genre. So I picked up this anthology in my library. What could possibly go wrong?

A lot, unfortunately. Despite a few standout stories, I was decidedly underwhelmed by this anthology, which
Tanya Patrice
May 07, 2012 Tanya Patrice rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
(First finished July 2011, re-read May 2012). I enjoyed EVERY story in this collection - I think that might be a first for me - and because of this, I simply can't pick a favorite. Each story was very different, but all had elements of steampunk and romance - and many stories featured clockwork inventions & fantasy/ magic.

Strongest Couple - Chickie Hill's Badass Ride, Dia Reeves. The combination of an incredibly smart Chickie and his bad-ass girlfriend, fight against the "nine-lived" who ste
Dec 10, 2011 Sworthen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this in spite of it getting off to a poor start, with an incoherent introduction. (Indeed, some sloppy editing throughout, most egregiously, three very incorrectly-used "whom"s in two different stories.)

"Rude Mechanicals" - Lesley Livingston - Good story concept about an automaton in the theater, poor pacing.
"The Cannibal Field of Rotherhithe" - Frewin Jones - Weak first two pages (overwrought, plus "grey stew in a Crock-pot inconsistent with setting), gets rapidly better after that wi
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
You may also read my review here:

Overall rating: 4.5

Wild Magic by Ann Aguirre:Pearl, an uppercrust socialite in an age of steam and clockwork, discovers a door to Faery, and through a handsome fae named Pick, the secret of her own magic. Loved this one. (4)

Under Amber Skies by Maria V. Snyder-A young girl in wartime Poland discovers just what her father’s clockwork inventions are about, and the family secrets that may get her killed. (5)

The Vast Machiner
Stacey O'Neale
Mar 05, 2011 Stacey O'Neale rated it really liked it
Corsets & Clockwork is a collection of 13 Steampunk short stories by various authors. I really enjoyed this collection and I'm not a big fan of short stories. This is a great introduction into steampunk if you're not familiar with the genre, but have an interest in learning more. Each story was very different, but all had elements of steampunk and romance. I especially enjoyed the cool steampunk inventions and costumes. That's probably why I enjoy steampunk so much. I really liked the author ...more
Feb 23, 2016 Alice rated it really liked it
I would really like to re-read this collection again. I am starting to read more Steampunk novels and short stories thanks to this collection.
This collection shows some of steam-punk's growing pains. When this type of story started coming out, just being steam-punk was innovative. Now that it's been around long enough to have its own set of tropes, it takes a little more effort to stand out. Tick tick boom in particular, while written solidly enough technically, was completely paint by number steampunk, and completely forgettable. (Just a week after reading, I had to look it up 3 times to remember what happened.) The darker stories in ...more
Feb 16, 2015 Below rated it it was ok
A hit and miss collection.

Stories from Best to Worst:

1. Code of Blood by Dru Pagliassotti - 4/5. Thoroughly enjoyed this story, liked the way Venice was portrayed.
2. Wild Magic by Ann Aguirre - 3.5/5. Good story. Would actually like to see more of this universe because it seemed pretty interesting.
3. Under Amber Skies by Maria V. Snyder - 3.5/5. Good sense of mystery and I liked the fact it was set in Poland since I'm a Central-East Europe bore.
4. The Airship Gemini by Jaclyn Dolamore - 3/5. De
My rating of the stories I've read so far:

1. Ann Aguirre: Wild Magic: Tunnels, restrictive parents, powers and fairies. Something like that: 3 stars (read 2011).
2. Dru Pagliassotti: Code of Blood: Crime in Venice. Boooring : 2 stars (read 2011).
3. Jaclyn Dolamore: The Airship Gemini: ... is the only remotely steampunkish element in the 'story', which could also take place on the Titanic or the Oriental Express. Siamesic freak-show twins who are forced by their handler to let a fame-hungry magici
Jan 25, 2012 Chloe rated it really liked it
Ah, now these short stories are just my speed. I've read collections edited by Telep before and these delivered about the same level of satisfaction. Each story was probably somewhere around 40 pages, and they pack quite a punch.

Overall the stories were all quite good, though I definitely had a clear favorite, you'll be able to tell.

Rude Mechanicals-One of my favorites, though not the top. I really, really liked Quint, and I thought it was funny that his uncle was Agamemnon only because I find t
Jun 26, 2011 Melindeeloo rated it liked it
Shelves: steampunk
My favorite steampunk stories are ones in which there is still a historical feel but the technology plays a significant role - rather than just being part of the scenary - and adds a twist to turn the familiar into something different - and I don't mind if there is a bit of magic thrown into the mix as well - add a touch of romance and I am good to go...

This collection gets off to a slow start and I was a bit disappointed in the first few stories that the steampunk was mostly incidental. But onc
Angela Oliver
As I am currently "researching" Steampunk for my Book Club, I thought a collection of short stories would be a good way to get the concept of "steampunk". Because this is short stories, I thought I would review each one at a time, and therefore will be updating my review as I continue:

Rude Mechanicals by Lesley Livingston 4/5
A brief foray into the theatre, with a clockwork woman. An intriguing concept, with a bit of a twist. Fairly simplistic plot - good for a short story.

The Cannibal Fiend of R
Sep 15, 2011 Kayt rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
A collection of, presumably, romantic steampunk stories. I love the steampunk aesthetic and the other anthology edited by Trisha Telep that I've read (Kiss Me Deadly; paranormal romance) was surprisingly good in that it had an emphasis on the paranormal and not so much on the romance, resulting in some very good stories. I hoped that this would similarly be a collection of very steampunky stories where the romance took a back seat.

No such luck. If anything, this is a collection of (mostly badly-
Miss Bookiverse
This collection of stories was entertaining enough to keep me coming back. There were some really good stories ("Under Amber Skies", "King of the Greenlight City", "Vast Machinery of Dreams") but no outstanding ones. I wish there had been more 4 star reads.
I think a lot of the stories could've been better if they'd had more space to develop, some felt novel-worthy to me. Others would've needed more time to feel more authentic, because there was a lot of insta love involved. Not
Aug 24, 2011 Drucilla rated it liked it
Shelves: t
First, I just want to say that I had a love/hate relationship with this book. Second, I've split this review into two sections (steampunk and romance) to make more helpful (hopefully). Third, I'm going to try my best not to give spoilers.

Steampunk: If you're a fan of steampunk, you should read this book. If you aren't a fan of romances, suck it up. Some, if not most, of the stories demonstrate an excellent use of the steampunk genre. I'm not gonna lie to you...a few of the stories have the bares
Jan 24, 2012 Rui rated it liked it
Well, for an anthology whose tagline is “Come for the steam, stay for the punk” I have to say I felt there was a remarkable absence of either steam or punk in most stories. Having said this I have to add that this was my first incursion into a Steam Punk universe outside the “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”, so maybe my expectations were off. Still most stories were quite enjoyable.

“Rude Mechanicals”
This was a promising beginning, I liked the way it mixed theater elements with the steam punk.
Mar 02, 2012 Jenclone rated it it was amazing
Usually with theme anthologies, I find one or two gems, a couple of clunkers, and a handful of stories that are moderately entertaining but forgettable. I really, really like every story included here, and was impressed with the consistent, high-quality prose. The worst I can say is that a few of them were predictable - but still fun. I have a whole list of new authors to check out now.

edit: I've just glanced through the rest of the reviews and have to laugh at the direction most of the criticis
May 09, 2013 Hilary rated it really liked it
As always seems to happen with anthologies there were some great stories, some good stories, some which just didn't appeal to me, and a couple that reminded me I need to reread Ray Bradbury... All in all, the anthology gets 3.5 stars, but I rounded up. Excellent variety in tone, pace and inspiration, and I'd consider these "steampunk with a touch of romance" than direct steampunk romances.

"Rude mechanicals" - 4 stars
"The cannibal fiend of Rotherhithe" - 4 stars
"Wild magic" - 3.5 stars
May 17, 2016 Julianne is currently reading it
I'll be adding to this review as I read on. You guys know my style - I like to rate short stories within anthologies separately.

1. Rude Mechanicals by Lesley Livingston // 4 stars
2. The Cannibal Fiend of Rotherhithe by Frewin Jones // 2 stars
3. Wild Magic by Ann Aguirre // 3 stars
4. Deadwood by Michael Scott // 4 stars
5. Code of Blood by Dru Pagliassotti // 3 stars
6. The Clockwork Corset by Adrienne Kress // 3 1/2 stars
7. The Airship Gemini by Jaclyn Dolamore // 1 1/2 stars
Writing a good short story is hard, and most people don’t seem to have the knack. Even authors whose books I liked don’t seem to be able to do it consistently (on the other hand, sometimes they write short stories better than novels).

I didn’t really love any of the stories in this collection except for Kiersten White’s “Tick, Tick, Boom.” It was also the only one I thought was actually kinda romantic. It was a total Scarlet Pimpernel situation – girl thinks that boy is boring and useless when r
Savannah (Books With Bite)
Oct 14, 2011 Savannah (Books With Bite) rated it really liked it
I loved this book! Those who are fans of Steampunk will loved it. There are some great amazing stories. I loved reading this and being immerse in this world. I am anxious to see where some of these stories will go. I would love to see some of these stories but full novels.

I loved being introduced to new authors. Lesley Livingston is one author I heard of and never read any of her works. Her story and her writing amazed me! I am so picking up for her books. There are many other great authors who
Sep 23, 2015 Tina rated it really liked it
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Wow, it's been a while since I've actually finished a book! Anyways, Corsets and Clockwork (C&C) was a delightful collection of steampunk tales with a romantic twist. I actually started this anthology several months ago, but lost interest about 25% into the collection . . . I guess that's the danger of short story collections, no? You lose interest with one story and then rather get distracted by other books (*cough Game of Thrones cough*) and it may
Jan 07, 2015 Penny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this for my school library, and when I read the blurb I thought I should just check its suitability before processing it: "lovelorn humanity trembles on the brink, all soft flesh and corsets in a sharp world of blood-sucking machines and technomagical desire." Some of the stories are quite fun, but none suggested that sentence to me!
The best of the collection - The Cannibal Fiend of Rotherhide and King of the Greenlight City - are those that are least interested in the pale kind of roma
I would have loved to give this book more than three stars, but I just couldn't bring myself to do so. The majority of stories were a lot of fun and, while they might not have been as "steampunk-y" as I would have liked, some just made no sense at all to be in these anthology. Especially since the anthology is supposed to be romance stories, and at least two were what I could call horror instead ("Cannibal Fiend of Rotherhithe" and "Vast Machinery of Dreams"). If you are a hardcore romance reade ...more
Sep 28, 2014 InfinitexLibrary rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Steampunk is a genre I’ve started to get into of late, so when I saw this book on one the shelves in my local library I just had to pick it up. I’m generally not too fond on anthologies and have struggled in the past with short stories – I prefer longer novels which have time to develop a full plotline rather than anecdotes. This one was a good example though – although there were inevitably some hits and misses in this book, there were more hits and the quirky steampunk genre did lend itself we ...more
May 15, 2013 Caitlin rated it really liked it
A collection of steampunk stories, some more scientific, others containing magical elements. Steam trains, dirigibles, clockwork automatons, and other elements of breathless scientific exploration abound. Love and adventure sometimes combine wonderfully or darkly in these tales, but always interestingly.
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Trisha Telep was the romance and fantasy book buyer at Murder One, a London crime, mystery, and romance bookstore; she's now co-owner of the virtual bookstore and an editor of romance and supernatural anthologies for Mammoth. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, she now lives in London.
More about Trisha Telep...

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