The Civil War has been running for twenty years or so, and the technology that should have made our lives more comfortable is still being used to kill...moreThe Civil War has been running for twenty years or so, and the technology that should have made our lives more comfortable is still being used to kill and maim men, women and children, as the Confederacy, supported by the powerful Republic of Texas holds out against the slowly winning Union. In New Orleans, Union spies have recovered a Rebel war machine that they desperately want to convey to a skeptical North to help end the war more quickly. To help them, they call for the aid of an air pirate captain, who is looking to become an honest man. As much as possible, anyway.
That's the setup. The story is great, with a lot of excitement and you'll enjoy meeting the two main characters and their supporting cast. Plus, there are zombies, of course. This the first one of the stories that actually calls them that.
If I'm not rating it four stars or yet five, it's because I think there's a certain amount of editorial sloppiness, passages that I think should have been cut or moved or rewritten. They create noticeable bumps in the flow of the narrative. It's definitely worth your time, and especially so if you're a fan of steam punk.(less)
This is an excellent collection of fourteen short stories, most of which unquestionably belong under the heading of steampunk. There are a couple whic...moreThis is an excellent collection of fourteen short stories, most of which unquestionably belong under the heading of steampunk. There are a couple which invite delightful debate about how to define the subgenre, but the stories are all well written. Not only is this the sort of sampler you'll want to recommend to anyone who wants to know what steampunk is about, but it'll acquaint you with authors you'll want to follow, like Cassandra Clare, whose stark meditation on war and childhood, Some Fortunate Future Day will make you think, or Kelly Link, whose story about The Summer People will enthrall you. There are illustrated stories by Shawn Cheng on the failings of human nature, Seven Days Beset by Demons, and by Kathleen Jennings on an alternate history of flight, Finishing School. Libba Bray shares a glimpse of a magically mechanical wild west on another world with The Last Ride of the Glory Girls. One of my personal favorites is Cory Doctorow's tale of life in a steampunk workhouse for children, The Clockwork Fagin. M.T. Anderson tackles a tale set in Caesar's Rome, The Oracle Engine, and Garth Nix examines the possibility of steampunk genocide in Peace in Our Time. Ysabeau S. Wilce presents a delightful detective story with Hand in Glove. There's a ghost story by Delia Sherman, The Ghost of Cwmlech Manor, and a romance by Holly Black, Everything Amiable and Obliging. Dylan Horrocks' story of high school life and bullies, Steam Girl, will have you wondering how much of the story is real, and Elizabeth Knox's story of voodoo, Gethsemane, will not leave any doubts in your mind. Finally, there's Christopher Rowe's tale of a future where technology may be forbidden, Nowhere Fast.(less)
A story of a saboteur living behind enemy lines. It's kind of old-fashioned, and perhaps dated by the events of the day. That being said, I did enjoy...moreA story of a saboteur living behind enemy lines. It's kind of old-fashioned, and perhaps dated by the events of the day. That being said, I did enjoy reading it.(less)