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Clockwork Fairy Tales: A Collection of Steampunk Fables
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Clockwork Fairy Tales: A Collection of Steampunk Fables

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3.3  ·  Rating details ·  395 Ratings  ·  94 Reviews
Combining the timeless fairy tales that we all read as children with the out-of-time technological wizardry that is steampunk, this collection of stories blends the old and the new in ways sure to engage every fantasy reader.…

Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s "The Red Shoes", New York Times bestselling author K. W. Jeter’s "La Valse" forges a fable about love, the de
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Paperback, 326 pages
Published June 4th 2013 by Roc (first published June 1st 2013)
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All Things Urban Fantasy
Nov 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Review Courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

LA VALSE by K.W. Jeter

The original fairy tales were pretty gruesome affairs with the wicked and sometimes the innocent meeting horribly bloody ends. LA VALSE is probably the most gruesome tale in CLOCKWORK FAIRY TALES was an interesting take on the RED SHOES by Hans Christian Andersen where instead of one bratty girl getting taught a lesson, horrible noblemen and women are tortured at a ball. I was a bit confused though about the application of the dead
...more
Charlie
Nov 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: clock-and-steam
All reviews are based on two separate 5-point scales – 1 to 5 for clockwork usage and 1 to 5 for the story itself
3.5 stars overall.

La Valse
CLOCKWORK – 5
The usage of clockwork is fun, though a bit too technical, with terminology used that I had to look up to understand.
STORY – 3
The story itself did nothing for me though, and ended very strange, though I understand these are workings of fairy tales, but, strange all the same.
OVERALL – 8

Fair Vasyl
CLOCKWORK – 5
The clockwork usage in this tale is ex
...more
extrapulp
Sep 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
Wobbly collection. Starting off with strong re-workings by K.W. Jeter (La Valse) and Steven Harper (Fair Vasyl) - the remainder of the collection struggled. Most authors seemed to struggle to try to push all the required buttons in a short stories span and failed to do it in an unforced, "look, there's the fairytale part; look, there's the steampunk part!" kinda way. Middling were the pieces by Kat Richardson (The Hollow Hounds), Nancy A. Collins (Mose and the Automatic Fireman), G.K. Hayes (The ...more
Cheryl
Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
The reading community needs fewer wannabe authors and more editors and proofreaders. These were cute enough adventures, ideas, attempts - but they had very little of the resonance or re-readability of classic tales. I'm not even sure that most of the steampunk was 'true' - to me it felt contrived. And 5 minutes after closing the book, I can only vaguely remember about half the stories. I was considering giving it 3 stars, but if the stories made such little impact on me, "it was ok" is the corre ...more
Toby
Apr 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
Very hit and miss. The stories range from enjoyable ("Fair Vasyl", "The Mechanical Wings") to quite possibly the worst story I've read ("The Steampiper, etc."). A good read overall, but worth reading reviews to know which ones to skip.
Madelyn Grace
Jan 06, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed it for what is was but it fell flat often. I’ve read a few of these stories in other anthologies so that may be why I didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped.

Clockwork Fairy Tales is great one to start with if you are looking to dive into the Gaslight/Steampunk genre!
Jakk Makk
Aug 09, 2015 rated it did not like it
A beautiful book to look at with a cheery font. Unfortunately, the writing was not what I'd hoped for. See comments for the writing fouls that chased me off.
Catherine King
Oct 06, 2014 rated it liked it
A mixed bag of stories, overall well-selected and with good developments on the motifs and images of steampunk. What's really weird was that the cover included what is clearly a Nightingale, a riff on Hans Christian Andersens' fable "The Nightingale" (which is almost a steampunk story on its own) but no riff on the story itself was inside. On to what WAS inside:

"The Valse" is a good opener but not quite of a piece with what else is in the collection. It's pleasantly macabre and though the ending
...more
Michelle Leah Olson
Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's GuestvReviewer - Michelle M:
*ARC received from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review

This book is a collection of Steampunk Fables based on fairy tales. These stories take you back to a time long ago but with a twist. I loved them. My favorite would be You Will Attend Until Beauty Awakens. This one is based on Sleeping Beauty and I just loved the story. Each of the Fables in this book stick to your mind and you will always remember them and I love that
...more
Crete Public Library District
Review by Kelly (admin) This collection of classic folk and fairy tales has been twisted with metal, steam, and gears. The intriguing premise was disappointing only in its disjointedness. A few of the stories were really strong, and a few were only middlingly good, but there were a few that were so intriguing, that I felt let down that they didn't continue. The adaptation of "The Pied Piper" however, with its overt (and really unnecessary) racism, its implicit approval of borderline pedophilia, ...more
Ms. Kelly
Aug 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: steampunk
This collection of classic folk and fairy tales has been twisted with metal, steam, and gears. The intriguing premise was disappointing only in its disjointedness. A few of the stories were really strong, and a few were only middlingly good, but there were a few that were so intriguing, that I felt let down that they didn't continue. The adaptation of "The Pied Piper" however, with its overt (and really unnecessary) racism, its implicit approval of borderline pedophilia, and its clunky writing, ...more
Nightfall
I love fairy tales, and I love steampunk... but I have to admit that I love steampunk more as a visual style. I'm still trying to figure out if I really like it as a fiction genre. Maybe not... if it's a good story I like it regardless of the steampunk or not, but if the fact that it's steampunk is all it's got, I'm not so excited. I had to rush to return this book to the library (I had it too long without getting time to read it) and so I admit I missed a few of the stories towards the end, but ...more
Emma McGrory (Verity Reviews)
Jun 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
I am a huge fan of steampunk, but good books are hard to find in the steampunk genre. Most of the books have only one tiny clockwork device, and when I think steampunk, I think automata everywhere, fantastical machines, and half mad scientists. Clockwork Fairy Tales delivers all that as well as a sizeable dose of magic and tall tales.

Because it is an athology, the stories in Clockwork Fairy Tales range in quality, although they're all very good stories. The various authors showed awesome invent
...more
Rebecca
Aug 01, 2013 rated it liked it
As with most anthologies, this one is a mixed bag. Mostly mediocre, nothing terrible, with one or two standouts.

"La Vales" (a retelling of "The Red Shoes") is elegantly chilling dystopia. "You Will Attend Until Beauty Awakens" ("Sleeping Beauty") is written with great flair, although I ended up wishing the story had been less about the prince and more about the evil fairy. "Fair Vasyl" ("Vasilia the Beautiful") had a lovely LGBT twist.

"The Kings of Mount Golden" ("The King of Golden Mountain"),
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Megan E. McCarthy
Jan 02, 2014 rated it liked it
A real disappointment. I had high hopes for this collection, because, honestly-- fairy tales? Steampunk? Put together? How could you lose? The only answer I can come up with is that maybe the authors weren't given enough time between being asked to contribute and the submission deadline. Time and time again, a story consisted of a lovely, imaginative take on a fairy tale that was then just poorly executed, and would have benefited greatly from being reworked 2 or 3 times. Everything felt hurried ...more
Steve
Jan 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Before reading these stories, I read the original stories by Andersen, Grimm, Perrault, and others. It not only helped with the stories I didn't know well (like "The Red Shoes"), but also helped with the non-Disney version of stories like "Snow White" and "Sleeping Beauty." The steam=punk stories themselves were OK, but nothing special. I gave it three stars because I had fun with the whole venture.
Mrs. Brim
Mar 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite works of steampunk literature thus far! Even though each of the stories had different authors, the language in each story was mesmerizing...I often got lost in the aesthetic joy of the words themselves and would have to reread sentences for content. Having been familiar with the original tales, I enjoyed each author’s reimagining into a mechanical world and often with modern details and themes (like set in a U.S. city or making the damsel in distress the hero).
Liz
Sep 10, 2015 rated it it was ok
Eh. I don't really understand the steampunk genre's appeal in books. It has a cool visual affect in movies, but in these short fairy tales, the steampunk aspect seemed tedious and forced - like, I get it, in the original story it's a vicious dog, but in the steampunk story, it's... a mechanical dog with scary moving pistons and stuff.
Juanita Johnson
Aug 06, 2013 rated it did not like it
Meh. Just meh. Okay to pass the time with but I wouldn't run out and get it just for something special to read.
Deb
Jul 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Some of the stories deserved a 4 star but a few only merited 2 stars, dragging down the rating.
B.P.
Jun 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Overall I didn't like this collection of tales. Really I only gave it 3 stars because I liked two of the tales so figured they each should have one star and most of the others weren't bad, I just didn't much care for them so I gave the rest all together a star. My favorite story in the whole book that got a star was Fair Vasyl in my opinion it was the best in the whole book. It felt like a complete little tale and was pretty good. The other story in this collection that I really liked was The Me ...more
Jason Pym
Jul 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: steampunk
A nice idea (using fairy tales as inspiration for steampunk stories) and very entertaining.

I did have a problem with one story, by Gregory Nicoll, which used Comanche Indians as lazy shorthand for bad guys. Not to say American Indians shouldn't ever be the antagonists - the Apaches in St Agnes' Stand by Thomas Eidson make the book a terrifying, white-knuckle page turner and still read like human beings. But I'd heard that a pit fall for the Steampunk genre is that writers can adopt a 19th centur
...more
Lindsay
May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-own, shorts
It isn't often that I'm blown away by a fairytale collection, but this is one that I can genuinely say blew me away. Each story was crafted with a thoughtful attention to both steampunk tropes and the heart of the fairytale, without losing any of its originality. The first two tales of this book especially were some of my favorite fairytale retellings I have ever been privileged to read. What an amazing read.
Taylor Smith
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
A very fun collection of stories. The only complaint being that they seem to be in reverse order of their quality, with the first few being quite formulaic and inducing eye rolls with a heavy sense of political correnctness, while the middle section is quite good and the last section is quite fantastic.
Amyebayer
Jan 03, 2018 rated it liked it
A collection of 9 fairy tales rewritten with a steampunk flavor. Each story is in the 40-50 page range.

“Fair Vasyl” by Steven Harper and “The Clockwork Suit” by G. K. Hayes were my favorites of the collection.


Susan
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked some of these better than others. The last was my favorite. Richard and I listened to these on our drives between Mud Lake, Twin Falls and Salt Lake.
Centauri
Jun 04, 2018 rated it liked it
a lot of good imagery and settings, and very nice twists on classic tales
Darin
Mar 03, 2018 rated it did not like it
Wasted paper.
Bruce
Nov 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
An interesting experiment. The Pied Piper was my favorite.
Newly Wardell
Aug 30, 2017 rated it liked it
um nah.
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“Not my job to judge, boy." Baba Yaga filled and lit the pipe again. "But I do observe that its difficult to escape familiar patterns. When you live your life with cruel words, you look for people to give them to you. When you escape and evil stepmother, you take an uncaring bride. When your father throws you out, you love someone who won't love you back. And to keep yourself in cruelty, you're willing to risk head and hands on the mayors side board. Keep the pattern going. Hm." ~ Baba Yaga, Clockwork Fairy Tales: A Collection of Steampunk Fables, Steven Harper, Pg. 32.” 3 likes
“Age, like wealth is but a mental abstraction, my boy"~ Herr Doktor Pavel” 2 likes
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