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Resurrection Engines: Fifteen Extraordinary Tales of Scientific Romance

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Resurrection Engines is an anthology of Steampunk and Alternate Timeline 'retellings' and 'reimagining's' of classic fiction tales (Edgar Allen Poe, Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythology, Moby Dick, Charles Dickens, Swift's Gulliver's Travels, etc) from some of today's finest Steampunk writers. 01 - Brian Herbert & Bruce Taylor (The Time Machine) 02 - Alan Baker (Journey to the Centre of the Earth ) 03 - Philip Palmer (Wilkie Collins) 04 - Adam Roberts (Rime of the Ancient Mariner) 05 - Juliet E. McKenna (H. Rider Haggard) 06 - Jonathan Green (Moby Dick) 07 - Paul Magrs (Wuthering Heights) 08 - Roland Moore 09 - Scott Harrison (Jekyll & Hyde) 10 - Kim Lakin-Smith (Peter Pan / The Island of Doctor Moreau) 11 - Cavan Scott (Snow White) 12 - Jim Mortimore (Robin Hood) 13 - Simon Bucher-Jones (A Christmas Carol) 14 - Alison Littlewood (Silas Marner) 15 - Rachel E. Pollack (Treasure Island)

534 pages, Paperback

First published June 1, 2012

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Scott Harrison

68 books3 followers

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5 stars
1 (1%)
4 stars
19 (36%)
3 stars
15 (28%)
2 stars
15 (28%)
1 star
2 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 14 of 14 reviews
Profile Image for Sharon.
848 reviews69 followers
May 3, 2020
Overall rating: 2.8 stars, rounded up to 3.

Somewhat unfortunately coming into this collection, while I am aware of all the stories these authors are retelling, I am not necessarily closely acquainted with many of them. I decided to keep reading anyway, though, because there are plenty of retellings and reimaginings that can stand on their own. While I overall enjoyed this collection, I wouldn't necessarily say that all of these stories succeeded without foreknowledge and a few of them fell very short, despite my awareness of their basis text.

"The Soul Eaters of Raveloe" by Alison Littlewood - 2 stars

"A Journey to the Center of the Moon" by Alan K Baker - 2.5 stars

"She-Who-Thinks-For-Herself" by Juliet E. McKenna - 2 stars

"The Great Steam Time Machine" by Brian Herbert and Bruce Taylor - 3 stars
I was really intriguied and onboard with this story - alt history Tesla! And then they added Einstein and that was fine. But it really started to spiral when they introduced Jung and Freud...

"Silver Selene" by Philip Palmer - 3.5 stars
I actually have read a Wilkie Collins novel, so I really enjoyed the way Palmer worked to emulate his style and I thought it was well written. I'm not sure how I feel about that dual soul concept, though...

"White Fangoria" by Roland Moore - 3 stars

"The God of All Machines" by Scott Harrison - 3.5 stars

"The Crime of the Ancient Mariner" by Adam Roberts - 3.5 stars
This story featured some of the best writing in the whole collection, with somer really beautiful phrases at the beginning. Some of it was lost towards the end, though, and overall the story felt like it dragged a bit. Some of the humor was a touch dated as well.

"There Leviathan" by Jonathan Green - 3 stars
I'd read this over Moby Dick any day.

"The Island of Peter Pandora" by Kim Lakin-Smith - 4 stars
Having previously read Lakin-Smith's novel Autodrome, I was a bit nervous coming into this story. But it was really inventive and I found myself enjoying it very much as it went along.

"The Ghost of Christmas Sideways" by Simon Bucher-Jones - 2 stars

"Talented Witches" by Paul Magrs - 1 star
I was so disappointed. This was supposed to be a retelling of Wuthering Heights but it legitimately had very, very little to do with the actual plot of the book.

"Fairest of Them All" by Cavan Scott - 2 stars

"Tidewrack Medusa" by Rachel E. Pollock - DNF
I really couldn't get into this one, not sure why. I really love Treasure Island but this story just didn't do it for me.

"Robin Hood and the Eater of Worlds" by Jim Mortimore - 4.5 stars
Never in my LIFE did I ever think I would be requesting a full length novel retelling of "Robin Hood" myths in Lovecraftian style, but oh my god, here we are. This story was awesome. It had some old school mythos (hi Yog-Sothoth, how's it going? Long time no see.) and some really inventive use of text distortion for the Old God Truth Bombs™.
I really, really want to read more of Mortimore's work now.

I wish I had liked this collection overall much more, and I was really tempted to keep it just for the finale story. But, I'm going to be passing this along to another Lovecraft-loving friend who just owns way less books than I do!
Profile Image for Kylie.
415 reviews16 followers
October 6, 2013
Technically a 2.5 star rating.

I borrowed this from the local library catalogue without even seeing the cover, much less knowing what it was all about. It was a bit of a mistake, but then you never know how anthologies will turn out. Out of all the stories here, only two were based on a source I had actually read (though I knew the vague plot of many others), and I had read other work of three/four of the authors.

The story I was most looking forward to was Alan K Baker's, as I've enjoyed his Blackwood and Harrington novels (which must've been published later as they weren't mentioned in his biography bit). It was well plotted and decently done but I admit feeling somewhat cold towards it, as I did with many of the stories. The second was Kim Lakin-Smith's, which I did end up enjoying - which goes some way to forgiving her abandoning the Tourniquet series after one book to go write steampunk fiction. I think I might've read some of Butcher-Jones' Cthulhu mythos fiction but I'm not sure, and his story was also decent reading. Overall my favourites were Cavan's Scott's take on Snow White (dystopian indeed), and Jim Mortimore's Lovecraftian reworking of Robin Hood. Rachel E. Pollock's prequel to Treasure Island also deserves an honourable mention. Mostly though the anthology was filled with potential that failed to deliver for me.

The one exception to this was Paul Magrs' Wuthering Heights. I hated it. That is perhaps unsurprising considering that I also dislike his Brenda and Effie books (of what reality it appears this story was set). I like urban fantasy as much as anyone, but his brand strives to make the horrific and fantastical as mundane as real life. I don't understand why this was included because it's a big muddled mess with none of the themes of the anthology as far as I can make out. It's billed as being a treatment of Wuthering Heights but it's not. The Bronte sisters' ghosts feature a bit in the text, but the connection is almost entirely incidental.
Profile Image for Stuart Douglas.
Author 23 books29 followers
August 27, 2014
Great idea, well implimented.

Putting a steampunk spin on a dozen or so traditional fairy-tales is a more than decent basis for an anthology, and Scott Harrison does an exemplary job in keeping a tight rein on an excellent range of authors.

There's not a weak story in the collection, but particular highlights for me were Alison Littlewood's take on Silas Marner (a great choice for the opening story, with something of the feel of a Pixar cartoon, for some reason I can't put my finger on), Jim Mortimore's Robin Hood (which takes multiple Hoods and plays narrative games with them) and - most of all - Paul Magrs' cut up version of 'Wuthering Heights' which I read several times in a row, once out loud, just because the language is so delightful.
Profile Image for Sari.
192 reviews4 followers
November 9, 2020
took me six months to complete three short stories
says enough, I guess. just isn't for me
Profile Image for Otherwyrld.
570 reviews52 followers
March 17, 2013
Resurrection engines is a collection of 15 short stories of scientific romance, each one based on a classic story re imagined as steam-punk fantasy. As short stories, the quality varies widely, with no one story being a stand out. Of the stories, perhaps my favourite was The Crime of the Ancient Mariner by Adam Roberts, which is odd because I have always been frustrated by his novels in the past. I also enjoyed the story that followed, There Leviathan by Jonathan Green ( a reworking of Moby Dick), and Robin Hood and the Eater of Worlds by Jim Mortimore.

Some of the other stories were less successful, a couple because they tried to hew too closely to the sentiments of the original story they were based on. One was totally incomprehensible and I skipped over it. Otherwise a good enough read but not one I would particularly recommended unless you like short stories or steam-punk.

Profile Image for Elise.
562 reviews
March 22, 2015
There's something about the steampunk I've read that I find a bit icky...if you remember the movie 'Wild Wild West' you'll know what I mean.
There were some good stories in this collection, some middling ones and a few I wish I hadn't read.
The good ones:
'She who Thinks for Herself' based on Rider Haggards 'she'
'The Crime of the Ancient Mariner'
'Tidewrack Medusa' which tells how Long John Silver lost his leg.
'Ghost of Christmas Sideways' where Scrooge sees various alternate timelines.
Middling ones were based on Snow White, Silas Marner, Moby Dick and Robin Hood.
My least favorite was a really icky Peter Pan and an incomprehensible Wuthering Heights.

Side note...because of the relatively thick paper and large margins the book appears more substantial than it is.
Profile Image for Rachel Pollock.
Author 13 books64 followers
January 29, 2013
Full disclosure: i wrote one of the stories in this anthology, "Tidewrack Medusa." So, discounting my own story, i think my favorite was "The Ghost of Christmas Sideways," written as a lost chapter of the Dickens Christmas Carol which purportedly only appears in one odd apocryphal edition, in which a fourth spirit appears to Scrooge to show him Christmases from alternative time-streams in which he made other choice in the past, or in which events went differently.

Lots of interesting interpretations of the theme of taking classic works and putting them into a steampunk crucible, so to speak.
Profile Image for Jonathan.
144 reviews4 followers
January 30, 2015
An excellent collection of short stories, not so much inspired by, but more of a retelling of some well-known classics. I will not reveal which classic tales are reworked as it may ruin the enjoyment of the book for other readers; the titles in particular give too much away. Although the stories are also steampunk themed, they are not blatantly so, some in fact may not be considered steampunk at all, so you don’t need to be a fan of the genre to enjoy this collection. The quality of each tale is consistently high throughout, which only added to my enjoyment of course.
572 reviews
October 7, 2014
Like most anthologies some parts of this are good and some parts are terrible, and there is a decided leap in quality whenever a professional writer of original fiction takes over against those short stories written by a professional writer of tvadaptions and non fiction.
Best Stories:
Tidewrack Medusa
The great steam time machine
The crime of the ancient mariner
Worst Stories:
The island of peter Pandora
The god of all machines
There Leviathan.
Profile Image for Sierra.
Author 1 book6 followers
May 6, 2016
This book is a collection of steampunk and alternate reality short stories based on classic novels and/or classic authors. It. Is. Amazing. The writing is top-notch. The stories, in some cases, reimagined classics, are very unique. If you are unsure about fantasy or science fiction, but like classic fiction, this is a great "gateway." :-) There were two that didn't resonate with me, but it was completely worth it.
Profile Image for Pers.
1,431 reviews
August 25, 2013
Some of these stories worked much better than others for me. An interesting collection, however...
Profile Image for Henk.
104 reviews
June 17, 2016
It's 15 stories and they vary a lot in quality.
Profile Image for Bethnoir.
607 reviews21 followers
December 6, 2016
I didn't read all of these stories, but there was an enjoyable mix in the ones I did.
Displaying 1 - 14 of 14 reviews

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