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Chasing Christmas Past

(The Airship Racing Chronicles 0.5)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  156 ratings  ·  59 reviews
Top Ten Finisher, Best Steampunk Short Story of 2014
Preditors & Editors Poll, Second place prize awarded to Chasing Christmas Past by Melanie Karsak

***6,000 word short story prequel to The Airship Racing Chronicles***

Christmas Eve 1820.

At Rose's Hopper, a popular London tavern frequented by airship jockeys, all is merry and bright--except Lily Stargazer. Lily and h
Kindle Edition, 39 pages
Published December 20th 2014 by Clockpunk Press
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3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  156 ratings  ·  59 reviews

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This had a jarring use of the word commando, yet it once you move past that, it was a nice little tale.
Clare O'Beara
This short steampunky tale deals with airship races for prizemoney. The tale focuses on France and England and follows a young woman called Lily. The adventure seems to be an excuse to describe lavish eating and drinking, with a heavily stupid indulgence on the night before a major race. There isn't anything driving the characters other than money, which they waste in indulgence rather than mechanical advances or helping the needy. (Thinks: A bas les aristos!) I found it okay but I would want mo ...more
A sweet, melancholy story, a very quick read. Lily is in a depressive mood, remembering her childhood, then she wins the race and gets a very nice surprise with the help of her crew and my favorite dark and brooding poet. *wink-wink* It's atmospheric and unexpectedly festive, I enjoyed it.
Sophril Reads
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So cute

A very cute prequel to the series. I would not read this before the first book oh may get confused.
E.G. Manetti
Picked up this short as a freebie. I don't read much steampunk but I loved the idea of a female steamship captain and Lord Byron as the love interest. The story is fast and fun and while the affair between Lily and Byron is intense, the sexy bits are off-page/fade to black. So an adult read but without 'adult content.'

A teaser for the larger series that I'm hooked enough to move to the next one. *Only available in e-book in the 'Dark Humanity' anthology.
Becky Stephens
Dec 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steampunk
Melanie does it again! This is a satisfying story of Lily Stargazer and her companions set in a cozy wintery Christmas setting.

It only makes me more itchy to read Chasing the Fog, the third book in the Airship Racing Chronicles series, so I hope you're writing, Melanie.
Elyse Schramm
Dec 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
*Review to come*
Bill Tillman
Well I got caught up in the tale, was shocked by Christmas morn. The race itself was almost anticlimactic with its trick of navigational expertise and the surprise at the finish line unique
J. Dorner
Dec 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book by a fellow Pennsylvanian. I don't read much steampunk, so I'm not the best judge of the genre. However, I enjoyed this story. It was uplifting and fun to read.
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: andra

Title: Chasing Christmas Past
Series: Airship Racing Chronicles Prequel
By: Melanie Karsak
Author’s Website:
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra


***6,000 word short story prequel to The Airship Racing Chronicles***

Christmas Eve 1820.

At Rose’s Hopper, a popular London tavern frequented by airship jockeys, all is merry and bright—except Lily Stargazer. Lily and her crew are set to run the Christmas Day Yule
Amie's Book Reviews
The main character is a young woman named Lily. She is the captain of the airship "Stargazer." Lily has entered the Yuletide Airship Race ever since she was young, and last year she had almost won. This year - 1820 - Lily was determined to win.

Lily would never admit it to anyone, but she is lonely and Christmas being the next day amplified her loneliness.

Will Lily finally be able to beat out all the other airship captains? And what will she do about her loneliness?

Melanie Karsak's world-build
This is a prequel short story that introduces the characters in the Airship Racing Chronicles series. Honestly, it felt more like a filler story that would have been more enjoyable once you actually know all these people, and I didn't find it very exciting in itself. The main character, Lily, seemed interesting, but I didn't get attached to any of the others.

My copy also included the first few chapters of the first book, that I also skimmed, and honestly, I'd rate those 3 stars as well. There we
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This short story is an Airship Racing Chronicles Prequel novelette, and I read it not having read any of the Chronicles. However, this wasn't an impediment to enjoying the book, which is excellently written and full of great characters, action, adventure, Christmas and adult themes. I really do recommend it for all steampunk adventure lovers, and am looking forward to reading more of the Chronicles soon.
NB I received a complimentary copy of this book, but I always give an HONEST review based who
Christina Morley
This is a short story from Melanie Karsak's steampunk series The Airship Racing Chronicles. The main character is Lily Stargazer, an airship captain. She's a lonely soul who has her share of vices. She hopes to win the Christmas Day Yuletide Airship Race. Getting drunk the night before the big race and arriving late doesn't help her chances of winning. Will this Christmas bring her more disappointments? This story is appropriate for new adults and up.

I received an ARC of this book. This is my ho
Lene Blackthorn
The breaking point of Lily Stargazer's racing life, her fame and reputation, and what preceded the exhilarating feel of victory. Not everyone enjoys Christmas the way we imagine, surrounded by loved ones and in tight family circles, sharing the warmth and kindness. Lily is no exception - spending the Christmas Eve in a tavern, drinking, is not my idea of perfect Christmas. Her choices might even ruin her chances for victory - but being the tough, fearless woman she is, and knowing the air curren ...more
Sherry McWilliams
I like steam punk stories, the past is blended in with things from the future. The Airship Racing Chronicles will be interesting to read and I am looking forward to it. I found this story engaging and I like Lily even though she is her own worst enemy. I am glad she has good friends to help her along the way.
James Frederick
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a short story. There was enough to be interesting and intriguing, but I would have liked to see things more fully developed. It felt like this was a couple of chapters from a much larger book.
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the airships and Lily Stargazer, the brave, smart pilot. The story doesn't give too much depth to the characters but it had some interesting setting and tradition details. I might be interested in reading more... except for some bad language.
Mark H
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An fun, quick moving prequel to what promises to be a pleasantly fancifull steampunk series. Quirky characters, including a noted poet of the Romantic persuasion; airship technology; dusky bars. What more do you need for summer reading!
Jenika Ioffreda
The story was a nice read, well written and with a cool world building. I didn't read the actual series yet (this was a prequel) but I don't think I will do it: even if the short story wasn't bad it didn't really arouse much interest in me to make go and buy straightaway the following books.
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful read

Fast paced but interesting story with happy ending. Such a great and lovely Christmas story. Steampunk elements were nice as well.
A nice prequel -- but I have no understanding about who the love interest is and why they were apart, and that was bothersome.
Elysian Fields
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 very quick. Have not read thd series so ut was more of a snipit for ne. Good writing and story line, will read the others.
Debbie Scott
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing

A very good YULE, TIDE story, with a taste of sadness. Thank you for an engaging story, Danny Scott. MERRY CHRISTMAS.
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It’s hard to like and get the feeling of such a short story like this... and I didn’t get to like the protagonist Lily
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Melanie is an entertaining writer. I love her steampunk take on fairy tales, and, now, my first introduction to her airship tomes. Only 50 pages, with the allure of stories to come....
Linda Reece
Short story, wasn't that interesting....would not read again.
Mar 03, 2017 rated it liked it
It's a start

Short story to get you wanting to read the Airship Racing Chronicles. You do want to find out more about Lily. Book was too short to make too many decisions on the entire series.
Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this story- it ended too soon! I would have happily kept reading had it been a full fledged book. I will be reading more from this series and I'll look at other series by Melanie Karsak. Great characters, believable plot- just great writing!
Star Bookworm
Jan 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steampunk
What better Christmas Eve story to read than Lily Stargazer? This review will be brief because the story is brief but filled with the spirit of the holidays.

That's right. Melanie Karsak has given us a short story about my favorite airship crew on Christmas Eve. It is an excellent little short and a great introduction to the series if you haven't started it yet. We get to meet the full crew gearing up for the annual Yuletide Airship Race and see how some of our favorite relationships began. I lov
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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Melanie Karsak is the author of The Airship Racing Chronicles, The Harvesting Series, The Celtic Blood Series, Steampunk Red Riding Hood, and Steampunk Fairy Tales. A steampunk connoisseur, zombie whisperer, and heir to the iron throne, the author currently lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Assistant Professor of English a ...more

Other books in the series

The Airship Racing Chronicles (3 books)
  • Chasing the Star Garden (The Airship Racing Chronicles, #1)
  • Chasing the Green Fairy (The Airship Racing Chronicles, #2)
  • Chasing the Fog (The Airship Racing Chronicles, #3)