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Steel and Bone: Nine Steampunk Adventures

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  21 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Shovel the coal and stoke the boilers as nine Steampunk authors explore islands of mystery and adventure across the seven seas.

The Clockwork Seer by Katherine Cowley: On an island of oddities, a young clairvoyant struggles for normalcy, but deadly automatons have other plans.

Sindisiwe by Scott E. Tarbet: A slave girl in Zanzibar escapes a beating when a stranger in the mar
Paperback, 1, 375 pages
Published June 27th 2015 by Xchyler Publishing
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4.05  · 
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 ·  21 ratings  ·  21 reviews

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Jun 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Xchyler's latest anthology Steel and Bone delivers 9 Steampunk short stories and a bonus story from the next anthology Mechanized Masterpieces 2. As with The Toll of Another Bell, I enjoyed these stories of imagination and whimsy - this time twined around Victorian high society mannerisms and dress, steam power, artificial body parts and clockwork so characteristic of Steam Punk.

It was great to greet authors whose work I'd enjoyed from the previous anthology (eg Danielle E Shipley, R C Phillips
Jun 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Finding just the right collection of stories is like settling down with a box of varied chocolates, especially if the collection is in a genre you want to read (as opposed to one you are assigned). Steel and Bone is a collection that will make steampunk readers very happy. It’s a collection of nine stories that include both steampunk and also island elements (perfect for summer beach reading). The locations, however, take the reader through concert halls and World Fairs, into airships and labora ...more
May 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: steampunk
My review is based on an ARC.

I haven't read a lot of steampunk,but each time I started a new story from this anthology, I got sucked right into the narrative. The theme I was most interested in throughout the book was the incorporation of mechanicals into the human body and how that impacts our essential qualities as mortals.

I loved the range of settings and cultural influences--everything from the spice trade to the upper reaches of our atmosphere.

But lest this collection seem inaccessible to s
As lead editor and publisher of this book, I will refrain from giving it a star rating in order to avoid any perceived loss of objectivity of the ratings system. However, this book provides an excellent example of the work of which our featured authors are capable, and I strongly recommend it to lovers of Steampunk.

For this particular anthology, we chose the theme of "On the Strange Island of . . ." and these authors produced stories as disparate as they are original. They demonstrate excellent
Katherine Cowley
Jun 01, 2015 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Imagine that if, when you were excited, you always tasted cinnamon. But if you were afraid, you tasted blood or coal.

Such is the case for Medina Nejem, the main character of "The Clockwork Seer." This steampunk story (which, yes, I did write) is the the first story in the anthology Steel and Bone. "The Clockwork Seer" features a rather attractive musician, mechanical spiders that fall from the sky, action, adventure, and contemplation. I may be biased, but I think you will like it.

There are two
Carrie Elizabeth
May 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a fun compilation of short stories that will give you a good taste of what steam punk is. Each of these stories takes you to a different place, giving a nice variety from one short story to the next. I think it would be a good read for those who are already familiar with the genre and want some to read on the go. But it is also good for people new to steam punk, and would like an idea of what it is exactly. The stories are fun and concise, and each completely their own, and show and dive ...more
May 06, 2015 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
As one of the authors in this anthology I wish I could provide a rating, but I don't want to skew the rating system.

BUT...these are stories in the best (growing) tradition of Steampunk. Fans of the genre and those who just want a taste of what it's about will both be carried away to one world after another by these engaging, thoughtful stories.

Each of my fellow authors in this anthology is a writer to watch. I expect great things in the future from all of them.
May 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC. Love being able to find new things I wouldn't pick out on my own.

Sometimes the stars that Goodreads uses for ratings throw me off. Three stars means "I liked this book" but looks less than approving. That being said, I DID like this anthology. There were four stories in particular that stood out. Hence, the four stars.

The nature of anthologies are piecemeal anyway, and while I liked all of the stories for their own particular strengths there were four stories in this antholog
May 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this anthology. There are characters to fall in love with and characters that fascinate. Plots that surprise and plots that satisfy. And of course there are plenty of interesting applications of steam punky themes. This collection has enough variety, while still staying within the steam punk realm, to fit a variety of readers. I would definitely recommend it to my friends, whether they are hard core steam punk fans or just enjoy a good collection of fantastic stories.

There might
Jun 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Xychler's 'Steel and Bone' marks my first foray into steampunk, but as a fan of both science fiction and fantasy, I felt surprisingly at home. Each of the nine stories successfully led me into parallel worlds of mechanical marvels that were for the most part, intriguing and immersive. Three stories in particular left me wanting more. Medina's abilities in Cowley's 'The Clockwork Seer' are deliciously intriguing. Shipley's 'A Mind Prone to Wander' reads like a post apocalyptic fairytale, and stay ...more
May 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
If you've ever wondered what steampunk is or what sort of stories are possible in steampunk, then this is the perfect collection of stories. Each story has a great mix of character and action and it was hard to put down this book. There's a wonderful mix of Victorian-era ideals and society with crazy and wonderful technology. It's a time when anything is possible with the right inventions and determination. I'll write a more thorough review on my blog at a later time, but for now, I'd highly rec ...more
Naturalbri (Bri Wignall)
Jul 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
As we know, I love steampunk. I always get really invested in a steampunk story that has a good plot, character development and detail, usually so much so that I can’t stop reading until I am done. That was the case for most of the selections in this collection.
I enjoyed the nine steampunk tales in this anthology, as each were set in a similar era, but had vastly different stories to tell. As well as the differences in overall story, it was also great to have such a wide variety in writing style
May 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I'm fairly new to the world of Steampunk. When I wrote "Curio Cay," I considered what I knew about the genre: a kind of loosely interpretive alternate history that specifically incorporates fantasy technology or "retro-futuristic" trappings. From there, I did a little historical research to set up my characters, and looked up an old classic called The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells, which I used as a template for the world premise. Then I made up everything else.

My world is a combination of
Jun 26, 2015 rated it liked it
I received a review copy from one of the authors in exchange for an honest review.

This was a fun anthology. I've had good experiences with both short story anthologies and steam punk, so I was excited to read a combination of the two. Steel and Bone starts out strong with The Clockwork Seer by Katherine Cowley. The story reminded me of some of my favorite parts of the book Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I thought the steampunk elements were mixed into the plot and characters really well, and the world
May 25, 2015 added it
I would not recommend this as an introduction to steampunk for those who are unfamiliar with the genre. This anthology is best suited for those who are familiar with the genre because many concepts are taken for granted, and assumed to be normal. With many of the stories including a nicely wrapped up romantic component as a plot, one would not be amiss in thinking that this is a steampunk-romance anthology. The best stories in this anthology are the ones where the romance is played down a bit be ...more
Kathy Davidson
Aug 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is a great introduction to Steampunk. There are nine short stories included in the anthology. I kindle book is free on
A couple of my favorites are "Island Walker" and "Sindisiwe".
"Island Walker" is about an orphan girl, Kit, who is talented in inventing machines. She invents a little spider that can go in small places and fix things. Kit is befriended by an older lady who takes her away to her private island for wonderful adventures.
"Sindisiwe" is a Cinderella themed stor
Shelley Nolan
Jul 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a newcomer to steampunk, this anthology was the perfect introduction. With nine distinct story worlds to lose myself in, I found myself cheering on the characters as they faced adversity and navigated the weird and wonderful situations their creators put them in. Overall, the writing flowed and I will definitely be reading more steampunk in the future.
Jenni Elyse
I'm glad I had the chance to read Steel and Bone: Nine Steampunk Adventures because it showed me that short stories aren't really my thing, or at least a whole novel of them aren't. I won't be reading any other compilations of short stories, but I may read a short story here and there that sounds interesting to me.
May 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Four stories into ARC. Retail available June 27, 2015. Fairytale steampunk. Writers of talent penning toward mature styles. Variable merit. All very readable, even gripping. Cool premises. Endings could sometimes be stronger.
Jacqueline Driggers
Jun 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An awesome anthology. Some really great stories, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
Ann Thomas
Oct 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I haven't read much steampunk before, but I thoroughly enjoyed this. The anthology was well put together, all the stories were high quality: in the writing, the plot and the characters. Highly recommended.
Sarah Morris
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John Olsen
May 05, 2015 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Danielle Shipley
May 20, 2015 marked it as to-read  ·  (Review from the author)
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As editor-in-chief of Xchyler Publishing, Penny Freeman has collaborated with several award-winning authors, with a focus on the speculative fiction for which Xchyler Publishing is know. She has also helmed the publication and/or continued production of over thirty books, and personally guided seven anthologies through the editorial process.

Penny engages her thirty years of wordsmith experience i