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The Steampunk Trilogy

(La Trilogia Steampunk #1-3)

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  929 Ratings  ·  99 Reviews
Steampunk is the twisted offspring of science fiction and postmodernism, a sassy, unpredictable tongue-in-cheek style of which the incomparable Paul Di Filippo is master. The three short novels in The Steampunk Trilogy are all set in a very alternative nineteenth century, and feature a mixture of historical and imaginary figures. In "Victoria," a young and lissome Queen Vi ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published November 10th 1997 by Running Press (first published 1995)
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Dan Schwent
Feb 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: steampunk, 2010
Victoria: Naturalist Cosmo Cowperthwait succeeds in creating a human-newt hybrid he names Victoria, after the Queen who she resembles. Unable to support her, Cosmo stashes her in a brothel. Meanwhile, Queen Victoria vanishes and the Prime Minister proposes they swap one Victoria with the other. Will anyone notice before they find the Queen and return her to the throne?

This story was a hoot! Steampunk lends itself to Python-esque humor so easily I'm surprised more people don't go for the humorous
Dear book;

Thank you for the fun filled day we spent together. Our time together was fun, but now we should go our separate ways. I liked you but not as kids used to say, liked you liked you. I don't want you to think it's anything you did wrong, you were just fine (oh please don't take that the wrong way, I can already see you stamping your little book feet and saying "Fine!, I'm Fine! I'll show you Fine you fucking half-stupid pretentious little shit!"), but you just weren't for me. We had some
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
I had some difficulties with this book. And that’s because two out of three stories bored me slowly to death.  But let us start with the good one, the first one:


The soon-to-be-Queen disappears and while the search for her goes on a look-alike takes her place. Luckily for the court, a scientist has created a look alike, the problem is that Victori is a human-lizard hybrid with a ravenously sexual appetite that usually spends her days at a brothel.

This story was good, bizarre, yes, but t
Feb 23, 2010 rated it liked it
At last I've got hold of a copy - God bless you Santa Claus! Next on the list to read.. can't wait.

Read the first of the 3 stories and liked it a lot and am on the 2nd now - steampunk in an alternate Victorian/19th Century setting - good stuff although Mr. Di Felippo seems to have a penchant for sexual activity that is perhaps not quite necessary - we are not talking Jose Farmer's porno period but Di Felippo could easily have written excellent stories without quite as much sexual content - Jack
Three novels, all of which are apparently steampunk-y, though not in the way I think of steampunk (I could be thinking of it wrong). In the first Queen Victoria runs away and is temporarily replaced by a genetically engineered salamander-girl; in the second, a racist biologist is recruited to help a Dutch scientist and his African wife recover a much sought-after artifact; in the third, Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman meet and do sex, kind of. Okay!

Each story was certainly interesting, but I d
Aug 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
The Steampunk Trilogy is a macabre romp through history that never was enlivened by a giddy sense of humor. William Gibson compares it Max Ernst’s Un Semaine de Bonte which I think is appropriate as it is also a cut up of pulp adventure, penny dreadfuls, gaslight science fiction, with surreal imagery. Similar ground to Powers and Gibson/Sterling but the strongest resemblance is to Pynchon with a mix of technological speculation, serious augury, slapstick comedy, dialects, bizarre characters, par ...more
Mar 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Se vi aspettate aeronavi, tecnologie avanzatissime alimentate a vapore, protesi robotiche e quant'altro, questo libro non fa per voi.
Lo steampunk è un adorabile sottogenere che vede l'introduzione di una tecnologia avanzata in un contesto storico passato; un'ambientazione che si è arricchita di immagini e luoghi comuni grazie alla più recente narrativa occidentale, agli anime giapponesi e anche ai videogiochi.
Paul Di Filippo, che pure usa - per la prima volta - il termine inserendolo nel titolo
Yzabel Ginsberg
(I got an e-copy of this book through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.)

A strange read, not totally devoid of interest, but that didn't do much for me, probably in part because its title is definitely misleading when it comes to "steampunk" as a genre, and isn't representative of what it entails. It's more Victoriana with a dash of paranormal and alternate history, and references to existing personae (poets, scientists...) and literary works (not always exact—Nana isn't Balzac's work,
Jan 17, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommended to Bettie☯ by: Spotted on Gary's profile
Imported from tablet:

tbr busting
spring 2012
short stories
too sexy for maiden aunts

The Steampunk Trilogy is a short story trptych made of teh whacky and considering how fun and naughty the entries are it seems quite preposterous that it has taken over a year to see off the last story. Now done and dusted and still sniggering.

Finished 10/05/2012

A rod of burnished copper, affixed by a laboratory vise-grip, rose from the corner of the claw-footed desk, which was top
Primero, veamos qué significa el término STEAMPUNK: obras que se desarrollan durante la revolución industrial pero introduciendo tecnología alternativa, con un claro cariz aventurero. Cabe mencionar como autor destacado en este subgénero a Tim Powers.

Paul Di Filippo es un escritor poco conocido (y traducido) en España. Tengo constancia de un par de recopilaciones y algún relato en alguna antología de ciencia ficción. Y no sé el porqué, ya que sus historias son trepidantes y entretenidas, con un
Jan 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
I read this book because I had heard somewhere that it originated the term "steampunk". Next time I guess I should also find out whether a book is any good before I try to read it. As a general analysis: the level of writing was not great, though the ideas were often mildly interesting. I got annoyed by the number of real historical figures DiFilippo tried to cram into every story, for no purpose related to plot whatsoever. I almost quit the book in the middle because it got so tedious. Details ...more
Oct 28, 2008 rated it liked it
I thought I was so damn clever the first time I read Perdido Street Station. There I was, a young 18-year-old only months away from graduation, ready to seek my fortune in the world, and I’d just discovered steampunk. Eureka, all aboard!, airships ahoy and all that. Man, I was awesome. Steampunk was awesome. And now steampunk and I could be awesome together!

‘Cept, well, after devouring The Scar and Iron Council, I didn’t actually read any more steampunk for the next three or four years. No weird
Apr 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steampunk
Il genere "steampunk" prende le mosse da un mondo alternativo, in cui l'Impero Britannico ha proseguito la sua corsa verso l'egemonia del mondo conosciuto, in cui Charles Babbage ha, grazie ai suoi studi, dato vita a formidabili computer, in cui il carbone ha sostituito il petrolio nella catena economica.
Partendo da questi presupposti, Di Filippo reinventa le avventure di Jules Verne, creando letteralmente un nuovo filone della fantascienza, così come Gibson e Sterling inventarono il "cyberpunk"
Mar 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
The stories in this book was a big surprise for me. The remarkable precision in linguistic,history was a great read. The weird,science fictional and the humerous tone was very enjoyable read. The characters was very believable too. I didnt it expect the stories to be funny. The humour was subtle,come out of nowhere in stories that looked so serious.

Took me vividly to a very weird version of the 19th century.

Paul Di Flippo shows alot of promise with the writing in this book. I look forward to rea
Jul 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of steampunk and alternate history
Fantastic romp through alternate history. Will the nineteenth century bend or break to accommodate devastating anachronisms, nightmares from the deep, and parapsychological phantasmagoria? Di Filipo has a wonderful understanding of the literary voices of the early victorian period. This book was fun, funny, and educational (sort of).
The first novella is worthwhile. Second - eh. I'd probably have been more impressed by the third if I cared about either Dickinson or Whitman.
Urthwild Darkness Beckons
This is actually a collection of three novellas, 'Victoria', 'Hottentots' and 'Walt and Emily'.

In 'Victoria', we find ourselves firstly in 1838 in the company of Cosmo Cowperthwait a hit and miss inventor, with few redeeming features. By his side at almost all times is his faithful manservant, Nails McGroaty, the only albeit dim light in a dull story.

In 'Hottentots', we have our main focus on Swiss scientist Louis Agassiz an odious virulently racist philandering little twerp, again with no redee
Oct 25, 2013 rated it did not like it
A sloppy collection of three unconnected stories that is best understood as a too-late entry into the canon of 1980s Gonzo SciFi. Sex and drugs stand in for plot, and the sophomoric humor that should tie the book together is not even amusing. This author borrows so heavily from Robert Anton Wilson that he should be listed as a co-author, except Wilson would have rejected the association.

For those of you interested in the historical significance of the volume, be warned. This isn't even steampunk
Jul 15, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sf, anthology
An interesting if not great book, The Steampunk Trilogy relates three unconnected tales about a quirky, early Victorian world where genetically engineered salamanders reign and where nuclear train engines and "ideoplasm"-powered transdimensional prairie schooners haunt the imagination. DeFilippo's success here is in the details---the fustian prose echoes that of the 19th century, as does the fiery libertine poetry, while the characters never quite lose a certain postmodern knowingness, a glint i ...more
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
Dec 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
One-sentence summary: Three steampunk short stories: Queen Victoria disappears and is replaced by a newt-human hybrid; naturalist Agassiz is sucked into a bizarre plot involving the pickled remains of the Hottentot Venus; and Emily Dickinson meets Walt Whitman and has a Spiritualist experience.

Why did you get this book?: Brief steampunk lit obsession

Do you like the cover?: Yes.

Did you enjoy the book?: Sort of? On one level, yes, definitely -- the writing was great and the plotting lovely, and th
Nov 21, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book. Rated 1.0 of 5

This book features three novellas: Victoria, Hottentots, Walt and Emily. It also includes some of the most excruciatingly dull genre fiction that I've ever come across.

In "Victoria," the soon-to-be queen disappears and so as to not worry the people, a scientist has created a Victoria-look-alike. This doppelgänger is created from a human/lizard hybrid, though it still manages to be remarkable realistic in form. It does hav
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: recentfiction
Well, the four stars refer to the last novella in the collection of three. The first one I read was too weird for words. I got the Victorian...perhaps, Dickensian, writing style, but Queen Victoria as a newt? Cross fertilization? I skimmed but had way too much trouble with this, so I didn't even read the second novella. The Emily Dickinson/Walt Whitman novella had me laughing out loud over and over again. Oh, what perfect use of their poetry. If you are a fan of either of these poets, you can't ...more
Ho comprato questo libro quando uscì circa venti anni fa.
Probabilmente allora conteneva idee e rimandi innovativi, ma leggerlo ora a tratti lo fa apparire monotono.
Dei tre racconti il primo è quello che ho preferito, trovandolo divertente e ben congegnato, con atmosfere effettivamente steampunk anche se troppo poco caratterizzate, a mio parere.
Il secondo se voleva essere un omaggio a Lovecraft è ben lontano dalle atmosfere del Solitario di Providence, e se la tratteggiatura steampunk doveva deri
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantascienza
un titolo come "steampunk" faceva pensare ben altre cose: quella fantascienza che retrodata il cyberpunk -e i suoi temi di fondo, a partire dal rapporto tra l'uomo e la tecnologia- all'epoca vittoriana. qui invece c'è ben altra roba: si gioca coi fantasmi di poe, di lovecraft, di wells, di verne, di dickens (nel primo racconto) fino a far apparire tra i protagonisti emily dickinson e walt whiman (e a farne apparire altri nel secondo racconto). è un omaggio sentito -da vero fan di certa letteratu ...more
Sep 29, 2018 rated it did not like it
Oh god

1: Alright I guess? Bit out there even for sf/f but I'll give the next one a go

2: Victorian man is racist is understandable I guess, and it was plot relevant. But using a bunch of racist terms in the narrative just makes you sound racist. Also weird long vagina twist for no reason

Mar 22, 2018 rated it did not like it
OK, this is Victorian Era steampunk... still, the sexism and racism of the stories is unnecessary to the genre. I read the first story and a half... that's enough. Perhaps if it was better written I'd stick it out, but no.
Denise Spicer
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
If you like steampunk you might find this trilogy interesting but the 3 short novels which make use of Queen Victoria, Walt Whitman, and Emily Dickenson as main characters don’t quite come across as convincing.
Cindy Atkins
Aug 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
This is one of the worst books I have ever read. Don't waste your time.
Aug 15, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Que esto lleve "steampunk" en el nombre me ofende a un nivel personal.
Joseph Youren
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Hilarious. Absolutely fascinating. Not for everyone's taste but my gaming hobby has led me down some interesting rabbit holes recently.
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Paul Di Filippo is the author of hundreds of short stories, some of which have been collected in these widely-praised collections: The Steampunk Trilogy, Ribofunk, Fractal Paisleys, Lost Pages, Little Doors, Strange Trades, Babylon Sisters, and his multiple-award-nominated novella, A Year in the Linear City. Another earlier collection, Destroy All Brains, was published by Pirate Writings, but is q ...more

Other books in the series

La Trilogia Steampunk (3 books)
  • Vittoria
  • Ottentotti
  • Walt ed Emily
“The clock indicates the moment-but what does eternity indicate?” 7 likes
“Madam, I assure you that you are dealing with two gentleman of the highest propriety and social standing.

When one contemplates the deeds that are daily done in society's name, such a description is no high recommendation.”
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