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Corsets & Clockwork: 13 Steampunk Romances

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  1,529 ratings  ·  295 reviews
Dark, urban fantasies come to life in the newest collection of Steampunk stories, Corsets & Clockwork. Young heroes and heroines battle evils with the help of supernatural or super-technological powers, each individual story perfectly balancing historical and fantastical elements. Throw in epic romances that transcend time, and this trendy, engrossing anthology is sure to ...more
Paperback, 430 pages
Published April 26th 2011 by Running Press Kids
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 Crystal ➳ Reading Between the Wines Book Club
Overall there were only four stories out of the thirteen that I really loved in this anthology, I like to see happy endings and many of these shorts did not have this. They were also pretty dark and depressing to me. But those four stories were amazing which is why I give this anthology a three instead of a two. You can see my thoughts on each story below.

Rude Mechanicals by Lesley Livingston:
A story about a young man who grew up in the theatre and now directs. The theatre business is failing un
April Sadowski
May 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I would call this a must-read. There might have only been one or two stories in the entire collection I wasn't entirely fond of (and even those weren't "bad", just hard to follow or somewhat cheesy), but the rest I couldn't stop reading. Ones that will stick with me are the last ones after "Code of Blood". The Airship Gemini was probably up there as one of my all-time favorites and was a bit like a steampunk The Night Circus but without the night. The Clockwork Corset was so riveting I had to te ...more
Jun 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: steampunk
Let’s get one thing out of the way: I like novels, not short stories. Short stories frustrate me, because one of two things always occurs while I read. 1) As I read I think, “What on earth is going on?” and then it’s over. 2) As I read I think, “Wow this is getting really good – ” and then it’s over. Either there’s not enough time for proper worldbuilding and character development and nothing makes sense, or the story really captures me and then ends too soon.

The problem is that every two years
May 31, 2011 rated it liked it
How can you tell that a genre has ‘arrived?’ Specifically, how do you know that steampunk has arrived? I got a clue when I heard that a young adult steampunk anthology was on its way, and that several bestselling authors contributed stories to it. Way to go, steampunk! You’re all grown up and fabulous.

“Rude Mechanicals” by Lesley Livingston
This first in the collection is a little tale with many references to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, much like Livingston’s other Bard-influenced fairy adven
Nov 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Ah, now these short stories are just my speed. I've read collections edited by Telep before and these delivered about the same level of satisfaction. Each story was probably somewhere around 40 pages, and they pack quite a punch.

Overall the stories were all quite good, though I definitely had a clear favorite, you'll be able to tell.

Rude Mechanicals-One of my favorites, though not the top. I really, really liked Quint, and I thought it was funny that his uncle was Agamemnon only because I find t
Maggie Desmond-O'Brien
Geek that I am, you have probably assumed all this time that I love steampunk. In this assumption you would be 100%. The problem? I am sadly undereducated. Beyond the already-classics like Philip Pullman's His Dark Material trilogy and Joss Whedon's TV show Firefly, I have yet to venture far into the steampunk genre. So I picked up this anthology in my library. What could possibly go wrong?

A lot, unfortunately. Despite a few standout stories, I was decidedly underwhelmed by this anthology, which
Dec 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this in spite of it getting off to a poor start, with an incoherent introduction. (Indeed, some sloppy editing throughout, most egregiously, three very incorrectly-used "whom"s in two different stories.)

"Rude Mechanicals" - Lesley Livingston - Good story concept about an automaton in the theater, poor pacing.
"The Cannibal Field of Rotherhithe" - Frewin Jones - Weak first two pages (overwrought, plus "grey stew in a Crock-pot inconsistent with setting), gets rapidly better after that wi
Stacey O'Neale
Feb 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Corsets & Clockwork is a collection of 13 Steampunk short stories by various authors. I really enjoyed this collection and I'm not a big fan of short stories. This is a great introduction into steampunk if you're not familiar with the genre, but have an interest in learning more. Each story was very different, but all had elements of steampunk and romance. I especially enjoyed the cool steampunk inventions and costumes. That's probably why I enjoy steampunk so much. I really liked the authors th ...more
Alice (Married To Books)
Feb 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
I would really like to re-read this collection again. I am starting to read more Steampunk novels and short stories thanks to this collection.
Oct 29, 2011 rated it liked it
Well, for an anthology whose tagline is “Come for the steam, stay for the punk” I have to say I felt there was a remarkable absence of either steam or punk in most stories. Having said this I have to add that this was my first incursion into a Steam Punk universe outside the “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”, so maybe my expectations were off. Still most stories were quite enjoyable.

“Rude Mechanicals”
This was a promising beginning, I liked the way it mixed theater elements with the steam punk.
Kathy Davie
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: steampunk, romance
A steampunk anthology of 13 short stories for young adults with a main theme of romance…in some way, shape, or form. The depth of the steampunk varies from story to story but there's a gear pretty much everywhere.

The Stories
Lesley Livingston's "Rude Mechanicals" is pure theatre with its so-very-lifelike Actromaton, a Jule of an actress who takes things a little too far but brings life in the end. Excellent with the only odd note on page 11 when this unknown man gets Quint and Agamemnon to come a
Miss Bookiverse
This collection of stories was entertaining enough to keep me coming back. There were some really good stories ("Under Amber Skies", "King of the Greenlight City", "Vast Machinery of Dreams") but no outstanding ones. I wish there had been more 4 star reads.
I think a lot of the stories could've been better if they'd had more space to develop, some felt novel-worthy to me. Others would've needed more time to feel more authentic, because there was a lot of insta love involved. Not
Angela Oliver
As I am currently "researching" Steampunk for my Book Club, I thought a collection of short stories would be a good way to get the concept of "steampunk". Because this is short stories, I thought I would review each one at a time, and therefore will be updating my review as I continue:

Rude Mechanicals by Lesley Livingston 4/5
A brief foray into the theatre, with a clockwork woman. An intriguing concept, with a bit of a twist. Fairly simplistic plot - good for a short story.

The Cannibal Fiend of R

Picked up library copy to read only Tessa Gratton's story, "King of the Greenlight City." Impressed with the creativity and dark storyline, but the writing style felt a bit distanced, though I think that was intentional. 3.5/5
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
You may also read my review here:

Overall rating: 4.5

Wild Magic by Ann Aguirre:Pearl, an uppercrust socialite in an age of steam and clockwork, discovers a door to Faery, and through a handsome fae named Pick, the secret of her own magic. Loved this one. (4)

Under Amber Skies by Maria V. Snyder-A young girl in wartime Poland discovers just what her father’s clockwork inventions are about, and the family secrets that may get her killed. (5)

The Vast Machiner
Jun 13, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: steampunk
My favorite steampunk stories are ones in which there is still a historical feel but the technology plays a significant role - rather than just being part of the scenary - and adds a twist to turn the familiar into something different - and I don't mind if there is a bit of magic thrown into the mix as well - add a touch of romance and I am good to go...

This collection gets off to a slow start and I was a bit disappointed in the first few stories that the steampunk was mostly incidental. But onc
Aug 19, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: t
First, I just want to say that I had a love/hate relationship with this book. Second, I've split this review into two sections (steampunk and romance) to make more helpful (hopefully). Third, I'm going to try my best not to give spoilers.

Steampunk: If you're a fan of steampunk, you should read this book. If you aren't a fan of romances, suck it up. Some, if not most, of the stories demonstrate an excellent use of the steampunk genre. I'm not gonna lie to you...a few of the stories have the bares
Kayt O'Bibliophile
A collection of, presumably, romantic steampunk stories. I love the steampunk aesthetic and the other anthology edited by Trisha Telep that I've read (Kiss Me Deadly; paranormal romance) was surprisingly good in that it had an emphasis on the paranormal and not so much on the romance, resulting in some very good stories. I hoped that this would similarly be a collection of very steampunky stories where the romance took a back seat.

No such luck. If anything, this is a collection of (mostly badly-
My rating of the stories I've read so far:

1. Ann Aguirre: Wild Magic: Tunnels, restrictive parents, powers and fairies. Something like that: 3 stars (read 2011).
2. Dru Pagliassotti: Code of Blood: Crime in Venice. Boooring : 2 stars (read 2011).
3. Jaclyn Dolamore: The Airship Gemini: ... is the only remotely steampunkish element in the 'story', which could also take place on the Titanic or the Oriental Express. Siamesic freak-show twins who are forced by their handler to let a fame-hungry magici
Feb 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
A hit and miss collection.

Stories from Best to Worst:

1. Code of Blood by Dru Pagliassotti - 4/5. Thoroughly enjoyed this story, liked the way Venice was portrayed.
2. Wild Magic by Ann Aguirre - 3.5/5. Good story. Would actually like to see more of this universe because it seemed pretty interesting.
3. Under Amber Skies by Maria V. Snyder - 3.5/5. Good sense of mystery and I liked the fact it was set in Poland since I'm a Central-East Europe bore.
4. The Airship Gemini by Jaclyn Dolamore - 3/5. De
Dec 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Usually with theme anthologies, I find one or two gems, a couple of clunkers, and a handful of stories that are moderately entertaining but forgettable. I really, really like every story included here, and was impressed with the consistent, high-quality prose. The worst I can say is that a few of them were predictable - but still fun. I have a whole list of new authors to check out now.

edit: I've just glanced through the rest of the reviews and have to laugh at the direction most of the criticis
Sep 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
13 tales of steam and steam, if you know what I mean, wink, wink, nudge, nudge. :-p

Actually, all the tales are fairly PG-13, reveling more in the setting and action than the romances, which is right on target for the genre. When you pick up any __punk story, let’s be honest – you are getting into it for the overabundance of stuff draped all over the sets.

If its Cyberpunk, I want network cables and LED lights everywhere. If its Solarpunk, everything should involve Art Deco solar panels, if its C
Tanya Patrice
Jun 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
(First finished July 2011, re-read May 2012). I enjoyed EVERY story in this collection - I think that might be a first for me - and because of this, I simply can't pick a favorite. Each story was very different, but all had elements of steampunk and romance - and many stories featured clockwork inventions & fantasy/ magic.

Strongest Couple - Chickie Hill's Badass Ride, Dia Reeves. The combination of an incredibly smart Chickie and his bad-ass girlfriend, fight against the "nine-lived" who steal c
This collection shows some of steam-punk's growing pains. When this type of story started coming out, just being steam-punk was innovative. Now that it's been around long enough to have its own set of tropes, it takes a little more effort to stand out. Tick tick boom in particular, while written solidly enough technically, was completely paint by number steampunk, and completely forgettable. (Just a week after reading, I had to look it up 3 times to remember what happened.) The darker stories in ...more
Apr 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
As always seems to happen with anthologies there were some great stories, some good stories, some which just didn't appeal to me, and a couple that reminded me I need to reread Ray Bradbury... All in all, the anthology gets 3.5 stars, but I rounded up. Excellent variety in tone, pace and inspiration, and I'd consider these "steampunk with a touch of romance" than direct steampunk romances.

"Rude mechanicals" - 4 stars
"The cannibal fiend of Rotherhithe" - 4 stars
"Wild magic" - 3.5 stars
Writing a good short story is hard, and most people don’t seem to have the knack. Even authors whose books I liked don’t seem to be able to do it consistently (on the other hand, sometimes they write short stories better than novels).

I didn’t really love any of the stories in this collection except for Kiersten White’s “Tick, Tick, Boom.” It was also the only one I thought was actually kinda romantic. It was a total Scarlet Pimpernel situation – girl thinks that boy is boring and useless when r
Savannah (Books With Bite)
Apr 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
I loved this book! Those who are fans of Steampunk will loved it. There are some great amazing stories. I loved reading this and being immerse in this world. I am anxious to see where some of these stories will go. I would love to see some of these stories but full novels.

I loved being introduced to new authors. Lesley Livingston is one author I heard of and never read any of her works. Her story and her writing amazed me! I am so picking up for her books. There are many other great authors who
May 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
A collection of steampunk stories, some more scientific, others containing magical elements. Steam trains, dirigibles, clockwork automatons, and other elements of breathless scientific exploration abound. Love and adventure sometimes combine wonderfully or darkly in these tales, but always interestingly.
Nina {ᴡᴏʀᴅs ᴀɴᴅ ᴡᴀᴛᴇʀ}
I thought some of the stories were strange and some were lame. But the ones I liked were great. Kiersten White's Tick, Tick, boom I think was the best. I also thought Michael Scott's little surprise at the end of Deadwood was fun. Overall the stories were great. ...more
May 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, steampunk
The other reviewers here have done a good job of summing up this collection - I'll just add that reading Tiffany Trent's "The Emperor's Man" made me all the more excited for her upcoming release, The Unnaturalists! ...more
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Trisha Telep was the romance and fantasy book buyer at Murder One, a London crime, mystery, and romance bookstore; she's now co-owner of the virtual bookstore and an editor of romance and supernatural anthologies for Mammoth. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, she now lives in London. ...more

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