Amy L. Campbell's Reviews > Steampunk! An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories

Steampunk! An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Sto... by Kelly Link
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Aug 07, 2011

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bookshelves: advanced-copy, ebook, netgalley, 2011, blogged, reviewed
Read from September 10 to 15, 2011

Note: Advanced review copy provided by Netgalley.

There are a couple of very strong stories in this collection, namely "The Clockwork Fagin" and "Steam Girl". A couple, while still wonderfully imaginative, suffer a bit from short story abruptus, the ones that come to mind are "Nowhere Fast," "Peace in Our Time," and "The Summer People." That last one is still one of my favorites of the collection, but had a somewhat dissatisfying ending, given all of the build up of the first part of the story.

Overall as a collection this is a great taste of the variety that steampunk has to offer. The majority of the stories focus on young adult or child protagonists, "Peace in Our Time" being one of the few exceptions. They are also overwhelmingly positive, only briefly dipping into the negative aspects of technology (again, "Peace in Our Time" and "Oracle Engine").

This collection also offers a larger variety of setting, from Roman Empire to the typical Victorian England and even California in the late alternate 1840's (or thereabouts). Yet, for the most part, these stories are moving away from the gadgetry, with "Clockwork Fagin" and "The Last Ride of the Glory Girls" being the two where gadgetry was most important. This is positive in the sense that steampunk is no longer so new that people are no longer neglecting character and storytelling for experimenting with the setting/technology, and disappointing in the sense that that is part of the fun of steampunk. I still think there is much to explore, and while I enjoyed this collection, I wouldn't say it pushed the envelope in the realm of steampunk.

A great collection, especially for younger to middle teens and huge steampunk fans, but might be a little too light on topic and gadgetry for the more casual fan or reader. Recommended, but not at the top of the list.

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Reading Progress

09/12/2011 page 240

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