Dan Schwent's Reviews > The Steampunk Trilogy

The Steampunk Trilogy by Paul Di Filippo
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's review
Feb 22, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: steampunk, 2010
Read from March 12 to 13, 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 approach. The characters and setting were well done, especially for an 80 page novella. The idea of a fly-eating amphibian impersonating the queen without anyone knowing is a gem.

Hottentots: Professor Agassiz and his group of scientists scramble to track down a fetiche (with happens to be a preserved vulva in a jar) that will summon Lovecraftian beasties when invoked. But can Agassiz put aside his prejudice toward blacks long enough to get the fetiche?

Hottentots was just as funny as the first story once you got past the racism of the main character. How can you not love a story with a chapter title like Moby Dagon? Lots of Easter eggs in this one, like Herman Melville and HPL being minor characters.

Walt & Emily: As romance blooms between Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson, the two poets join an expedition to the afterlife with a group of spiritualists and scientists. Will their romance survive the trip?

Yeah, this story was the most bizarre of the collection. The afterlife they visited was unique, though it may be drawn from spiritualist sources. While I don't know much about Dickinson, Whitman's character seemed pretty authentic from what I've read of the man. The medium heading up the expedition was by far the best character in the story.

To sum up,if you like your steampunk stories to have a strange and humorous bend, this is the book for you.
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Reading Progress

February 22, 2010 – Shelved
February 22, 2010 – Shelved as: steampunk
March 12, 2010 – Started Reading
March 12, 2010 –
page 1
March 12, 2010 –
page 15
March 12, 2010 –
page 57
March 12, 2010 –
page 76
March 12, 2010 –
page 85
March 12, 2010 –
page 87
March 12, 2010 –
page 116
March 12, 2010 –
page 136
March 13, 2010 –
page 185
March 13, 2010 –
page 206
March 13, 2010 –
page 236
March 13, 2010 –
page 261
March 13, 2010 –
page 280
March 13, 2010 –
page 356
March 13, 2010 – Finished Reading
December 14, 2010 – Shelved as: 2010

Comments (showing 1-18 of 18) (18 new)

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message 1: by Amanda (new) - added it

Amanda anxious to know how u like this. have had it for awhile but for some reason haven't read it yet

Have u read any Blaylock- i've always thought his approach was kinda humorous, esp. in Homunculus andLord Kelvin's Machine

message 2: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Based on the one story I've read, I'd give it a 5. It's really cool. I'm hoping the other two stories are as good as the first.

I haven't read any Blaylock yet.

message 3: by Amanda (new) - added it

Amanda u should try him if u get the chance- Homunculus is one of the books that got me hooked on steampunk. I think it won the world fantasy award too. but i gotts check on that part

message 4: by Amanda (last edited Mar 12, 2010 05:19PM) (new) - added it

Amanda oops- no not world fantasy. It was the phillip k Dick award. The Anubis Gates was great too, that's by Powers though

message 5: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent The Anubis Gates was a good book. I've got a few unread Powers books on my bookshelf at the moment.

message 6: by Amanda (last edited Mar 12, 2010 05:33PM) (new) - added it

Amanda me too, i'm currently reading On Stranger Tides and i like it but it's just been going slow. not as well put together as some of his newer works. i've read a few of his books now and i can tell he wrote this one earlier in his career, although Anubis Gates was early on and that was real good. I still think it's well above many other fantasy writers work period though even though i don't think it's his best

Mohammed I remember thinking the same about On Stranger Tides, you have to get through the slow part. The second half is epic in its greatness,vivid weirdness.

Dan : This is a short story collection with 3 stories ?

I have been looking for this in library. I will have to see other reviews to decide if i will chance on it to buy.

message 8: by Amanda (last edited Mar 12, 2010 05:45PM) (new) - added it

Amanda I'm already well into the 2nd half only have about a hundred pages left. I didn't really think it had much of a slow part and i like it a lot, i just don't think it's on the same level as his newer books. I think we've already had this same conversation before

message 9: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Mohammed wrote: "I remember thinking the same about On Stranger Tides, you have to get through the slow part. The second half is epic in its greatness,vivid weirdness.

Dan : This is a short story collection with..."

There are three stories, ranging from 80 pages to 150 pages.

Mohammed Good there is nothing i like more than a good novella. I have been looking extra specially for collections of stories and not only read novels in SFF.

Amanda : I have a weakness for the weird,horror elements he used in that book. Books like Declare are not enough weird,fantastic. I have to read his newer but earlier than Declare books to get that image out of my mind.

message 11: by Amanda (last edited Mar 12, 2010 05:53PM) (new) - added it

Amanda Maybe Declare isn't as weird i haven't read that one but Last Call, Expiration Date and Earthquake Weather certainly are imo. Either way everyones opinion is dif. but i love all Power's books

Mohammed Yes that series i must read next. His 80s books are very impressive to me and that series has similar themes to his Fantasy Masterwork Drawing of the Dark.

For once i'm lucky this Paul Di Filippo collection just appeared a new copy in the library. They dont have anything else he has done only the book i was looking for :)

They didnt have it a few months when i asked them.

message 13: by Amanda (new) - added it

Amanda Wow, Dan u flew through this book!-Great review! it really gives me an idea of what the stories are about

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) I just read a short story by this author, and I'm definitely going to check out The Steampunk Trilogy.

 Linda (Miss Greedybooks) Yep, on my TBR - sounds like a book I will LOVE!

message 16: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent I read this ages ago but it's up on Netgalley now so I thought I'd give it a bump.

message 17: by Mark (new)

Mark '(with happens to be a preserved vulva in a jar)

This is what I have missed about not being on GR for six months !! You can always rely on our Dan !

message 18: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Thanks, Mark!

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