BOOK EBOOK Steampunk An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories by Kelly Link –

BOOK EBOOK Steampunk An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories by Kelly Link –

I ve been struggling to understand what steampunk means A month ago I d have mentioned such words as Victorian invention pipes and weird before giving up and muttering steam and punk This anthology has its share of all these things but as I ead through these stories many of them good a few of them great I ealized that steampunk is than its accoutrements It s an almost spiritual belief that technology can achieve miracles wonders and perhaps even transcendence This is illustrated in what I consider to be the best of these stories Steam Girl in which the highly imaginative tales that one lonely child tells another prove to be the awakening and salvation that both of them needNot all wonders are bright though Another standout story The Oracle Engine explores an alternate Rome during the period of the first Triumvirate in which a wronged child seeks his evenge through the use of his invention the eponymous Oracle Engine There are many other good stories and that enders the not so great ones both forgettable and inconseuentialI was ten or thereabouts narrates a character in one of the stories and I was mad for wonders I think there is a need for a little bit of that madness in all of us and Steampunk fulfills it admirably 282142857143 25 I don t normally go for Steampunk and it may have come out in the atings The authors I ead this for greatly let me down The entire anthology let me down a fair bit and it saddened me and also took me way to long to ead It was just generally tiring Some Fortunate Future Day Cassandra Clare This was elatively creepy Like this girl is living in her house alone with just clockwork creatures to keep her company and this boy fighting in a war lands in her garden so she concocts this idea in her head that they will fall in love and get married So there s insta love And we don t Rose s age which is creepy And there s time travel I just didn t like this TW talk of alcoholism previous loss of loved one death of pet death war themes The Last Ride of the Glory Girls Libba Bray A girl goes undercover to work out exactly how a girl gang are pulling off emarkably impossible obberies They steal from ich people by pausing time with a device So the girl get s pulled in deeper and deeper and I would definitely like to think there is some homoerotic subtext in there TW weight comments violence previous loss of loved ones talk of prostitution sexual harassment Clockwork Fagin Cory Doctorow One day this boy comes along to a home for children who have become disabled via workplace accident Once he takes charge they start to build a mechanical guardian to fool the supervisors This is all about found family and it s great It s definitely one of the better ones TW talk of suicide previous loss of loved one talk of alcoholism whipping death abuse Seven Days Beset By Demons Shawn Cheng 5This is a cartoon about the seven deadly sins I don t eally know what to think about this The art was kind of basic says the person with no artistic talent TW alcohol consumption Hand in Glove Ysabeau S Wilce 5Either swear Or don t This is a literal pet peeve of mine Swear Or don t Don t use the words frack or something I don t care Just don t This has sexism as a main theme which was interesting and it wasn t solved Like that was the eason no one was listening to her You can t start with that topic and not esolve it or look at it head on It s basically Frankenstein s monster and it combines magic science with necromancy which is cool TW death sexism The Ghost of Cwmlech Manor Delia Sherman Set in Wales with an aristocrat ghost the lost descendant a girl housekeeper and a mechanical kitchen maid with that great old mansion aesthetic TW death previous loss of loved one violence Gethsemane Elizabeth Knox This is very complicated and I couldn t keep track On one hand this is about human elationships and human interactions but also there was a geyser which explodes I think this also might be set in New Zealand because she s a NZ author but also I swear at some point they use the words European Snow So maybe not TW death loss of loved one violence alcohol consumption use of the word wtch slavery The Summer People Kelly Link 5 Be Bold Be Bold But not too Bold This is eally cool It kind of start s surrounding eligion apparently I don t eally emember this aspect of the book and the girl is sick But she still has to work because her Dad isn t in town and one of her ex friends comes and helps her clean houses and then helps her get better by visiting a house and her Dad s made enemies and I m doing a eally bad job of explaining it by I enjoyed it Also the friend is a lesbian and I spent the entire thing waiting for the MC to be like TW talk of alcohol consumption talk of alcoholism previous loss of loved one use of the word lez Peace In Our Time Garth Nix 5This has an old man living in seclusion and an assassininterrogator coming to his house and throughout the short we find out why he s living alone where everyone went and generally just about how terribly having the codes to world damaging war weapons in the hands of a few powerful people TW death war themes portrayal of mental illness probably dementia or Alzheimer s Nowhere Fast Christopher Rowe This is a ural town that lives with minimal contact with other towns because there are no cars because 2 generations back there was a major war where they fought for a better cleaner Earth Now a guy has come to town in a self made car This is disturbingly similar to what could possibly happen at some point in the near future Which is maybe the point of Steampunk as a genre TW war themes violence Finishing School Kathleen Jennings THis was a cartoon set at a finishing school with colonialism at the heart and a lot of homoerotic subtext So Your looking at that 1 Star aren t you It just was eally bad Like I didn t like the art style which feels mean but And the plot was super confusing And a lot happened that was eally confusing TW previous loss of loved one Steam Girl Dylan Horrocks 5This uestions eality what s eal and what s not A new girl comes to school and she s kind of weird She always wears a helmet and that s enough for her to be bullied But when the main character who. Imagine an alternate universe where omance and technology eign Where tinkerers and dreamers craft and ecraft a world of automatons ornate clockworks calculating machines and other marvels that never were Where scientists and schoolgirls fair folk and Romans intergalactic bandits Utopian evolutionaries and intrepid orphans decked out in corsets clockwerk suits and tall black boots solve dast.

S name I don t emember befriends her he gets bullied as well They bond over a comic the girl has written It s eally good and super sad TW fatphobia talk of school shooting use of the word freak talk of drug usage bullying talk of sexual harassment Everything Amiable Obliging Holly Black 5 with tears in my eyes Holly Black why did you write about some of my least favourite tropes Incest bothuman elationships I m very sad I wrote aroace so maybe it wasn t all bad But I don t think there was an aroace character so very confused There was also talk of sexbots which may be my inner asexual but ew They exist in eal life I don t need them in an anthology written in 2011 Oh They may not have existed Still Everything about this wasn t good but it was written well so 2 Stars I don t want to give anything by Holly Black less than 2 Stars TW previous loss of loved one talk of gambling talk of prostitution The Oracle Engine M T Anderson 5This was Rome and Steampunk so obviously Clockwork Oracle and classic Roman betrayals etc I liked this With tragedy and deaths and just classic Roman stuff TW loss of loved one financial struggles death incestThis anthology was fine Nothing particularly special and no 5 Stars But I would ecommend Steam Girl The Summer People The Ghost of Cwmlech Manor and Clockwork Fagin I am sad Holly Black sniffs let me down RTC I only ead the Cory Doctorow story Clockwork Fagin as I picked up a free preview copy of the story on my Kindle Doctorow proves with his story that he does steampunk just as well as he does cyberpunk It was definitely good enough to make me consider buying the entire anthology I love the idea of steampunk I love the fashion it has inspired and the subculture around it and I want to love the fiction I haven t ead a whole lot of it yet for various easons and what I have ead hasn t always worked for me This anthology though put together by Kelly Link and Gavin Grant coming out from Candlewick Press makes me very happy indeed It might be the fact that it is aimed at the YA market that helps it hit the mark so well It takes the notion of steampunk and does some seriously mad things with it There are outrageous characters unexpected settings and some wonderful wonderful narratives With very little fog and few bowler hats There are a number of outstanding stories I ead Libba Bray s Going Bovine a while back and fell in love with it so seeing her name in this ToC was like following the scent of chocolate The Last Ride of the Glory Girls is indeed simply glorious Girl outlaws clockwork friendship eligion love and a tantalising world it s all here Adelaide is adept at working with various clockwork contraptions and ends up working for the local law enforcement As such she goes undercover and things proceed The characters are charming mostly the plot unfolds at a brisk and enjoyable pace and the few hints that Bray drops about the world make me want to email her ight now and DEMAND a novel set in this place The narrator s voice added to my delight with the story too Bray takes a chance on using a slang were instead of was etc that could have seemed forced or unnatural and manages to make it both consistent and lilting ather than jarring This is a seriously good storyKelly Link contributes The Summer People and while I absolutely adore it I admit that I don t eally understand its place in a steampunk anthology There are some minor aspects that I can see tying into the theme but they don t eally seem important enough to make this story eally fit the genre Anyway I m not actually much of a one for hard n fast genre delineation so whatever It s a brilliant story Fran is left to look after herself the house and the family business while sick when her dad decides to go and get ight with God She enlists the help of a former friend Ophelia and the two end up spending time together than Fran had expected Link gets a lot of interesting issues into this story The elationship between the two girls is a complex one based on family status and origin and expectations Fran s elationship with her father is certainly a complex one and there are suggestions that things in the wider world are going pear shaped Both Fran and Ophelia are very eadable This is another world about which I would devour a novel version in a heartbeatAnother story framed around the elationship of two unlikely friends is Steam Girl Using the story within a story trope Horrocks has the freaky new girl telling stories to the loner nerd at her new school It s a wonderful stunning mash of the indignities of being new and weird at school oh adolescent nightmare together with a ollicking adventure worthy of Verne there are dirigibles and interplanetary jaunts New girl and nerd work brilliantly while the jock and the popular girl made me have flashbacks Unlike the previous two stories this one eally works perfectly at this length I think because the world itself was familiar Nowhere Fast was written by Christopher Rowe and in eading it I had to double check that I wasn t back eading Welcome to the Greenhouse because its steampunk ish ness comes as a esult of climate change and the end of oil A stranger a car and a young woman uestioning her upbringing all illuminate a world where treading lightly on the earth is the paramount virtue There are interesting familial elationship at play here as well as friendships and a sly comment on local vs national power structures tooFinally the anthology finishes with Oracle Engine by MT Anderson Over the last few years I ve had discussions with a fellow Roman history fan about the lack of Romanpunk in our lives Of course she has since written a collection of short stories with that very title and Anderson s story fits into that as yet uncluttered subgenre It s based on true Roman events those surrounding Crassus ichest man in Rome and his ivalry with Pompey and Caesar Anderson makes it fit the theme by making this a Rome like the alternate histories of Cherie Priest Richard Harland or Scott Westerfeld s efforts in steampunkland Also he adds an oracle engine duh hence the title and that s just cool Plus Minervan Virgins sly Roman jokes and a style eminiscent of Roman historians A wor. Ardly crimes escape from monstrous predicaments consult oracles and hover over volcanoes in steam powered airshipsHere in the first major steampunk anthology for young adults fourteen masters of speculative fiction including two graphic storytellers embrace the genre’s established blend of sci fi and fantasy action and adventure history and omance and efashion it in surprising ways and in

Kelly Link ß 1 REVIEW

Thy end to the anthology indeed Steampunk An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories is a new young adult collection edited by veteran anthologists Kelly Link and Gavin J Grant Featuring twelve conventional short stories and two graphic entries Steampunk showcases a wide variety of ideas and styles that fall under the steampunk umbrella The collection is entertaining and is lent extra freshness by the variety of settings explored by the authors none of the stories are set in Victorian LondonThe book begins with Some Fortunate Future Day by Cassandra Clare This is a creepy little story about a ather warped young girl who desires love but knows very little about it The ending will leave you wondering How many times Set in an alternate Wild West on another planet Libba Bray s The Last Ride of the Glory Girls follows a girl who goes undercover with a gang of female outlaws and finds her loyalties shifting toward them and away from the Pinkertons she works for The narrative voice is terrific I kept imagining the story being told by Hailee Steinfeld and the eligious cult that haunts her past is chilling Clockwork Fagin by Cory Doctorow is set in an oppressive orphanage for children maimed in factory accidents Their keeper meets his untimely end and the kids see a chance to seize their own destinies The story is macabre a bit twisted and darkly funny and ends in a surprisingly uplifting wayThe first of the two graphic entries is Shawn Cheng s Seven Days Beset by Demons I don t think I uite got this one I had trouble liking the protagonist and while I enjoyed other stories in the anthology that evolved around unsympathetic characters this one didn t give me much to sink my teeth into except the emotional state of the protagonist His eactions just seemed way overboard in egards to how briefly he d known his love interest but I ll grant that this may have been an intentional decision elated to the story s Seven Deadly Sins themeYsabeau S Wilce offers a tale of early forensics and mad science in Hand in Glove A detective struggles against her fellow officers eluctance to embrace newfangled methods of crime solving as she investigates a mysterious murder spree An enjoyable story The Ghost of Cwmlech Manor by Delia Sherman is a charming entry a Gothic ghost story with a mechanical twist It s beautifully written and doesn t go uite where you expect it to in large part because of its spirited heroine who chafes at estrictions of both gender and classElizabeth Knox s Gethsemane is set in the South Pacific but is based at least in part on the 1902 eruption of Mt Pelee in the West Indies island of Martiniue Knox follows four characters each of whom has a story and each of these stories is made up of a complex tangle of truth and lies The lies start to unravel as disaster strikes Gethsemane and the truths discovered are often tragic but the process of learning them is satisfying for the eader The Summer People by Kelly Link is a story of fairies in Appalachia The steampunk connection is a bit tenuous you could emove the steampunk and still have essentially the same story but it does provide a clever new look at why one shouldn t take certain metals along while visiting the fairies Even though it s eally of a fairy story than a steampunk one The Summer People is haunting I think I ll emember its twist and the ooms of the fairies house for a long timeGarth Nix s Peace in Our Time centers on an old man who at first seems doddering and innocent but whose ole in a horrific cataclysm unfolds gradually as he is interrogated by a young woman An interesting character studyChristopher Rowe s Nowhere Fast is set in Kentucky in a post apocalyptic future Anti technological beliefs have taken over to the point of becoming epressive Into this setting comes a young man in a device that isn t at all exotic to us but is shocking to the townspeople a car I thought this story was going somewhere darker than it actually went but it s a thought provoking look at how any philosophy can be taken too farThe second graphic entry is Finishing School by Kathleen Jennings Engaging and well drawn Finishing School tells the story of a famous aviatrix s first flight as seen through the eyes of her childhood friend now a dentist I enjoyed it and wished there were of it I wanted to see of both women s lives Steam Girl by Dylan Horrocks is set in our own time as a teenage boy falls slowly and awkwardly in love with a geeky outcast girl in his class They bond over the graphic novels the girl writes which elate the adventures of Steam Girl an author avatar whose life is filled with planet hopping high adventure Meanwhile they face bullying at school and it also becomes evident that the Steam Girl yarns are closely tied to their creator s troubled eal life than one might expect Steam Girl is an absolutely beautiful story in which any high school pariah current or former will see a little bit of him or herself ETA And I want to tell Shanaia that It Gets Better for geeks too Get thee to a SF con girl You ll be beating off suitors with a stickNext is Holly Black s Everything Amiable and Obliging This story is set in an alternate Regency England where automata are employed as domestics and in other subservient positions The narrator s cousin falls in love with an automaton and the narrator tries to scuttle the omance by proving the automaton is incapable of love Like Nowhere Fast this is a story I thought was going to go darker than it did Black paints a disturbing scenario egarding the sentience or not and the free will or not of the obots but ties it up in a way that seems fluffier than is warranted by the themesClosing out the anthology is MT Anderson s The Oracle Engine Anderson places his entry in an ancient Rome that never was It s much like the eal historical Rome but these Romans have advanced technology They have flying machines and it s implied that they nuked Carthage The Oracle Engine draws on the eal life history of the consul Crassus and uses that as the foundation for a terrific story of evenge If you know your Greco Roman mythology it s not hard to guess where this story is going but Anderson makes the journey irresistible Also. Ettings as diverse as Canada New Zealand Appalachia Wales ancient Rome future Australia and alternate CaliforniaVisionaries Link and Grant have invited all new interpretations explorations and expansions taking a genre already ich strange and inventive in the extreme and challenging contributors to emake it from the ground up The esult is an anthology that defies even as it defines the genre.

Kelly Link is an American author best known for her short stories which span a wide variety of genres most notably magic realism fantasy and horror She is a graduate of Columbia UniversityHer stories have been collected in four books Stranger Things Happen Magic for Beginners Pretty Monsters and most recently Get in TroubleShe has won several awards for her short stories including th

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *