Steampunk! by Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant

November 28, 2012 Reviews 3

  • Date published: 11th October 2011
  • Publisher: Walker UK
  • Format: Paperback, 432 pages
  • ISBN 13: 9781406336962 ISBN 10: 1406336963
  • Categories: YA – Steampunk
  • Goodreads / The Book DepositoryBooktopia / Bookworld
  • Source: bought

In the first major YA steampunk anthology, fourteen top storytellers push the genre’s mix of sci-fi, fantasy, history, and adventure in fascinating new directions.

Imagine an alternate universe where romance and technology reign. Where tinkerers and dreamers craft and re-craft a world of automatons, clockworks, calculating machines, and other marvels that never were. Here, fourteen masters of speculative fiction, including two graphic storytellers, embrace the steampunk genre’s established themes and refashion them in surprising ways and settings as diverse as Appalachia, Ancient Rome, future Australia, and alternate California. The result is an anthology that defies its genre even as it defines it.

I really enjoyed this collection of steampunk short stories from YA authors. It is a really entertaining read and perfect for when I had a few minutes and didn’t want to start a new book. Unfortunately, the stories from the authors I already know were largely disappointing, with the notable exception of Libba Bray, and I was impressed with stories by a lot of authors whom I’d only vaguely or never heard of before. Overall a really nice read, and well worth the money I spent.

Very short notes on each of the stories follow:

Some Fortunate Future Day by Cassandra Clare

I liked this story, but it was ultimately quite predictable. The incident with the rabbit was really creepy though, and I loved the dolls. Some how I expected more from a C. Clare short story, especially since it’s the first one of the anthology and supposedly sets the scene, so to speak.

The Last Ride of the Glory Girls by Libba Bray

This was awesome, tightly written and engaging. I liked the characters, and the whole story had a warmth to it that I enjoyed. It was also a lot longer than the previous story, which allowed it to get into some nice character development and world building. I really wish there was a novel sized book about the Glory Girls.

Clockwork Fagin by Cory Doctorow

Really well written and fun, with a great narrator. The story is well thought out and although it has a convenient ending, the desperation and tenacity of the orphans is readily believable.

Seven Days Beset by Demons by Shawn Cheng

A cute graphic short story about a young man who sells mechanical devices, who is in love with a woman who doesn’t feel the same way. I love the way that each day corresponds to one of the deadly sins, it’s very clever.

Hand in Glove by Ysabeau S. Wilce

My favourite story so far, told incredibly well and with likeable characters. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and wish it was longer! Clever and creepy, and not one to miss.

The Ghost of Cwmlech Manor by Delia Sherman

I didn’t like this one, it wasn’t very enjoyable, and a little weird. More of a ghost story than a steampunk story to be honest.

Gethsemane by Elizabeth Knox

Another fairly disappointing story – mostly because many of the main characters didn’t have names for a long time and it’s hard to keep track of ‘the boy’, ‘the girl’, ‘the woman’ and ‘the man’ all the time. I liked the volcano though.

The Summer People by Kelly Link

This was wonderful! Wistful, magical and with a hint of eerie, this short story was the perfect read before bed 🙂 But it wasn’t very … steampunkery.

Peace in Our Time by Garth Nix

A quick, haunting story that showcased the brilliance of Nix’s writing. I really enjoyed it, and I wish there was an accompanying novel-sized story.

Nowhere Fast by Christopher Rowe

Another quick story, set in a strange future, where cars (petroleum powered) are illegal. An interesting look at how the world may react to fuel shortages and environmental changes.

Finishing School by Kathleen Jennings

A fun graphic story about a young girl’s determination to achieve the impossible, and her steadfast but realistic friend. Nicely told as a flashback so we can see how the succeeded in their respective dreams.

Steam Girl by Dylan Horrocks

One of my favourite stories: bittersweet and incredibly detailed. I loved it, I loved Steam Girl and I wish there was more!

Everything Amiable and Obliging by Holly Black

A somewhat disappointing story, mainly because Holly Black is so famed and well-regarded, and this story fell … flat. There was a lot to think about, but it was predictable and weird.

The Oracle Engine by M. T. Anderson

This was set in an alternate Ancient Rome and was interesting to read. I liked the oracle machine and the concept behind the story, but felt sorry for all the characters. This is a really tragic story.

3 Responses to “Steampunk! by Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant”

  1. VeganYANerds

    Sounds like an interesting collection of short stories. I often find I buy books like this for a particular author, but end up discovering other authors which is great!

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