Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Steampunk! An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories edited by Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant

“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. Where scientists and schoolgirls, fair folk and Romans, intergalactic bandits, utopian revolutionaries, and intrepid orphans solve crimes, escape from monstrous predicaments, consult oracles, and hover over volcanoes in steam-powered airships. Here, fourteen masters of speculative fiction, including two graphic storytellers, embrace the genre's established themes and refashion them in surprising ways and settings as diverse as Appalachia, ancient Rome, future Australia, and alternate California. Visionaries Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant have invited all-new explorations and expansions, taking a genre already rich, strange, and inventive in the extreme and challenging contributors to remake it from the ground up. The result is an anthology that defies its genre even as it defines it.”

Authors included are: 
Holly Black 
Libba Bray 
Shawn Cheng 
Cassandra Clare 
Cory Doctorow 
Dylan Horrocks 
Kathleen Jennings 
Elizabeth Knox 
Kelly Link 
Garth Nix 
Christopher Rowe 
Delia Sherman 
Ysabeau S. Wilce
M. T. Anderson 

Steampunk: a subgenre of science fiction and fantasy featuring advanced machines and other technology based on steampower of the 19th century and taking place in a recognizable historical period or a fantasy world.

Each short story is a work by a noted YA author. Libba Bray, for example, writes a story about a gang of horse riding Wild West girls with a mechanism that slows/stops time long enough for them to rob a train and get out. Cory Doctrow writes about a Canadian workhouse for crippled orphans run by a horrible man. The orphans kill him, take over and build a clockwork version (like a robot) of the man so the nuns won’t realize that he is gone.
I didn’t enjoy all the stories. Hand in Glove by Ysabeau S. Wilce 2008 winner of the Andre Norton award for Young Adult Science Fiction and fantasy* was too "something" for me. I can’t put my finger on it (no pun intended). I found myself bogged down by the language of it all. On the other hand, Some Fortunate Future Day by Cassandra Clare was an enjoyable (if creepy) read about a girl whose dolls tell her what to do. I have always been creeped out by talking dolls and this was no exception, but the story was excellent.

 There are 2 graphic stories, stories which would appeal to girls, stories which would appeal to boys and stories which would appeal to all. It gives the reader a glimpse into the Steampunk genre and allows a taste of many different varieties.

*Wilce, Y. S. (n.d.). Retrieved May 5, 2012, from

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