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Steampunk [Paperback]

Ann VanderMeer , Jeff VanderMeer
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.50
Price: 10.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Steampunk + The Steampunk Bible: An Illustrated Guide to the World of Imaginary Airships, Corsets and Goggles, Mad Scientists, and Strange Literature
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Product details

  • Paperback: 373 pages
  • Publisher: Tachyon Publications (10 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781892391759
  • ISBN-13: 978-1892391759
  • ASIN: 1892391759
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 16.1 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Synopsis

Replete with whimsical mechanical wonders and charmingly anachronistic settings, this pioneering anthology gathers a brilliant blend of fantastical stories. "Steampunk" originates in the romantic elegance of the Victorian era and blends in modern scientific advances - synthesizing imaginative technologies such as steam-driven robots, analogue supercomputers, and ultramodern dirigibles. The elegant allure of this popular new genre is represented in this rich collection by distinctively talented authors, including Neal Stephenson, Michael Chabon, James Blaylock, Michael Moorcock, and Joe R. Lansdale.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent anthology from 10 May 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was looking for a good compilation of Steampunk having read The Difference Engine (Gollancz S.F.) and the superb The Steampunk Trilogy.

As a fan of Jeff Vandermeer this one appealed (read The Situation it's an excellent fun wee book).

Anyway: this is an excellent anthology.

The stories are as follows:

Introduction: The 19th Century Roots of Steampunk (Jess Nevins) - obviously an introduction to the sub-genre.

Benediction: Excerpt from The Warlord of the Air (Michael Moorcock) - an excerpt from the novel: I enjoyed it and have read much of Moorcock's works, shame that his steampunk stuff seems to be out of print.

Lord Kelvin's Machine (James P. Blaylock) - same as above Blaylock has a load of steampunk novels that seem to be hard to get.

The Giving Mouth (Ian R. MacLeod) - an odd story - not *entirely* sure what was going on. But I like that.

A Sun in the Attic (Mary Gentle) - Nice feminist subcurrents to a story about the potential for technology to disrupt society.

The God-Clown is Near (Jay Lake) - Pretty funny, gory and a good job at playing with mad-scientist tropes (well, that's how I read it, anyway!)

The Steam Man of the Prairie and the Dark Rider Get Down: A Dime Novel (Joe R. Lansdale) - Full of crude language and works hard to deconstruct heros and so on (more about this in the opening essays). It's not bad - I kinda liked it, though you *could* describe it as puerile. I think deliberately so.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Curate's Egg 22 Nov 2012
By Runmentionable TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Not knowing much about Steampunk (I love "The Anubis Gates" and didn't like "Morlock Night", and that's about it), I bought this as a kind of immersion course. I'm not sure how well it's worked.

I adored three stories. Joe Lansdale's "The Steam Man..." is a very funny, over-the-top dime novel that descends into extraordinary ultraviolence. You'll laugh, hate yourself for laughing, and then start laughing again. Probably till you're sick. By contrast, Ted Chiang's thoughtful and uplifting "Seventy-Two Letters" puts an amazing twist on the old idea (it goes back at least as far as Heinlein's "Magic, Inc.") that the occult sciences are alternative technologies governed by their own rigorous logic. The other gem was Paul De Filippo's "Victoria", in which hilariously appalling events disrupt the early years of the grand old queen's reign. The excerpt from Moorcock's "The Warlord of the Air", which kicks things off, is also fun, if somewhat shoehorned in, and Ian McLeod's "The Giving Mouth", though revolting, is inventive and well-worked, if somewhat beyond general ideas of what Steampunk is.

That last comment applies to quite a few stories here, which don't necessarily have the focus on alternative Victorian worlds and technologies that a lot of readers would probably expect. That's not a problem - there's nothing wrong with having your horizons broadened - but many of these stories just didn't do it for me. Although they're all inventive, there's a tendency (also seen in other anthologies edited by the Vandermeers) towards stories which are stronger on atmosphere and worldbuilding than on plot. The biggest disappointment is Michael Chabon's "The Martian Agent".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthy collection... 22 April 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This collection of Steampunk stories is exceedingly entertaining - it covers a range of humorous, dark and sometimes frightening themes, with every piece bringing something new to the reader. If you like mad scientists, cunning villains, rampaging monsters, and unlikely-sounding robots, you'll love this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great for Christmas 20 Dec 2013
By Shaun
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Was great when looking for steampunk books and this was spot on great for what I was looking for in a present.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A bit mixed, but good overall 23 May 2013
By Big Ben TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'd read a couple of the stories in here elsewhere, and liked them. But the overall collection is patchy, and a bit of a disappointment to me - perhaps I was expecting too much?
Recommended to those who are willing to take a chance on it.
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