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Steampunk Paperback – 1 May 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 373 pages
  • Publisher: Tachyon Publications (1 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1892391759
  • ISBN-13: 978-1892391759
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 2.5 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 336,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Review

"The VanderMeers (The New Weird) have assembled another outstanding theme anthology, this one featuring stories set in alternate Victorian eras. Michael Moorcock, the godfather of steampunk, is represented by an excerpt from his classic novel The Warlord of the Air. In 'Lord Kelvin's Machine,' a fine tale from prolific steampunk author James P. Blaylock, mad scientists plot to throw the Earth into the path of a passing comet, declaring that 'science will save us this time, gentlemen, if it doesn't kill us first.' Michael Chabon's vivid and moving 'The Martian Agent, a Planetary Romance' recounts the lives of two young brothers in the aftermath of George Custer's mutiny against Queen Victoria, while historical fantasist Mary Gentle describes a classic struggle between safety and progress in 'A Sun in the Attic.' This is a superb introduction to one of the most popular and inventive subgenres in science fiction." --Publishers Weekly, starred review "Chock full of brass, steam, diabolical engines, villains, Victorian aesthetics, romance, and humour...[a]n essential primer!" --Jake Von Slatt, The Steampunk Workshop "All stories contained in the anthology Steampunk collected by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer are of high quality... Recommended for those who enjoy steampunk and those who want a diverse exposure to the possibilities within steampunk." --SF Revu "The VanderMeers's anthologies seem to be establishing a new landmark for the aughts... Blimey, guv'nor! Mission accomplished!" --The Fix "It is as if a mad scientist had done all his shopping at Victoriana instead of Sharper Image... [It] effectively captures what the steampunk genre is all about." --Los Angeles Times "...of all speculative fiction's subgenres, steampunk is proving to be among the most popular and influential... Anne and Jeff VanderMeer have gathered many of the gnarliest examples of the genre in their Steampunk anthology." --Manchester Guardian "...dark pseudo-Victorian fun...a great deal to offer the casual reader and the critic alike..." --SF Site "...from the inception of Steampunk right up through today...a great book...I can't put it down." --BoingBoing.net "This new collection of previously published stories spotlights some of the best short work in the subgenre." --San Francisco Chronicle "...if you want to go deeper into realms where high tech and the old world meet, be sure to pick up the Steampunk anthology..." --San Francisco Examiner "The diversity of the sci-fi subgenre is amply demonstrated in this anthology... Both fans of steampunk and readers for whom it's a foreign concept should find this collection rewarding." --Kirkus "The VanderMeers, ardent steampunkers themselves, historically sample that fantasy genre, in which the Victorian era is reimagined to include Martian technology, steam-powered robots, airships, alchemy, and various anachronistic technologies." --Booklist "In addition to offering a quick-shot education in the history and development of the genre, it also contains some truly excellent short fiction. Recommended." --FantasyLiterature.com "The VanderMeers' first Steampunk anthology (2008) can already be considered a classic." --Tor.com

About the Author

Ann VanderMeer is the Hugo Award--winning editor of Weird Fiction Review. She was the fiction editor at Weird Tales and the publisher of Buzzcity Press, work for which received the British Fantasy, International Horror Guild, and Rhysling awards. An expert on Victoriana, she is the co-editor of the bestselling World Fantasy Award--nominated Steampunk series. Her other anthologies include the Best American Fantasy and Leviathan series, The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases, The New Weird, and Last Drink, Bird Head. Jeff VanderMeer is the best-selling author of City of Saints and Madmen, the noir thriller Finch, and the quintessential guide to writers, Booklife. His award-winning novels have made the year's best lists at Publishers Weekly, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Wall Street Journal. His nonfiction and reviews have appeared in Washington Post Book World, the Huffington Post, and the New York Times Book Review.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By R. Palmer on 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).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Runmentionable on 22 Nov. 2012
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 By H. Melvin-Bath on 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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By Big Ben TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 23 May 2013
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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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