Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

Steampunk 2

Ann & Jeff Vandermeer (Ed)

2010

Terrific follow up to volume one. This collection is lavishly illustrated with beautiful steampunk designs to complement the text. A good selection of mostly recent writings, including a wonderful illustrated story about Ada Lovelace and a ‘proto’ steampunk story in Flying Fish Prometheus, written in the 19th Century, which reads as surprisingly contemporary of other steampunk writings. Or maybe recent writers are just good at emulating that proto style!

Story and Author

Tags/Hub Areas

Therapeutic Tags

Personal Rating

The Gernsback Continuum by William Gibson

Art deco punk, retro futuristic architecture obsession, architectural photography, Flash Gordon, raygun gothic, meta, hallucinations, UFOs, Twilight Zone

Jungian psychology, sanity, coping, meta, escapism

***1/2

Great Breakthroughs In Darkness by Marc Laidlaw

Steampunk, photography, child exploitation, darkshade, Lovecraft, dictionary

Language, compassion, mystery

*****

Dr. Lash Remembers by Jeffrey Ford

Steampunk, disease, plague outbreak, insanity, new reality, Prisoner Queen, Republic, mass hysteria, airborne spores

Rebellion, liberation

***1/2

The Unblinking Eye by Stephen Baxter

Steampunk, alternate history, Incan civilization, Londres, cold war, terrorism, empire, solar power

Interracial love, war avoidance

****

The Steam Dancer (1896) by Caitlin R Kiernan

Steampunk, disabilities, steam powered prosthetics, old wild west, charity, sex scene, Shakespeare, Denver Colorado

Kindness, resilience, love

****1/2

The Cast-Iron Kid by Andrew Knighton

Steampunk, old wild west, cowboys, gunfights, robot gunshooter, transgressive

Natural justice, bad guy defeated, ingenuity

****

Machine Maid by Margo Lanagan

Steampunk, Victorian goldfields, Melbourne, robot sex slave, isolation, murder

Feminism, liberation, freedom

****1/2

The Unbecoming of Virgil Smythe by Ramsey Shehadeh

Steampunk, murder on the orient express, trains, time and reality distortion, bubble worlds, robbery, madness, liminal spaces

Self sacrifice, ambition fulfilled, glimpse of the infinite, madness overcome

*****

The Mechanical Aviary of Emperor Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar by Shweta Narayan

Steampunk, mecha birds, heartsprings, Indian myths

Wisdom, revenge

***1/2

O One by Chris Roberson

Steampunk, automation, Imperial China, early computers

Fear of change, continuity for conservatives, tradition

***1/2

Wild Copper by Samantha Henderson

Fantasy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Puget Sound, faeries, life trade, slavery, Coyote, Copper Woman, indigenous American myths

Escape, freedom, environmentalism, cost of greed

*****

The Bold Explorer In the Place Beyond by David Erik Nelson

Steampunk, Alternate Civil War, robots, William Burroughs, Huckleberry Finn,

Humour

**

Lost Pages From The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana by Jess Nevins

Steampunk, disastrous history of steamtanks, warfare

Cautionary tale

**

Tanglefoot (A Clockwork Century Story) by Cherie Priest

Steampunk, clockwork child, possessed by changeling, absent minded inventor, asylum

Empathy

***

A Serpent In the Gears by Margaret Ronald

Steampunk, dirigibles, merged humans and animals, hybrids, serpents, no fly zone, spies revealed, andropters, thaumics

Loyalty, heroism

***1/2

The Strange Case of Mr. Salad Monday by G.D. Falksen

Steampunk, social media, gossip, critics, mystery, liminal being, journalism, new weird

Familiarity, mystery solved, curiosity satisfied

***1/2

The Persecution Machine by Tanith Lee

Steampunk, madness, being hunted, paranoia, justified

Psychological fears confirmed and conquered

****

Balfour and Meriwether in the Adventure of the Emperor’s Vengeance by Daniel Abraham

Steampunk, Napoleon, ancient Egypt, clockwork monster, British agents, apocalypse, Holmesian, Victorian London, secret societies, machine as enemy

Relief, ingenuity, empathy

***

As Recorded On Brass Cylinders: Adagio For Two Dancers by James L. Grant & Lisa Mantchev

Steampunk, language, clockwork androids, memory cylinders, old lovers reunited, old model termination

Romance, love, memory

*****

Flying Fish Prometheus (A Fantasy of the Future) by Vihelm Bergsoe

Proto-Steampunk, flying machine, hurricane, human derring do, rescue, journalists

Whimsy, romance, humour

****

The Anachronist’s Cookbook by Catherynne M. Valente

Steampunk, language, moon colony, Victorian, Luddites, Levelers

Human rights, equality, rebellion

*****

Lovelace & Babbage: Origins, with Salamander by Sydney Padua (graphic story)

Steampunk, Ada Lovelace, Charles Babbage, alternate timeline, adventure, mathematics, computer code

Humour, whimsy

*****

A Secret History of Steampunk by The Mecha-Ostrich

Steampunk, mecha animals, obsession, Edisonades, communes, inventors, madness

Whimsy, renewal, defiance

***