corner corner Steampunk'd


by Jean Rabe, Martin H. Greenberg | Science Fiction & Fantasy
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 2/16/2017
Average 7 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by GoryDetails): travelling

This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!

1 journaler for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Thursday, February 16, 2017

7 out of 10

I found this good-condition paperback at a local Salvation Army thrift store, and nabbed it for another release copy of this steampunk anthology.

In general, steampunk has to do with ornate, brass-and-copper-fitted, steam-and-clockwork-driven things; zeppelins are popular, as are goggles. [I read an amusing line to the effect that "steampunk is what happened when Goths discovered brown". Hee!]

Anyway, there's quite a variety here, starting with "Chance Corrigan and the Tick-Tock King of the Nile", an adventure story in which the hero winds up helping to dam the Nile, until he finds out what the true goal of the project is.

Among the other stories I liked: "Foggy Goggles" is an amusing account of a hapless journalist's attempts to buttonhole a mad scientist about his plans. "Portrait of a Lady in a Monocle" features a woman whose inventions have been stolen by her ex-lover, and who finds an interesting way to achieve justice. [This one could have been a more mundane story, but adding steampunk elements to the inventions themselves and to the methods used to deal with the miscreant is a nice touch.]

"Foretold" is almost mystical by contrast to the stories I've just mentioned; it deals with gangs of Siberian miners hunting down meteorites to mine for raw material, but also with the seers who are trained to use instruments - and the stars, and some inner gift - to determine in advance where the meteors will fall. Elements of mentor and student, rivalry, fear of failure - rather sweet, and un-"punk"-ish despite the orrerys and digging machines...

"The Echoer" is one of the weird-West stories here - well, technically, anyway, as it's set in Texas and opens with our hero crossing half of Texas on horseback. But the main story doesn't really depend on the setting - there's a plan to build "the greatest airship of all time", with complications both personal and practical, and the whole story's more of a clever way of romancing one's beloved than anything else. Nice, but not all that "weird"!

"Of a Feather" is set in the wilds of the Amazon, with lots of shout-outs to Doyle's "The Lost World", as the characters vie with mysterious rivals over the prehistoric plateau.

"Scourge of the Spoils" - now, this is a weird-Western steampunk story, and a really good one! It opens with a grizzled guide escorting a young woman across the desert on a mechanical, steam-powered horse, but he soon goes on ahead to scout, the young woman has a mishap in the river and winds up alone, and then a con artist appears from underground in his mining-locomotive... and from there things get complicated {grin}. This one took me by surprise, in a good way!

"The Nubian Queen" is an alternate-history look at African politics, with arranged marriages, planned betrayals, unexpected romance, and (of course) airships worked in.

"The Whisperer" features young people with unusual powers, which cause them to be feared and persecuted - but one young man finds a workaround.

"Imperial Changeling" is something of a genre-blender, melding the world of Faerie with a steampunk not-that-alternate history. What if Rudolph, Crown Prince of Austria, was a changeling?

Those aren't the only stories in the collection, but I didn't find the others quite as memorable. Definitely an entertaining and varied anthology. 

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Somewhere in Billerica (see notes for details) in Billerica, Massachusetts USA on Thursday, February 16, 2017

This book has not been rated.

Released 1 yr ago (2/16/2017 UTC) at Somewhere in Billerica (see notes for details) in Billerica, Massachusetts USA


I left this book on a bench in front of the ominously-named Lost Sock laundromat (do they really want to advertise that? {grin}) at 502 Boston Rd. in Billerica at around 3:45 or so; hope the finder enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in MA here.]

*** Released for the 2017 Science Fiction release challenge. *** 

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