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Confessions of a Bibliophile

An aspiring writer and bookstore employee with an incredibly bad book-buying habit... I'll read just about anything (so long as it will appeal to my interests in some way), but my main loves are YA and sci-fi/fantasy. I also like quirky history and science books and will book nerd. A lot. Currently in the process of weeding out my personal library. Find me on Twitter @princess_starr or check out my YA book, Snowfall, on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/240027

Steampunk! An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories

Steampunk! An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories - I’ve made my case for why I like steampunk in a few other reviews, and so I’m surprised that it’s taken me a while to read this. This collection is actually a really good starter for those wanting to get into the world of clockwork hats and googles and souped-up Victoriana. What also helps here is that some of the stories don’t limit themselves to the plain ol’ souped-up Victoriana (although the majority do fall under that category). One of my favorites, Dylan Horrocks’s “Steam Girl,” takes place in the present reality, although there’s a hint of “Perhaps the fantasy is also the reality” as well as exploring the positives of escapism. Libba Bray’s “The Last Ride of the Glory Girls” is Westernized steampunk taking place on a colonized, unnamed planet with glorious feminist tones; and MT Anderson’s “The Oracle Engine” explores machina in Ancient Rome. Really, though, the majority of the stories here are absolutely fantastic, with the two weakest, in my opinion, being Holly Black’s “Everything Amiable and Obliging” and Shawn Cheng’s comic “Seven Days Beset by Demons.” (As an aside/plea not only for this anthology, but for a good chunk of steampunk stories out there: I know the Victoriana is a big part of the appeal, but there’s a whole world out there with a lot of people in it. There’s only three stories in here with stated POC characters—Bray’s, Kathleen Jennings’s “Finishing School” and Elizabeth Knox’s “Gethsemane.” I know I’m guilty of this in my own writing in the subgenre, but guys, think outside the coin-operated box a little.) As I said, this is a really good introduction to steampunk, and definitely a quick and satisfying read. Check it out if you can.