The Steamdancer (1896) by Caitlin R. Kiernan


The Mammoth Book of SteampunkTitle: The Steamdancer (1896)
Author: Caitlin R. Kiernan
In: The Mammoth Book of Steampunk (Sean Wallace)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Romance, Steampunk
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: It was not an uncommon fate for the likes of Missouri Banks, those caught out in the open during the spring swarms, those without safe houses to hide inside until the voracious flies had come and gone, moving on to bedevil other towns and cities and farms.

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A young girl is found by the mechanic. After helping to turn her into a cyborg, they get married and live happily ever after.


This story kind of completely melted my heart. It was so cute and sweet. Almost a little window into the daily life of a gorgeous cyborg woman. I was expecting something much darker in the first mini chapter, but it was quickly a very smooth and easy read. One that set the tone for a loving relationship, a woman who loved to dance, and a body that was constructed of metal as well as flesh.

This short story incorporates everything that I have come to love about the steampunk genre. Namely the great way of writing that feels a lot more classical and Victorian in its construction. The ways in which it is so incredibly descriptive. And, of course, the great settings and themes which combine the romance of the past (although maggots eating away flesh may not be able to be classed as super romantic) and the hope of the future.

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Image source: Amazon

3 thoughts on “The Steamdancer (1896) by Caitlin R. Kiernan

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