The Clockwork Goat and the Smokestack Magi by Peter M. Ball


The Mammoth Book of SteampunkTitle: The Clockwork Goat and the Smokestack Magi
Author: Peter M. Ball
In: The Mammoth Book of Steampunk (Sean Wallace)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Steampunk
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: It was not until the fourth day that the copper door swung open, magically, before the sharp rat-a-tat of the goat’s knock.

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The smokestack Magi has a surprise waiting at his door. Is the goat another Trojan horse, or a true offering of peace? It will take him a while to find out…


So many of the steampunk short stories that I have read so far have featured the entire idea that pride comes before the fall. And this is no different from any other. It also reminds me of the tale of the Trojan Horse. And reminds us that maybe we should take what is offered in the spirit which it is offered, instead of being prideful and resentful.

I love the image of a tiny little clockwork goat sitting amongst the darkest of the streets. And being the downfall of the most powerful man in the city. The innocence and cuteness which I associate with goats (I’m not entirely sure why) is seared into my brain and works perfectly well with the image that a clockwork goat has created in my brain. Certainly a story that I want to read again and again and again.

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Image source: Amazon

3 thoughts on “The Clockwork Goat and the Smokestack Magi by Peter M. Ball

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