The Hands That Feed by Matthew Kressel

The Mammoth Book of Steampunk

Title: The Hand That Feed
Author: Matthew Kressel
In: The Mammoth Book of Steampunk (Sean Wallace)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: LGBTQISteampunk
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2008
5th sentence, 74th page: “Tell me, Divya,” I said.

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Jessica Rowe has employed Divya in her store, but she might be slowly falling for the quiet beauty. Sadly, ambitions, prejudice and a mayor candidate might be getting in the way of their happily ever after.


I enjoyed the slight hint of an LGBTQI relationship throughout this story – it wasn’t intense and overbearing, but there was enough that this short story gets put on the LGBTQI shelf in my collection. I also liked that you constantly questioned the actual motives of Divya as you could further see Jessica falling for her… there was just something slightly and uncomfortably off in their interactions that doesn’t truly click until the very end of the storyline when everything is revealed.

Small automatons running through the streets at night stealing objects for their master and ensuring her livelihood seems like a great novel to be honest. I’m a little bit disappointed that it was such a short story! Although, every good short story leaves me wanting more, so I suppose it’s doing that job amazingly well. The world building, characterisation and development of relationships in such a few pages was so well done, that this story continues to linger long after you have turned the final page.

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Image source: Amazon

3 thoughts on “The Hands That Feed by Matthew Kressel

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