Tag Archives: E. Catherine Tobler

The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk edited by Sean Wallace

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of dieselpunk book cover

Title: The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk
Author: Sean Wallace, Jay Lake, Shannon Page, Carrie Vaughn, Anatoly Belilovsky, E. Catherine Tobler, Jeremiah Tolbert, Brian Trent, Rachel Nussbaum, Trent Hergenrader, Gwynne Garfinkle, Genevieve Valentine, Joseph Ng, A.C. Wise, Kim Lakin-Smith, Nick Mamatas, Costi Gurgu, Tony Pi, Cirilo S. Lemos, Erin M. Hartshorn, Dan Rabarts, Mark Robert Philips, Catherine Schaff-Stump & Laurie Tom
Series: Mammoth Books
In: The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk (Sean Wallace)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Dieselpunk, Science fiction, Short story collections
Dates read: 18th March 2019 – 25th March 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: The gremlins will be inside everything given long enough and they just want out.

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Synopsis

21 tales of anarchic diesel mayhem. 88 From multiple Hugo Award-winning editor Sean Wallace, a new, cutting-edge anthology of twenty-one vibrant stories that explore the possibilities of history, while sweeping readers into high-powered, hydrocarbon-fuelled adventures that merge elements of noir, pulp, and the past with the technology of today… and sometimes a dash of the occult.

Journey into an era when engines were huge, fuel was plentiful and cheap, and steel and chrome overlaid the grit and grease of powerful machines!

Includes stories by Erin Hartshorn, Trent Hergenrader, Tony Pi, Catherine Schaff-Stump, E. Catherine Tobler, Jeremiah Tolbert, Laurie Tom, Genevieve Valentine, A. C. Wise and many more.

Thoughts

I’ve recently started to thoroughly enjoy steampunk. But this was my first excursion into Dieselpunk. And what an excellent introduction this proved to be! I was enthralled, mystified and totally sunk into some of the stories in this collection. And although it might not be my favourite collection of short stories… it certainly ranks up there.

I found this collection a lot darker than steampunk collections. There is just something about Dieselpunk that is a little more critical, and a little less optimistic than steampunk. Or at least, that’s how I’m finding it. Not that that was a bad thing, but this was certainly a darker collection than the steampunk collections and novels that have been filling my shelves lately.

As much as I loved these short stories, I did take a long time to read this collection. Mostly because I had to be in a pretty specific mindset to actually read them. There is something a little less approachable and more intense about this genre that I both loved and also found a little hard to factor into my daily reading schedules.

<- The Mammoth Book of Dickensian WhodunnitsRolling Steel: A Pre-Apocalyptic Love Story ->

Image source: Running Press

Vast Wings Across Felonious Skies by E. Catherine Tobler

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of dieselpunk book cover

Title: Vast Wings Across Felonious Skies
Author: E. Catherine Tobler
In: The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk (Sean Wallace)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Dieselpunk, War
Dates read: 8th April 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: “Hold together, baby,” she whispered as if those words had become part of the ritual.

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Synopsis

Sakura is a pilot in the war, but when she gets sucked up into a mysterious cloud, she finds herself fighting something she had never imagined. Now an “alien” under suspicion, it might take all of her skills and courage to defeat this unknown opponent.

Thoughts

The street that I grew up on is, surprisingly an old army camp. And in World War II, it was the place where they kept the “aliens”. Which has kind of left me with a bit of a fascination with the imprisonment of people of specific nationalities during the War. So I was kind of immediately drawn into this short story. Not only did it feature a woman pilot, weird aliens and a bit of conspiracy, but it also talked about the experiences of people who were imprisoned for their heritage.

I’m fairly new to the Steampunk and Dieselpunk subgenres, but I was kind of surprised to read one such tale that aliens in it. There were a few in The Mammoth Book of Steampunk that had a similar feeling, but this was still a storyline and tale that really took me by surprise. In all the best ways possible. The creepiness of being abducted in the sky and then attacked by what seemed to me like hollow men was quite intense. And the imagery invoked by Tobler lingered long after I turned the last page of this story. It’s definitely one that I would suggest anyone who is even slightly fascinated by Dieselpunk sink their teeth into.

<- The Little Dog OhoriInstead of Loving Heart ->

Image source: Running Press

The Mammoth Book of Steampunk edited by Sean Wallace

Overview
The Mammoth Book of Steampunk

Title: The Mammoth Book of Steampunk
Author: Sean Wallace, Ekaterina Sedia, Jeff VanderMeer, Caitlin R. Kiernan, E. Catherine Tobler, Jay Lake, Genevieve Valentine, Cat Rambo, Shweta Narayan, Aliette de Bodard, N.K. Jemisin, Peter M. Ball, Sharon Mock, Catherynne M. Valente, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Eileen Gunn, Michael Swanwick, Tobias S. Buckell, Matthew Kressel, Margo Lanagan, Amal El-Mohtar, Barth Anderson, Jeffrey Ford, James Morrow, Cherie Priest, Margaret Ronald, Megan Arkenberg, Benjamin Rosenbaum, Mary Robinette Kowal, Samantha Henderson, Nick Mamatas, Nicole Kornher-Stace & Lavie Tidhar
Series: Mammoth Books
In: The Mammoth Book of Steampunk (Sean Wallace)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Short story collections, Steampunk
Dates read: 3rd October 2018 – 6th March 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2008
5th sentence, 74th page: He was in his library, or so he called it, a small room that smelled of pipe tobacco and old leather, so close that one could barely breathe.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

30 anarchic mash-ups of past and future that push the boundaries of steampunk.

Great steampunk stories confront an uneasy history of oppression – of women, other ‘races’ and classes – and the abuse of science, by reimagining the past. The writers represented in this outsatnding collection look to the future through the lens of the past, imagining worlds in which technology is used to uplift rather than to oppress.

Thoughts

I’ve only recently gotten involved in steampunk. It’s a genre that I only started reading late last year and one that I kind of love. Although, as I discovered with this collection of short stories, it is also a genre that I have to concentrate a little more to read (unlike genre such as romance).

This anthology runs the gambit of steampunk stories and brings a number of themes, styles and settings to life. It is a perfect way to completely disappear from the world after a long day. Although, with many of the themes, once you have finished the story you are thrown back into reality ten times more heavily than you were before. After all, most of these stories have a great commentary about the world that we live in today.

From capitalism to feminist movements, every major issue and discussion that seems to be occurring in modern society is touched upon in this collection. Yet, these aren’t all serious commentaries on the world. Some of the stories are kind of hilarious, and some are downright weird. The one thing that they all have in common is that they are thoroughly enjoyable and have helped to give me a new addiction.

 <- The Traitor ReviewSteampunk: Looking to the Future Through the Lens of the Past Review ->
Image source: Amazon

Icebreaker by E. Catherine Tobler

Overview

The Mammoth Book of SteampunkTitle: Icebreaker
Author: E. Catherine Tobler
In: The Mammoth Book of Steampunk (Sean Wallace)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: AdventureFamilySteampunk
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: “Have you seen its like before?

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Muriel is travelling to the Arctic circle to cremate her husbands remains. But not everything goes as planned, and, partnered with her past and a pushy reporter, she is in for one big adventure.

Thoughts

A journey to put her husband to rest leaves Muriel on an epic adventure that is far more dangerous than she expected. Reflecting on her marriage, the nosiness of reporters and the dangers of her travels, she opens up a journey that is both simple and enjoyable.

The reflections on Muriel’s marriage show what a great and loving relationship her and J.J. had. And the fact that she is a dwarf and unexpected made me wish that he was still alive. Which was the exact response I’m sure the writer was aiming for – it made for not only a whimsical journey, but helped to create a more profound relationship with the lead voice and narrator.

 <- The Steamdancer (1896) Review Tom Edison and his Amazing Telegraphic Harpoon Review ->
Image source: Amazon