Tag Archives: Jeff VanderMeer

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.

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 TraitorSteampunk: Looking to the Future Through the Lens of the Past ->

Image source: Amazon

Fixing Hanover by Jeff VanderMeer

Overview

The Mammoth Book of SteampunkTitle: Fixing Hanover
Author: Jeff VanderMeer
In: The Mammoth Book of Steampunk (Sean Wallace)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Steampunk
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2008
5th sentence, 74th page: By the time I reached the Emperor, received his blessing and his sword, I had nothing to say; he found me more mute than any captive, his instrument once more.

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Synopsis

The chief engineer of the Empire is hiding out in a sleepy coastal village. What will happen when they finally find him?

Thoughts

I’m kind of confused by this short story. Which, honestly, often happens when I read steampunk stories. There are so many layers to the worlds that are created in such a few words, and it becomes both an amazing world to dive into, and one which is almost impossible to actually understand. The fact that the narrators voice straddled two worlds (the Empire and the sleepy beach town) helped to add to this amazingly intricate and intriguing complexity.

The duality of the narrators’ past and present is further reflected (and enjoyed) in his description of Lady Salt and Rebecca. There is an acknowledgement that there are multi-faceted insights into a person’s persona. One that changes according to the role that they must play. The way that he interchanges her names highlights the different personalities which the alluring woman plays. Yet, it is her very last words that I really enjoyed and made this story so appealing. But, you’ll have to read it to find out what they were.

 <- Steampunk: Looking to the Future Through the Lens of the Past Review The Steamdancer (1896) Review ->
Image source: Amazon